Action Without Cause, Motive, or Self-Interest: A Path to True Freedom

Simon d'Orlaq
3 min readOct 2, 2023

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In the realm of philosophy and spirituality, we often find ourselves pondering the intricate web of suffering, enjoyment, past deeds, reincarnation, and Karma. These questions naturally lead us to contemplate whether there’s a possibility of engaging in actions that are free from the constraints of motives, causes, or self-interest. Today, let’s explore these profound questions and delve into the potential of achieving actions that transcend these limitations.

Understanding the Nature of Action:

First, let’s dive into the essence of action itself:

  1. Action as Active Presence: Real action, I propose, isn’t rooted in past memories or future intentions. Instead, it blossoms when we fully immerse ourselves in the present moment, unburdened by the weight of past regrets or the allure of future gains.
  2. The Impermanence of Cause and Effect: Consider this: causes and effects need not imprison our actions. They can be influenced by our immediate awareness of the present, giving us the freedom to choose differently.

Love as the Source of Right Action:

Now, the heart of the matter is the notion that love can serve as the wellspring for actions devoid of cause, motive, or self-interest. Let’s explore this further:

  1. Love Has No Motive: Genuine love operates selflessly, seeking neither rewards nor punishments. It flows freely without the need for a rationale to act.
  2. Love Is All-Encompassing: Love extends far beyond the confines of our inner circle. This universal love, often called compassion, is unbiased, treating all beings with kindness and empathy.
  3. The Intelligence of Love: Love nurtures an intelligence that goes beyond conventional reasoning. This compassionate intelligence is characterized by wisdom, empathy, and an acute awareness of the interconnectedness of all life.

How to Attain Action Without Cause, Motive, or Self-Interest:

With the concept in mind, let’s explore the practical steps towards achieving action free from motives, causes, or self-interest:

  1. Self-Reflection: Begin by introspecting your own actions. Notice how frequently personal motives, desires, or the pursuit of recognition drive your behavior. Recognize the limitations of such actions.
  2. Cultivate Compassion: Practice and nurture compassion for all living beings. Start with small acts of kindness and gradually expand your circle of empathy. Strive to treat everyone with love and understanding.
  3. Be Present: Learn to reside in the present moment. Release past regrets and future worries, and embrace the here and now with an open heart and a clear mind.
  4. Let Go of Self-Interest: Challenge the influence of self-interest by critically examining your actions. Ask yourself if there’s a way to act without seeking personal gain or avoiding personal loss.
  5. Embrace Unconditional Love: Understand that love doesn’t discriminate. It embraces all, without conditions or expectations. Aim to embody this unconditional love in your daily life.

The pursuit of action without cause, motive, or self-interest is a profound journey towards personal and spiritual growth. It challenges us to transcend ego-driven behaviors and to cultivate a love that extends to all beings. While this path may be lifelong, the rewards are immeasurable — greater peace, harmony, and a profound sense of interconnectedness with the world around us. As we strive for this state of selfless action, we may find ourselves on a path to true freedom and a deeper understanding of our shared humanity.

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