Archive for March, 2011
Nothing is ever truly created or destroyed because the amount of matter~energy in the universe is constant.
We may breathe in but we must also always breathe out as well.
We take in only what the universe allows us to take in, and then the universe makes us give it back, in some way.
There is always balance, even when there seems to be imbalance. Any imbalance we might perceive exists only in a moment in time and space, not in all of reality. All of reality is always perfect and balanced.
In other words you cannot possibly take more than you give in life! You will always, in the end, give exactly as much as you take, and any “debts” you amass will always be paid when you are finally done.
As a living being, the only way you can possibly give more than you take is in a philosophical sense. You can offer up new, unique, combinations of energy and/or matter that have never existed before, either by (pro)creating genetically, artistically (emotionally), memetically (intellectually), or xemetically (ideologically).
Many folks are familiar with the Marxian ideology of
From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.
The meaning behind this simple approach is one of permaculture — the inherent flow of matter and energy of unique inputs and outputs of individuals based on their nature~design. Individuals naturally want to take what resources they need for healthy growth from what is available in their environment, and they naturally want to give away the resources that they have in excess.
The key to making this ideology work well, and which hasn’t always been remembered, is that it’s the individual themselves who decides what they offer and what they need, not some authoritarian government, teacher, parent, or any other external entity. Obviously an external entity of any kind, no matter how clever they are, can’t possibly have anywhere near enough depth and clarity of data to make that kind of decision for another individual when compared to the individual themselves. In other words my body knows more about itself than any other body knows about me. So, except for very rare occasions when another happens to have some crucial information that I don’t, my body is always the best authority on what I need from the world and what I should offer the world.
Once we have this intention of respecting the authority of the individual’s governance of themselves as top priority, then we can follow this ideology of letting each individual offer resources to the world according to their abilities, and take the resources from the world according to their needs, and have the most naturally productive, healthy, and joyful results just like we see in areas of wilderness all over the Earth, where everyone is very much free to be themselves, and things stay far more in balance, with the overall beauty and inspiration that only truly liberated beings create.
Compassion literally means “passion with”, as in sharing the same strong emotions along side another individual (human or otherwise). It’s an emotional connection with another, where you actually feel what it’s like to be them, what it’s like to be in their shoes, as they say – to experience the world from their perspective. It’s empathy. For a moment, at least, you and they are one in the same – a shared heart – feeling the sadness, fear, joy, anger, and/or confusion they are feeling.
Compassion often gets confused with an intellectual connection, where one “knows” what it might be like to be in another person’s position. This isn’t really compassion. It is, perhaps, better called respect and sympathy, where you are only indirectly connected to another, and where you don’t literally share their feelings, but have different feelings towards them, such as pity, kindness, or curiosity.
Compassion is what you feel when your spouse is angry about something and so you feel angry about it as well, and you’re motivated to do something to change the world to help your partner out. Compassion isn’t what you felt about people in Japan, Haiti, Libya, or New Orleans after hearing about the disasters going on there, that’s sympathy or respect for them as living things.
Putting compassion into the four main forms of awareness within the human brain, we get:
Passion – positive physical sensations are the result of being aware of conditions that affect one’s own body.
Compassion – positive emotional sensations are the result of being aware of conditions that affect one’s closest companions (generally a family member and/or a romantic partner).
Respect – positive intellectual sensations are the result of being aware of conditions that affect one’s community at large (which expands from one’s “tribe” out to one’s whole world as one matures).
Loving-kindness – positive spiritual sensations are the result of being aware of conditions that affect all living things, everywhere.
The strength of these sensations diminishes as we move away from the individual’s self. So Loving-kindness is far less intense than compassion, though all of these positive sensations are clearly powerful, and very important. And the way we become aware of our shared connection to others is by exploring how we are like them. The more we are like them, the more intimate we will become with them, and the more intensely we will share their feelings on an emotional level. When we are physically very similar to another, both inside and out, in time and space, we are more likely to have that deep emotional compassion for them. But even with those who are physically very different from us we can have respect and loving-kindness for them, because on a basic level of being alive and in our universe, they are like us in at least some important ways.