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Awani
07-10-2012, 12:47 AM
We have discussed compassion at length in various threads, but there is one aspect I want to put out there that I myself am having some struggle with.

Short background: since childhood I have had a bad experience with alcoholism. I don't drink a drop myself as I loath this substance. For many years, and even today, I don't like drunks or alcoholics. Bums is my view of them.

I really think compassion is the key. Unconditional compassion (Solomon Levi wrote in THIS (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?2976-spiritual-reasoning) thread on the matter). The other week something happened. I was on a bus and the bus stopped abruptly and this older man fell down. Normally I would have got up and helped him quickly, but not this time.

I had seen him earlier. He was a drunken bum. Deep down I think drunks are weak petty people without any balls to face life. The hardships they have faced are nothing to the hardships in certain areas of Africa for example. So I didn't do anything.

About a year ago I saw a heroin addict on the street, he looked like a complete mess. Two older women stopped and talked if they should call an ambulance. I said to them: "let him die". I have seen suffering, for example in India I saw a guy who was suffering 100 % from some sort of disease. All he owned was his underwear. He was born at rock bottom, this guy on a street in Sweden he had worked hard to get to this point. I mean in Sweden if you end up a heroin addict or a drunk you are a very weak person...

Anyway I am aware I am judging the above people, but this is what I think. No matter what hardships I will face I refuse to become a drunk or a heroin addict. I can read, I can think... I'm lucky to have been born in such a high standard place. It is an insult to people in the slums of India for example to be such a pitiful weakling. IMO.

Still it is judgement.

When the drunk fell in the bus I thought that I should show him compassion regardless. But I found it difficult. I am aware I have to solve my own personal disgust for drunks (coming from personal experience with drunks in the family and so on), but it is also a political/intellectual view I have that drunks are weak.

Compassion is difficult. Judging people is easy.

I think I am doing good as far as not judging people and having compassion, but when it comes to drunks I just can't help myself.

That's it for now.

:cool:

Ghislain
07-10-2012, 06:48 AM
Dev

Thanks for sharing that...

I would like to ask a question though...

You say, "but when it comes to drunks I just can't help myself", as though you have a deeper feeling that you know this may be wrong.

Could the drunk not say." when it comes to drink I just can't help myself", in the same vein?

Ghislain

Awani
07-10-2012, 01:55 PM
Good point.

:cool:

zoas23
07-10-2012, 06:31 PM
since childhood I have had a bad experience with alcoholism. I don't drink a drop myself as I loath this substance.

Just like you, I am vegetarian. Just like you I don't drink alcohol. Just like you i despise drunk people (even though there are no alcoholics in my family, nor I can remember any close friend or person who was alcoholic).
A friend of mine once told me: "You should consider giving up sex too and you'll be a saint". He was, of course, joking. It was a good joke though.

My girlfriend did something fantastic for me, which is persuading me to drink alcohol sometimes and get a bit drunk (I don't mean "drunk" as in vomiting, being unable to walk.... only till the point in which everything is a bit funny in a silly way). That was an excllent therapy. Just find which friends of yours main enjoy drinking (I don't mean alcoholics) and simply have a dinner with them and dare to drink a bit... and fight against your disgust for alcoholic drinks.
My advice comes from mostly being identical to you... and knowing that there's something wrong about it.

tip: if, just like me, the taste of alcohol is horrible to you, then you may try with drinks that somehow cover that taste, like this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daiquiri
(I am assuming that a simple beer will taste lie piss to you... at least it does for me and I am unable to drink that).

But it will be really great for you to drink a few times and find out that you are not a "saint" and that those wo drink are not "sinners".

This whole therapy was mostly designed by my GF, but it actually works. Get a bit drunk, Dev.

Awani
07-10-2012, 07:57 PM
Thanks for the tip but I have already had those experiences. I have been drunk. Just grew out of it.

:cool:

Krisztian
07-10-2012, 08:07 PM
I personally enjoyed reading this Thread (so far, I'm sure more to come from others), for I also can be included in the group (with zoas23 and dev). I tasted beer once. Never came even close to using any type of street drugs or otherwise. Yes, I do drink red wine once or twice a year; usually a rare collector's item. But, I have clients on my caseload who struggle with alcoholism and various other addictions; I've had clinical experience with this 'population' for the past 10 years.

I didn't understand why people can't stop either before my clinical experiences in this occupation. But now I hold the view that like cancer, like diabetes, etc. alcoholism, people who seem to be chronically engaged in it, seem to have a 'switch' key inside that when they taste alcohol, it turns on various biological processes. There's no excuse to be done, but the power people allow this or other substances over their lives is truly extraordinary! Most people of such, I learned, seem to have, almost always, an underlying issue with significant traumatic events in childhood. The substances serve to cope with those serious events that left them very wounded.

I think, when people in general see others act very drunk, completely a mess, it brings up fears of being out of control in their own lives. And this state may be linked to other memories when they were not in control, bad things happened. So, I see 'drunk people' in a way, being our teachers, maybe unconventionally, but nevertheless, they teach us to be at peace with our own shadows.

It's just my simple reflection.

Awani
07-10-2012, 08:13 PM
Thanks all. But really I was not clear in my query. The issue is compassion and judgement. Alcohol is just my own personal problem that stops me from having full compassion. For others it can be something else. How to get rid of a deep judgemental opinion in order to achieve unconditional compassion is the core issue here for me. :)

:cool:

Krisztian
07-10-2012, 08:20 PM
Thanks all. But really I was not clear in my query. The issue is compassion and judgement. Alcohol is just my own personal problem that stops me from having full compassion. For others it can be something else. How to get rid of a deep judgemental opinion in order to achieve unconditional compassion is the core issue here for me. :)

:cool:

Why I liked this Thread dev was because you started it with such genuine disclosure! I felt the same way as you. My profession somewhat changed me. Thanks for starting the topic even if it was 'off topic'.

Awani
07-10-2012, 08:24 PM
Yes perhaps you are right although I don't think I would change my view having met so many people with real problems. But never say never.

:cool:

solomon levi
07-10-2012, 11:10 PM
That is the solution - unconditional compassion.
Unconditional compassion is not compassion. :)
Unconditional anything is no longer something.

I encourage all to emphasize the unconditional and not the compassion (or whatever).
Compassion is conditioned and will never be unconditional - it is an impossible effort.
But do as you like.

The ego/identity wants to gain/aquire/add compassion to its list of identifiers.
But this ego is a closed loop. Anything we "add" or "subtract" from it doesn't alter it one bit.
The ego doesn't care about the specifics of its story, as long as it has a story.
But it is in the egos interest to keep us chasing things, feeling incomplete.
Unconditional is what is experienced when the ego loop "pops" or is seen for what it is,
"seen through" as an "illusion". It is only "illusion" relative to the plane/dimension above it,
the unconditional, which is its quintessence, its Prima Materia, undifferentiated, unstructured,
uninformed, substance/consciousness.


I've said that elsewhere sort of, so I'll try real hard to leave it at that
so people can discuss compassion (and judgement).

zoas23
07-13-2012, 09:32 AM
Thanks all. But really I was not clear in my query. The issue is compassion and judgement. Alcohol is just my own personal problem that stops me from having full compassion. For others it can be something else. How to get rid of a deep judgemental opinion in order to achieve unconditional compassion is the core issue here for me. :)

I thought you were going to say it, that the thread is about what the title says and not about alcoholism, that such thing was mostly a personal circumstance. It is true, but sometimes it is hard to talk about something without the circumstances.

You made me remember of the four platonic virtues: Temperance, Strength, Prudence and Justice.
Or also:
Temperance: Serve the whole
Strength: Presrve the whole
Prudence: See the whole
Justice: Know yourself

And also in Plato's Polis (or "Republic"):
Temperance: farmers
Strength: soldiers
Prudence: rulers
Justice: above the previous classes
(the "politics" of Plato are hardly interesting if it wasn't for their correspondences with other ideas). The Qabalah was obviously created the fourfold platonic division... it is possible to say:

Temperance: Guph
Strength: Nepesh
Prudence: Ruach
Justice: Neschamah

Hence Justice is, indeed, the hardest virtue. Alcoholism is lack of temperance... but prejudices or "judging" is lack of justice (the vice of justice).
Justice is also Libra, the opposite of Aries.

Also, just like the card in the Tarot, the classical sign of Temperance was a woman with a vessel of water and a vessel of wine (or the two tinctures, the white and the red in several more alchemical oriented symbols).
Just like alcoholism is a lack (vice) of Temperance, being unable to drink alcohol is the other side of the coin of the same vice (and I do have the same problem that you have, I don't drink alcohol either... this can lead to vanity, placing yourself above others -thinking that you are better because you only drink from one vessel and not the other).

Venus in Libra is Justice (compassion)... but Venus in Aries is Vanity... instead of offering to others, we become greedy of our-selves.

I was looking for paintings about Justice (compassion) and Vanity and I found this one by Nicolas Tournier:
http://www.essentialvermeer.com/catalogue/images/intractv/balance_skull_BIG.jpg

I like this painting, it may help us to rember its image next time we have this feeling and we become the dead skull of a vanitas with our vanity.

And, also, drink alcohol sometimes! :p (I will do that too).

Andro
07-14-2012, 10:33 AM
So, if we feel 'judgmental' but wish to have more 'compassion' for, let's say, heroin addicts, should we occasionally inject ourselves with a nice treat of smack just to 'correct' our attitudes?

I don't think Dev should drink a bit of alcohol to improve the issue he has raised. He doesn't like alcohol (as per his own statement), and there is absolutely no reason for him to drink it in order to cultivate compassion for drunks.

'Compassion' in itself can be a problematic word, at least to me. It sounds (to me) like a conceptual cousin of 'tolerance', which is another word I don't like. It seems to imply some sort of 'superiority'.

Nevertheless, these words are what they are and can imply what they can imply :)

I think an efficient way to 'rectify' the issue is to be less 'immersed', to take the 'Eagle Eye's View' on everything, including oneself. This may well put things into perspective. IMO.

Also, as a side-note, consider the meaning of 'caring' (about something/someone) and then consider the meaning of 'carefree'...

Furthermore: Would it be possible that 'judgement' and 'compassion' can BOTH be some sort of roadblocks in the way of True Freedom?
Merely impostors/surrogates/substitutes for a completely different and paradigm-shattering type of experience we can't presently handle?

Quoth Rudyard Kipling:


If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same

I don't know the answers... Just bringing up the issue...

solomon levi
07-14-2012, 01:05 PM
It's synchronistic IMO that compassion and judgement are Qabalistic names for
two of the three pillars of the Tree of Life. In that context, compassion is the middle pillar
which reconciles judgement and mercy. Of course these are the exoteric, almost superficial IMO,
names applied to the letter-numbers. A more in depth study will bring more insight.
I'll spare you the details.

But I would like to share something I saw regarding reconciliation. You know I've been talking about
dimensions and that being the only way out of "the box"/dimension below... to quote Einstein,
"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."

I'm sure this is the same as Androgynus' "eagle's eye view" concept.
It's also very much like the movie "Mr. Nobody" which he shared recently.
When we have these choices, make them all. It's making one choice over another
that causes judgement or mercy. When both choices are made simultaneously,
they are reconciled.
This may not seem practical, but it truly is. I experienced it just today while watching a
baseball game. This may sound slight, but it made a great impression on me. The game comes
down to the 9th inning and the Mariners are losing 3-0. They load the bases. They end up getting two
of the runners in to score with two outs (one out left). Baseball drama at its finest. So the Mariners
have a knack for blowing it - will they come back and win at the last second, or will they dissapoint?
I enjoy the game as a true spectator. If i get involved/invested, it's part of the fun, the game, identifying
with the home team, etc... I don't believe in it.
So I'm watching and anticipating and enjoying the suspense and all of a sudden I saw through it. Something
in my mind said, "two things can happen (I know there's more than two possibilities - just go along please)
they win or they lose." And it was that simple. All the suspense was gone. I absolutely knew without a
question that they would win or lose. I saw both simultaneously.
I know that may sound stupidly simple, but that is all there is to reconciliation - see both/all sides as equally true -
remove the suspense/drama/judgement/choice by "rising above" and including both/all.

In the case of the drunk, see the life path where s/he never became an alcoholic. When you see them as weak, see
simultaneously the choice to be strong. See them at that crossroad and look down each path to its destiny. You knew
that they would be weak or strong. You already knew/know it. What's there to be upset about? Where's the disappointment?
:)

Oh - the Mariners lost. And I didn't feel the least disappointed. Not that I expected them to lose - I just couldn't feel anything.
Like two waves cancelling eachother.

Try this on anything. With drunks, you can apply it to yourself as well as them - Two things are going to happen. You're going
to judge them or you're not. See both choices simultaneously.
For anxiety - you're going to die, or you're going to live through the day. See them both.
Etc, etc.

zoas23
07-14-2012, 10:54 PM
So, if we feel 'judgmental' but wish to have more 'compassion' for, let's say, heroin addicts, should we occasionally inject ourselves with a nice treat of smack just to 'correct' our attitudes?

LOL... you are taking the situation to an extreme, but... I happen to believe that it is important to try different drugs at least once. It is by far more healthier than not doing it.



I don't think Dev should drink a bit of alcohol to improve the issue he has raised. He doesn't like alcohol (as per his own statement), and there is absolutely no reason for him to drink it in order to cultivate compassion for drunks.

My advice had a lot to do with the situation that I really relate Dev's situation with my situation... we are very very similar.... both about our dislike for alcohol and our way of looking down at drunk people... so the advice was for the two of us. I still think it is a good advice (also for me... and, trust me, following my advice for me is as hard as it is for Dev).



'Compassion' in itself can be a problematic word, at least to me. It sounds (to me) like a conceptual cousin of 'tolerance', which is another word I don't like. It seems to imply some sort of 'superiority'.

That's why I brought the platonic virtues and replaced it with "Justice" in the very old sense of the word.

solomon levi
07-15-2012, 01:11 AM
That's why I brought the platonic virtues and replaced it with "Justice" in the very old sense of the word.

Yeah, I like "equilibrium".
And symbolically, it's effective to focus on the hexagram - fire-water-union, and the cube, perfect number 6.
Or yin-yang/Tai ji symbol.

Hmm - I just noticed the relation between compassion and compass.
En-compass-ing could be the name of the exercise I described above.
Encompass both/all paths.

solomon levi
07-15-2012, 01:27 AM
A little humor:

https://encrypted-tbn2.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSdKC6rAVyoDtNSXJc8Ahd9-qp1xhFW99f8dAbNzHG2E339zCmOLg

Bel Matina
07-15-2012, 08:21 AM
I suppose I'll just dive right into the mechanical perspective, since it's what's natural for me. It will be helpful, or it won't.

As several people have touched on, judgement is fundamentally an external attribution. For our purposes, it's essentially a form of natural projection. This is true regardless of whether you restrict it to the negative sense.

In its negative sense, the negativity is specifically in that the object of judgment is being identified as not participating in the ego's extended construct - the tinny outward face of the black sun.

This ultimately means that a part of the matter is being excluded from the stone. In the long term, this is not necessarily unhelpful - I've advised a friend on at least one occasion that it's often better to set aside particularly problematic fragments if they will spoil the work. Evola devotes the better part of a chapter in The Hermetic Tradition to dosages. Compare it to other terms he brings up so late in the book, and it seems to loom large.

Compassion is exactly what it advertises etymologically - a state of similar/resonant experience. We create these resonant experiences by building a model in miniature, but if something's in the way of you seeing a certain experience from the inside, you might not be able to do it. There are a lot of various instantiations and different strategies for dealing with them, but it more or less comes down to a conflict between what's happening and what you believe.

Poison for poison may or may not be a good idea, depending on things you haven't said. I do have to say even if you have alcoholic tendencies (you haven't mentioned any, but you've mentioned a family history) I don't get the sense that you'd be resistant to treatment, and so likely you would at worst risk a bender.

If you're talking about family trauma, there might be better ways to work through it, though.

Lunsola
03-23-2013, 11:29 AM
It's not like judging doesn't benefit us a little bit. After all as alchemists we feel the need to understand things as best we can. But judging to the point of contempt probably hurts the person doing it if they wish to better themselves. That being said I won't judge you dev because I don't know what your experiences with alcohol are really like. I also won't judge the people in your story because I don't know how their life went. It's pretty much how I view things in my life as well. I try to never judge because there's a world view from their viewpoint/history and we don't know what that is. Of course there are some people who appear to have it all and still be complete jerks but of course I don't know what happens to them when I'm not around. I can not know so I try my best not to assume.

I must also mention that in my opinion most people are not born into this world as blank sheets of paper. I believe we are all born with an inherent nature. If true this means we will all react different to different things. So some of us may be built tougher than others. After all some people kill themselves over trivial things to which I do not understand why. I'm not saying that would be the reason but once again I do not know their life. One day I heard a news story of a man killing two people because they de-friended his daughter on facebook. That obviously sounds a bit much but his actions/her feelings were probably also connected to a lot of other stuff. On the flip side I don't know why someone would de-friend someone. Of course I don't use any social sites so that probably explains why I don't get any of it.

One thing that does really bother me would be how people belittle others problems with the use of a worse example. There will always be a worse example and we all suffer something at some point. This especially hurts when someone has a serious problem and gets told the same thing a lot. As a child it can be maddening and as a child one knows not how to cope so well. Just because someone in Africa is suffering worse than a first world country does not make the lesser suffering completely insignificant. In other words person 1 is still suffering the same amount even if person 2 suffers 3x more. Telling someone another has it worse does not relieve pain unless it's of a trivial nature which is something different altogether and not really suffering.

The thing is that it's easy to belittle someone's suffering if the person doing so doesn't understand it or even try to understand it. A hug instead of judgement can sometimes mean the world although I hear some people dislike hugs.

Another thing would be that in all first world countries there exists a great hell of suffering most will never know of. Granted the majority of us in first world countries are born with at least plenty enough to survive and be healthy. Of course starving and disease are very bad things but there are also other very bad things. One very important point to mention here would be there are currently more slaves in the world now than ever. I would mention the movie Taken as a good example. It's really hard to imagine going through that or worse. I'm just saying that a lot of things go on that most of us do not know about. Evil by it's very nature thrives in the shadows where it can take root and there exists more of it unknown than known.

Another thing to consider would be what one is used to. Someone born with a silver spoon who loses all their money and is dying from cancer will be much more aware of what they had and what they have now. Someone whose life has been horrible all along will be used to it. I'm not saying that's good or okay but just a perspective.

It's easy to judge, hate, feel contempt, and dismiss people. It's much harder to accept, love, feel compassion, and tolerate people. We can all have negative, neutral, or positive impacts on people around us without even realizing it. Sometimes little things mean a lot more to people than you might think. I try to be as positive as I can when I can and neutral when I can't. I just try to avoid being or thinking negative. I do this because I realize the meaning of the golden rule and like part of the categorical imperative. I'm not so strict that it must be a universal law but the point would be "What if everyone took this action?"

Unconditional compassion really sounds like an awesome idea but most find it impossible to truly practice because of the unfortunate implications that reality brings. Basically for the vast majority of people it just won't be possible. I'm not saying it's impossible. What I'm saying is that most people who attempt to practice it will make hypocrites out of themselves even if they don't want to.

So in conclusion I would say it's best to try to understand others as much as possible and remember that there exists an invisible world they live in that gets seen not so easily.

solomon levi
03-23-2013, 04:28 PM
failing at unconditional compassion... would be so beautiful... the thought of them being hypocrites wouldn't cross my mind. the word, to me, only seems appropriate when someone talks big and fails big in practice... by 'talks big' i don't mean big ideas but preaching and projecting and assuming they have "the truth".
anyway, i don't advocate 'trying'/effort... unconditional compassion is effortless when one sees. everyone 'tries' to 'do good', and that's... what it is, but it's putting the cart before the horse... idolatry in a sense... and trying is another word for not doing/failing. trying is the result of not seeing/being... it's trying to be as we think, but thinking is hypocrisy by its nature. :) we always think with past knowledge but exist only presently. thus i say morality is great for society, but terrible for spirituality... when morality is trying to be as you should be (thinking, comparison, judgement... duality) instead of as you are. when we are present as we are... continued vv

solomon levi
03-23-2013, 04:32 PM
when we are present as we are, there can be no separate voice, judge, comparer, thinking, critic, idealist... some call this place/state 'heaven'.

Lunsola
03-23-2013, 09:11 PM
I'm just saying it might be more effective to advocate a more realistic solution. Being hypocritical about something makes someone appear less concrete in their beliefs. I'm not saying that's the correct way to view it, I'm saying that's how most people will view it. Most people don't have respect for a preacher who doesn't even practice what he preaches.

It's a lot easier to just be positive or neutral on issues and stick to it. I'm thinking baby steps and the world would be a lot better if many people simply adopted a no negativity policy. Of course that's pretty unrealistic too but we can dream.

solomon levi
03-24-2013, 09:04 PM
i understand. we just have different views on what realistic is. for me, thinking isn't being realistic even though people in this reality think. what the world should be isn't realistic. what the world is is realistic. the now is realistic for me. thinking uses the past/knowledge/known and projects it as a future, avoiding the present, the actual/real. when people are ready to be present without escaping into thought/fantasy, we will find genius. genius isn't great thinking. it is great vision/intuition put into practice, sometimes described through thinking. these are my experience anyway.

Lunsola
03-24-2013, 09:38 PM
I definitely agree with your view on genius. I was never great at thinking to begin with. When I started trying to view things without thoughts many years ago while practicing gnosis my quality of thoughts increased afterwards. Some of my best moments of realization didn't come through thinking. Maybe a higher level of compassion is possible through a breakdown of incorrect beliefs. After all I've heard a great deal about golden ages so it's best to keep an open mind. I certainly don't want to put any negative thinking that it will be the way it currently is forever.

solomon levi
03-24-2013, 10:44 PM
When I started trying to view things without thoughts many years ago while practicing gnosis my quality of thoughts increased afterwards. Some of my best moments of realization didn't come through thinking. Maybe a higher level of compassion is possible through a breakdown of incorrect beliefs.

This is very much my experience as well. :)
Sometimes I see "heaven on earth" as the ability to put the wordless into words or some expression,
as poets, artist, architects... to perceive, and sometimes describe, the ordinary in extraordinary ways.
Thinking has a purpose - to ordinary-ize, to make sensible, practical, linear, dual, comparitive... this is just one way of comprehension.
Unfortunately, it has become idolised... the ignore-ance of the divine feminine, its consort and compliment.

So i don't mean to exclude thinking or duality, but to bring it back into balance.
In balancing, I emphasize the non-dual and not thinking, and this emphasizing makes me appear imbalanced
since i see no reason to talk about how to think and dualise everything... we've got that down pretty well.

Anyway, to tie this in to compassion and judgement, the right and left of the tree of life kabbalah diagram...
well, that's pretty much what I'm saying... these are reconciled in the middle pillar, as nitre and salt, male and female,
are reconciled in alchemy. Compassion seems unitary to me and judgement seems dualistic. Neither of these are
complete by themselves. The whole is a dualistic unity... a paradox for thinking, but clear to those with vision/gnosis.
Compassion is beyond reason (without motive), and judgement is only possible when we imagine "us" and "them".
When we try to talk about balancing these two is when it gets difficult, but existence is the proof of this balance.
Everything exists between two opposing forces - centrifugal and centripetal, implosive and explosive, "I" and "not I"...

thrival
03-25-2013, 05:56 PM
I think there may be a problem with this notion of Compassion if it's taken to mean a mere feeling, because feelings change; I may feel compassionate today, but tomorrow, not so much. Heaven's definition for compassion is way bigger than anything humans can imagine or express, and the Virtues have origins outside of us, we are merely channels or pass-through devices for them. The mob loved Jesus, right up until they stopped loving him and screamed for his crucifixion. (People are fickle that way.)

The other thing is that people have prejudices based upon their limited experiences. Earlier in this thread some of you expressed a skew against people who drink alcohol to the point of inebriation. Well I know some people who drink, for different reasons. One drinks as a physical pain-killer and euphorant. Another drinks to anesthetize his brain from the emotional pain of being unable to connect with a callous and shrewish mother. There are some people who were told they just weren't good enough, their entire lives, by people who were supposed to be their care-givers, or otherwise tortured or abused. Such persons have a warped view of life, or maybe they have the exact view they're supposed to have, given their karma. Anyway, they lack knowledge & coping skills. They have emotional injuries, and injured people need crutches. I was one of those persons, once-upon-a-time. (What is it about US culture that causes young people to look forward to their 18th birthday, when they can start legally killing brain cells? ...if they haven't started before then... and if that's not the sub-culture you came from, consider yourself lucky.)

Someone said that "Everyone is a victim of their own childhoods" and this is literally true, because during those formative years, our experiences, and choices made based upon them, determine how we approach life in adulthood. A daytime TV sitcom opened with a song with the line: "It's a different world than where you came from" ...simply refers to unconscious prejudices acquired early on.

But not all views a person holds are based on mere prejudice, even though it might appear that way to some who haven't qualitatively experienced the same things yet. Learning happens. Some views held are acquired consciously, in full alertness, based upon personal experience, or observing the results of other people's experiments, history, logic, study, reflection, common sense, or a synthesis of all of these. The mob will always judge a person who doesn't share the consensus view, that's just the nature of unbridled, undisciplined and uninformed lower selves, or people acting from their base animal spirits (feelings), en-masse; because animals will attack when they feel threatened, even if the "threat" is a false perception, or only prior expectations no longer being met. That is the meaning of "taking the bull by the horns," i.e. taming one's own animal spirit/lower nature, to serve the man, rather than allow it to carry him off to destruction through a series of bad choices. And it's as personal as other bodily functions, that no person can perform for another.

glenerson
03-26-2013, 02:00 PM
what you have, OP is selective compassion. I won't say that it is not good but to each on his own.

I don't have this "selective compassion" but sometimes i have this irrational decision of not giving people alms once in a while. not that i had a bad experience on them or i don't pity the poor or something. just a spark of the moment. i don't know the reason but i assure you that it is not deliberate or preplanned on my part. but i try to correct it by conditioning myself to give alms whenever i see someone asking for it. i try.

thrival
03-26-2013, 05:06 PM
I have a couple homeless friends (I call them bicycle men.) Their histories are a combination of real misfortunes & witless or forced choices. First psychological characteristic I noticed about them beyond gratitude for receiving a favor, was something akin to a pirate wanting to board your vessel. It's veiled of course. They have both scruples and lack of same, incrementally pushing the envelope. It's understandable, given how they've fallen through socio-economic cracks. There's no end of such people if you look, and you could literally give everything you have away to them; their lives would temporarily improve and yours would be commensurately drained, unless you have infinite resources behind you. I even had to tell one of my buddies that I wasn't his personal spigot to the universe, so he applied for food-stamps. A lot of conservatives feel its the churches and not government's job to provide charity but I also know the former don't have deep enough pockets to help the sheer volume of disposessed victims of globalism/financialism, here in America. On the other hand if you live in any particular inner-city hell, your compassion had better be even more selective or you'll find yourself with nothing & left for dead before you know what hit you. A very kind older woman in our town, who liked to give US coin to homeless people, was found dead in an urban woodlot; she somehow managed to get worm-eye pictures of her attacker on her cell-phone, an elderly racial minority who you wouldn't think strong enough to raise his cane. Of course they found jars full of her quarters in his apartment.