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compassion:This whole model seems to me a very selfish way to live. Where’s your heart? Where’s your compassion for the pain and suffering of others? Answer: I have no interest in justifying or defending “selfishness.” I will leave that up to people like Robert Ringer (Looking Out for #1), Ayn Rand (The Virtue of Selfishness), Bud Harris (Sacred Selfishness: A Guide to Living a Life of Substance), David Seabury (The Art of Selfishness), the Hellers (Healthy Selfishness: Getting the Life You Deserve Without the Guilt), and Mahatma Gandhi (“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”) As for my heart, it is as open as it has ever been. As you drop all judgments, beliefs, opinions, and fears, your heart can’t do anything except open wider and wider and be filled with love and appreciation for the perfection of everything, and especially love for your own Infinite I. But compassion is a very different story. It’s true compassion is the new spiritual buzzword, perhaps helped a lot by the Dalai Lama. Like “judgment,” compassion has been made to seem “right” and proper and a “good” thing to have. In fact, being compassionate has become the hallmark of enlightenment and the most important trait a “good” person must have, in the same way “judgment” has become a symbol of intelligence and reason. But let’s find out what compassion really means…. “Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.”1 “Sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.”2 It should be clear by those definitions that compassion belongs in the first half of the Human Game, inside the movie theater, and not in the second half. Why? What’s “wrong” with compassion? Nothing is “wrong.” That would be a judgment. But compassion as it is defined (and practiced) automatically leads a Player to judge the experiences of someone else as “bad” or “wrong,” to think they have the power to change that person’s reality, and to entertain the wish to do so; and none of that is possible or appropriate in the second half of the Human Game. It also inevitably leads the Player who’s trying to be compassionate into frustration, sadness, and sometimes even despair; or, in other words, it leads further into limitation and restriction. Therefore, by its very nature, compassion is not part of infinite joy. It also doesn’t feel like joy; it actually feels “bad” to identify with someone else’s pain and suffering. In fact, we’re supposed to feel “bad” for someone else if we’re compassionate (“I feel bad for them”). The synonyms given in the dictionary for compassion are “pity” and “sympathy.” I doubt anyone would suggest “pity” and “sympathy” feel joyful. In a meeting of the intentional community in Tamera, a young man from Israel stood up and announced his recent revelation that his only job in life was to be happy. Everyone cheered, and a feeling of joy and excitement and enthusiasm filled the room.
Then a young woman stood up, the daughter of the guru, and admonished everyone not to forget all the pain and suffering of others. The bubble in the room quickly burst. Try to recall right now what it feels like to be compassionate. Does it feel like joy to you? You can do the same thing with jealousy, for example. Does it make you feel loving to feel jealous? Does it make you feel expansive and powerful? Does it make you feel all warm and fuzzy like love does? In the same way that jealousy cannot be part of infinite love, compassion cannot be part of infinite joy. It’s as simple as that. The only way compassion could make you feel “good” is because you think by being compassionate, you’re being a “good” person. * * But there’s more to talk about. Let’s really dissect this thing called compassion, since it’s become such a big button in the first half of the Human Game. Remember that the holographic experiences you perceive are not “real,” and that your Infinite I is creating your own reality. Remember also that the people you see in your holograms – the “other people” – are actors playing a role for you and reading a script word-for-word written by your Infinite I. Think again about the analogy of our holographic universe to a total immersion movie, created as an “outer experience” to give you and your Infinite I an “inner experience.” Whatever you perceive, then, in your “reality” is being played out for you – for your experience, for your benefit – by actors, like a movie or a play. If you went to a play at your local theater, there might be an emotional scene where some character you cared about was killed, or maimed, or raped, or tortured, or starved, or displaced, or abused. If it’s a good play with professional actors, a convincing script and perfect scenery, you should “feel” what the writer of the play wanted you to feel – anger, frustration, sympathy, sadness, pain, regret, grief, sorrow, or a whole host of other emotions, none of which come close to joy. But that’s what the play was designed to do. Then after the play, you go next door to the bar for a drink; and there, by chance, are the very same actors you just watched. But they’re very much alive, healthy, happy, unscathed, enjoying a beer and joking around with the rest of the troupe. When you see them there in the bar, would you feel the same emotions for them you did during the play? Obviously not. You would probably feel a little silly expressing compassion for the actor you had just watched starving that is now sitting in front of you eating peanuts and popcorn. You might even go over and thank them for what a great job they did and for the experience they gave you, telling them how deeply you felt for them during the play, and then joining in their celebration. The “reality” you see “out there” as the physical universe is a movie – a fantastic 3-D total immersion movie in which you play a part. But nothing else is different from the play or movie you just watched. Everyone you see in your “reality” is part of a hologram and is playing a role your Infinite I has asked them to play and which they’ve agreed to perform at a professional level. When that role is over, they get up from the battlefield, or the hospital bed, or the slums, and revel in the good job they did to convince you the characters they played were real. They gave you a gift of a powerful experience, which your Infinite I wanted and created. But don’t confuse things and start to think the scenes they acted out were anything more than actors playing temporary roles at your Infinite I’s invitation. Another big problem with compassion is the part that makes you want to “relieve” or “alleviate” someone else’s suffering. Frankly, although it’s cloaked in a very acceptable social veneer, it is the height of arrogance to think we know better than their own Infinite I what experiences another person should be having. Even Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” He didn’t say, “Go out and change the world into the way you wish to see it,” or “Go out and change other people’s experiences into the way you think they should be.” In the same way you trust your own Infinite I to create the most appropriate experiences for you, we can trust the other person’s Infinite I to create the most appropriate experiences for them, regardless of how those experiences look to you or me on the surface. In fact, there is no other Player who appears in your holographic reality whose situation is your responsibility to change. Nor do you have the power or authority to change it. Their experiences have been as carefully chosen for them by their Infinite I as yours have been for you. It’s time we respect that, and respect and trust the choices of other Infinite I’s as well as our own, and not think we know better what they should be experiencing. Besides, this desire to “relieve” or “alleviate” someone else’s suffering cannot do anything but produce frustration and anger and depression, since you have no power to do anything about it. All you will do is try, and most times fail and feel worse in the end. This is why compassion is such a limiting concept that belongs strictly to the first half of the Human Game. * * “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – R. Buckminster Fuller * * The concept of compassion, by its very nature, tends to make us ignore this wisdom and fight against what we see happening in the world. Many peaceworkers, for example, take up the slogan, “Say No to War and Violence.” But the mere act of thinking or acting against war and violence because of compassion is, indeed, fighting the existing reality. “But wait a minute!” you protest. “Are you saying I should do nothing when I see another’s pain and suffering in my hologram? Are you suggesting I sit back and simply watch while a child gets beaten, or a woman raped, or people die from starvation or disease?” Absolutely not. That’s not what I’m saying at all. But rather than compassion in the first half that can only lead to more limitation, empathy (rather than sympathy) and ethics and excitement will determine your reaction in the second half of the Human Game. Here’s what I mean…. Once you have run the Process on those holographic experiences you encounter as you start the second half – any time you have felt discomfort with someone or a particular situation – you will view those incidents of pain and suffering that might come into your hologram very differently. But there is something extremely important to remember: as long as you feel discomfort – and that includes the discomfort of compassion – you are still assigning power “out there” and there is still judgment. Only when you can see someone else’s pain and suffering without the judgment it is “bad” or “wrong” or “needs to be changed,” can you cleanly take any action. Then you are free to follow your excitement and joy in any specific circumstance. For example, I’m often asked what I would do if a hologram popped up where a child was being beaten in front of me. I honestly cannot give you a generalized answer, because so much of it depends on the situation. But my own ethics might lead me to want to do something about it, since I am the caretaker of the holographic experiences my Infinite I has created for me. Maybe I would step in between the adult and the child, and inform the adult I do not judge what s/he is doing, but I request s/he beat me instead of the child, and I would not resist. However, that’s just one possibility. Under no circumstances would I judge what was going on as “right” or “wrong,” or “good” or “bad,” nor judge the actors playing their parts, nor think I must or should change the action itself. But right now I can imagine my personal feeling of excitement and joy would be to prefer to be beaten myself than to watch the child being beaten. I would also never strike back or try to defend myself. Neither would Mahatma Gandhi, as he proved time and again. Okay. That’s a particular individual situation. What about the millions of people starving in the world, those getting killed and maimed every day in countless wars and other violence, those who are homeless and hungry and sick – which is a fair number of the Earth’s population if we watch and believe the TV news? What about them? “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” Gandhi said. So here’s another tough concept…. In spite of all the pain and suffering we are shown “out there,” our only job as a Player in the second half of the Human Game is to “reclaim” the power we assigned “out there” in the first half, and take the rollercoaster ride back to infinite joy, infinite power, infinite wisdom, infinite abundance, and infinite love. It is solely our responsibility to live our own reality. In fact, when our holograms include pictures of pain and suffering “out there,” it is primarily because our Infinite I is trying to show us where we assigned power in the first half and give us the opportunity to “reclaim” it. These holographic images of pain and suffering are not for us to do something about them, but about us as individual Players to do something about us. Put simply, someone else’s pain and suffering that finds its way into our holograms is an opportunity to leave judgment and compassion behind and explore a new way of feeling and acting. Remember what we said about “other people” in Chapter Twenty-Four…. “Other people” serve three main purposes in your holographic experience: 1. To reflect something you think or feel about yourself 2. To give you the gift of information or insight 3. To set something in motion to support you3 This includes all the “other people” who you are now judging to be in pain and suffering; and nowhere on that list does it say “other people” serve the purpose of having you “save” them from their experiences.
Along the way, however, we will start to feel excitement inside – excitement that is prompting us to do something. So if I see someone else in pain and suffering in my hologram, and I do not judge it or fall into the trap of wanting to change it, I might find it totally joyful and exciting to take some action anyway. What if someone in my hologram asks me for help? I give it gladly, as long as it brings me total joy to do so – without judgment or discomfort – and as long as I have no expectations of the outcome. Please don’t get me wrong. I am often touched on a very deep level when I see someone in my hologram in pain or suffering, and I will give my help if asked if I can do it without the intention to fix, change, or improve things. But I also know it is impossible for them to be a victim, just as it is impossible for me to be a victim, of anyone or anything “out there;” so I offer my support in any way I can while they have such a difficult and limiting experience, because I know they are playing in the first half of the Human Game. This is really no different than giving encouragement to someone on the first hill of the rollercoaster, supporting them in any way possible to “Hang in there!” This may be a crude example, but it’s the best I can think of at the moment. Someone calls out to me from the rollercoaster going up the hill. They say they’re getting sick and need help. I will do everything in my power to get to them, bring them a barf bag, hold their hair back while they get sick, offer them some encouraging words, or give them whatever assistance I can at the time. What I won’t do is judge their experience as “wrong,” or that it should be different and needs to be changed, or sympathize with them, or pity them, or try to get them off the rollercoaster. I’ve been there; it doesn’t feel good, and I know it. I also know the experience they’re having has been carefully chosen for them by their own Infinite I, and it is perfect for them at that moment. After all, they can’t ride the rollercoaster without going up the first hill. * * There’s an old saying in the recovery business that an alcoholic will not quit until they’ve had enough to drink. A Course in Miracles says, “if your brothers ask you for something, do it, because it doesn’t matter.”4 So if your alcoholic “brother” asks you for a drink, exactly what is the “compassionate” thing to do? According to recovery principles and A Course in Miracles, maybe it would be to give them the drink they ask for, rather than judging and trying to change the experience they’re having because you know what’s best for them. There is, of course, a natural desire that all the Players we meet in our holograms experience the same joy and power and abundance and love we have; and when we see someone else in our hologram not in that condition, we can easily wish something different for them, and want them to join us in the joy and power and abundance and love of the second half. But what we can not do is to judge their situation to be “bad” or “wrong,” or even that our situation is “better” than theirs, and then try to do something to change their circumstances. Many years ago I gave up the idea of trying to “save the world” or even end war on this planet when I realized war had been a very valuable experience in my own life (if nothing else, to show me who I was not and how I did not want to behave); and “who was I to try to limit other people’s experiences who might benefit from the same opportunities.” Today I am excited about finding out how to download other frequencies from The Field (as will be explained in Chapter Thirty-Six) that create a peaceful and harmonious life on Planet Earth, but without any judgment that all people should live that way, or that the way other people are living now is somehow “wrong.” * * The point the young Israeli man was making in Tamera was that rather than becoming bogged down in someone else’s pain and suffering, and feeling that pain and suffering himself, he decided his only job was to “be happy” – to provide others with the hope and the inspiration and the model of how their lives could be different. I seriously doubt those in pain and suffering want us to join them in their misery. I don’t think they want us to “pity” them or “feel their pain.” I think, instead, they would prefer for us to “be happy,” so they know it is possible for them as well. Therefore, rather than compassion in the second half of the Human Game, we follow our excitement and our joy and our passion, and take whatever actions we feel moved to take in relationship to our holographic experiences, as long as there is no judgment or discomfort involved. After all, the world doesn’t need to be saved. It’s perfect exactly as it is, down to the smallest detail. Saving the world, as wonderful as it may sound on the surface, is not only the height of arrogance in thinking you know how the world should be, but also one of the most clever temptations the ego – Maya – has come up with to maintain her power and existence. I realize there is a lot of social pressure to be compassionate these days; but, in fact, this whole compassion thing is one of the greatest lies that keeps people inside the movie theater, for the simple reason that focusing on compassion for others keeps Players from looking at themselves. As long as your time and attention is tied up trying to alleviate the pain and suffering of others, you will never have what it takes to process your own judgments, beliefs, opinions, and fears. Instead you will hang on for dear life to this layer of the ego – this identity you are not – called “compassionate.” (If you jumped here from Chapter Sixteen, “Judgment,” you can go back to where you were reading by clicking here.)
FOOTNOTES 1. American Heritage Dictionary – compassion – Back to reading 2. Merriam-Webster Dictionary – compassion – Back to reading 3. Scheinfeld, Robert. Journey to the Infinite home transformational system – Back to reading 4. A Course in Miracles, p. 206 – Back to reading