Compassion and Empathy versus Chaos and Violence

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

One day, never mind the season, in a fit of pure madness you say to yourself, I want to become an empathetic being. Do you consider the consequences of such a desire should you proceed upon that path? No, because in the very beginning you naively assume that being empathetic is just plunging deeper into that wonderful feeling people call love.

So there you have it: you are going to become a more loving person and naturally, you will feel great about yourself and naturally everybody you know will come to love you more and more the deeper you struggle up that golden path… or is it down that rabbit hole.

Young people who want to choose a path of “goodness” are very naive. I can attest to that. This world isn’t programmed to accommodate goodness although much is alluded to it and those who by some miracle of whatever, walk that path come hell or high water are often considered heroes if they are considered at all. Usually though, they are considered fools, dreamers and conspiracy theorists. I can add, they are also considered pains in the royal social ass and untrustworthy, i.e., they have a tendency to get off the social bandwagon at the most inconvenient places, often where the scapegoated targets of the bandwagon riders happen to be hiding and surviving, to give help and support instead of sticks and stones.

Becoming empathetic is a great inconvenience which leads one to self-sacrifice (oh, shudder!) and sometimes to persecution and martyrdom – things that give great feelings of courage while reading dramatic fiction but are rather dreadful to experience in real life. What the naive youth does not know is that becoming empathetic means living a compassionate life, not a loving life. It’s not only a very lonely path that demands untold forms of constant bits of self-sacrifice but detachment from serious personal relationships as well. I think we can agree that youth does not lend itself well to taking such measures. There are expectations, both natural/physical and social that mitigate against walking the em-path!

Is this short essay another of my reminders that compassion/empathy is not at all the same as loving? Unequivocally, yes. These are not the same thing though recently I have made allowances (how grand of me to do so!) for love to ride along with compassion/empathy if in the last wagon on the train, basically along with all other baggage that would have been better left on the platform before boarding.

Compassion (which is necessary to understand the pain caused by the empathetic life in a violent world) is doing with feelings coming as a consequence of one’s acts. Love is feeling with doing coming as a consequence of one’s feelings. It doesn’t take a genius, or a degree in philosophy to recognize which one will give lasting, meaningful results.

If one’s actions determine the direction one’s life is taking, that can be guaged long-term. I call that purpose. If one’s feelings determine the direction one’s life is taking, there is no possibility of ever knowing where one will end up. I call that chaos.

What made me choose to develop an empathetic way of life through living compassion is, I do not like chaos. To paraphrase myself from a recent comment, living compassion in a violent world is like carving a homestead in the wilderness.

Nature ‘lovers’ who rely on their feelings to interact with nature will not see ‘nature’ as chaos. Raised on a real homestead in a real wilderness of northern Canada in the 1950’s has given me a real sense of chaos versus the kind of order our type of life requires to survive. We are not wild animals integrated with nature – we never have been and never will be. We require some sort of order out of chaos to survive and live normal lives.

Compassion which gives life to empathy, is order within gross man-made chaos. Compassion is the ultimate enemy of violence. The spirit of violence which I call ‘evil’ cannot share space with the spirit of compassion. Anyone who seeks to become, or thinks of herself as compassionate can easily know if that is a belief, or if it is true: if she harbours any residual desire within her mind for an outcome achieved through violence, compassion has not nested there yet.

29 thoughts on “Compassion and Empathy versus Chaos and Violence

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Yah, OK Phil… I suppose there is a connection? Not my type of music, but mainly no “subtitles” so couldn’t follow. If time permits,I’ll hunt up the lyrics… or you can send them here. Lyrics I can deal with, rock n’ roll, thanks but no thanks. I’ve never been able to understand or absorb that sort of sound (I’ve never called it music but I have called it industrial noise, as I do all rap!).

      1. Phil Huston

        Here you go. The music discussion is tabled for later. If a dozen people held hands around a campfire and sang it Kumbayah Gordon Lightfoot style would it be more attractive? Dangerous answer zone.



  1. adamspiritualwarrior

    Shatara, sorry for off topic, but this is so up your street, ive been compelled to show you, with your previous life underwater on….Tiamat if I remember .
    Randy Maugans
    8 hrs ·
    Our primordial world was water. These ancient memories are the portals to our ancestoral selves, and the civilizations of distant epochs.
    Water holds memory and intention. Our bodies are 90% water. Our blood and tears are the very saline that swims through us, as we once swan through it. We have forgotten, but inately, we recall…

    Kathi Burns Britton Rudolf Steiner has written that the water had more density and the atmosphere was thinner in the ancient times of Lemuria and Atlantis…opposite of what it is today.
    Torin O’Rourke Many dream memories of this watery state of life. As I child, I also had a number of vivid “waking” memories of being an ocean adapted human.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks Adam. One of your comments showed a partial picture of what a “mermaid” as I remember us being, actually looks like: totally humanoid, no fish tail or other stupid mythical add-ons. We were human, if much taller (longer in body) than we are now because we did not spend much time standing upright but constantly floating and using our long legs and arms to swim. We could keep up to the fastest swimmers in our oceans (seas) on Tiamat. What ended our races was our inability to adapt fast enough to the drastic changes that came about when Tiamat (a very, very large water planet) was destroyed and some of us survived on its tiny remnant now called Earth. As indicated in the above comment, the waters changed rapidly and to us they were polluted. The mixture was wrong and our children could not survive in the new world. But we did exist ‘here’ long enough for the Earth type humans to encounter our type of life. They did see some of us but they were never able to get close enough, or to capture any of us to realize what we really were. So they made up tales of fish-tailed ‘mermaids’ and such type of life that was dangerous and lured sailors to their death, or that ate them. The land lubbers had very low IQ in those days… and perhaps that hasn’t improved all that much, huh?

  2. adamspiritualwarrior

    I put this on facebook SHatara . Perhaps the Soul bei ng some good thing is the biggest 20th century new age con

    ”She says shes had her soul removed, and says the soul is a controlling implant. Shes interacted with ”Teachers”. I don’t know if this is during sleep dreams, or during the day day dreaming, or via other means. ”

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      I don’t do Facebook but in a nut shell there isn’t much to add to your synopsis. Yes, I did have my “soul” removed – actually that is incorrect, I had it shut down so “they” could not force me to act against my will, certainly never without permission. People should realize the programming they are under is responsible for making them do horrible things to their world and each other which, left to their own devices they could immediately ‘see’ are wrong. That programming is done through the soul implant and that is why the soul is so important in institutional religions. That is how they can make people believe (by faith) in the stupidest ideas; that they can have a “God of love” how can annihilate an entire world of sentient life just because he’s pissed at people.

      How I met ‘the Teachers’ for the first time was during normal daytime hours though in time we worked in sleep dreams as well. I was given 20 years and if I caught 10% of what I was taught I’d be lucky. Fortunately I knew to focus on the important stuff and to write essays, poems, short stories and even a few novels based on the ‘Teachings’ so I would remember. I did remember that becoming compassion was the one thing we could all do that would certainly save this world and end our endemic love of violence. Thanks for your comments, Adam.

  3. Damyanti Biswas

    Compassion is the ultimate enemy of violence.

    Yes. So much this. If I were to be given a superpower, I’d say I’d make it: the ability to make everyone compassionate.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for commenting, Damyanti. Glad you too realize this fact that if all were compassionate by nature, it would mark the end of our endless and pointless violence as well as the end of social injustice. The sad part of all that is, we are all, at heart, compassionate beings but the system we are forced to live under prevents most of us from accessing our true foundation as human beings.

  4. Neelam

    I fully agree with what you’ve written here. When I was younger, I was naive enough to be led by emotions rather than rationality. And the results were painful. And now I’m aware that a subtle warfare being waged against us and we have every reason to be sceptics.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      That’s a great comment. We should most certainly always be sceptical, especially of those who claim to have some sort of higher moral authority over us. At the beginning of my years under the “tutelage” of ‘the Teachers’ I was advised to trust no one, not even them, but only myself through the practice of discernment. I was tested with true and false statements to see if I could tell when one was telling the truth, or lying. If I had simply trusted them to always be truthful they could have fed me any information and I would have bought it, hook, line and sinker, as they say. That is what religions, politics and money systems do, thus ever spreading disinformation, chaos and corruption in the hearts of men.

  5. Hyperion

    Another look at a better opportunity to save ourselves or at least a few. It will take time and great suffering is a catalyst for change only that change will need a proctor.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for your comment, Daniel. If the species were ever to become ready – it will never be – that is a foregone conclusion – the only Proctor needed would be within the self empowered individual and I call it compassion. That’s it, case closed. This condition will be that of the next species of ‘mutants’ who are going to supplant the current mindless Earthian planet poisoning, destroying, eating, predators.

      1. Hyperion

        I do look forward to their arrival. I’m already a dinosaur, so I don’t mind becoming an anthropologists study subject much later on. Compassion. If only we knew how…

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        Quote: “Compassion. If only we knew how…” Oh, but we do know how. It’s why all our great religious and moral teachings were given to us, so all would somehow know of its existence within our mind/heart. All the greater (higher) aspects of the ISSA being come into play in compassion, and are used to make it work. Self empowerment; strength of character, honesty, humility, simplicity, peace, patience, self-sacrifice, charity/giving, caring, helping, encouraging, detachment, unfeigned kindness, self-effacement, servant-hood. I think all of that can be rounded up in one word: good – choosing to be a good person simply because it’s the right thing to be.

      3. Hyperion

        I do enjoy how you reduce my over complicated thoughts with clear and concise explanation. It truly seems within reach when I read your comment. I can at least reach within myself. I should probably concentrate on the me part rather than bemoan the world’s tribulations.

      4. Sha'Tara Post author

        Well Daniel, focusing on within and less on the outward conditions is something I’m working on full time also… it’s a bit of a trick and we’re so easily fooled into looking for solutions among the collectives, then fooled again into thinking it’s all s**t when we observe how people treat each other. But it’s inside, isn’t it. That’s where we find the answers. I was thinking about peace today, and how so many clamour for peace as if it was something that could be reached for ‘out there’ or plucked out of the peace tree when it became obvious to me that one has to BE peace in order to experience it. It’s also obvious that peace isn’t something we can give others, or force them to accept; we can only be a living, walking aspect of peace. I know I’m tired and this isn’t my best expression so forgive me. I have to say though that you and I are, I seriously think, good for each other. I found someone to really talk to who’s not afraid to engage and doesn’t try to always slip away from a difficult topic, or concept. Thanks, Daniel.

      5. Hyperion

        So true, Sha’Tara. Inside my head is where I find my peace. I just haven’t mastered the art of blocking out the negative energy of my external world and views. I do believe I will get there because having someone to explore the “Golden Path” with helps me check where I am on the map and is reassuring when corrections are required. The path of compassion, I do believe in. It is the right time in my life to allow compassion to guide my thoughts and actions. Setting a noble example for others when they are receptive is the best way to bring peace to troubled minds. And I also agree that we are good for each other. I feel a strong connection and enjoy the exploration of a new way of thinking that you have so patiently introduced me to. I find a lot of comfort in that.

      6. Sha'Tara Post author

        Quote: “I just haven’t mastered the art of blocking out the negative energy of my external world and views. I do believe I will get there…” You speak of the “golden path” (you probably borrowed the term from Herbert’s “Children of Dune”) and that is the path I deliberately set myself upon some 30 years ago, and it was probably 20 years ago that I added a more definite aspect to my own golden path by choosing, irrevocably, to dedicate this life and whatever follows it, to becoming an avatar of compassion. And yes, though I was heavily enjoined to remain free of personal attachments through the practice of detachment, it does help to have someone to share a similar “mindset” with. I too am deeply thankful.

      7. Hyperion

        Hi Sha’Tara! Yes, I got the term Golden Path from the Dune Chronicles. I am starting on Heretics of Dune now. I also was deeply influenced by the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons. I lived in Asia for five years, primarily Korea in the mountains near the Han River. I spent a lot of time with the Buddhist Monks building a temple in the mountains in my spare time and got a wonderful indoctrination into their life. I tried to adopt the warrior monk lifestyle and ethos as it suited my life of that time. Detachment from worldly things and being an example of noble virtues in deed without words set a path for me but reality here in the US has eroded that purity of spirit and strength of mind and body. I work at it, not willing to give up on reobtaining that peacefulness and isolation from the noise of the world. I admire what you have done for yourself. Keep doing what you do because it will do far more to connect people with compassion than any other blithering noise machine cranking out stress and calling it news.

      8. Sha'Tara Post author

        Quote: “Detachment from worldly things and being an example of noble virtues in deed without words set a path for me but reality here in the US has eroded that purity of spirit and strength of mind and body. I work at it, not willing to give up on reobtaining that peacefulness and isolation from the noise of the world.”
        This is, indeed where the rubber hits the road! When I was in a mood to “disappear myself” into the jungles of Central America or some such nonsense, the Teachers asked me to reconsider. I was told, “If you can become detached, and a servant, right here, right now, in your own familiar world with all the familiar conditions and situations, you will have accomplished much more than removing yourself away in alien worlds where you will be more often a burden than a help by not understanding the ways of those people. You can apply your skills and develop your compassionate nature much more readily where you understand ‘how things work’. They were right, of course. I was already fluent in two languages which happened to be the two official languages of this country. I had been raised among French Canadians and as a Catholic but I was also well versed in the Anglo-Canadian mindset, and it would not be too far-fetched to call it the “WASP” mindset. Life is short. Why go into alien territory and spend all that precious time learning when all I had to do was “grab the shovel and start digging”? The detachment part was more difficult here, being surrounded by ‘familiar faces’ along with friends and families loaded with traditions and expectations. But as YLea the Teacher said, nothing is impossible. I did it without ever becoming a burden to anyone, especially of those who could least afford it. We serve best in and around our own home. As for those others in those other lands, I learned long ago that if “we” Western consumers, got our Corporations and our Militaries and Religions out of there the world would be much better off. So part of staying here meant explained how we can best help so-called Third World or developing nations. That part hasn’t gone over well and the world is in deeper trouble now because “we” did not learn to pull back on our greed and expectations. Oops, sorry, this almost became a rant… ’nuff said! 🙂

      9. Hyperion

        Beautifully ranted Sha’Tara. I always enjoy your sharing of personal experiences on this path. I was able to detach somewhat but didn’t learn how to shut down my empath part. It did help me make better decisions when people were in genuine need, I felt it and that allowed my compassion to take over. Still, my life was not professionally conducive to empathy or compassion except in very controlled circumstances. I spent a lot of time learning the emergency medical aspects of my duties which allowed me to serve those in need in a moderate way. Like my sister, our career choices often put us at odds with who we really are but the education we received on what we as a species really are was invaluable in helping us choose not to go with the flow. You are definitely correct in that we can achieve a proper state in that environment we are most familiar with. Outside that familiar environment we are less able to maintain our awareness beyond ourselves. The unfamiliar takes time to learn and as you mentioned, that investment of energy can be better served where we are already intuitively able to navigate. I believe when we transitioned from the hunter gatherer and small tribal interaction, we began the over population and subsequent conflicts that have persisted for at least 12,000 years if not longer. That hard existence made us a hardier species and life, no matter how short was better tuned to the physical world. Even in third world countries where social sophistication operates at a more natural state, natural disasters and conflict sets conditions where humans begin a rapid die off. In some places I have been, thousands of people died everyday from starvation and disease simply because there were too many people for the small resources available. We quickly overwhelm the sensitive supply systems required to support life. Religions are useless in these conditions. Militaries, except for countries that use their military as a civil engineering force in disaster, are ill trained to support infrastructure development on a grand scale. The more sophisticated and dependent on technology we become, the more ill prepared we are to overlive the huge challenges of natural and manmade disasters.

  6. Lisa R. Palmer

    Ahh, Sha’Tara, I so love this! All of it! Empathy is not an easy road, and we probably are fools for choosing it. But it is also the path of “good,” so what choice is there, really? I tried being evil, as you define it. I didn’t get too far with it. Not enough drugs and alcohol in the world to completely kill my conscience. So here I am…

    But this! This is absolute brilliance! This is quotable stuff; explanations in a sentence. Thank you for this:

    “Compassion … is doing with feelings coming as a consequence of one’s acts. Love is feeling with doing coming as a consequence of one’s feelings. “

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for your comment Lisa. In the current set up choosing compassion and empathy as a personal path is certainly enough to make us fools. But as has been said long ago, we can be fools for an ideal and if that turns the world against us we can consider it proof that we chose correctly. Now that you re-wrote it I see that ‘my’ description of compassion and love in action is quite accurate. I could have phrased it better but you certainly got the gist of it.

      1. Lisa R. Palmer

        I didn’t actually rewrite it. I quoted it exactly, minus the parenthetical. Those words are all yours, and brilliant to boot! 😁

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        OK… but I think you must have somehow inserted the ‘brilliant’ energy in the words. Anyway, thanks because you repeated them and made them stand out. Thanks for the interaction!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.