Wednesday, February 25, 2015

An uncrafted compassion, part II

 There is a proliferation of books and articles, in the Mcmindfulness industry, about how one ought to be compassionate; and how to "do" it.

It's official, my friends; compassion is now a sales event.

 Any talk about how to be compassionate, about how to achieve a compassionate attitude, does a service to society by reminding us of how important compassion is. Yet compassion cannot be crafted; no one "makes" compassion, nor can one really impel or compel themselves towards compassion.

Compassion must be its own master in order to be real; and that is a function of what Gurdjieff called three centered being. Without, that is, an expression that arises from the conscious action of the intellect, the sensation, and the feeling, compassion is fractional. Fractional forces are real and tangible, but they lack durability. And if we wish to be, either as individuals or as a society, what is needed is a durable compassion: One that has intelligence, power, and depth, for these are the three qualities that thinking, sensing, and feeling in a conscious way imparts.

 When I speak of an uncrafted compassion, I mean a compassion that arises from the divine inward flow of the Lord, mediated by the three intelligences of Being. Compassion thus mediated is of its own nature; not a nature imparted to it. It is an active nature, an undeniable nature, a nature I participate in without attempting to define it. It has a natural and organic knowledge that connects to an instinctive manifestation; and it becomes an unerring entity, because it is informed (inwardly formed) by my own remorse of conscience, which guides its expression in such a way that I do not touch it with what is lower in me.

This uncrafted compassion is durable by its nature, because I have not manipulated it or degraded it with my own opinions or attitudes. It remains flexible and intelligent because it expresses itself in this moment, according to the objective nature of compassion, not my subjective understanding of it. It is this subjective understanding of compassion, this outward understanding I have acquired, that creates a barrier between me and real compassionate actions; because the outward understanding I have acquired is attached to my opinions and my reasoning, each of which arises not from within compassionate expression of Being, but my constructed views of the world.

 My constructed views of the world are indeed useful, and can't be dismissed; but I don't see how they limit compassion and force it to depend on my assumptions. The instant this outward force encounters compassionate action, it twisted into things which have unintended consequences. Real compassion acts under its own auspices, untouched; and this is quite rare.

One of the difficulties of this question is that I cannot begin by a wish for compassion. I have to begin with a wish for Being; and it is only through that wish that, eventually, an uncrafted compassion can arise, because it flows through Being, and Being must exist first.

This leads me to some observations about the purpose of Being, which I will address in the next post.


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