People like to believe that they are good.
Some people. Many people. Okay, I liked to think that I was good. Children are constantly told that they need to behave in order to be good people. Adults often still want to be told that they are good people. Really, we are complimented by others when we follow their orders, when we are obedient to the rules and regulations that we have been given. Our reward is that we get to feel validated, approved and safe. Others tell us that we are good people….God must think that we are good….We get to think of ourselves as good.
We perform physical acts in the world. We do things for others and, for the most part, our motivations in doing particular acts is because we expect that there will be specific outcomes or effects from our actions.
We live in a world of cause and effect. Even if it does not always seem that way, at base level, we expect and/or fear that every one of our actions will bring about some sort of change or manifestation. This is simply the nature of the world that we live in. Even if we don’t necessarily believe that our desired outcome will be the result, we still hope it will be and we put out our best efforts to sway reality. We might vary in our beliefs about how much we control reality, but many of us hope that we have some sort of input towards the end result.
Many people equate selflessness with “goodness”–being a “good person” means that every consequence is in reference to someone else’s benefit. However, with the nature of our minds being what they are….constantly calculating, second guessing, analyzing, fearing, hoping and adding/deducing causality….we cannot avoid using our “self” in our thought processes. Everything we do is self-referential in some way. Because of the analytical natures of our minds, our minds always run ecology checks to guess what is going to come of our current actions. We are the observers in our worlds and we cannot take ourselves out of the equation.
All of our acts in the world lend to eventual outcomes. Sometimes, it is not so much the physical act itself, but the expectations (negative and positive) about the conclusions that add a lot more energy to the end result.
The same physical act will have different sorts and intensities of energy, depending on the thoughtforms associated with the particular details of each specific scenario. For our working example, I will use the scenario when I buy tacos for Fernando.
If Fernando were my child, buying him tacos could feel like an obligation, a necessary chore. I could feel resentful, because the act of paying for tacos could feel like another bill, because (other factors aside), it is a necessary expense. My action could be surrounded by the energies of resentment, irritation and poverty consciousness. However, if I allowed myself to feel intense love and appreciation for my child Fernando, I could be focused on my caring for him, including the satisfaction that he would feel after he ate. In this scenario, I would be adding a lot of positive energy to my act. Depending on my mindset, I could also feel the self-satisfaction of identifying myself as a good or loving parent, providing for my offspring.
If Fernando were one of my adult loved ones–a cousin, brother, friend, lover–I could feel either the resentment of the self-imposed obligation of feeding them, another expense. Also, because they are older and presumably more cognizant, I might subconsciously expect them to feel gratitude because of my feeding them, when I had no legal responsibility to do so. Perhaps, because I perceive this adult loved one as more of a thinking being, I expect my kind act of buying them tacos to merit a “thank you” on their part or to impart a pleasant feeling that will be remembered later. Perhaps later, this warm feeling will be associated with me and they will be kind towards me, to repay me with some unspecified action or perform a specific action at my request.
If Fernando were some person that I just knew, though not a friend, I could buy him tacos because I believed that everyone needed to eat. If I bought his tacos on that principal alone, I am just mentally supporting the idea that everyone should eat and no one should ever go hungry. His response might be completely irrelevant to me. But, it is also still possible that I could be expecting some gesture of gratitude on the part of Fernando. I could also be expecting to get some sort of credit of approval from any onlooking audience who saw me pay for the tacos. In my mind, I could expect some karmic compensation for the charity of the act.
It’s the same physical act. What changes is the personal expectation of what the act means to me, cause and effect. It is the consciousness of the thoughts that directs the energy, which manifests as the next moment. Most important is awareness, which can vary, regardless of the same physical action. Pay attention to what you are thinking and direct your attention consciously to which energy you want to experience.