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Thread: Degrees of Compassion

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  1. #1
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    Degrees of Compassion

    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)?

    Last edited by Awani; 11-25-2016 at 06:13 PM.
    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

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    "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)...

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    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?

    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

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    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'


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    Quote Originally Posted by Andro View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andro View Post
    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?

    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dev View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andro View Post
    ...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.

    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dev View Post
    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).


    -----------------------------------
    Last edited by Andro; 11-25-2016 at 07:09 PM. Reason: Quote Fix.

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    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?

    Last edited by Awani; 11-25-2016 at 07:26 PM.
    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dev View Post
    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.

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