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The Root of Motivation

March 5, 2011

If one were to simplify the source of all motivation into a single word, it would be “Pride”. But I’ve come to realize that once we take everything into account, the word ‘pride’ becomes little more important than semantics; after all, pride is a paradox in itself, dead-ending into a chicken-egg type paradox in which we are left to wonder where “pride” came from. Pride is the inherent human drive to validate one’s existence– emotionally (love), physically (sex), socially (belonging), spiritually (God), and rationally (knowledge); there are many other different types of motivation.

It’s important that we understand that “pride” refers to the need to validate one’s existence, but (as admitted at the end of the post above) this still does not answer the question of “Why?”– why do we need to validate our own existence? It might be an evolutionarily-inherent trait, and from a “survival of the fittest” outlook this certainly does make sense– for this reason, I tend to personally adhere to the adaptation/evolution-based explanations. The Christian explanations appeal to the very pride that we are trying to understand in the first place (which is in itself a logical fallacy, but appeals to emotion never needed to be logical to begin with); by asserting that God (our spiritual pride) has endowed us with a purpose as part of his cosmic plan to spend eternity with us. Emotional pride is the most irrational of all though, as it maintains that we should live for love, even though the very definition of ‘love’ becomes a paradox for even being used as the validation for emotional pride.

But no matter what kind of pride that we are searching for the answer to “Why?” in, we will never find the answer; because every answer we give is itself rooted in and heavily biased by pride, the answer to why we need to validate our existence becomes nothing more than a rationalization to justify the existence of that pride– it is more this reason that pride is the greatest of all paradoxes. The concept of “God” is by comparison far less of a paradox, as it is justified by spiritual pride, which itself is justified by the concept of “Pride” itself.

As the root of all motivation, Pride is both the greatest of all evils and the greatest of all goods. The counterparts of racism and unity stem from social pride, love and hatred from emotional pride, good and evil from spiritual pride, life and death from physical pride, and prejudice and wisdom from rational pride. These pairs of polar opposites all come from pride, their polarity making pride just as good as evil. One could argue that as evidenced by the union of opposites so prominent in pride, that pride itself is what keeps humanity in a state of cosmic balance. But because even this argument is stemmed in pride, we will never know, as such knowledge is biased by rational pride; pride is what allows us to know, and yet that same pride keeps us from truly knowing. I guess this is the price of pride.

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