Imagine a world where we teach our children a new golden rule. Rather than the rule of obedience based upon fear of consequence, we teach them the rule of empathy-sympathy-compassion-mercy from the youngest days of their lives. Imagine if we lived our life following this golden principle – because we truly wanted to! That it is such a part of us that we could not fathom living any other way. Imagine how this might change the foundations of our families, communities, and governments.
Empathy is a mental discipline. One in which we choose to intellectually understand ourselves in the place of the other, their suffering, their emotions, their actions. As an example, we can temporarily visualize ourselves starving even if we have never lived this, and therefore imagine how that might affect us.
Sympathy is an expression of empathy through words that speak our understanding of the other’s experience.
Compassion is an action resulting from empathy. It is the action of reaching out. After we have made the intellectual decision to empathize, compassion is the decision to actively assist in some physical way.
Mercy is the result of all these. It is a granting of the micro-nuances of grace. It says, “I am one with you. What you are, I am also. For there, as you stand before me in whatever state you are, there also do I stand. What is in you is in me. How I respond to you enters you and returns to me. Therefore, what is in me is in you.” It is a circle carrying frequencies: projections of emotions, thoughts, and intentions that intermingle and mesh together.
I wonder what would happen if we applied these concepts in forms that could take us to a newer, better reality than the one we are currently living within. If there is one thing I believe we can all agree on, it is that our current reality is not the best for most of humanity.
Over the long history of humankind, there have been countless extraordinary experiences and creations. Despite these, there is still a core of conflict, domination, and aggression. We have over history seen whole populations wiped out with entire new societies built with the opportunity for a clean slate, so to speak. Yet the aggression cycle simply builds and repeats. What an exhausting repetitive cycle when you stop to think about it! Why? The rule of fear-based obedience does not teach us to rise above fear or to cause no harm because we ourselves do not want to cause harm, not because we have a fear of reprisal.
It is sad that so much of what is good and great over our long evolution is so often suppressed beneath the outcomes of aggressive actions. The societal structure has become a complex interwoven tapestry that appears impossible to untangle. It is understandable that many just give up the attempt.
The truth is that the unraveling of such entrenched systems can only be done one person at a time. History has shown us that a single person has considerably more influence on those around them than they can perceive. Over time, a critical mass can build, and the see-saw can shift under its own weight.
I have found it fascinating to note the reactions to the recent outbreak of aggression in eastern Europe. Notwithstanding the emotions expressed at the horrors of destruction and innocent suffering, there has followed an outpouring of supreme irritation.
Why irritation? At the purest levels of ourselves, both as individuals and as a collective, we know we are way past this conflict-dominance-aggression type of response in our evolutionary journey. Due to the clarity of this still somewhat subconscious understanding, we look at this situation and think, “I thought we had evolved past this”.
In truth, we have. Aggression, conflict, and war are part of systems and behaviors that humans have been exploring and exercising for thousands of years. They have been explored to their fullest, experienced in their worst outpourings of abomination, and are no longer necessary to the evolution of our species to experiment or explore this any further. This is known at a subconscious level by most and at the conscious level by many. Therefore, it is supremely irritating to see it being activated once again.
The exploration of experiences is what we humans do. We are essentially creative, imaginative beings. We are crafted from a tiny spark of the essence of our creator. That essence is the ability to imagine beyond the boundaries of our human existence and through intention to create whatever we wish to create within the boundaries of this three-dimensional world. That is what we do. That is why we’re here in human form. That is why all of creation continues to exist. From the desire to experience something. When an experience has been explored to its fullest potential, both positive and negative, it is time to move on to another.
As we explore on an individual level and experience things on an individual level our explorations are experiences that rub shoulders and overlap with others doing the same thing and ultimately over thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of years of existence these explorations in these experiences can harden themselves into systems and structures and beliefs that served a purpose at one time, but no longer. What worked 5,000 years ago does not work now. What worked for our grandparents does not necessarily work for us. Likewise, these familiar response systems of aggression have achieved very few positives except to allow us to experience the full spectrum of effects.
There will always be moments when we are called upon to step up with courage and take action, moments that call upon our inner crusader to spotlight an injustice, to encourage, or inspire. We have good minds, so we must use them: we calibrate the information we have, we engage actively in life and relationships, we state our case, and act to right a wrong. We express a wide range of emotions, we critique, speak our truth, and answer honestly. If help is required, we give it without judgment. If a critique is required, we give it without debasement or shame. If concerns must be highlighted, we supply them without emotion. If encouragement is called for, we supply it with enthusiasm.
I wonder though…Do the rights of one country’s government supersede the harm to the global collective of countries? Do the rights of humans supersede the rights of all living creatures and the planet? Do the rights of my liver supersede those of my lungs or stomach or spleen? Where will such imbalance ultimately lead?
Flourishing in life is not about simply eating and exercising correctly, having a home and family, or retiring to a comfy rocking chair on the porch. Are we not way past that point on our evolutionary journey? Is it now about how we manage our imagination and our intentions?
The tiny spark of the creator that powers us is a bit like the light saber of the force in Star Wars. Our imagination is limitless. Our intention supported by our heart and our will has the power of a magnitude that has a massive impact on the world around us. This is our personal nuclear weapon we can use to lift us out of the stale systems that no longer (and in some cases never did) serve our highest good.
What comes next? The wisdom learned from thousands of years of exploring and experiencing tells us this: We need to soften the stories we have built from the layers of belief that have become our manifesto of personal rights. That our personal needs can be upheld within the embrace of a loving responsibility to all.
Within the inner plane of our heart-mind axis, there is an infinite universe of pathways. They have been called many things: the way of peace, the way of light, the way of the holy ones, the way of love, and the way of source, among others. These inner planes exist as radio-bandlike frequencies emitting infinite combinations of energy waves. We choose, whether consciously or subconsciously, which we tune to. We simply need to tune into the right station! Within these bands, the frequencies flow without limits borders or boundaries like a vast unending river delta. We just need to find the right frequency. Tune into it and ride it. And when we find ourselves slipping and we notice we’re slipping we remind ourselves to get back up there and ride that frequency.
Is ignorance a viable excuse? Are we truly able to say “well…I did not know”? Broad access to information exists in our current world, where it did not even as recently as fewer than a hundred years ago. It may not be complete or always truthful information, yet I would suggest there is enough information available to search out, question, and understand the broader concepts of consciousness, energy, and the interdependent structure of our animal body with our mind-heart consciousness. In this consciousness, we can understand the fuller applications of a spectrum such as empathy-sympathy-compassion-mercy, beyond a primitive fear-based response. Where would there be, then, any excuse to create harm in any form?
In the end, at the end of our lives, at the end of all things, at the end of the full experience of this creation that is planet Earth, we will look back and think “how did I do?” Did I fall short? Was I curious? Did I explore all that was presented to me? Did I ignore what my heart was telling me to do?
Can we truthfully say to ourselves that we did not know? Can we create a new golden rule to free us from the cage of our exhausted experiences?
We can choose to keep an open heart, no matter what. We can choose to invoke understanding of that other person. We can choose to respond on the spectrum of empathy-sympathy-compassion-mercy acceptance, no matter how difficult the circumstance. One person at a time.
Let us apply ourselves to finding that frequency in the inner planes of our hearts that enfold us in the spectrum of empathy-sympathy-compassion-mercy. Let’s ride it to create a reality that is different from what we have known so far. Something new and uncharted that we can explore and experience that is full of gifts for ourselves and for the collectives around us.
Let’s step over our personal divides and apply our infinite imaginations to the endless possibilities that we can conjure and create to make the next explorations of our humanity one that we can all experience with joy.
Copyright 2022 Catherine Grace Landry
About the Author: Catherine Grace Landry is the award-winning author of The Way Series, which includes The Way of the Simple Soul, The Way of the Lightkeeper, and The Way of the Grace-filled Heart, all published by Satiama Publishing and available on this site.