Empathy

December 18, 2010

When surveying the Internet and reviewing comments from people on blogs, I am struck by how most people seem to lack empathy and trust for their fellow human beings. Many have lost faith in humanity in general. Many distrust politicians, the elite, their neighbors, even themselves.

Empathy and trust is a necessary component, however, of civilization and human relationships. A foundation of trust means that you feel that the person you trust empathizes with you and does not want you to suffer.

Empathy is therefore the basis for all relationships  that work and are sustainable.  For this reason I urge that when you feel anger and hostility toward someone, try also to empathize with their situation and feel compassion for them. In doing so you will usually find that they are trying to do the correct thing, although what they are doing may, from your perspective, appear unjust or irrational.

That said, history is strewn with mis-guided politicians and leaders who felt they were doing the right thing.  Usually they are  misguided because, in my opinion, they lose empathy with the suffering their actions may cause and look to a ‘higher good’ or ‘greater good’ they feel justifies their actions. In losing their compassion, they confuse the means with the ends.  The means – usually the ‘system’  or the ‘economy’ or the ‘market’ – take precedent over the ends – the people.  They forget that these ‘systems’ and ‘money’ are only constructions of the mind, abstractions we have created to allow people to function, not the other way around. Centralized power often finds its greatest weakness in its lack of compassion toward the people while trying to protect institutions that should be, ideally, working for people, not against them.

Because centralization of power can cause a lack of empathy for people, local government is often best in that its decision-making is closest to the people impacted by those decisions. However, according to some political theorists, there are certain functions of society that are best performed at higher levels of government, and perhaps if we extrapolate this to a multidimensional frame – with reference to and advice from higher dimensions – there are also decisions best made by higher dimensional beings and  Councils. Much of societal wisdom within a multi-dimensional frame may lie in deciphering where decision-making is best made.

As we enter into our next phase of Earth Civilization, we will come to understand that ‘local government’ is relative to our evolution as a society, and that in fact ‘local’ is the planet. In the future, given our communications technology and interdependence, local government and world government could mean the same thing.

At the end of the day, however, we are all sovereign beings and must have the liberty to choose for ourselves within the law.  And if the laws are unjust, we should be able to change them.

But as you look to change the world, it may be best to start with yourself. I strongly suggest that if you want others to empathize with you, then empathize with them as well. Try to find common ground. Try to understand that most of the Elites who are apparently motivated by dark motives in fact believe in the correctness of those motives, and many in fact believe they are doing good.

Does this make it good?  A sophisticated perceiver might try to look beyond a good/evil frame to a conciliatory stance that understands the unity of apparent opposites. When one understands this unity, the rage one feels at the ‘other’ can diminish as you see that other is in reality just a reflection of your own mind.

Does that mean we shouldn’t seek justice?  No, it means we seek it with vigor. But if we seek justice based on empathy and compassion, not on hatred, we create as much benefit for the wrongdoer as we do for ourselves. If we seek justice out of hatred, we eventually become like the very enemy we want to defeat.

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