`Geronda, one thing is the passion of pride and another thing is selfishness?`
`Pride, selfishness, vanity, except for superciliousness which is a luciferic degree, are all the same passion with slight differences and varied degrees.
Selfishness is the rebel child of pride; it doesn`t give up, it insists. But just as the trees which don`t bend are broken by the wind in the end, the man who has selfishness, because he doesn`t bend, in the end he breaks his head.
Selfishness is a great evil! Although the selfish one has no rest, he continues to insist. Don`t you see what Arie did? When his mother told him: `Well, so many people are telling you that you are wrong. Why don`t you understand?` he answered her: `Yes, I know, but how to be subdued to them?` Selfishness didn`t let him admit his mistake.
`He didn`t care that he made so many people fall into heresy?`
`No, he didn`t care. `If I admit I am wrong`, he said, `my followers will see me as a nobody.` The more he realized he was wrong, the more he tried to convince them that he was right. Selfishness is a terrible thing!
`IN which was is different the selfish from the proud ?`
`The selfish has his own will, stubbornness, while the proud one may not have self will or stubbornness. Let me give you an example. In the Church you bow before the icons in a certain order, everyone knows her place
If a nun has selfishness and another one goes before her, she will become upset and maybe she doesn`t even go to bow before the icons.
`I don`t go to bow, she will say, after that one bowed before me.` While if she had pride, she will get upset too, but she will not react in the same way, but she will tell the others out of formal politeness: `Go ahead please. You go and you and you.`
`What to do when my selfishness is hurt ?`
`When your selfishness is hurt, don`t foment it, just leave it die. If your selfishness dies, your soul will revive.
`How does selfishness die ?`
`We must bury our own self, leave it decay and become trash to allow humbleness and love develop.`
Excerpt from Passions and virtues – Pious Paisios the Athonite, Evanghelismos Publishing.