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Being Unduly Self-Centered

  The Central Idea of this web page concerns agreeable feelings inside oneself, and perhaps concern for other people seems to get short-changed. But it does not; let’s get this straight.

            The Central Idea certainly centers on pleasure (and specifically on a pleasure beyond eating, shopping and sexual concerns). I suggest that if we understand that pleasure we can manage it better. But then there’s the question: Should we try to generate pleasure for those around us, or focus on getting a bundle for ourselves? And that is as trenchant as ever. Suppose you are generous and loving, and pleasure for your friends is your constant aim; still, understanding pleasure and sensing correctly what makes them feel good is the way to go. Other people’s welfare is certainly a large concern but to truly understand it, I have to look inside myself; the only mind open for me to inspect is the one inside me. Pat’s deepest concern may be: “What parts of the Tree matter most to Chris?” All the same, the way to understand the Tree is for Pat to look inside his or her self.


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