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Thread: Compassion and Judgement

  1. #1
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    Compassion and Judgement

    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 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.

    Last edited by dev; 07-10-2012 at 01:02 AM.

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    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

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    Good point.


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    Quote Originally Posted by dev View Post
    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.

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    Thanks for the tip but I have already had those experiences. I have been drunk. Just grew out of it.


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    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.

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    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.


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    Quote Originally Posted by dev View Post
    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.

    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'.

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    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.


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    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).
    http://serpentrioarquila.blogspot.com/

    "To conjure is nothing else than to observe anything rightly, to know and understand what it is." - Paracelsus

    "Why, then, don't you act when you see the danger of your conditioning? The answer is you don't see... seeing is acting." J. Krishnamurti

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