Those who are without compassion cannot see what is seen with the eyes of compassion. That more inclusive sight makes the small but crucial difference between despair and hope. Thich Nhat Hanh (Buddhist Monk)
The last post revealed the Ego-mind, in its role as protector in an individualist society, as a self-centred influence that championed The Declaration of Independence. Yet, our sustained love and happiness seems to require a determination toward Interdependence!
My spiritual teacher, in the 1970s, gave us his perspective of four sacred schools.
- The first teaching in Old Testament times of Moses, was on “Obedience.”
- The second, in New Testament times of Jesus, was on “Agreement.”
- The third, in the 20th Century of several teachers, was on “Spiritual Expression”
- The fourth, which seemed to be, in the near future, was on “Complement”
This is how I understood at the time and it has been to my advantage. The First on “Obedience” as a personal choice and self-discipline, would allow me to listen to an “inner voice” and be inclined to obey. Over time, my Agreement with others would allow an override of the Ego’s preoccupation to avoid embarrassment. Also, I learned that the inner voice was the Holy Spirit and it informed my conscience. This, is what Master Hanh meant by “the eyes of compassion.” (By the way, I differentiate between my Heart Conscience and the “socially learned conscience,” which Freud labelled the “Superego.”)
Personally, I think, many are determined to live On-Purpose, as Viktor Frankl put it “living with a sense purpose.” Gradually, although individualism has been divisive, people’s uniqueness is more utilized by groups and communities to Complement or to fill a voids, like the missing pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. Also, with the perspective that we are all brothers and sisters in the Eyes of God, I find it easy to practice forgiveness rather than judgement. It is also easier to Love others because of compassionate understanding and eagerness to practice forgiveness.
Also, I have discovered the concept of “thresholds” as part of the knowledge base of Mindfulness Meditation, and the “witness,” watching with curiosity. Bill Harris, Centerpointe Institute, in his book, THRESHOLDS OF THE MIND not only urges us to “watch with curiosity;” but understand that, when experiences that exceed our “comfort thresholds,” they will trigger emotional reactions and with this view, our sudden recognition of reactions, are allowed to “be OK,” as we utilize our training in meditation. It is well known that long term meditators are vastly more circumspect about a whole variety of triggers. Thus, they are said to have much higher thresholds than novices, and this is another way to talk about transcendence.
As we are determined to stay On-Purpose, these experiences are continuing to build neural pathways in the brain, as was discussed in earlier posts including research of Dr Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius MD. Also, the neural pathways will strengthen our resolve to Live and Love, according to Mark 12: 29-31: … “The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. And, the second is like the first, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
I admit that, by living by these, it did not make me a “well to do” person but the neural pathways have knowingly, not been devoted, to the development of ego-mind. Furthermore, this Blog-site is devoted to my Purpose, according to Mark 12:29-31. I can’t think of anything more inspiring!