Compassion is recognition of distress and identification with the distressed party. Not drawing a line between yourself and the other. Compassion involves a form of knowledge or it isn’t possible. Knowing oneself and others. On some instinctual level we feel that we are a part of the life that goes on around us. We intuit that things that happen in our world should matter to us.
We feel our life. It’s how we know life in ourselves or anyone else. Do you see life or do you see thought? Thinking comes only after the eyes report to your inner spirit or feelings. You need life, yet you limit life, even choke it off. Thoughts and ideas can serve life. What would we call that if this were the case? Compassion?
Compassion is possible. It is there in all of us.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Dalai Lama (Head of the Dge-lugs-pa order of Tibetan Buddhists, 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, b.1935)
“Compassion is the basis of all morality” Arthur Schopenhauer (German Philosopher, 1788-1860)
A thing they say is not appropriately functioning in me is what we have as our subject today, compassion. Who are “they”? Scientists, and their analysis of autism spectrum disorders. So I will ask, what is compassion? Understanding situations and accepting how people feel about them. Caring about someone else’s feelings. Sympathy for others and wanting to help. An emotional connection. Compassion is recognition of distress in anyone, and perhaps anything, and identification with the distressed party. Not drawing a line between yourself and the other. Their distress is your distress. It’s one of the core attributes they often ascribe… Seek More
We easily recognize “people’s needs” and distinguish them from our own needs. How complicated are our own needs? To handle another’s distress we need to be centered to deal with it. Most people can’t be centered in their own distress. If all you needed to do was attend to your own needs, how busy would your life be? Very, you would have to hunt, kill, build a fire, cook, build a shelter. Would you not yourself soon be eaten? Perhaps. Humanity has few gifts of a strictly physical nature that would allow it to survive in this world with other… Seek More
They have discovered in deep examination of brain function, using what they call functional magnetic resonance imaging, that many more processes go on in our brain than we are aware of, and they have found much of it rather surprising. No matter your personal views, your brain reacts negatively when it witnesses pain and it doesn’t matter what is feeling the pain. Ever watch a spider shiver in pain when one of its legs tore away? Even my description likely makes you cringe. I have no compassion for anything that I know would eat me if it could. You perceive… Seek More
We know people we would call compassionate. What are they like? Very present centered. Yes. They are present centered these people with compassion. When the baby is crying, can you put it off till tomorrow? Do your instincts make you feel like you can or should? When your spouse breaks into tears, can it be ignored? We have an instinct. It emerges before thought, but often gets refracted through a lens of heavy prejudice, pre-judgement, pre thought. Is there any thought that is not judgement? I’m not even sure why compassion exists. And you aren’t sure why compassion exists because… Seek More
We exist in a fabric of being, not of thinking. Our thinking can potentially derive its content from this pre-existing being. There was something there that was thrown out yet again in the age of reason, in the name of freedom, in the supposed service of truth. Have you felt it? Do you perhaps feel it now? As we are thinking this way? Can you think and feel alive at the same time? Thought is good. I like thought. I would no more want to be thoughtless than I would want to be blind or deaf. Thought can serve, is… Seek More
Do you feel freer floating in a void or riding the waves expertly? Ever watch waves on water? Just gentle ripples, I mean. They run their course as is their nature, and the outcome always seems certain, no? Unless they encounter an obstacle. Yes, and the obstacle has its impact because it too produces waves. Matter waves in the case of a static obstacle. Now for most people life seems like that wave on water, yes? It will play itself out and there isn’t much you can actually do about it? Except create little disturbances perhaps. What happens when you start… Seek More
What has value other than life? Can you value your own life without valuing all life? Even research would suggest no. They have established a link between abuse of animals and abuse of humans even in those who are otherwise willfully selective. I suppose it’s easy to kill people when you don’t even care about your own life. Yes. The one willing to die can kill, and they become willing to die because they believe more than they perceive and live. The predator eats not because it’s willing to kill, but because it wants to live. It defends itself for… Seek More