OK, here goes, my stumbling attempt to clarify something that is way out of my league… but someone’s got to do it, and I promised!
Caveat: I may have posted this a couple of years ago…
Compassion in a Nutshell, as I was taught, how I experience it daily
by ~burning woman~ expressed by Sha’Tara
What it isn’t: When I speak on compassion as I was taught by the Teachers and how I experience it, I’m never talking about a common mixture of feeling and emotion, of love, like, attraction, desire, lust, romance, or any of the usual social relationships. It is none of those.
What it is, point by point: Compassion is utterly selfless. Whatever I give to another is entirely for that other, no thought of “what’s in it for me” involved in the transaction. At the same time I realize that any expenditure of “energy” on my part is immediately replenished and added to. Since I am fully aware of this now, I have to say that although it seems a contradiction, my motivation is both, selfless and selfish.
Compassion is inclusive. This needs to be understood very clearly because the compassionate being has no enemies… ever. What is an enemy? Obviously someone you fear, either because s/he has hurt you in some personal and real way and would continue to do so, or it is someone your society has demonized. You fear and you hate. You want protection or you want to attack. These are emotional responses. In this area it isn’t forgiveness that heals, it’s compassion.
Compassion is non-emotional. In compassion there are no emotional responses. This also must be clearly understood. In the previous case of “the enemy” the concept disappears completely if there is no emotional response involved. Does that mean then that the compassionate person is android-like? Not at all. If anything the compassionate person develops and experiences deeper feelings than a normal person. I find myself constantly reacting strongly to events normal people hardly notice, take for granted or even enjoy. When I see someone eating meat the effect is mentally devastating, hence why I block any emotional response. To me all killing is murder and a “piece of meat” was a living, breathing, feeling “other” that a universally false belief backed by emotions, has turned into a billion dollar business from billions of helpless torture victims of “gastronomical” greed. Hunting, fishing, violent sports such as boxing or sports involving animals in which they suffer or are in danger of being seriously hurt – horse racing for example – these are all stumbling blocks to the empath. Try to imagine what the truly compassionate feels when confronted with instances of abuse, oppression, rape, genocide, war and mass shootings. It isn’t just “news” believe me: it’s hell. You don’t want to go there emotionally or you won’t come back. Compassion takes care of it by shutting down emotional response.
Compassion does not recognize special relationships. For a gregarious species this may be the toughest aspect to comprehend. “You mean I can’t “love” my child more than anyone else’s?” is a typical response. To a normal person such is unthinkable. So perhaps it can be explained. First, compassion doesn’t care who or what you choose to “love” or “hate” because that is neither here nor there. Compassion, being, shall I say, “higher” in nature and power than all known types of love, overrides those emotions in any case and neutralizes them. The compassionate being has no use for special relationships, they just cloud the issue. So if you already have special relationships that need your presence, input and support, compassion will certainly not prevent you from doing your duty. The difference is that these relationships, these people, animals, things you may own, are not central to your life and do not determine your thoughts and acts. You are first of all, compassion — not just compassionate — and everything else is secondary.
Compassion is never reciprocal. Another point that has to be clearly understood. Most if not all Earthian relationships exist within some form or reciprocity even if it’s just a form of recognition for altruistic acts. Ego (I don’t like using that term but most people understand what is meant by that) is usually involved in normal relationships, from the dependent to the seductive to the gimme-gimme; the protective to the controlling. I could truthfully say I suppose that compassion is self-rewarding, that it is its own reward. Indeed it doesn’t take long for a compassionate person to realize how much the practice empowers! This empowerment is highly beneficial to both, body and mind. The immune system works better and there is no energy wasted in lust, regret, recrimination, jealousy, competitive behaviour, fear or anger. There is neither a sense of gain, nor a sense of loss as far as relationships go because compassion overrides the great “need” that drives individuals into exclusive, controlling relationships.
Compassion demands, and feeds, self empowerment. A crucial point. No dependent or non self empowered person can claim to be compassionate by nature. They may express aspects of compassion at certain critical times but much of that will wear out quickly, or wear the person down because in all cases it will be the result of some response to an emotional appeal and terribly entropic. A compassionate being is a self empowered being for the two go hand in hand.
Compassion results in detachment, not just from special relationships but from “the world” as it is often called in spiritual circles. Compassion makes it possible to realize the true nature of joy and sorrow. As with so many concepts, joy and sorrow are usually misunderstood and lumped in with pleasure, fun, happiness and sadness, pain, unhappiness, grief, loss, etc. Notice that these aspects of happy/unhappy are essentially ego-centered, i.e., selfish. It is what one feels and gets emotional about. Properly understood, joy and sorrow come from empathy. Joy contains all the good being experienced by the world and conversely sorrow contains all the evil being experienced. As explained to me, Joy and Sorrow are twins, one who walks in the light, one who walks in darkness. They can only meet when someone provides a bridge between them and that’s what a compassionate person, or being, does. A compassionate being is never concerned about personal joy and/or sorrow. Taken care of.
The compassionate walk between the worlds of light and darkness and bridge the two. That is their greatest accomplishment until they move on away from here to things of higher consciousness of which I know but an inkling and cannot authoritatively speak of.
In a nutshell then, you are who you are at this moment. You make a decision to become a compassionate being. Being of sound mind you choose to make that your entire life’s purpose. Then you open yourself up completely to the “power” or “energy” your irrevocable choice brings to you. You proceed from there. You’re on your own for every decision you make and through every “battle” you must fight. Then you watch yourself become a different person until hardly anyone recognizes you. And that’s it.
“What if I enter into this thing and I fail?” one may ask. I don’t know, honestly. All I can think of is this: that anyone who enters into a life choice to become compassion cannot fail unless something was held back; there was a degree of “dishonesty” when signing on that dotted line. This thing I’m presenting here is in a sense a personal absolute. In and never out. If you’ve seen the movie “Men in Black” you will remember that signing on meant to become a different person and disappearing from your familiar world. You lost your name and became a “K” or a “J” or a “D.” This is something like that except that “you” gradually blend into “Compassion” and that is the new nature you then express to the world. Crazy, right?
If you were offered the key to saving your world, and your people, from a terrible catastrophe they’re bringing on themselves and you were convinced this was the real thing, what would YOU do? For me it wasn’t a difficult choice at all.
Best I can do in explaining the concept.