reply to post by LoveSoldier
You called empathy evolutionary. wow
. That set me down for a few minutes.
The reason I frequent ATS is for the thoughts of others who manage to tweek my neural pathways in ways I might not manage on my own. When this
happens, as with your post, things start snapping and slipping into positions that open up a variety of potential insights which is often difficult to
contain in a coherent way. I have often been accused of being to circuitous so, please, as I wade through these strands, bear with me and I hope we
can come out of the other end.
There seems to be, in the human condition, this great divide. Not so much between people but between the types of people we are. I think empathy has
something to do with this.
It isn't that some of us have it and some of us don't. I think we all do, it's just, some of us suppress it, which is understandable to me. We have
in our culture, popular American culture at least, this image, this icon, this arch-type of the strong individual. It is fed to us from childhood.
"This is who you are, this is who you should be".
So many of us grow up thinking this way that it becomes me against the world. At this point it is only through competitive success that we can be
"who we should be" and there is no room for empathy in this model.
Empathy destroys the competitor. It weakens the warrior.
If we consider spirituality in an evolutionarily sense, I can see where weak empathy would be important. Babies are born with little sense of self or
other. A babie's sense is, ALL. As the baby develops, the sense of these differences begins to emerge and the individual slowly comes into focus.
Without the development of this individual self, the sense of ALL just remains. For me, the reason for being here at all, is that we have the ability
to be just that. Individuals within the ALL.
I see that the individual is a most fragile thing. When we consider individuated consciousness existing in light of ALL consciousness it is truly a
wonder. It needs to be nurtured and protected so as to not just flow right back into the All before it can find its own strength. With this in mind, I
can understand why strong empathy would not facilitate the nurturing of the emerging individual consciousness. As the baby becomes the child becomes
the adult, it is then the persons individual responsibility to open those paths of empathy for the emergence of the individual back into the ALL.
I think that we have two strands of development working at the same time. The development of the individual and the development of the whole of
humanity. I think these two trajectories are converging. For those empathic individuals who are ahead of this curve, to much empathy can be crushing
as the limited empathy of humanity as a whole continues in it's battle with itself"s defense.
Our world is pushing us to develop. More empathy or a continuance of this competition model. "Compete or die".Until all are gone save the winner.
Actually we are being pushed in two directions. To progress or to regress. The road to progress for our race is empathy.
Well, I managed to write this without going to far afield. These were new thoughts for me and I thank you for that. I hope it was not two