In our world today, this one aspect of emotion is the most unbalanced. In its negative form, we feel that everything in the world is “mine”. This is the selfish form, which comes from greed. Greed is currently the most destructive aspect of human emotion. Greed has caused individuals to accumulate as much private property as they possibly can in the search for happiness. Once this property is theirs, they feel a satisfaction in knowing that no one else is allowed to claim it. Greed centers around property. “It is mine and nobody else can have it.” It leads to a sense of superiority and power. But it arrives from a cycle of abuse.
Selfishness arises from scarcity. When there is not enough to go around, it becomes important to secure a claim over the limited resources available in order to ensure your happiness. Happiness arises from balance, and a lack of any one thing disturbs this balance. Selfishness enters the scenario when our balance is disturbed. We feel the need to restore this balance by claiming ownership over certain resources, so that we no longer have to worry about living without that resource in the future. This becomes cyclical, however, because of greed. Greed is living in excess of balance. When we are forced to become selfish because we are struggling to provide a certain resource for ourselves, we often overcompensate when we finally do receive access to that resource. Because we have had to fight to attain it, once we have access to it, we take as much as we can and hoard that resource for the future. By hoarding this resource, we now make it less accessible to the rest of our peers. This causes a shortage of that resource, which causes selfishness in others. All because of greed.
When I look around the world today I see a lot of “lawless” behaviour. Any criminal psychologist will agree that all crimes are committed for one of two reasons. The main motivations for crime can always be traced to one of two things; poverty and passion. I would like to propose that both of these forms are in fact one expression of emotion; greed. Crimes from poverty are the most rampant in our world. They arise from greed in a most obvious way. But even criminals who boast massive fortunes and well-organized hierarchies are still motivated by poverty. These underground groups always arise from the lower classes and draw their membership exclusively from it.
I would like to posit that crimes of passion also arise from an innate sense of greed. When we act out in passion it is almost always associated with a lover. We act out because we feel someone or something is stopping us from creating true love with our lover. Please note that I said “our lover”. The lover is mine in this mentality. When they cheat on you and you act out it is because they have stolen something that is yours and yours alone. Greed. If the abuse is repetitive it is almost always in order to control our lover. We abuse them in passion so that they will not leave us. They are ours and we can do what we want with them. Again, greed.
As with all of the aspects of emotion, greed has an equal and opposite expression. When an individual looks at everything in the world and thinks “it’s ours” they are living in generosity. As I said earlier, happiness arises from balance. Therefore an excess of any resource does not mean more happiness. It actually means less. When you live in excess you must protect your assets from the greed of others. This leads to worry, insecurity and even obsession; none of which are associated with happiness. It seems greed and happiness are completely at odds, because greed necessitates a lack of balance.
Generosity is looking at the world from the opposite perspective. When we live in generosity and we receive an excess of a certain resource, rather than hoarding it, we share it freely. We do not give away all of our resource. We ensure that we keep enough for ourselves. But the excess we share, because we know that we do not need it. When we share with others we begin to enter a new cycle. Because we have given freely of our excess, selfishness does not have an opportunity to enter the situation. While hoarding spreads selfishness through reduced access to resources, sharing spreads gratitude through increased access to resources. Now, our peers look to us in gratitude and when they have secured an excess of a resource that we require, they will feel bound to reciprocate by sharing with us. A new cycle is formed. A cycle where excess creates sharing which creates gratitude which in turns brings excess of a new resource to you. All because of Generosity.
I would like to propose that if we began to live in generosity, all of our current crime would disappear. Crimes of poverty are motivated by a feeling that others have more than we do. It seems so unfair that we should have to struggle to survive, when others have it so easy. So we help ourselves to their resources without asking first. This is called stealing. In generosity this would never happen. There is no incentive to steal things when you know you can just ask for it. If the answer is always yes, then there is no need to be sneaky.
The same applies to crimes of passion. If we can accept that love is not something that is mine, but is rather something that is everyone’s, crimes of passion will disappear as well. When we act out in passion we do so because we believe our lover belongs to us and so we have some innate right to cause them harm if they “hurt” us emotionally. If we are able to accept that love is everyone’s we will see that nothing our lover could ever do will hurt us. Because they love us and we love them. If they begin to feel sexually attracted to another we will not lash out at them. We will understand, because we are sexually attracted to many others as well. All humans are. Humans are not monogamous. Sorry to burst your bubble. There is no evidence to support this whatsoever. Throughout history humans have always engaged in sex with multiple partners. Always. Prostitution is the oldest profession on earth for a reason. If we can accept the true nature of our sexuality we will see that it is a resource, like any other. It is meant to be shared freely. We will have life partners, most likely, who we bear our children with to raise together in a shared home. Or maybe we won’t. But if we take lovers on the side this is no big deal. Our partner is doing it too. In fact everyone does it. It is the natural order for humanity. Some will cry STD’s. Sex is dirty. Free sex leads to herpes and worse still, HIV. I say, only if you are greedy. If you are living in generosity, you will take the proper precautions to avoid exposing your partner to STD’s. All STD’s are avoidable. It is only greedy behaviour that spreads STD’s. When we are greedy we hide our faults from our perspective lovers in the fear that they will reject us if they know. Or we don’t even bother to check ourselves out in the first place. In generosity we will know that our lover’s permissiveness includes a responsibility.
It seems generosity is a form of expressing your emotions. Greed is also a form of expressing your emotions, and it is one which most people express today. Greed comes from abuse and only creates more greed. It is a wounded emotion, where the expectation is that everything you have you need to fight for. Generosity comes from love and only creates more generosity. It is a healthy emotion, where the expectation is that everything you need will come to you, so long as you are willing to share what you have with others. Once we are able to master this emotion, humanity will be able to see that there are currently more than enough resources to go around. It only seems like there is a scarcity because of hoarding. If we change this cycle and begin sharing our resources with each other freely, we will soon find that everyone has everything they could ever possibly need. Generosity leads to balanced emotions which leads to Love.