Saturday, May 30, 2009

More On Compassion

Part 1:

Is thought really intended to insulate us from our feelings. Horace Walpole seemed to indicate that in this quote, "Life is a comedy for those who think... and a tragedy for those who feel." And yet perhaps even in his day people had forgotten how to interact with their own feelings.

As you all know, who have read these blogs, a great deal of what I'm trying to do here is teach how to interact with your own feelings and the feelings of others because that has everything to do with these times.

I recently got a question, which you may have seen on this blog, from Anonymous L* who at times is overwhelmed by feelings and compassion for all life and is wondering - is there something wrong with them. Or perhaps I might state, is there something that could be corrected in others.

I cannot comment directly on the urgency from Anonymous L's personal situation but what I can say is that I feel that once we all know how to work with our feelings - what they mean, and I'm talking about physical feelings here, and how they can bring us into greater understanding of all life around us and thus help us to connect with our natural native personalities that exist beyond this Earth plane as we know it - we will live better.

I do not wish to suggest that Horace Walpole was mistaken for I feel that even in our now times a great many people believe and/or practice thought instead of attempting to understand and interpret their feelings but I am hopeful that in my small way I may be able to contribute towards a greater understanding of feelings.

Part 2:

...And especially for Anonymous L and others who feel overwhelmed by compassion:

Sometimes compassion is from the outside in - meaning one has a sense of feeling heart towards another being who is suffering but other times especially when one is overwhelmed by the suffering of others or the perceived suffering as one might feel towards a planet one may very well be extending unconsciously from one's self to the other actually taking on their suffering for themselves and if they do that, though they may not actually feel the intensity of the pain, they would feel the urgency for relief.

So - given that I'd like to suggest something. If you are feeling overwhelmed with compassion and it is actually interfering with your life - stop for a moment.

This does not mean if you're driving a car stop in the middle of the road but if you are driving, carefully move over to the side of the road and park well off the highway for example or if you are performing some task that requires your absolute attention finish the task and then stop and go sit down someplace - you understand. In short, find someplace to sit down for a moment.

If it's daytime close your eyes and look up towards the sun. If it's nighttime you can glance towards the moon. The point is to redirect your attention towards a planetary body that is not suffering. Regardless of the impacts we may see in photographs of the moon I have felt the moon at a distance and I can tell the moon is at peace. I feel the same for the sun, for the sun often reaches out to bring its light elsewhere as we know.

My feeling is this concentrated effort allows you to separate yourself from taking on the feelings of others. This planet is a very difficult place at times - we all know that. One of the things we must allow however even though it may seem hard at first or even harsh is we must allow other people to have their feelings.

Sometimes when compassion gets the better of us - meaning we are not just feeling tender or feeling heart or love for those who are suffering but we are actually reaching into them unconsciously pulling out their feelings and feeling them - we might be preventing them from using their own feelings to make changes in their lives that may serve them better.

We know that this planet is a school for human beings and we also know that there are many times and challenges that make it difficult for other beings.

I do say this however, the feeling of compassion is often a valued thing and can help and guide others when taught gently if the others are open and receptive to it but if you are feeling overwhelmed by the feelings of others perhaps it might be best to let them have their feelings.

So at that moment try to look at something that is calm. If you cannot glance towards the sun with your eyes closed to protect your eyes or if you cannot see the moon then perhaps a large rock or boulder will do. Sometimes even a hillside, someplace that is natural - a part of nature but since many live in cities and do not always have that available such as a big old tree in a park - not a young tree but a big old tree then very often glancing towards the moon or even towards the sky on a cloudy day will help you to disconnect from taking on the feelings of others.

That's what I recommend. Goodlife.

*Portions of Anonymous L's comment:

My Soul has created a condition of bi-polar mood disorder for my Being to deal with in this life...I am extremely sensitive to what I perceive as the suffering of the natural world (animals, plants, rocks, the planet, the trials and tribulations of people, and on & on.)

This creates strong feelings and a heavy emotional involvement that act as BIG distractions for me in my creation of what I need for a good life.

Can I somehow limit my emotional sensitivity? How can I over ride the 'wiring' of my soft- heartedness that may eventually be the cause of my material decline and my inability to create a livlihood and a joyous life?


Louis Hart said...

Hi Robert,

Excellent insight and wisdom here. I'll keep a copy around for future reference.


Robert Shapiro said...

Greetings Louis, thank you my friend.


Anonymous said...

Dear Grandfather,
I have been 'sitting with' your words on compassion and allowing other beings to experience their feelings.
I am grateful that you have taken an interest in my specific situation ('altho' I know it applies to countless others.)

I am having difficulty with your advice on 'allowing' when it applies to the things with which I am most empathetic: trees that are 'topped' by ignorant workers, dogs that are tied outside all day-every day, wild areas that are mowed down so vineyards can be planted--the non-human suffering of innocents who are having bad things done TO them. I understand that your advice includes the antidote to: direct our attention to the Moon-as she does not suffer--when we are feeling overwhelmed with compassion that becomes sadness & despair.

Grandfather, I know my mind is being closed in this--but neither is my heart touched to employ these methods: re-directing my attention and allowing others their feelings.

To me, it is suffering that I am allowing and feel helpless to change.
THIS is the pain of hopelessness and powerlessness that I and many people on this Earth walk feel. Not all the time--but sometimes many hours and days and weeks in a row.

I don't think you can help us, Grandfather. I think it must be way too complex and sunk deeply into our Souls and the mystery surrounding our individual reasons for being here at this time. Your guidance mitigates the pain--but I do not feel it can change the suffering I see and feel around me.

I do enjoy the "Shamanic Secrets for Material Mastery" and appreciate all the work and time Robert Shapiro has put into his wonderful series of books. They are dense with information.

Again, my thanks and deep respect for YOUR work and energy, Grandfather. It is obvious that you care for us.

Anonymous L

Robert Shapiro said...

Greetings Anonymous L, thank you for your comment and your caring.

I am hopeful you will find some benevolent way to do what you can for all beings. And remember, all beings includes you as well.