Compassion is not a simple thing. Empathy. Putting one’s Self into the place of another, feeling where they come from necessitates the quieting of the egoic mind, the stilling of the constant chatter of distraction, that ever-playing chorus of voices and opinions that fills our minds. But sometimes, it is possible to come outside of ourselves long enough to actually feel where another person is coming from and, by so doing, take a short walk in their shoes.
The Bodhisattva vow in Buddhism is the promise to devote one’s Self to the elevation of all Beings no matter their station, and to forgo one’s own transcension of this world until all other Beings have passed on ahead. That is a serious promise. To be a part of the cleanup team as it were, those who wait till everyone else has left Creation before leaving themselves. It is also the epitome of what compassion truly is. Most of us possess the capacity to feel compassion and most of us do, at many points during our lives. But that does not mean that all people do, nor that all people have the capacity to do so. Psycho and sociopaths are ready examples of those who lack the human capacity for empathy and compassion, for whatever reason.
Some consider it a gift, while others consider it a curse. Those who are truly empathic go through life sometimes believing that their ability to feel the pain of others is a curse, rather than a gift. It is only when they come to the realization that this ability often comes with the capacity to heal others with the depth of their feelings do they come to understand the beauty of their gift, and the reality that it took, often, a lifetime of suffering on their parts in order to fully understand and remedy the suffering of others.
At the stage of evolution the world now approaches, it is the way of the heart, of compassion and empathy, that will show the world the light at the end of the tunnel. The depravity of this latter part of the Age of Pisces has been filled with so many examples of heartlessness, brutal violence and a total lack of empathy on the parts of secretive cabals, governments and individuals alike, as above, so below. The cheapness of life and the short measure given to the innate human right to existence is an indication of the turning of the clock, the passage of the measure from balance to the extreme, which is as it should be, in all actuality. Life, Creation, abides by rules of energy dispersal and accretion, of repetitive cycles and patterns within patterns, masking as chaos and instability. This capacity for masking order with disorder is the condition of incarnation and the illusory reality that so many traditions speak of. Being able to see past the figures before you and observe the nature of the dancing shadows on the cave wall reveals the passion play of creation for what it is, a play carried out upon a darkened stage, the observers being the multiverse, each moment measured out for its full, emotive impact, its underlying tension and release, expression of originality, contributing to the ongoing evolution of All That Is.
To abide upon this planet, humans have had to do awful things. One of the most awful among these, is the relegation of love to an act of physicality, security and possession. Due to the nature of Creation and the world that we have inherited, the relationship between the sexes has passed into the extreme expression of the patriarchy with its attending ills. Love, as the quintessential expression of Divinity has become associated with psychological and physiological imperatives passing in nature, ephemeral and only the surface aspect of a deeper, abiding energetic holism that undergirds all of Creation. When, in the Christian Bible, it is stated that God is Love, this is meant literally. In other, more ancient traditions, it becomes clear that what this refers to is love as an actual energetic form, a sublime strata of Being-ness that suffuses all of Creation, much like air fills the atmosphere of our Earth.
Compassion is love. Compassion is the love of Self as Other, or Other as Self. The ideal of Oneness experienced as a visceral knowing that the other person is a part of Self, that their situation is your situation, that their pain is your pain. The plurality of Beings upon this planet exemplify the type of evolutionary diversity that such an intense cradle of spiritual experimentation requires. That being the case, it often takes quite a bit of practice for many to get to the point in their soul’s evolution where they can truly feel compassionate toward others, especially if those others are quite far away from them in ethnic, social or moral distance. But it can be done and there are many faiths where this requirement is a main tenet. To feel love for the Other, for your enemy, to forgive, to have compassion for the situation of another.
Spiritual maturity is birthed from experience. Experience is part suffering, part joy. The pain of a life can be bittersweet, and this feeling of happiness and sadness mixed is a magical place of love and understanding that possesses the capacity to lift an individual’s consciousness past egoic tendencies and limitations that might otherwise keep them bound within their own minds and experiences, relegated to an unemotional and intellectual experience of reality lacking the fullness of emotional immersion that the empathic experience on a daily basis. If this is the case for you, there are methods by which you can increase your compassion through prayer and cultivating an open heart, through meditation and the contemplation of love and Oneness, through direct experience and actively seeking out ways you can help others. At this point in our shared journey, this is what is required of us each, to look within ourselves in order to find out how best we might serve all of humanity. How we might burst free from our boxes, break free of the paradigms that limit us and open ourselves to our own spiritual and evolutionary paths, and those of others. After all, you are me. And we are One.