Self Centeredness

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Re: Self Centeredness

Postby D'oh » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:53 pm

Thanks Dan.

I have used this
like holding a door for an elderly person etc.
In trying to explain how I try to understand my HP's will.

Doing what I Ought to do, because I Want to do it. "like holding a door for an elderly person in the rain"
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Re: Self Centeredness

Postby Patsy© » Tue Jun 14, 2016 3:48 am

Fear of death or being alone or fear of anything, is a manifestation of self centeredness, because fear itself, doesn't exist, YOU have to create it. It seems complicated, however if you think about it for a while,it's pretty simple.


Hi Dan,
Great topic!

My experience is that there is healthy fear and unhealthy fear. If I am about to walk off the sidewalk into traffic, its that healthy fear that will stop me. If I am on top of a mountain and I get too close to the edge, its that healthy fear that have me stepping back. That fear of death, I most certainly want, it keeps me alive :)

If someone puts a gun in my face and says your money or your life...... That Fear is Healthy.
If I am afraid of going outside because I think that everyone is waiting to put a gun in my face, that is Fear is Unhealthy.

I think that Brocks Dinosaur story explains it very nicely. lol

What I learned is that Self-centeredness leads to being devoted to self-gratification and overlooking or completely ignoring other people’s needs and wants.
The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear--primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed or would fail to get something we demanded.

With an infant or baby, they are not capable of self-centeredness, they do not have a brain that is developed enough and absolutely necessary in order to bring about a sense of "Self".
Newborns and infants are exhibiting survival instincts. They are not lacking empathy or being self-centered... their brains are just not developed enough for that. Just my thinking.

Self-Centeredness isn't like Self-Care or Self-Concern. Self-Centeredness is concerned only with one's own interests, engrossed in oneself, self-absorbed, self-seeking, and egotistically self-serving, to the exclusion of what others needs or wants may be.

Self-Care or Self-Concern is absolutely necessary, especially for the alcoholic in recovery.
Its much like: "When an airplane is in trouble and drops those oxygen masks, put one on yourself first, then you will able to help others.
Failed 12 Step Call? Not if we walk away sober!
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Re: Self Centeredness

Postby clouds » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:44 am

What an amazing thread this is!
<3 it all. :)
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Self Centeredness

Postby ezdzit247 » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:35 pm

Good topic, Dan.

One of the simplest and easiest to understand books I've ever found on the subject of "selfishness" is a book called "The Art of Selfishness" by David Seabury. It was first published in 1937 and reprinted repeatedly until the '80's. I recently found some used copies in good condition at reasonable prices through Amazon and Thrift Books. It's also listed in the catalog of books found in Dr. Bob's library here:

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17314&

This book really helped me to understand the difference between pathological selfishness and healthy selfishness and how to recognize the former kind rearing its ugly head in my attitude and/or behavior. Seabury stresses the critical importance of avoiding any kind of "ego satisfaction" and his book walks the reader through different very common scenarios of "ego satisfactions" destroying relationships.

Up until the latter part of the 20th century, it was widely accepted that humans were born without any instincts like natural fears. The theory was that instincts in humans got lost in some kind of evolutionary trade-off and became part of the obsolete "junk" that we "modern" humans carry around in our DNA. That theory has been largely debunked by current research on human development verifying that human babies are born with certain instincts like suckling, etc and certain natural fears like fear of loud noises, fear of falling, etc. Since the list keeps growing with every new research project, I'm not convinced that all fears are bad or a sign of a lack of faith as some appear to be useful survival tools.
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Re: Self Centeredness

Postby Noels » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:57 pm

Agreed.
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Re: Self Centeredness

Postby Duke » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:24 am

I believe that to a certain degree, we all have to find our own understanding of what is meant by the term Self Centeredness as it used in our literature. Clearly, it does not refer to the existential reality that our individual consciousness is the only one we ever have by virtue of the human condition.

I can understand, appreciate, respect, etc., the perspective of another; but I can never actually experience it. I am, in this lifetime, confined to the experiences of this self that I currently am for good or bad.

What I've come to believe is meant by the term in our literature, is pretty straight forward. It's when I'm willing to sacrifice the mental, physical or emotional well-being of another for the sake of appeasing my own peculiar emotional response to life that I've departed from instinct as it was intended and entered the realm of unhealthy self centeredness.

So, when I strike back at someone who is actually trying to physically harm me, my instincts are working as intended. When I strike back at someone because my defective emotions have imagined an attack to my fragile ego, my instincts have gone awry.

The learning process for me has been the growth of my understanding of how often imagined threats fall into the latter category. I believe that understanding will continue to grow as long as I live. Fortunately, the program gives me a plan for dealing effectively with this destructive form of self centeredness. I don't know where I'd be without it.

Thanks for the topic.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa
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Re: Self Centeredness

Postby kdub720 » Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:35 am

Nice post and comparison. I liked the story, and I know I drink because I am acting selfish. I do not drink for anybody but me it is completely selfish. It got so bad I didnt want to drink around anyone in fear of sharing my booze. Great post I liked the example of the baby then growing up selfish. but what do you do raise a kid with the wolves?
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Re: Self Centeredness

Postby Noels » Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:32 am

but what do you do raise a kid with the wolves?
:lol: :lol: I like that :lol: what ive been trying to do since my boy was born many moons ago is to allow him his own experiences and not to project my fears onto him. I believe we are here just to protect and guide. I was allowed to learn from my own mistakes and I allow him that same privilege and when he's in the outside world I simply ask my Creator for him to be protected and to come home safely. (which I'm sure is the same my mom did when I was running wild and free :lol: and I'm still here to tell the story :lol:
have an awesome day and chat again
mwah xxx
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Re: Self Centeredness

Postby Dan2000 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:18 pm

Thanks for all the feedback.

On page 64 of the B.B. it states " Our liquor was but a symptom" A symptom of our spiritual loss of values?

As I see it, A loss of spiritual values, would fall under self centeredness (the spiritual malady) and is the ROOT of the problem. I used my addictions to escape from my self centeredness, because I did not know how to live life. My way of living life didn't work, alcohol, drugs, food etc., temporarily took my mind off the problems, created mostly by my self centeredness, but the problems still existed.

When we practice the 12 steps, this will show you how YOU are the problem, the 12 steps is about You and what You can do about You. It may seem complicated, however just think about it a bit, read the B.B. and you will see how everything comes together....simple.


The disease of alcohol has been described to me as a 3 fold disease. 1. a spiritual loss of values 2. a mental obsession 3. a physical compulsion in that order.

The only way we are going to overcome or better deal with our spiritual loss of values (ourselves) is to work with others, as this will take the focus off ourselves and be directed to others and at the same time, it will create spirituality within ourselves.....because we are being humble to God.......the result.....Serenity, Contentment.
My goal is to be content as possible, because if I'm content, everything else will fall into place....when you work with others, you are doing Gods will, your will caused the spiritual loss of values in the first place.(self will run riot, the actor pages 61-62) To put it simpler, do his will, (stop playing God, page 62)I tried my will, it didn't work, just like the actor.
Got a problem and don't know the answer, ask yourself, what would God do, You might not like the answer, but it will be the best answer.

Here's a hint: If your pointing your finger at someone, just remember, there's three more fingers pointing back at YOU.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference. (The courage to change yourself, Step 4)............... Please read "Acceptance" by Vincent P. Collins, Hazelton Publishing puts it out, like 95 cents, 24 page booklet.

Remember...In all we do, it's Progress not perfection..................................My EGO is not my AMIGO
Last edited by Dan2000 on Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Remember in all we do, it's Progress,not perfection.
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Re: Self Centeredness

Postby D'oh » Sat Jun 18, 2016 3:45 am

Page 62, I go and reflect on that page often.
Above everything, we Alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God makes that possible.


I cannot think of another place in the BB that explains the same MUST twice, with the consequences, if we fail to follow them.
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Re: Self Centeredness

Postby Brock » Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:05 am

The only way we are going to overcome or better deal with our spiritual loss of values (ourselves) is to work with others,...

Not looking for an argument that was a good post, but it does say 'having had a spiritual awaking as the result of these steps' (1-11), we then look to carry the message, (or work with others), so we got fit spiritually before working with others, not as a result of. And to say that the only way to overcome a spiritual loss of values is by working with others, puts spiritual development in too tight a compartment, it is one way without doubt, but not the only way.
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Re: Self Centeredness

Postby Dan2000 » Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:52 am

Brock wrote:
The only way we are going to overcome or better deal with our spiritual loss of values (ourselves) is to work with others,...

Not looking for an argument that was a good post, but it does say 'having had a spiritual awaking as the result of these steps' (1-11), we then look to carry the message, (or work with others), so we got fit spiritually before working with others, not as a result of. And to say that the only way to overcome a spiritual loss of values is by working with others, puts spiritual development in too tight a compartment, it is one way without doubt, but not the only way.



Brock, Good comment...In keeping with the AA way of life, I should have said "the suggested way" instead of the only way....and Yes, I know, I had a spiritual awakening prior to finishing the 12 steps.

The nature of my posts on self centeredness is to try make the wording in the BB easier to understand, as some have told me, they had found the wording somewhat vague.
Remember in all we do, it's Progress,not perfection.
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Re: Self Centeredness

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:02 am

they had found the wording somewhat vague.


Bill W does offer something we can work with:

Our actor is self-centered, ego-centric, as people like to call it nowadays. He is like the retired business man who lolls in the Florida sunshine in the winter complaining of the sad state of the nation; the minister who sighs over the sins of the twentieth century; politicians and reformers who are sure all would be Utopia if the rest of the world would only behave; the outlaw safe cracker who thinks society has wronged him; and the alcoholic who has lost all and is locked up. Whatever our protestations, are not most of us concerned with ourselves, our resentments, or our self-pity?

I got a better understanding of this term reading the power of now book where Eckhart talks about we being identified with our mind. Losing the self/consciousness/awareness/divinity...what ever you call it.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Self Centeredness

Postby Mike O » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:28 am

This thread is amazing.
Thanks so much for sharing all of this.
I remain self-centred, but it's improving on a daily basis.
:)
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Re: Self Centeredness

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:26 am

Mike, always wondered where you are. Good to have you back.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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