[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]
Let’s start with an interesting quote provided by Charles at The Vale of Soul-Making,
“Sometimes with the most intense pain a paralysis of sensibility occurs. The soul disintegrates–hence the deadly frost–the free power of the mind–the shattering, ceaseless wit of this kind of despair. There is no inclination for anything any more–the person is alone, like a baleful power–as he has no connection with the rest of the world he consumes himself gradually–and in accordance with his own principle he is–misanthropic and misotheos. — Novalis, from “Miscellaneous Observations,” Novalis: Philosophical Writings, translated and edited by Margaret Mahony Stoljar . (State University of New York Press; First Printing edition, February 27, 1997)
While this is going way beyond my own perception, there is an interesting parallel. There are people on this world who have become highly empathetic. To develop that sense “in the raw” on a world so full of violence with so much of it gratuitous and totally unnecessary, is to come face to face with a suffering, a pain, that never dissolves. The uninitiate plunged into this maelstrom of awareness will have her feelings torn apart. Everything will remind her of the many horrors taking place literally everywhere, and she will suffer the effects of those horrors in her mind, day and night. These effects will spread into the body.
The above quote speaks of someone who, like many who have been severely tortured, in order to survive has developed a “paralysis of sensibility” to the ever-present pain that must of necessity lead to complete despair. Those who cannot do that quite often commit suicide: it’s the only way out, unless one turns to drugs, alcohol or some form of institutionally established violence. It is easy to see how both, misanthropy (hate of mankind) and misotheos (hate of God or gods) can flow from this condition because it’s a blame place.
I’ll backtrack a bit: how does one become an empath? It’s dangerously simple: one first becomes a thinker, then a deeper thinker, then an absolute thinking force. Thinking, after all is the only real way to interact with life if we would be intelligent, sentient and self aware beings. Thinking is the core of the human experience. Those who do not, or cannot, think for themselves; those who fear their own wild thoughts, are not human. At best they hover a few degrees “above” the mental state of animals; at worst they are psychopaths. They can only feel their own needs and desires. Everything and everyone else is there to satisfy those needs and greeds. Not incidentally much of what passes for “love” on this world remains in that category-had to throw that reminder in…
Thinking about the “human” condition changes all of that for the thinker. It opens up endless possibilities hitherto closed to the mind. It frees the imagination so violently extracted from most minds in early childhood. This is all well and good, but if thinking makes one aware of the things of earth, that must include the blood-filled vat of violence constantly fed and religiously maintained on earth, and that must lead to despair, or to the frozen mind state and eventual self-consummation described in the above quote.
I can truthfully say that I am an empath. I arrived “here” through a persistent drive to know the why’s and wherefore’s of people’s need to express their lives through various forms of violence – some done to themselves, most done unto others. Prior to a fortuitous intervention by those I call “the Teachers” I had reached a point of mental trouble deep enough to force me to make a pact with myself that I would terminate my life. My mind was held in a vise of pain from negative awareness, and eventually that pain reached into the body, attacking its weakest parts. Being at least as strong minded as my mother (who not incidentally committed suicide at age 46) for the same reasons I was then experiencing, namely that life was unbearable pain, I decided to do the same. It was logical. I had seen her try drugs to ease her pain, to no avail. I hated drugs, and still do, so I would not go there. Came the fateful day. Came the unexpected intervention, rescue, and equally unexpected healing.
In a flash of understanding I realized the vise had been unscrewed, yet my awareness remained the same, even augmented. What had changed? I was given a chance to become a compassionate being. It was a whole new way to look upon the world. I felt my hate, my anger, gradually fade out, to be replaced with something totally new to me: Joy and Sorrow (deliberately capitalized here). Imagine how much thinking I had to do in those days to keep up with all of that; with the changes I was experiencing, and troubling everybody else around me with.
I need to make two points here. The first is that such a change made me anathema to my familiar society. Within a couple of years I was forced into a divorce, holding on to nothing except a job, which kept me from being on the streets. Old friends evaporated. Frightening, exhilarating, crazy, out of control life. Yet I didn’t mind so much, being busy experiencing a “new” healthy body and finding my newly awakened mind experimenting wandering through a much greater, ever-expanding cosmos.
The second, much more important point is about Joy and Sorrow. The usual understanding is that joy is just an aspect of pleasure. Sorrow is an aspect of suffering, or pain. This is more than a wrong interpretation: it’s a grievous error, as I hope to point out.
How does one discern that Joy and Sorrow are different from the usual layout of pleasure and suffering? Again, the same argument that says compassion is completely different from love: motive changes to selflessness. Where there be selfish moves or motives, there you will not find either Joy or Sorrow, though you will find their imitators a plenty. This is where some really deep seated lies of the Matrix can be exposed. Joy and Sorrow result from a personal choice to become a compassionate being, in other words, a selfless being. These three then become one, none of them being connected to the selfish “id” or “ego.” Compassion destroys the egotistic personality. From that point on, the compassionate person no longer feels the need to experience selfish pleasure, or to avoid personal suffering, but do note this: only in cases when such experience or avoidance would in the least way cause loss to another – for it is wise to choose pleasure over suffering, always and suffering is not a normal or natural part of living a life here, so it should be avoided. What is of crucial importance is that quest for pleasure and avoidance of suffering must in no way contribute to another’s loss, discomfort or pain. The reasoning for this, though quite obvious, is usually not understood by those who do not practice compassion. What sort of person always puts the needs of others before her own? The fully responsible individual.
The compassionate being is an empath. She does not operate from selfish motives but seeks to ever expand her behaviour into altruistic expressions. These expressions then become her very nature. Her goal in this is to meld herself into her choices becoming one with them, an avatar of compassion.
Allow me to “wax poetic” for a paragraph here:
The compassionate, the empath,
Joy-full or Sorrow-full
never resisting the currents
as the waves of the sea
respond to winds and currents:
a human bridge between light and darkness
that a new species of the human family
may take its first timid steps,
learning to walk between worlds,
neither fearing the darkness,
nor clinging to the light.
The more we seek to join with extremes, the more we must suffer the ever-present need of some form of violence within our emotions. Violence isn’t engendered in darkness anymore than in light – violence expresses from the need to experience extreme behaviour, whether directly or vicariously. Two things promote violence: fear and hubris. Two weaknesses the compassionate empath no longer encounters in her own mind, or heart.
Our type of life demands duality – we need to finally accept that because without duality there is no balance. Just as opposite poles of a magnet cannot be “reconciled” or joined together, so it is foolishness to speak of light overcoming darkness or vice-versa.
Why not abandon the endless, pointless quest for the high or the low; for heaven or for hell? We can become shadow beings, living freely and fully between opposite forces that are there but to maintain an in-between space for us – in perpetual balance. Two solutions to two major Earthian problems would immediately happen: end of war and maybe more importantly, end of misogyny. Would it not be worth a try, or even any amount of personal sacrifice, to reach this place?
I’ve said these things before, many times, and I know I will continue to say them until I no longer can. My point in all of this is to clarify some bits and pieces of the many misconceptions people hold about so many things. Might be worth giving it some thought. At this point in our failing civilization, what have we got to lose?
I tell stories, I’m not an advice giver – that never works. Having said that, secure in the knowledge that no one will follow it and later blame me when the proverbial doo-doo hits the equally proverbial fan, let me give you some advice (don’t you just love contradictions?). Let me give you a key to understanding the process involved in being a change agent.
When you go on to ponder a solution to a problem, or talk about it, or write about it, or even do something about it, keep this in mind, it will save you much disappointment: look back upon history and your own personal experience and ask, “has this been tried before? If it worked, is it still working? Is it gaining strength, overcoming the negativity it was set up to do?” If your answer to these basic question is a clear “no” then you need to come up with an entirely new solution. Warning: if you insist on fiddling around with any aspects of the old “tried and failed” solutions, no new way will show itself.
My sincere apologies for that “finger pointing” ending. I don’t know how else to communicate this point emphatically. In any case, only those so inclined will take it personally. Small consolation, but better than nothing…
“Energy medicine is powerful, all right. I had a magnetic healing session a few weeks ago and I was stuck to my refrigerator door for two days.” — Swami Beyondananda.