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The Power of Compassion

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posted on Nov, 29 2017 @ 06:44 PM

Do you think were all victims of our ignorance? I do. This is the genius and wisdom of Buddhism. Somehow, with the mind alone, the Buddhist monks applied the empirical method to the events of consciousness, and a sort of "deterministic" landscape was described, whereby something happens "here", and the response is fairly typical - so much so that the Buddhist psychologists anticipate the situation, and so describe it.

Perhaps it has something to do with the low oxygen levels of the Himalayas, interacting with the spiritual traditions developed in the Indus Valley. Material was produced, as it were, in the jungles and forests; cities were built, and the Brahmans (i.e. Vedics) projected their manipulative psychology on the masses, ultimately establishing a very stable - though completely unjust - society based on intrinsic caste systems.

In any case, compassion asks us to not "harp on the negative" - and why? Because for the person on the other end - the person you're speaking about -the terms you use to describe him/her represent something they value about themselves. I am guilty of this all the time, and it speaks to how deeply the society we exist within penetrates our psyches: we're being engineered to criticize and nitpick in ways that are counterproductive to our human psychological health and wellbeing, primarily because we don't recognize the fractal continuity between our social relations (i.e. how we treat others) and how our emotional and psychological processes operate.

The Amazing Power of the Context

It is interesting to me how the context is both the cause of our world situation (and every person's personal situation) and so explains the "evil" of things; yet, at the very same time, contemplation of the deterministic effects of contexts and the suffering and confusion it causes in humans, and the effects that has for animals and the ecoystsem, is utterly tragic. Can I believe in evil when I know to what exquisite degree the developmental contexts shapes

brains and feeling needs?

I believe in evil, of course, but it seems to be more synonymous with ignorance, so that the person enacting something evil is necessarily being persuaded by a delusional knowledge - a spirit of arrogance, etc, which is ultimately a normal human aspiration gone berserk - having transformed into something that is so beyond the individuals control that, given the existential nature of reality, it is perfectly understandable that the existential would be emphasized as more important than the dynamical. All these existential philosophers have poured "within themselves", discovering truths here and there, but all of them (minus Levinas and Merleau Ponty) are so clearly preoccupied with a misanthropism that can only be logically understood as a projection from their own self-situation. Something within them is "disgusting". Some knowledge or truth about self torments them. They have moved into the depressive realm, halfway between the state of resolved trauma (and the enlivenment/relaxation it releases) and psychotic and manic idealizations. It is hard, apparently, and given the nature of how we work, it would seem to be important that a 'holier-than-thou' sanctimony about 'what you would do' not be indicated by your way of being - for the simple reason that DEVELOPMENTAL SITUATIONS ARE DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE.

I once looked upon my grandmother on my dads side as a sad idiot for going to the jail where the serial killer Paul Bernardo stayed. It was pure habit - and utterly true, from my perspective - that this man was a lost cause. At the same time, my grandmother went to a catholic church which preached an apocalyptic "doomsday", so she did all this not with any psychodynamic knowledge of how the self works, but from a sense of 'this is what the church says is right i.e. to "pray for their souls".

Now years later, I am not naïve as to how Paul Bernardo would experience my words of "having compassion for him", given his self states are probably deeply entrained to representing his self and its feelings in idealized ways. But these idealizations are not in themselves neutral: they are defense mechanisms against those feelings which would arise if the self looked upon itself in a different way. The self and its states are as much "objects" as the things of the world, and so this is why idealization works so powerfully: to dissociate the contents of consciousness which the self fears will hurt it.

I cannot write this without thinking about how truly tragic it is that we exist in this situation. I don't believe in any definite heaven or hell; in a certain sense, one persons heaven here will be followed by a hell; and the converse may be seen in the person who suffers here, and when they die, having so little to "account for", they return to primal being, which is inherently a state of bliss.

The problem with these ideas is that they are overly histrionic. They focus the mind in the wrong way, and get us caught up in dualisms - what to do "to avoid hell" shouldn't be a way anybody thinks. Similarly, only a person who feel deficient in some way will be persuaded by magic.

Anything anyone does has an intractable basis in cause and effect for its existence. The frustrating part is that these things CAN BE CHANGED. We don't need to settle on any idea of reality being fundamentally "good" or "evil". It is - and expresses - both functions, and in human beings, evidently, we can get deeply caught in the thicket of believing evil to be a necessary part of the self, when it isn't.

The Human mind reaches towards the depths of its very being when it sees the deterministic nature of reality; and the paradoxical effect, at least for me (or someone who has spent some time developing a compassionate awareness) the very determinism of it all seeds into me a feeling of compassion; as if to say, "what else can I do"? Indeed, if you're self is understood to be a temporary fiction, why not pursue the good, knowing that the good is the ultimate state to which we return? It seems this knowing - this good - as Mattieu Ricard has written, has a sort of "inexhaustibility" about it. Everytime you witness stupidity, there is a certain inevitability about it; yet, for the future, one may become inspired by knowing that your action can change - however small - the human being experiences reality.

posted on Nov, 29 2017 @ 09:24 PM
It's more or less this: every person has a choice. The choice is by no means easy. It is frustratingly painful - as if a part of you wants to cry out "whyyyyyyyyyy!!!!" in anger and hatred of what it is.

Existential awareness, or realizing that reality is "mental at its root", is terrifying. This world and the assumptions it brings into us about the nature of reality force us to develop a self that more or less is comfortable with the truths.

Take the truths away, and by gally, you will experience an intense fearfulness for yourself! OMG!!! Where or what is my self? If reality isn't as a I thought it was, that means I am not what I thought I am.

This painful situation is symmetrical to the degree to which you've indulged in your self-image. It more or less means that the "cosmic" self is pouring in, bit by bit, into your phenomenological consciousness - and that is the scary stuff! "I don't want to be that!" you may say - the contemplation of eternity, or an eternal ongoingness, seems like an interminable pain. And to boot: if I am dissciative becuase my mind has been pushed out of its body by trauma, I will come to resent any feeling of goodness, because goodness would be precisely that which I feel to be absent. Goodness implies God; hence good is just an extra o, like saying "good is what God does". The dissociated mind therefore wants nothing more than to "not-be". Theres a comfort in that - whereas there is a hatred for the lie of being, which only brings sufferings upon the reflecting mind.

These thoughts are normal and to be expected in traumatized minds. Killers will naturally think these thoughts; where the reformed killer has necessarily passed through the fires of gehenna - the valley of "death" i.e. the death of mourning, of acknowledging and physiologically - and energetically - processing the semiotic figures of your mind-brain - the memory stream of being which sits in the right hemisphere, bunched up, forcing the self to dissociate from its body, is finally released.

But lets not idealize: it will be released, but it will be an achingly slow process. Every transformation of memory transmits the "signs" - the truths - of what the self knows about itself implicitly, but has never made explicit in its conscious mind - its left hemisphere.

Titration means taking it slow, as a whole lot of internal mayhem cannot be let loose all at once - lest psychosis take the mind over. Rather, bit-by-bit, the self is healed, by interpersonal recognition, reflection and discussion of state - these "banal" things are rather alchemical in nature: where consciousness directs its attention, from a context of interpersonal support, healing flows. The mind is made bigger when another person helps and aids you, and this is the final and only reason why humans are ever able to regulate their affective states.

In anycase, living is for the now: play is purpose of creation, whereas care restrains the self to acknowledge the facts of awe: do not depart from what you know to be the way things work. This more or less means, don't shovel your negative baggage into another persons mind. It is ultimately a delusional thing to do - a sign of mental weakness, of a poorly formed forebrain, and evidence of a deeply problematic development.

The habit is always to hate - I had to delete my earlier phrase because I did it again: I idealized my own desire to speak with hateful wit! But when I want to help, I can't have it both ways: I can't both help and idealize my self - otherwise I provoke people.

This is why idealization is such a problem in human interpersonal relations: we come to defend those idolized parts of self because we "like being that way". We've granted ourselves too much license - have gotten use to bad ways of thinking and acting - and the "idolatry" part is taking it for real: as if we couldn't be happy after we "piurge ourselves" of that way of being. It reifies what in fact is transitory. It takes too seriously, and by taking self too seriously, creates interpersonal strife.

posted on Nov, 30 2017 @ 03:51 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

there is not "two", but a singularity - a singular continuum of being

Compassion can only happen when it is realised that no apparent person is doing anything!
What is happening is being what it is. There is not something doing something.

edit on 30-11-2017 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

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