Rational Self Interest
Rational Self Interest
by Jake Block
“Love yourself as you love no other; Be no man’s fool and be no man’s brother”— The Hell of It (Paul Williams)
“Satanism represents a form of controlled selfishness.”— Anton LaVey
I’ve never been a “nice guy.” There are people to whom I am “nice,” and there are people I defer to with respect, and there are people to whom I am cordial. But to most, I am at best “pleasant,” and if I don’t care for someone, I see no real percentage in pretending. I don’t collect friends… not on FaceBook, and not in real life. I am pragmatic, I am self-aware, and I am self-sufficient. I am a Satanist.
And yes, I am selfish, to a degree. I’m not some spoiled kid to complain that I didn’t get the largest piece of pie, or any pie at all, but I do demand that I receive my just desserts! I believe that I should get what’s coming to me for the things I do, but that does not mean that I only do things for others when there is some tangible form of reward in it for me. I like to feel good for the things that I do for other people. My saving grace as a Satanist, because I realize that altruism is a myth and, to my mind, the last refuge of the un-admitted narcissist.
I’m well schooled in conditioned responses applicable to a situation. I know when and how to “gloss” and give an honest compliment when a compliment is due, but you won’t find me at the hippest parties for the golden boy or golden girl of the hour. I don’t need to glom onto others to garner my undeserved share of their success. Vicariousness to me is akin to watching a movie and deciding that I could be Bruce Willis in Die Hard… “Yippie ki yo ki yay, motherfucker!” While I appreciate the successes of others, I have my own, thank you!
Having had the privilege of knowing some very successful and innovative people, I have been smart enough to learn from them and apply what I have learned to enhance my life. I give them credit for the inspiration, but I claim responsibility and the rewards for my hard work in any success that I might have as a result of those associations. As someone once said, “Others may open doors for you, but once you are inside, you have to prove that you belong there!”
There’s no shame in being selfish, so long as you deserve your accolades, rather than being someone who takes credit where none is due. We’ve all had “one of those people” in our lives at one time or another! You know the type. You work your ass off and then someone who either participated, but never took the lead, or took the lead, but relied on you to do all of the real work, is the first to stand and take the accolades for a job well done. I’m well aware however that no one does anything worth doing alone, and I am wise enough to thank others for their contributions to the successes to which I rightfully lay claim. Those who do succeed should always remember that they stand on the shoulders of giants.
Part of rational self Interest is in not wasting your time. It’s not that I am anti-social, but more self-interested than I am interested in the mundane world of others. Normal people bore me to tears. I know a few, but I spend as little time with them as possible. I prefer people with an edge, a quirk… an artistic bent, be it in music, in the visual arts, or fine arts from painting to photography. There are people who can entertain themselves, and while doing so, entertain others as well. Their skills have value. Their skills show their humanity. Many people on the Left-Hand Path fall naturally into the intellectual and visual aesthetic that I can easily embrace.
Diane LaVey (always a lady) famously said, “The Devil is a gentleman.” Being that I am, for the most part, a gentleman, I see no reason to populate my world with those who aren’t ladies and gentlemen in their social interactions with one another. I am loathe to engage in pointless arguments and dramas with people on the web, and that’s how I am in real life as well. I’m not one for wasting my time in bickering and squabbling with my neighbors, so I keep them at an arm’s reach.
Lest I sound like a wannabe guru living in a cave somewhere in Nepal, let me say that while I am somewhat reclusive, I am not cut off from the rest of the world. I understand and somewhat follow politics, and am aware of world events as they relate to me and the section of the world to which I am a part. There are lots of things happening in and around one’s life that could draw them away from their comfort zone and, indeed take it over, if one let them. My personal tendency is to simply not let them. Things COULD bother me, and in my youth, a lot more things bothered me then than do now. In most controversies, I defuse them and maintain my “sense of ‘wa’” by employing what I call Jake’s Wallet Test. It works for me. You can read about it here: http://www.thesectofthehornedgod.com/?p=2486
Once one learns to utilize the concept of Rational Self Interest, life can be much easier and much less turbulent. It allows you to become engaged in the world around you when it benefits you to be, and also to retreat to a stance of disinterested amusement or rejection, but always on your own terms. You are the gatekeeper of your own existence, and the gatekeeper holds all of the keys.