Compassion in a Nutshell: an Explanation

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.

11 thoughts on “Compassion in a Nutshell: an Explanation

  1. Regis Auffray

    It is a fine explanation, Sha’Tara. In honesty, I do not think that people like me are “cut out” to “be” the way you describe. It hurts deeply to see what man has done/is doing to this planet and the poor people upon it but, what am I doing about it? Thank you for eliciting/awakening thought.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Well Regis, we are what we are and until we make the effort to change that, then that is who we are and as a consequence, that is the kind of world we must “inherit”. He who sows the wind must reap the whirlwind… is an old truism. I would add that he who does nothing inherits even less than nothing.

      Reply
  2. rawgod

    I have only one argument with what you say: killing is killing whether the result is meat, vegegable matefial, bacterial sludge, or viral paste. If it has life, it is living. If anyone or anything ends such a life before its natural time, that is murder. The only natural human foods that are not murder are fruits and nuts, the seeds of which are not alive–yet. But they do contain potential life, so one could argue for eating seeds and nuts as potential murder also. When it comes to fruits, the seed or seeds of a fruit are often inedible, and even more often, undigestible. They pass through a digestive systen unharmed, and can still grow after being excreted. Everything else we eat is living, and ending life is murder!
    The thing is, most life lives on life. Except for such beings as take energy from the sun, and turn that into the material which makes up their bodies, all life will die if not given some sort of living or once-living material to consume. Even those beings who appear to live on only water are getting food from other sources as well. Again, life lives on life.
    I know this is contrary to the thinking of 99.9% of the human population, but that is okay. Think what you want. Vegetarians and veggans are no better than meat-eaters, they are still killers. We all are!

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Hi rawgod. I do understand what you are saying, no mistake. If I had the power within myself to feed this body as a “breatharian” I certainly would. This world exists under certain constraints that we did not invent or create ourselves. It is my understanding that in the beginning of Earth days there was no killing of sentients on this world. That was the ‘layer’ of time when Earth was ruled by Lucifer and not ‘the Lord God’ who supplanted her and took over for the Time Lords. This is cosmology that few Earthians are aware of or for that matter care to know about. However my concern is not so much about exchanging living “stuff” for other living stuff, but the Earthian enjoyment of inflicting pain on other sentients or bragging about “bagging” a kill. I’ve never heard of an Earthian “feeder” bragging about how many veggies or bacteria it has consumed in a meal. The “sweet taste” and the bragging is for sentient life – that which, rawgod, KNOWINGLY INFLICTS PAIN AND DEATH UPON ANOTHER SENTIENT. There is your Earthian sickness. How can a sentient willfully inflict PAIN upon another sentient and ENJOY THE DOING OF IT or ENJOY THE TASTE OF ITS KILL? As a kayaker on a popular fishing river (the Fraser) I have encountered many sports fishermen who boasted to me about their freezers full of the fish they snagged and killed, way beyond their licenses, beyond their needs or ability to consume. The problem is lack of compassion; lack of respect; lack of feeling or empathy, for life. Man, through the ruling patriarchy is a planetary disease. Until we change how our bodies perceive their ‘needs’ we will continue to doom ourselves and our world through lack of empathy.

      Reply
      1. rawgod

        Unfortunately, I hear those who refrain from eating meat, thinking they are so much better than the carnivores or omnivores amongst us. That is an unrealistic pride, but they seldom listen. Anyone killing wild game, animal, fish, fowl, or bugs has my undying dislike. There is already enough slaughter in the world, there is no need for such waste of lives. Also, trading one life or more for one meal is repugnant to me. Yes, if we could live on air, that would be more acceptable, or if we could produce protein without killing, that would be even better. But life did not evolve that way. Maybe next time around…

  3. selizabryangmailcom

    So I’m thinking, “Where’s Sha? She must be very busy lately. Haven’t heard from her.”
    But no.
    WP just up and unsubscribed me from your posts.
    Of course, it COULD be something I did. But I definitely did NOT unsuscribe myself.
    Oh, well. Just glad I figured it out.

    In the meantime, compassion…true compassion is definitely completely objective and unconcerned with any reward/recognition/postive-reinforcing emotions, etc. But how to get there? It’s hard work and a constant struggle and in the day-to-day life of survival, doesn’t it seem like only the monks have the luxury of diving that deep? Otherwise, down here, off the mountain, it seems like the efforts just come in random bursts, in and out, off and on.

    Also trying to understand Raw God’s point of view…
    Is it only *murder* when sentient beings do it? Because in nature, then, *murder* happens every second of every day. It’s just life and death, kill or be killed. Even Pandas, eating only bamboo, are *murdering* the bamboo then. Organized killing, though, the farms, the cages, the death instruments: that’s a whole other thing. That obviously is far from natural and may one day be looked back on as horrific barbarianism.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you for your comment, Seliza. Firstly, it seems WP unsubscribed me from ALL my subscribers! I’m gradually rebuilding my Follow list. I still get posts not related to ~burning woman~ but each one asks me to “Follow”. It all happened about a week ago when I lost my comment section and after chatting unsuccessfully with a WP “happiness” agent, I proceeded to delve, probe, pry, mine, dig, excavate through the “Settings” world to see if I could uncover the reason behind the unreasoned… to no avail except that it got a lot quieter on my email here.
      Compassion, ah yes, we’ve talked about that before, haven’t we. According to the Teachers those people who go off and hide away from the hustle and bustle cannot, ever, learn how to be compassionate. They may develop states of mind about it, ideas, theories, but compassion becomes real when you smash your fist in the mirror and encounter, not a reflection, and idea, but the reality of blood, torn flesh and tears. Compassion is a real “Force” but unlike the Force of Star Wars it has no dark side. “Use the Force” is what I hear constantly when my nature screams to go another way. Use the Force to interact with others, the environment, the planet. The Force awakens empathy in which our joy and sorrow become truly meaningful in those degrees of selflessness we manage to attain. If I do it once, I know I can do it, period.
      Quote: “But how to get there? It’s hard work and a constant struggle and in the day-to-day life of survival, doesn’t it seem like only the monks have the luxury of diving that deep? Otherwise, down here, off the mountain, it seems like the efforts just come in random bursts, in and out, off and on.” For me the point is to not see life as survival but as an observer status. I’m not really, actually here. If I were, I’d go totally mad! This isn’t my world but the practice of compassion allows me to engage it in “other than” ways through the necessary detachment. The readiness to serve; “Ich Diene” is the living motto that springs to mind each morning.
      Rawgod takes the extreme view of “killing” which is fine but too often is used as an excuse for indulging in it… since nature does it, why shouldn’t I? I limit my concern to that which I know to cause pain, grief and loss to another and I get creative about avoiding as much of that as I can. I don’t make excuses but I remain aware of my personal limitations in a world whose rules I do not make. It comes down to this: is my own peace, safety, satisfaction, pleasure, dependent upon someone else suffering as a result? Once I discover my collusion I change my thinking, my ways, my lifestyle within those limitations we must all endure. I know why we exist in a predatory system world but such awareness isn’t enough to change the global pattern and in any case it isn’t just global, but universal. We have a long, long way to go to eradicate the real source of our predatory values.

      Reply
  4. selizabryangmailcom

    Well, I’m resubscribed to everyone I needed to resubscribe to but, eerily, still, when I go into some blogs, the little “follow” sign pops up instead of “following.” So I give up at this point. I guess if I’m receiving notifications about blogs, I’ll just ignore all the other weirdness that keeps persisting!!

    Anyway, I think I see your point of view. I’m not sure everybody sees how nature operates and make a decision of “Why shouldn’t I do it too?” To me it just is, it’s how it works, what you call a predatory system. You seem to be one of the few that knows why we exist in such a system and sees it as a process that needs eradication instead of just a school of learning that we might eventually graduate from….leaving the school–and its nature and less-than-altruistic processes–behind for those coming after and still having to learn. The *school* will never change. But we change and move on.

    In the end, my best take-away is: ‘I limit my concern to that which I know to cause pain, grief and loss to another and I get creative about avoiding as much of that as I can.”
    Hear, hear! It’s simple, short, and sweet. And doable. And reminds me I can retain that bit of control of myself and my life.

    Reply
  5. Sha'Tara Post author

    WP is still insisting that I “Follow” my own blog! I tried that, get the green “Following” only to get the “Follow” button next time around. I saw one blog today that had a “Follow” for a bit then it turned into “Following” all by itself! As you say, as long as we get the email notifications, ignore the switches.
    The reason “the school remains, we move on” doesn’t work for me is I’m doomed to exist in the past/present/future mode, having past lives in remembrances intrude into the present, and sometimes jumping into the future. Being aware that I was here before and will be again (next life approx 300 to 500 years down the road) then the school theory doesn’t work. I am back to fix things, having learned what works, what doesn’t from previous lives and the stuff of in-between earth lives work.
    Let’s be fair: even if we do not believe such things as past lives, it’s believed that as a species we evolve; that we came from people who lived in caves and hunted with clubs and sticks. OK, so why doesn’t each new born start there and relearn all that the species has learned over supposed tens of thousands of years? If a child can adapt to the current state of evolution, this means that the school has already done its job. Since we’ve had great teachers to show us the better way, we have no excuse for not seeking to live thus. By now we should all be compassionate and full empaths. The information is in us. The awareness of the consequences of not seeking to live the highest kind of life according to the moral law is in us. We are not ignorant as some claim, we are unreasoning, obtuse and selfish – all volitional acts.
    Yes we are called to change the system, that’s our higher purpose – we just choose not to because it’s not only easier to coast along, a majority enjoys the ensuing violence, witness the most popular entertainments and the unflagging support for endless wars. Inarguable point: Earthians love violence and they love inflicting pain and suffering on “others” be they human or not. The question we should all be concerned is “Why?” Why are people attracted to and turned on by violence (exceptions noted)?

    Reply
  6. selizabryangmailcom

    Two interesting points of divergence (between you and me): Your timeline conundrum (awareness of past, present, future) and “Earthians love violence and inflicting pain on ‘others'”.

    Definitely the previous/present/future lives situation with you would color your view of *the school* and being able to *move on*. That makes sense.

    Not sure I agree about Earthians with a few minor exceptions being sort of heedless monsters. My husband and I have been observing/studying/musing on the state of mankind for at least 30 years, and without sounding mysterious, I’d have to just say our conclusions are very different from yours.

    But ultimately I agree with all your other concepts: It IS easier to coast along. I find myself doing that way too much of the time, and the older I get, it doesn’t get any easier to *wake up* again and rein my thoughts and actions back to where they should be. I believe the information is in us, too, and was lost/ignored/discarded long ago. Why is the pineal gland calcified in most of us? We took a wrong turn somewhere and lost *the magic* and our ability/desire to commune with the earth. Excuse my sloppy recollection of facts, but I can’t remember if it was Lewis Mumford or Martin Bernal or another scholar who theorized that animals essentially helped human beings to learn how to speak.

    We may have different conclusions about the nature of earth and mankind, but we’re obviously on the same page right now regarding human consciousness and the state of affairs, which is less than optimal. And again, as you stated above, to avoid harming/hurting others and to be aware of your actions and intentions is not that easy but is simple and is doable.

    My mother used to always say, “There’s only people. We have to be nice to one another,” which she, on a daily basis, would contradict by speaking disparagingly about Mexicans (and she was black herself) or anyone else she felt was beneath her. This obviously came from a lifelong struggle with her own self-image, but it also gave renewed credence to the saying: The spirit is willing and the flesh is weak.

    So when I find myself slipping, I know at least I’m not slipping in THAT way, like my mother, because I don’t think anyone’s beneath me (or above me) and we’re all in the same boat and heading down the same river, as it were. But a general numbness and apathy have been my biggest enemies and biggest sins, and I’m constantly fighting to retain dominance over them.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you for the comment. This, and quote, “My husband and I have been observing/studying/musing on the state of mankind for at least 30 years, and without sounding mysterious, I’d have to just say our conclusions are very different from yours.” makes me wonder on the basis of your observation. Is its individual by individual, or are you assessing the “moral” behaviour of man’s civilization as a whole? Another blogger disagreed with me when I state that Earthian love violence. She said in essence that few individuals would call the great faults found in civilization good but she was speaking of individuals. The picture flips when the collective is considered, and it is always the collective that rules. Collectives are quite OK with their government or corporate corruption, injustice and brutality even if as individuals they may object. What matters here is the result, not what individuals think if they are not willing to stand for their belief. So, if a system is violent and the collective voice colludes and concurs, that makes the members lovers of violence. That is a logical, correct observation.
      Yes, we have it within ourselves to be compassionate creatures but it is a choice. I think I explained somewhere that compassion only appears difficult because it cannot be taught, only experienced. In my world everything comes down to me, how I choose to respond to a situation; how I choose to think about an event or a change. There is no one else therefore I never experience the old temptation of doing nothing while wishing, hoping and praying for someone else to help me. My other secret is that I made being compassionate into a life purpose so that this choice is more important to me than my own life, thus eliminating much of the “should I or should I not” when it comes to the inevitable place that demands self sacrifice. The choice is made beforehand and now it’s just a matter of doing it. Wisdom, of course, applies!

      Reply

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