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Awani
11-25-2016, 05:18 PM
For me real compassion is to help someone and get nothing in return. To do it without reward. Ironically this usually manifests in positive energy/events happening, so in the end you do get something in return. Looking at it like this selfishness is indirectly egoism.

Anyway that is not what I wanted to discuss.

Where do you draw the line?

There is a beggar that has been sitting outside my local supermarket for a long time. Recently it has bothered me that I have been ignoring this person, not even looking at him. Just plowing along doing by chores. So today I decided I was going to talk to him, befriend him even.

Alas we did not share any language so it was hard to have a conversation, but I gave him 10 Euros / Dollars (value equal as of writing).

Driving home I was think I could have given him 20 Euros / Dollars. It would not break me. In fact I had just spent the same amount buying lots of crap I really don't need... but that I would enjoy eating. I guess I could have given him 100 Euro / Dollars. I guess I could have invited him to stay with me for free and help him get his life together. I guess I could live at work for free and give my house up for a group of homeless people. I guess I could just give it all away to the less fortunate. I mean I know I would be alright. I am intelligent and skilled and white enough to bounce back without problem.

Why do I draw the line with 10 Euro / Dollars and not with making myself broke living on the streets?

After all if EVERYONE did this what a nice world it would be. If everyone has nothing and if everyone helps everyone there is no need for anything.

This has been weighing on me for some time now.

What do you guys/gals say? Where do you draw the line? And is it selfish to be cheap to not give more when you could, and just give a little? Is that not just compassion-Light and frowned upon by the intergalactic energy (or whatever)?

:cool:

Andro
11-25-2016, 05:28 PM
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man how to fish and you feed him for life."

Addendum: .... and choose your 'fishing' students with discernment... Just like you would choose your teacher(s)... or lover(s)...

Awani
11-25-2016, 05:33 PM
I know this concept (it is my day job after all) ;) and I utter the phrase almost weekly.

But I can afford to teach more than one man to fish, I could teach a 1000 men to fish... but I might have to sacrifice everything in my own life. This is what I mean. Where do you draw the line?

Also this concept is only partially true. Sometimes a man needs a fish right now. And sometimes a 1000 men needs a fish. Today. Where do you draw the line? I can afford to buy 10 fish, but maybe not a million fish... although if I bring poverty on myself I could buy a million fish.

Where do you draw the line? Can compassion be with restraint, and if it is then isn't it just pseudo-compassion?

:cool:

Awani
11-25-2016, 05:45 PM
...and choose your 'fishing' students with discernment... Just like you would choose your teacher(s)... or lover(s)...

I don't think this concerns compassion for strangers. If I choose who to be compassionate to then I am a judgemental asshole. This only applies to student/mentor/teacher situations.

:cool:

Andro
11-25-2016, 05:49 PM
Many times it only takes one hit to get hooked. And then, the tolerance threshold rises and withdrawal is a bitch.

The 'line' does not exist until you cross it.

There are ways to 'embody' the savior/redeemer Archetype, none of which have been mentioned here so far IMSO.

In the video below, I think it's worth paying attention to the Judas/Jesus 'artistic differences' :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkje4FiH9Qc

Awani
11-25-2016, 05:58 PM
There are ways to 'embody' the savior/redeemer Archetype, none of which have been mentioned here so far IMSO.

Compassion for strangers could be viewed as saviour Archetype... or just IMO common decency. I support the latter.

Didn't mention it in my initial post but I have been experimenting with compassion for strangers a lot in the past few months (not all have been monetary). Everything from helping handicapped people, listening to a woman who waited for the train to see her husband in the hospital (and she was really down), giving food or money to people on the streets or simple things like a smile at the right moment etc. etc.

Anyone who has read many of my posts here know I am a proponent of "you create your own reality". Acting out compassion (big or small) does manifest itself in my reality... if nothing more than creating the feeling that something good was accomplished... and such feelings empower the self to be more at peace etc. Getting off track now.


The 'line' does not exist until you cross it.

It is not that I would know when I have crossed it, because I already currently feel that "there is no line". That the true answer is to "go all the way". I just decided to leave this out so not to influence any replies to this thread. In other words make sure a stranger is fed rather than myself. See someone that has not eaten get a meal whilst I am starving... that is where I suspect the "true" end game lies. Any point where you stop before you go that far is pseudo-compassion.

Or is it?

:cool:

Andro
11-25-2016, 06:05 PM
the true answer is to "go all the way". I just decided to leave this out so not to influence any replies to this thread. In other words make sure a stranger is fed rather than myself. See someone that has not eaten get a meal whilst I am starving... that is where I suspect the "true" end game lies. Any point where you stop before you go that far is pseudo-compassion. Or is it?

If you're starving, you can't feed anyone. And you'll starve long before everyone else is fed.

On flights, they always tell you to FIRST put on YOUR oxygen mask BEFORE helping others putting on theirs.

If you can't breath yourself, you are of no practical worth helping others to do the same.

Awani
11-25-2016, 06:12 PM
If you're starving, you can't feed anyone. And you'll starve long before everyone else is fed.


I am intelligent and skilled and white enough to bounce back without problem.

That won't happen. But I could still live materialistically and monetarily much "less" and still help strangers. Currently I live in a house and I have at least two "rooms" (if you count the garage) that could be used by homeless people. The fact that I don't give it to them makes me a bit of a selfish asshole. Or does it?

I don't want to be the centre object of this question. I just use myself to explain my thinking. Same goes for everyone in this forum. I am sure you could still be fine and aid others, but you don't(maybe you do - just saying).

If you don't care about walking a path of compassion it doesn't matter. But if you do then where do you say "enough". Or is it like I suspect never enough, because if you say enough you are only playing compassionate instead of being compassionate.

:cool:

Andro
11-25-2016, 06:30 PM
But if you do then where do you say "enough". Or is it like I suspect never enough, because if you say enough you are only playing compassionate instead of being compassionate.
That won't happen. But I could still live materialistically and monetarily much "less" and still help strangers.

Not if you go 'all the way', not if you never say 'enough'. Like I said before, you find the line when you cross it :)


I am sure you could still be fine and aid others, but you don't (maybe you do - just saying).

I am actually aiding many others (for free) with my own particular skill-set, I just don't really mention it (except now, for this topic).


If you don't care about walking a path of compassion it doesn't matter.

My 'Path' - I fail miserably every time I attempt to convey it in words. However, my conduct loosely resembles this:

Ecclesiastes 3 New International Version (NIV) A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaL75qLJyUc

Awani
11-25-2016, 07:05 PM
I am sure you could still be fine and aid others, but you don't (maybe you do - just saying).


If you don't care about walking a path of compassion it doesn't matter.

I have a bad habit of writing YOU when I mean "you" as in "humanity"... so everything I wrote wasn't you-Andro, rather you-people.


Ecclesiastes 3 New International Version (NIV) A Time for Everything

There is no time.

:cool:

zoas23
11-25-2016, 07:07 PM
There is a beggar that has been sitting outside my local supermarket for a long time. Recently it has bothered me that I have been ignoring this person, not even looking at him. Just plowing along doing by chores. So today I decided I was going to talk to him, befriend him even.

Same situation for me... there are 3 beggars a around the corner of where I live. I brought them food, I cooked food.... and then I made some investigations.
The 3 of them are eligible for a government plan to pay a rent for homeless people (they won't give them a mansion, but they will pay their rent and give them an apartment).
I spent HOURS with them going to offices... but during the process a "paranoia" feeling was triggered inside their head with unreal fantasies about WWII.
(They decided that I am Russian and that the Nazis were going to imprison them... so they speak to me about my sufferings as a Russian man and encourage me to defeat the Germans).

I had to deal with that mostly trying to bring them to a more realistic situation... but finally they REFUSED to go on with the bureaucracy to get an apartment.
It is quite a frustration, because I spent HOURS with them visiting offices... but they willingly boycotted everything.

Even with $1,000, you are improving their situation for a short time... the KEY is to improve things for the long term, but it's not always possible (and in my case the situation has not been material limitations or lack of options, but their refusal to be helped and that they are a bit out of their minds -i.e, their fantasy that I'm a Russian Communist helping them against the Nazis).


-----------------------------------

Awani
11-25-2016, 07:20 PM
Every situation and possible act of compassion is different and it can't really be one answer for them all. Also I don't think we need to keep confusing compassion with long term help. Those two are different things (sometimes not). Sometimes a friendly smile can save someones life.

You avoided my question? ;)

Let me rephrase it in very basic terms, because this is getting sidetracked.

Simplified example:
1. I want to help someone with 10 bucks.
2. I could help them with more and I don't.
3. Am I a cheap cunt? Or is the act of 10 bucks enough?
4. Is it real compassion in this particular situation or is it pseudo-compassion because I could have given 20 bucks?

:cool:

Andro
11-25-2016, 07:26 PM
I'm not saying this the case EVERYWHERE, but when I spent some time in Canada (around 2003) I noticed there were many homeless people on the streets of Toronto, often asking for money but in a 'polite' way, usually offering something in return, like directions, or where the nearest shop/cafe is, carry my bag, etc... I always cooperated...

Later, after making friends with some locals, I found out that for most of them this is a preferred 'lifestyle', because Canada has (or at least had in 2003) extensive housing and welfare programs. In short, one doesn't HAVE to be homeless or beg for money or food in Canada, as the state has/had it already very well covered.

Although it was difficult for me to understand why someone would prefer to be on the street (especially on those -20C winter days), but I can also relate to the possibility that not everyone is willing to live with the conditions of government housing and welfare.

What also surprised me was that most homeless people I saw on the street were relatively 'young' and (at least on the surface) appeared rather fit to do some kind of work. Perhaps the concept of 'work' clashes with some of them psychologically or ideologically.

I once saw a video about a woman who 'lived and traveled the world without money'. That statement was misleading, because she DID use money - just other people's money... Basically telling her story and asking for cash... But I guess this can also be labeled as 'work' :)

Andro
11-25-2016, 07:46 PM
Let me rephrase it in very basic terms, because this is getting sidetracked.

Simplified example:
1. I want to help someone with 10 bucks.
2. I could help them with more and I don't.
3. Am I a cheap cunt? Or is the act of 10 bucks enough?
4. Is it real compassion in this particular situation or is it pseudo-compassion because I could have given 20 bucks?

Let me reply in basic terms :)

1. You want to help someone with 10 bucks. This is the 'line' you have created and the budget you have allocated.

2. You could help with more, but that's not what you have set out to do initially (see No. 1)

3. If you wanted to give 20 and only gave 10, you are a 'cheap cunt'. If you wanted to give 10 and gave 10, you aren't :)

4. It is compassion if you WANT to give 10 and actually give 10. It's pseudo-compassion if you WANT to give 20 but only give 10.
________________________

Simple enough, I suppose :)

And an example of my own:

Some years ago, I offered free (and continued/prolonged) shamanic support to someone who was in a very bad mental/spiritual/emotional shape and also quite broke (I won't go into details of the case because it would start a 'conspiracy' debate :))

At some point I felt that this person was taking me for granted, (skipping sessions, etc...) and I also started to get the impression that he wasn't as broke as I thought he was - but I had no actual proof for this. Nevertheless, I found myself 'cutting corners' in the support I provided to this person, in a way giving him 'less' (less value/attention/priority) than I would normally give to a paying client.

I felt really shitty about that. I was the 'cheap cunt' in this scenario. I had set a goal and I failed to properly deliver the goal that I myself had set.

Awani
11-25-2016, 07:48 PM
Ok that makes sense. :) I never had an amount in mind. I just took out 10 from the ATM next to the guy not really thinking. The aim was to give something. So guess that is not pseudo-compassion then.

Jesus never said it was this fucking complicated.

:cool:

Andro
11-25-2016, 08:30 PM
Jesus never said it was this fucking complicated.

Have you watched the video I posted earlier (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?4992-Degrees-of-Compassion&p=45969#post45969), with the Jesus/Judas 'ideological differences' regarding 'the poor'?

Andro
11-25-2016, 08:37 PM
A summary of this issue at this point (for me) would be to just have a general GIVING consciousness - and focus less on quantity/amounts/where the line is... It should just come spontaneously, like you felt you have to extort the ATM for a tenner - no more, no less. It was highly likely the exact appropriate amount for those particular circumstances... In other words, perhaps it's better to simply 'play it by ear' :)

zoas23
11-25-2016, 08:50 PM
Every situation and possible act of compassion is different and it can't really be one answer for them all. Also I don't think we need to keep confusing compassion with long term help. Those two are different things (sometimes not). Sometimes a friendly smile can save someones life.

Of course, I OFTEN spend some 30 minutes talking to these 3 persons and I do my best to follow their narrative... I often buy food for them... and I wanted to give them a long term help, but it's quite impossible (they boycott such thing themselves, but they are a particular case, not an universal example).

My GF has a patient living under very similar conditions (she's a psychologist at a public hospital, this means that the patient pays $0 to be attended). A strange person because he's quite erudite (also quite crazy), but his references are Pythagoras, Plato and Iamblichus... his favorite musician is Ennio Morricone... and he knows quite well the best film directors (a big fan of the French Nouvelle Vague -Godard and his friends). She can't give him money or food because it would work against the therapy. She is her therapist, but also the ONLY person with whom this person talks. Other than that, she did all she could to help him by contacting social workers, but this man WANTS to live in the street. So it's hard to help him. She simply managed to convince him to visit some doctors at her hospital who helped him by giving him medicines against some illnesses he had (tuberculosis).

I prefer concrete examples rather than "theories". Other than that, I strongly believe that trying to provide long term solutions is the BEST thing to do... but it's not always easy.

thoth
11-25-2016, 10:08 PM
I remember someone saying you cant help everyone, so just help those who the Universe puts across your path. So when I was traveling in India I budgeted about $50 and loaded one pocket with low value notes, so when any begger crossed my path I gave them a handful of coins - worthless to me but enough for them to eat for a day or two.

There is someone I admire greatly here who I think is quite saintly. They devote their whole life to looking after the poor & homeless- mostly young homeless males, but they surprised me when I heard them on the radio recommending people not to give donations to beggars - especially young able bodied ones, as that can be quite lucrative (relatively), and so it only encourages them to remain in that dead end life. I know that might sound harsh but thought there might be some logic to it.

There is the part of giving where one expects gratitude from the recipient, and I wonder am I giving to make me feel good, or because its the correct thing to do........

zoas23
11-26-2016, 12:48 AM
There is someone I admire greatly here who I think is quite saintly. They devote their whole life to looking after the poor & homeless- mostly young homeless males, but they surprised me when I heard them on the radio recommending people not to give donations to beggars - especially young able bodied ones, as that can be quite lucrative (relatively), and so it only encourages them to remain in that dead end life. I know that might sound harsh but thought there might be some logic to it.

Most homeless people, this is a generalization, have some mental issues and are quite isolated. Alcoholism is not uncommon.
The 3 beggars who live a few meters away from the supermarket with whom I am in touch with are alcoholics... and somehow convinced that I'm a Russian Soviet helping them and that they may have troubles with the German Nazis (a hallucination). I have to deal with that "reality" as to talk to them. i.e, they often express their gratitude to me by saying that as a Russian soldier I am helping them a lot and that we'll win the war against the Nazis... and ask me how the war is going. So I have to invent good news about the war and accept me role of the "Russian soldier".

Giving $$$ is not as good as giving dignity... which is what they have lost. It's also GOOD to help them to know which ones are their rights (I do remember a day in which I found out that the government had a program to distribute blankets... so I phoned and I asked for 3 blankets... the 4 of us waited for 3 hours and the car with the blankets never showed up... so I ended up phoning some 10 times and waiting with them).

On a different day one of them told me that it was his birthday, that I had to congratulate him, which I did. I went to the bakery on the other corner and I returned with a chocolate cake, a candle, coca-cola and some vegetarian sandwiches (I know... Coca-Cola... it doesn't sound good, but I didn't want to buy alcoholic drinks for persons who have problems with alcohol)... and we celebrated a birthday party, sitting there in the street. The one who was celebrating his birthday told me that he didn't have a birthday with a cake since he was a kid... These things are important, it is stupid and important at the same time: giving someone the chance of celebrating his birthday in a similar way than non-homeless persons do.

There was a different situation with another person, he was lying on the floor and people passing by. I was with my girlfriend and we asked him what happened. The people passing by told us that he was drunk and that we should better walk away and simply leave him there. he explained to us that he got his by a car (he was also drunk), and that he thought that he had a broken bone in his hips and a broken bone in his legs. The marks of the tires of the car were visible on his trousers. We phoned an ambulance and kept him awake (we knew that he didn't have to fall asleep)... and spent some 60 minutes talking to him about life. We asked him his name, he asked us our names, he had a daughter with the same name of my girlfriend so we talked about the names of the two of them... He decided that his daughter sent us because my girlfriend and his daughter had the same name. We agreed with the idea as to please him.
A police car stopped and asked us what was going on... we explained the situation and the police said that he was probably drunk and that we should better leave. We told the police that we were not going to leave. The police talked to him in a very rude way, we stopped them. One of the police officers pushed him with his feet as to see if he could move... we told him that he may have his spine broken and that he could be causing a permanent injury by such thing and told him that if he did it again, we were going to denounce such thing. The police who did it freaked out and began to shout at us, we began to threaten to police (though without giving them ANY excuse that could lead them to arrest us)... and finally they told us that the ambulance was NOT going to take him to the hospital unless he requested it (of course, the ambulance CAN'T take someone to the hospital without a request if the person is conscious because that's a crime similar to kidnapping someone).... so they tried to persuade him that he didn't need an ambulance or going to the hospital. We fought with the police (verbally) and told him that he needed an ambulance (he got confused about such thing). The police kept on causing troubles and told us that he was probably a thief and we should better leave him there... we refused again. Finally the ambulance showed up and the police went directly to speak to the medics and say that he was drunk and that they could leave... my girlfriend and I walked towards the doctors and told him that he was drunk AND hit by a car and that he had an extreme pain in his hip and his leg, and probably broken bones. The medics decided to ignore the police and my girlfriend and I helped them to get this man into the ambulance and he was taken to a hospital (the public hospitals are free here, they don't cost money)... the police kept on asking him if he wanted to go to a hospital, trying to convince him not to do it (they somehow wanted him to die). We are not saint... we would have been true murderers if we had not done such thing... BUT the morale of the story is that homeless persons are "second class citizens", treated as "Untermensch" (as to use a horrible expression), "untouchables"...

It was quite similar to this situation (the atmosphere, not the situation itself, since that man is neither drunk nor injured):


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUNx27CV3SU

My point is that there are several ways to help... and some of them do not even involve money... the myth that a homeless person is homeless because he's "lazy" is bullshit to me... and remember that what you have to give is DIGNITY and sometimes protection. In many places the police has the idea that homeless people are not people.

The thread needs a song!!!

"Ganglord, the police are
Grinding me into the ground.
The headless pack are back
Small boy jokes and loaded guns

And I'm turning to you
To save me,
And I'm turning to you
To save me! Save me!

They say to protect and to serve
But what they really mean to say is
"Get back to the ghetto! The ghetto, the ghetto
Get yourself back to the ghetto!
The ghetto! The ghetto!"


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NORancuUcJQ

$10, $100 or $1,000 is not the answer (in my opinion).

Awani
11-26-2016, 01:47 PM
There is the part of giving where one expects gratitude from the recipient, and I wonder am I giving to make me feel good, or because its the correct thing to do........

Compassion with demands (like wanting gratitude) is pseudo-compassion.

If it feels good that is fine, but not if that is the reason to do it. Then it is pseudo again. IMO.


$10, $100 or $1,000 is not the answer (in my opinion).

Neither was it the question. The question was is it real compassion if you could give 10 but give only 1? It doesn't matter if money helps or not. It is not about who you are helping or how you are helping, but about fake or real compassion and where the line is drawn.

:cool:

zoas23
11-27-2016, 04:57 AM
Neither was it the question. The question was is it real compassion if you could give 10 but give only 1? It doesn't matter if money helps or not. It is not about who you are helping or how you are helping, but about fake or real compassion and where the line is drawn.

O.K... I FINALLY get it!!!!
We are different, Dev... you are thinking in Ethics (as to give it a name) and I am thinking in the practice (as to give it a name).

You want an ethical answer... the GREATEST value you have is not money, but TIME. Giving cash is VERY easy, such thing doesn't mean that it's worthless, but it's easy.
They say that "time is money"... but TIME has more value than money.

I know the story of a local lodge,the members of the lodge were moderately wealthy, the story is more than 100 years old. The lodge Master wanted to build a house for orphan kids. He communicated his intentions to the members of the Lodge and everyone said "Oh, fantastic, I can give you X amount of money"... He laughed and said: "I found sponsors, I already have the money to build it, we need builders"... so everyone said: "Oh, I can give X amount of money as to pay the salary of the builders".... he laughed again and said: "No, I don't need money... I am looking for builders... who wants to build the house with me as a volunteer?". Most members of the lodge gave excuses and said that they didn't have the time, that they were not real builders and so on...

But some of them understood the concept and went to build the house... until they completed it. ALL of them had money as to pay the salary of some builders, but that wasn't the point.

The morale of the story is too easy to get, so I won't even explain it... but that's my view of what is REALLY "ethical" and REALLY compassionate: giving your time (no need to build a house, there are several ways to offer your time).