helping others seems to have gotten me absolutely no where
Being "good" is not "being good" if it is in the expectation of future reward. If you do something expecting to be rewarded for it...are you
engaging in commerce, not kindness.
I needed help, when I really needed some one there to help me through the darkest times, there was never anyone there.
Knowing how to give help and knowing how to receive
help are two different things.
Helping others and being "a good person" never got me friends, it
never made me successful in school, it never got me a job.
Why did you think it would? Being a good person probably also never did any math homework for you, or carried groceries from your car. But you
wouldn't expect it to accomplish these things for you. Why would you expect it to do these other things you've described?
Why should one try and be "a good person"?
There is no such thing as "should." "Should" is a manipulative concept used solely to manipulative behavior. There is no should. There is only
choice. You may choose to be the sort of person you believe to be "good." Or you may choose to not. There is no should.
I must say that thinking about it leaves me with a feeling of betrayal.
You engaged in actions with the expectation that you would be rewarded for those actions, but no "deal" was ever agreed upon. You simply assumed
there would be a "tit for tat" relationship. You are in the same position as a high school boy who says "I was nice to her and helped her with her
problems but she slept with somebody else!"
You feel betrayed because in your mind you created a agreement. Just as the high school boy says to himself "I will give her kindness and attention
and listen to her complain about her problems and in exchange she will love me" you have said to yourself "I will be good and righteous and help
people and the universe will give me what I want in return."
Neither the girl nor the universe ever agreed to these terms.
It is foolish to expect others to live up to deals they never agreed to. Deals they probably never even knew about.
the fantasy of a righteous reward for a good life
You are correct. It is a fantasy. Who ever told you that if you lived a good life you would be magically showered in money and women and fame? DID
anyone ever tell you this? Or did you make it up on your own?
see no point in bodhicitta.
It is an issue of perspective. The heart pumps a great deal of blood to the body over the course of a lifetime. And yet, all the blood that it
receives it must also pumps to itself. No other part of the body says "Oh, gee! Thank you heart for pumping blood to me! Here, I will pump blood to
you in return!"
That's not how it works.
All of humanity is a unified whole. By pumping blood, love, courtesy and kindness, the orgamism as a whole is revitalized and may thrive. Blood that
is pumped out by the heart is filled with oxygen and nutrients. The blood that is returned to it is empty and lifeless. The heart announces that its
function is to fill blood with life and pump that life to the entire organism. If you announce to the universe that you will give life and love and
light to all of humanity, you are announcing that you intend to serve as a heart. And in so doing...you will receive lifeless, empty blood so that you
may fill it with life and give it freely.
If what is most important to you is that the entire organism of humanity be healthy and vibrant, then yes...Bodhicitta makes sense. However, being the
heart might not be the most effective strategy for receiving fresh blood.
If I may quote your wiki link:
"Bodhicitta may also be defined as the union of compassion and wisdom.
You might consider the "and wisdom" part at the end of that statement.
Although it goes against my very nature I feel that, in order to succeed,
I should use all my knowledge and talents to dominate my inferiors
The choice is yours. However, if it is truly against your nature, then I do not recommend it. But this works both ways. If it is
your nature to
be cruel and heartless and take advantage of people to succeed...then I would dare to say that it is improper for you to delude yourself into a life
To thine own self be true
There is no should. There is only choice.
Why should I care for those that...
Why should I be kind to those that...
Why should I even attempt to be...
You may choose to be and do the things you've described, or you may choose to not. The choice is yours. I will not promise you fame and riches if you
choose a path of service and kindness, and I suspect the universe will probably not promise them to you either.
If you want
these things, then have you ever considered persuing them? Intelligently? And maybe...just maybe...being nice to random people and
expecting the universe to turn around to give you stuff isn't the most intelligent way to get the things you want?
Just because giving of yourself has not rewarded you with the life you want, that doesn't mean that stomping on people left and right will give it to
My advice would be to give what you are comfortable giving, no more, no less. And, be aware of what you want and be willing to make sure that you
Humanity needs no more martyrs.
[edit on 5-8-2009 by LordBucket]