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the shortcomings of the self-centered attitude

The Shortcomings of the Self-Centered Attitude

The function which the self-centered attitude performs is the avoid short-term difficulties and to act as an unwillingness to work for the acheivement of ultimate happiness. It is an overindulgence which grasps to oneself and is therefore unable to bear even the slightest harm. It views even minimal hardship as extremely disquieting, while constantly inducing a sense of impending personal loss. For these reasons this attachment to self is called the "self-centered attitude".

...It also endeavors to conceal our faults, while drawing attention to our good qualities. It shows no tolerance of even the slightest mistakes that others may have made with respect to us...Instead, causing anger, it induces all of our personal shortcomings, and sustains the attitude that we are superior to others.

Despite our desire for happiness, it leads us to perform actions that are completely incongruent with that goal. Due to it we are jealous of our betters, competitive to our equals, and belittling toward our inferiors. It is the root of our antagonism toward anything desirable which others possess, and is like a malignant disease that feeds on pleasure while avoiding all difficulties and conflict, thus ensuring that we fail to reach any worthwhile long-term goals...

It also acts as the cause for the self-doubt which plagues and disturbs the mind; it increases our inability to associate with others, and makes us disrespectful and haughty. Becuase of all these negative influences, when others utter so much as a few words out of place we are completely unable to cope with it, and it brings in its wake suspicions of others' harmful intentions of us that are exaggerated beyond all reasonable proportions.

Ultimately then, through its facade of concern for our well-being it is the root of all privation and the source of all personal failings which can deprive us even of our own life.

-Bodhichitta: Cultivating the Compassionate Mind of Enlightenment, by Ven. Lobsang Gyatso