For much of my early life, I was what many often call an “intellectual nerd.” I was proficient in science, mathematics and the eloquence of the spoken and written word. Then I went through a transition that many of you have also experienced – that of making the 18-inch journey from the head to the heart. However, instead of making the erroneous conclusion that this was all that was needed in order to grow spiritually, I realized that balance between the head and the heart was the beginning, not the end, of true spiritual progress. I have since “remembered” that each of us is a vast, infinite being, created in the image and likeness of our Creator, and that we have at least 12 major aspects of our beingness (call them dimensions or densities if you like).
There are many teachings, such as “A Course In Miracles,” that reiterate the idea that it only takes one enlightened being to change the world. When we examine the ways in which we are all united, while at the same time remaining unique individuals, we can see that this is indeed true. Whether it was Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, Krishna, or some other revered soul, or some of the more beloved of politics, culture or science, we can all name a few great beings who have changed the course of history on this beloved planet.
So this brings us to the topic of this article. What is true compassion? If we look at the lives of those who seem to have touched a great many souls, what do we find in common? Is it the level of caring and empathy for others? Not really. There are numerous people who care deeply and feel the suffering and misery of the downtrodden, yet seem powerless to do much about it. That’s not the vital ingredient here. Is it the ability to have a great oratory and be convincing? Well, that might help, but there seem to be an awful lot of successful marketers and salesmen out there who haven’t done much to heal the planet. No, that’s not it either. Is it the desire to do good? Well, again that may be a factor, but there are plenty of social workers and activists adding their voice to the chorus of dissent, while the problems seem to continue unabated. That’s not the whole picture.
What sets aside the true healer from the crowd of sincere, but relatively powerless aspirants? What is the magic ingredient that formulates true compassion? What makes Mother Theresa any different than the social worker next to her at the soup kitchen? It’s not the level of concern for our fellow humans. It’s not one’s ability to appeal to the masses (although that helps). It’s not even one’s knowledge of the human condition.
True compassion arises when one’s life is totally and completely turned over to the power and presence of God Within. Power and effectiveness in healing arises when one comes from the center of one’s being, instead of from mind and ego. Having an open heart is only part of the equation. Being able to use the mind and other subtle faculties of being is also important. But having true spiritual understanding is essential.
We have six lower bodies (or aspects): Physical, emotional, mental, astral, etheric and causal. If any one of these aspects is out of balance or dormant, we are not truly in our center of power. Without being in our center, our actions are not in complete integrity. There is always a hidden “agenda” behind our actions. It may be an obvious motive, such as money, fame, or outer “power”, or it may be more subtle, such as the need for approval, outer “love”, ego strokes, or the desire to please God.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to becoming truly compassionate is the attachment to a belief system regarding what service is supposed to look like. We think that unless we live a life of austerity, piety or activism, we are not being truly compassionate. We berate ourselves for seeking personal pleasure or idle delights, or feel uncomfortable meditating or praying quietly because “we are not out there enough.” Or perhaps we think we must be perfectly clear and calm all the time, with no anger or sadness. Was Jesus angry when he turned over the tables in the temple? Obviously. Are there numerous accounts where he wept? Absolutely. Being compassionate does not mean denying emotions that don’t fit the image of kindness. However, it does mean not being controlled by those emotions.
We need to let God Within decide the most appropriate way of expressing our love for self and others. When we “let go and let God,” our actions may reflect “tough love” “intervention” or “non-intervention.” We may give financially, or we may not. We may travel to foreign countries to help out, or we may not. We may become vocal and involved in social issues, or we may not. We cannot judge the outer actions as a basis for measuring compassion. In fact, we cannot judge at all. Judgment is the opposite of compassion. If we see so much as one human being as less deserving of love than any other human being, we are not there. Does Hitler deserve love any less than Gandhi? Of course, this does not mean we condone the actions of terrorists. It only means we see beyond the outer façade to the core being within.
The Osamas and Saddams of the world are not going to go away because we build more bombs, send more troops, or pass more judgment. Every soul is a reflection of the composite consciousness of humankind, to some degree. Where are we not in total acceptance within our own hearts? In what way are we contributing to the problems we see around us? What is the “outer” world reflecting back to us? If we go deeply enough into these questions, we realize that there is a part of Osama or Saddam within each of us. We can then learn to unconditionally love that aspect of ourselves and bring it into alignment with the rest of our being.
We have many alternate “selves” existing in time, space and beyond. Eventually, we must reclaim those selves and bring them into alignment with our total being. Some call this “soul retrieval” or “recovering past lives” or “self-integration.” As we bring more and more of our Self into God’s Love, compassion is a natural byproduct. We perform service because it feels right, and it becomes no big deal. We say exactly what needs to be said to help a fellow traveler along. We begin to realize all is in Divine Perfection, and always has been. And that is when change actually begins to happen. If we can truly see the perfection in what is going on in the world, we can begin to heal that which is out of balance.
The paradox is that we are completely perfect, just as we are, and yet being in 3D bodies on Earth, we are all prone to errors of perception and unresolved issues somewhere within our being. However, we do not need to let our imperfections get in the way of realizing our innate perfection. God is not finished with us yet. We are the outer expressions of God and God is still evolving. That’s right, God is continually expanding and radiating outward into new experiences and forms. Let’s forgive ourselves and move on. Sure, we made errors, but let’s not make the mistake of viewing our shortcomings as sins or flaws in our being. We are not flawed. We are as perfect today as the day we were created. Our eternal innocence will never change. To quote “A Course In Miracles,” we are as God created us. God created us as compassionate and loving. And so it is.
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