The Potential False Dilemma of Service to Self (STS) vs Service to Others (STO)

You can read the Law of One channelings given down from the group soul calling itself “Ra” HERE, and their position is fairly nuanced, and due to that, can easily be taken out of context by well meaning yet misinformed individuals. However, I would dare to say that there were better ways to explain the differentiation between benevolent and malevolent beings, ways that would have created less confusion, then presenting us with what they call the polarity of Service to Self (STS) vs Service to Others (STO); in fact, this confusion may have been intentionally engineered into these concepts even though they revealed the truth, for they did so in a confusing way that could (and HAS) led to furthering altruistic notions that make humanity easier to manipulate and control. I realize that I could be considered to be attacking a self-created straw man argument of the Law of One’s position, however it is my contention that the confusing way the concept was described led to the straw man of STS vs STO as the false dilemma of selfishness vs altruism, and not my misrepresentation of the concept. I also think the concept as it has been named is too black and white, lending itself to oversimplified altruistic notions—egocentric oversimplification comes to mind.

Egocentric oversimplification: the natural tendency to ignore real and important complexities in the world in favor of simplistic notions when consideration of those complexities would require us to modify our beliefs or values.” ~The Miniature Guide to the Human Mind, Richard Paul and Linda Elder

Let’s start out with clarifying our grammar in this situation, so that we can understand the proper terminology before I get into explaining why there’s a potential false dilemma between STS and STO.

Altruism: “The principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others.”

Egocentrism & Sociocentrism: divisive “me vs you” thinking & divisive “us vs them” thinking.

Service to Self (STS): A being that has chosen the path of serving the Self at the expense of others, and is therefore considered selfish. Through the lens of altruism, including any Christian doctrines that demand altruism for living a good life, STS will be seen as egocentric and “evil”, but when they say egocentric, altruists are meaning the philosophy of individualism (individual self-ownership and self-responsibility) rather than the meaning of divisive “me vs you” thinking.

Service to Others (STO): A being that has chosen the [altruistic] selfless path of serving others, therefore serving God, the ALL, the Universe, etc.. Through the lens of altruism, including any Christian doctrines that demand altruism for living a good life, STO will be seen as sacrificial and “good”.

False Dilemma Fallacy: “A false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, false binary, black-and-white thinking, bifurcation, denying a conjunct, the either–or fallacy, fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses, fallacy of the excluded middle, the fallacy of false choice, or the fallacy of the false alternative) is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which only limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option. The opposite of this fallacy is argument to moderation.”  ~Wikipedia

In the Law of One channeling on the topic of STS vs STO, they make it clear that second density beings are STS because they have no concept of “other” beyond themselves, but at a certain point, the “path of STS” means that a person does see the “other”, but consciously chooses to ignore the other’s rights to only serve their own “Self”. However, I have observed that those who are the most “STS” (in Law of One terms) are narcissistic, psychopathic, and Machiavellian, also called “the Dark Triad”, and they aren’t necessarily selfish, but self-absorbed, only seeing their own interests, and seeing everyone else as an extension of themselves and as a resource to be plundered—others are a means to an end, rather than an end in and of themselves; STS beings play the “villain” role in Karpman’s Drama Triangle. For STS individuals, they view those below them in their control hierarchy as a means to an end who they siphon labor and energy off of (loosh/narcissistic supply/taxation), and those above them as a means to climbing ever higher in the control hierarchy. Unfortunately, STS beings are thought of as “selfish” rather than traumatized and self-absorbed, and that’s what confuses everything, because when one is able to comprehend and respect the rights of others AND be committed to their own self-interests, which I call “principled selfishness”, it is a healthy and natural way to exist.

I have also observed that those who are the most “STO” (in Law of One terms) are the biggest white knights, helicopter helpers, do-gooders, moral busybodies, and people pleasers, the “rescuer” role from Karpman’s Drama Triangle, and can also be quite controlling in their own way. They behave in an altruistic manner to get brownie points with God and society, assuage their own deep seeded feelings of shame and guilt, and to project their inner victim onto another victim, to avoid doing the necessary inner work. This isn’t to say that they’re smug while doing it, and while some may be smug in their unearned moral superiority gained from altruism, others may fearfully act altruistically to avoid punishments like social ostracization or an eternal Hell. While I wouldn’t call most of those who live an altruistic life evil, altruism is definitely the pill so-called STS beings push as the drug of choice to get STO beings to submit to their evil, therefore I would say that altruism as a concept is definitely evil, just as self-absorbed STS beings often choose evil.

Why is altruism ALSO evil? Ayn Rand had an idea as to why…

“The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others (STO) is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value.” ~Ayn Rand, “The Virtue of Selfishness

In respect to altruism, Ayn Rand also said the following:

“What is the moral code of altruism? The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value.

Do not confuse altruism with kindness, good will or respect for the rights of others. These are not primaries, but consequences, which, in fact, altruism makes impossible. The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute, is self-sacrifice—which means; self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction—which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a standard of the good.

Do not hide behind such superficialities as whether you should or should not give a dime to a beggar. That is not the issue. The issue is whether you do or do not have the right to exist without giving him that dime. The issue is whether you must keep buying your life, dime by dime, from any beggar who might choose to approach you. The issue is whether the need of others is the first mortgage on your life and the moral purpose of your existence. The issue is whether man is to be regarded as a sacrificial animal. Any man of self-esteem will answer: “No.” Altruism says: “Yes.””

~Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand on the virtue of selfishness:

The meaning ascribed in popular usage to the word “selfishness” is not merely wrong: it represents a devastating intellectual “package-deal,” which is responsible, more than any other single factor, for the arrested moral development of mankind.

In popular usage, the word “selfishness” is a synonym of evil; the image it conjures is of a murderous brute who tramples over piles of corpses to achieve his own ends, who cares for no living being and pursues nothing but the gratification of the mindless whims of any immediate moment.

Yet the exact meaning and dictionary definition of the word “selfishness” is: concern with one’s own interests.

This concept does not include a moral evaluation; it does not tell us whether concern with one’s own interests is good or evil; nor does it tell us what constitutes man’s actual interests. It is the task of ethics to answer such questions.

~Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness

With Ayn Rand’s insights about the evils of altruism and the virtue of selfishness, I will state that I take care of my own self-interests first and foremost, and that it is within my rational self-interests to provide for my family, lead them, teach them life lessons and morality, protect them, teach them how to protect themselves, and to surround myself and them with like minded and moral individuals who serve a similar purpose, and are headed in a similar direction as us. It is also within my rational self-interests to ensure that my community is a healthy, safe, and free place for my family and friends to thrive in, and as an extension of my community, also the world. If I serve others, it is because it is in my rational self-interests to do so, and not because I am altruistically sacrificing for them at my own expense.

Unconditional Love
One of the virtues of altruistic service to others is unconditional love, however, unconditional love cannot be seen through the lens of altruistic self-sacrifice for another (there are non-altruistic reasons for self-sacrifice, such as a mother protecting her young), allowing oneself to be another’s scapegoat, or tolerating immoral or irresponsible behaviors. Rather, unconditional love should be seen as giving love without perceiving that love is a transactional experience, and it should be given as an effect from the felt experience of gratitude, and not as a means to secure love, demand love, or to put another in debt to them, and of course, love can be tough by saying “no”, and be given from afar without enabling irresponsible attitudes and behaviors. For instance, tough love can say “I’m more than happy to experience a relationship of some sort with you once you meet my high standards for intellectual and emotional responsibility, but until then, I’ll be off doing my own thing separate from you.”

“Unconditional love does not imply a lack of standards, it implies a lack of debt, for when we love somebody unconditionally, we do not expect them to owe us anything in return. Unconditional love means we give love freely to those who may or may not meet our standards for reasonable and fairminded connection, and we do so without expecting payment in return, but if they do not meet our standards, it’s best if we love them unconditionally from afar.” ~Nathan Martin

The False Dilemma
The reason why I feel that the STS vs STO discussion is a false dilemma fallacy is because at least one or more options also exist and remain unconsidered, options that may seem to be more complex and requires the merger of STS and STO into a directional flow of serving one’s self-interests (principled selfishness) as a cause that leads to serving others as an effect. Therefore, it is my contention that my alternative sees both the “Self” and the “other”, the “I” and the “Thou” as Martin Buber calls it (but unlike Buber’s concept that “thou” and “God” are synonymous, it is my contention that the relationship between “I, thou, and God” are synonymous), and that the “Self” should be given top priority by beings that first and foremost serves their own self-interests, and as an effect the “other” is able to receive from the overflow of their self-directed love—self-love leads to the love of others, but self-loathing often leads to loathing others.

The additional idea that sets my view apart from the STS vs STO discussion, as well as Buber’s “I—Thou” concept, is that we need to anchor ourselves into objective morality via the Logos with the twin pillars of natural law, the masculine self-defense principle and the feminine non-aggression principle. In this scenario, the masculine self-defense principle represents defining and defending the Self’s responsibilities/boundaries (individuality), and the feminine non-aggression principle represents respecting another individual’s responsibilities/boundaries free from interference (although benevolent influence is allowed from one’s overflowing unconditional love). Our service to Self defines and defends our boundaries and individuality, and our service to others overflows from serving our self-interests and therefore respects the boundaries and individuality of others, and can also go above and beyond that to love them unconditionally, even if that love is done from afar.

When dealing with the topic of Service to Self and Service to Others, as well as altruism, we should consider the role of trauma, mental disorders, and individual psychology. Childhood and other types of trauma causes self-absorbed attitudes and behaviors where individuals only see themselves/I, and aren’t able to consider the boundaries and individuality of others/Thou. While most people who are traumatized experience it in a chaotic manner from childhood, there are sects of people, namely in the so-called “Elite” classes, where they intentionally and systematically impose trauma on their children as a means of imprinting the Dark Triad traits on them; they’ve turned trauma into a science to cause very specific results in their lineages.

Those damaged by abusive people via childhood trauma may have developed the control freak archetype as a strategy that’s used to keep themselves safe from harm, but unfortunately many abused people end up becoming controlling abusers by projecting their own abusive childhood experiences onto others later in life. It is important to note that abusive people are definitely control freaks, but “while all abusers are control freaks, not all control freaks become or are abusers” (~Addiction & Codependency Recovery with Heidi Rain).

In extreme cases where severe childhood trauma causes a person to over identify with their damaged inner child and therefore more fully embody the control freak archetype, they may only be capable of seeing themselves in relationship to others, stuck in the “Self” and “I” and unable to see the “other” and “Thou”, because the “other” and “Thou” is too emotionally overwhelming for them. They were probably traumatized by receiving excessive abuse, blame, and by having their abuser’s responsibilities constantly dumped on them. Through chaotic and/or systematic abuse and punishments, they were made OVER responsible for others as children, and therefore any responsibility may now feel like a punishment to them, including self-responsibility, and this causes them to be unable to see or listen to other people’s problems or issues, or unable to even engage in a conversation where balanced sharing and co-creation occurs, because even balanced co-creation may feel too overwhelming for them to handle.

For the purposes of this blog post, an abusive punishment differs from a natural consequence for bad behavior in that a punishment does not logically follow the severity of the so-called infraction (if an objective infraction even occurred at all), and it is delivered with emotional manipulation, projection, and is usually personal, whereas a natural consequence logically follows the severity of the irresponsible behavior or mistake and seeks to make things right, and it is delivered with emotional neutrality and isn’t considered personal.

In any case, a control freak may be afraid of being used by others as a means to an end, or as a combination of control freak and abuser, they may see and use others as a means to an end, but at least in my understanding, both are ultimately afraid of being used as a means to an end, and therefore control as their way of avoiding that fate, but the control freak with abusive behaviors takes it a step further and uses others and abuses them to ensure their own safety in what they perceive as “a dog eat dog world”. Right or wrong, abusive/aggressive behavior then is just an additional layer of self-defense for those who employ it; I’m not excusing this behavior, but just sharing my observations and conclusions about it.

Would you call traumatized individuals afraid of serving others due to their being stuck in survival reactions, which are an effect of their lack of self-love and learned helplessness, evil? Certainty NOT!

“There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.” ~Socrates

Such individuals require our boundaried compassion, meaning that while we cannot take responsibility for them, from our own self-knowledge, self-love, and putting our self-interests first, we can help them to heal and teach them how to take responsibility for their own lives one step at a time, but we must also do so in a way that does not enable their controlling tendencies or fear based (and oftentimes abusive) projections. We can exercise conditional tolerance for their behaviors while also expressing our unconditional (debt free) love for them as human beings. For those who refuse to work on themselves and insist on projecting their traumatic childhoods onto others in abusive ways, especially in the form of politicians, CEO’s, governments, mega corporations, and other totalitarian types who are addicted to power, we have a responsibility to stand up to them by exercising our rights as an effect of cultivating a healthy sense of Self via the setting of boundaries—boundaries that result from focusing on our own inner healing process, performing copious amounts of shadow work, and individuating from the collective (un)consciousness of humanity.

For solutions, which are found within each individual and not out there in the external world, please see the following articles where I explain how to cultivate psychological hygiene for yourself and your family:

  1. The Microcosm, the Macrocosm, and the Principles of Correspondence and Cause and Effect
  2. What is Shadow Work? Revisited
  3. Reclaim your Personal Power by Depersonalizing Your Past!
  4. The Royal Track of Mysticism

More videos on the control freak archetype, as well as control freak abusers (narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths, Machiavellian types, etc.):

THE UNITY PROCESS: I’ve created an integrative methodology called the Unity Process, which combines the philosophy of Natural Law, the Trivium Method, Socratic Questioning, Jungian shadow work, and Meridian Tapping—into an easy to use system that allows people to process their emotional upsets, work through trauma, correct poor thinking, discover meaning, set healthy boundaries, refine their viewpoints, and to achieve a positive focus. You can give it a try by contacting me for a private session.

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