I heard this juxtaposition that became my title the other day while listening to my favorite YouTube channel. I know YouTube is the largest rabbit hole on Earth, but sometimes we need our rabbit holes. It is with this thought in mind that I ask you to travel down the “wabbit” hole that is benevolent selfishness with me.
Benevolent can be defined as well-meaning and kindly. Its antonym, malevolent, means having or showing a wish to do evil to others. I would add that there’s some version of selfishness embodied in a malevolent person and/or malevolent acts that’s definitely the opposite of the Divine Masculine. So how do we come to put benevolent and selfishness together? The short answer is Janet Jackson sang a song about it called Control. My desire is to dive deeper than that in this forum.
What does benevolence mean to you, dear readers? I’m sure many of us would talk about a benevolent God, or at least hope there is one. I know most of us, myself included, would like to think that they are benevolent in nature. I’m certainly glad I’m not the blunt instrument I used to be and I’ll leave it at that for now.
There must be some kind of way out of here, said the joker to the thief. There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief.
No reason to get excited, the thief, he kindly spoke. There are many here among us who feel life is but a joke. But, uh, you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate. So let us stop talking falsely now. The hour’s getting late, hey…
– Excerpt from Bob Dylan’s lyrics performed brilliantly by Jimi Hendrix
True, I have posited that a splash of selfishness is a good thing in our personal lives. It’s the old, “Place the oxygen mask on yourself, before helping others” thing. Not talking about that and not even sure if I am talking about the tsunami that can be narcissism. Believe it or not, narcissists are people too; just don’t get too close to that fire. I suppose I’m talking about that gray area even the best of us can get lost in from time to time.
Back on target now, the world needs as much benevolence as it can get. That’ll never not be true. What I’m asking the readers to do, is what I always ask. Meditate. Meditate and contemplate on your motives before you take actions of great import. Said actions can be very simple and quick to be of great import to someone, so it’s okay leave garish and gallant notions aside.
Why do I always harp on meditation? It’s good for us, is the short answer. The long answer that contains the devil within its details, is that I have spent a lifetime not accepting myself in one way or the next WITHOUT EFFING REALIZING IT! The autopilot of routine can only be switched off with meditative practice. The length of the meditation matters not. It’s what you do with it that matters. I have had some of my deepest realizations by ceasing what I was doing for 15 seconds and listening, really listening to the depth and breadth of where you are. Breathe it out and ground it for a beat, then carry on.
So why did I choose this very specific aspect of meditation to highlight? To quote the great Captain Picard, “Villains who twirl their mustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well-camouflaged.” Given, most of us don’t have villainous intent, at least on a conscious level, but that doesn’t mean that the road to Hell isn’t paved with good intentions. Why matters. Why will never not matter. It’s all about the flavor of the seeds we toss into the Spring wind that makes the difference, not the shape of it all. Are some of the best cakes not the ugly, slightly overdone ones?
One way to look at these realizations would be to feel into any amount of moral gymnastics you have to do to justify a said action. Maybe justify isn’t the right word here. It’s often more subtle that. Regardless, gymnastics, impressive as they are in the Olympics, have no place in one’s heart. Not true? Maybe, maybe not. These questions remain, however. Co-dependency is tempting, is it not?
Is the tag line under the title hyperbole or akin to death by a thousand paper cuts? It certainly can be a bloody mess when we intend certain things. This could affect the giver and/or the receiver in kind.
I intend to start delving heavily here and within myself on the karmic wheel of lives into three biggies I feel we’re all here to glean: detachment, non-judgement, and forgiveness. All else is child’s play when you ponder the scope of these categories. I feel what I am talking about here is detachment. Not sociopathic detachment, but believing that what’s mine will be mine and discovering the peace within that attitude. Intent matters, outcomes, not so much. It doesn’t mean we don’t strive and hope, but we become accepting of where we’re at while we’re there. Hope for if the Universe says no, that it’s bringing us something better, rather than hoping for something so specifically dictatorial that if even the most delusional among us took a meditative second, we’d laugh at the absurdity of it all.
Am I splitting hairs that don’t need splitting here? That’s for y’all to decide on your own. While deciding that, ask yourselves if an unexamined life is worth living.
It’s all about waking up out of fear not hiding from it. Pain comes from subversion. Above all, be benevolent to yourselves and the world will benefit from the collective peace within those woke enough to do so.