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Re: compassion-Re: our materialistic culture

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  • elaine upton
    Hello John, This time when I read your post (your 28 February reply to me) I am not sure I understand your tone, your emphasis, your direction. But
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 29, 2000
      Hello John,

      This time when I read your post (your 28 February reply to me) I am not sure
      I understand your tone, your emphasis, your direction. But maybe--maybe--
      that is not for me to understand (smile).

      When i say that i don't understand your distinction between spiritual
      science and compassion, and i suggest that spiritual science is fed by
      compassion, you replye:

      >
      >Fed by compassion? Of course, but spiritual science is based on esoteric
      >observation and does not always lead us to the answers that compassion
      >would
      >prefer.

      Why "of course, *but*? As far as i can see, there is not a
      "but"...Compassion is all. For me, there is no spiritual science without
      compassion, none i care to practice.--You say "esoteric observation..does
      not always lead ..to the answers that compassion would prefer."--That
      compassion would prefer? Compassion is compassion. It has no preferences. It
      is the deep seeing of what is Divine in all, and "esoteric observation" is
      nothing more than seeing the Divine in all things.--Now, that takes
      discipline (and play...).

      I say that not as one who has arrived at the goal (obviously --smile), yet
      that is my ideal.

      Elaine's previous post as quoted by John:
      >
      > > Yet, at the same time, I do understand some of what they
      > > might mean by saying there are no wrong decisions. Saying this frees one
      > > from the tyranny of the self-righteous who claim to have the one and
      >only
      > > Truth.


      John's reply"
      >
      >Yes, but there is Truth. This is related to the above. We have become
      >relativists who want the Truth to be what we think it should be.

      I wouldn't disagree with you that there is Truth. Yet, I would disagree with
      your second statement, at least to part of it. I would not say "We" have
      become relativists. There are those who earnestly seek to see the Divine in
      all, that Truth...Some of us may fail, surely do, yet the striving is
      there...

      John:

      >If you work with those for whom it is a major achievement to get up in the
      >morning, you know that SOME of them have made their own bed (yes, a
      >metaphor
      >for their problems). That does not mean that we shouldn't try to help them.


      Here is where I really don't get your tone, your point, your purpose.
      "...you know that SOME of them have made their own bed (yes, a metaphor for
      their problems)." What is the point of such a statement?
      We all have made our own beds, if you want to go there. So? C'mon John, dear
      one...(I'm prodding you a little, affectionately...And maybe you are
      prodding me, but how, in what tone?...I have trouble hearing the spirit in
      which you speak, or understanding what your point is in bringing up "made
      their own bed".)

      For me, in my work (I'm not saying what it should be for you or anyone else
      in your work, but for me) the point is to realize that people suffer in all
      manner of ways, and to be open to that which heals, within myself and them,
      for we are of one family,or, said another way, we are all an aspect of the
      Divine. Seeing that is the work of compassion, the observation of spiritual
      science (which for me is all one...)

      Mitaquye Oyasin (For All My Relations),
      elaine
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    • John Massengale
      ... Science and compassion are not the same thing. Compassion can alter the objectivity of science and lead to answers that are not scientific. If I have read
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 29, 2000
        > This time when I read your post (your 28 February reply to me) I am not sure
        > I understand your tone, your emphasis, your direction. But maybe--maybe--
        > that is not for me to understand (smile).
        >
        > When i say that i don't understand your distinction between spiritual
        > science and compassion, and i suggest that spiritual science is fed by
        > compassion, you replye:
        >
        >>
        >>Fed by compassion? Of course, but spiritual science is based on esoteric
        >>observation and does not always lead us to the answers that compassion
        >>would
        >>prefer.
        >
        > Why "of course, *but*? As far as i can see, there is not a
        > "but"...Compassion is all. For me, there is no spiritual science without
        > compassion, none i care to practice.

        Science and compassion are not the same thing. Compassion can alter the
        objectivity of science and lead to answers that are not scientific.

        If I have read Steiner correctly, he says that there are objective truths
        the Spiritual Scientist can observe: isn't that the basis for Spiritual
        Science? This requires a detachment and lack of emotion.

        The Catholic church says that angels have no emotions. I THINK Steiner also
        says that somewhere.

        Either that is wrong or right. If our compassion makes us think that can not
        be right (Oh that's not human! -- well, they're not human), than it seems
        our compassion may be preventing us from seeing things as they really are.

        I know it seems logical to me that higher beings would have more compassion
        than we have, but compassion is an emotion. So I have to wonder if Steiner
        isn't contradicting my belief.

        Several times in our communications, Elaine, you talk about not
        understanding the implications or about reading between the lines. The
        internet is telegraphic, but I try to write things that can be taken at face
        value.

        I hope to write something about Littleton when I get back from New York
        tonight. I hope people don't think it's too far off the subject of this
        list. It does have to do with spiritual development of the individual.
      • Joel A. Wendt
        Dear John and Elaine, I hope you don t mind my sticking my two-bits in, but I would like to comment ... To me compassion is a state of being, which means
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 1, 2000
          Dear John and Elaine,

          I hope you don't mind my sticking my two-bits in, but I would like to comment
          ...

          To me "compassion" is a state of being, which means that it can manifest
          partially as emotion, but also as thought and will. It is "attitude", as in the
          compassionate Buddha". So the question is what is my "attitude" toward another
          being? If it is "compassionate", then I will act out of the 8-fold path toward
          them.

          This truth of "being" "compassionate" was part of Buddha's teaching mission.
          It is also different from Love. I think you touch this mystery, John, when you
          try to think of "compassion" as somehow conflicted with "science", which seems to
          need a dispassionate attitude in order for objectivity to arise ("This requires
          detachment and a lack of emotion.")

          There is a level to "compassion", which is kind of neutral. If I am filled
          with "compassion" I am not too likely to "involve" myself. I experience
          something, and I have compassion regards it, but I don't necessarily act so as to
          place myself in the situation. Love is different here. Love can very easily lead
          to remarkable foolishness (and I don't mean love as in eros). Love leads to
          involvement to the point of personal harm being possible. If you have access,
          read Tomberg's meditation on the Fool, in his Meditations on the Tarot.

          Now where does "spiritual science" fit in? To me spiritual science is two
          things. One, the most important aspect, is found in the Philosophy of Freedom, or
          for some tastes, in Theory of Knowledge. It is a method of cognition. It is new
          and never before possible in the long history of the evolution of consciousness.
          Only now is this possiblity offered to human beings, to learn "living thinking".

          The second thing spiritual science is, is a body of knowledge, or the results
          of spiritual research. To me this is of little importance. Its purpose, as best
          I have managed to understand it, is to occassionally inspire someone to take up
          the cognitive path, that is to learn "how".

          So spiritual science is both a "how" (the cognitive path) and a "what" (the
          results of spiritual research). But it is neither "compassion" or Love. These
          last are qualities of being that may well determine what use is made of the "how"
          and the "what", but neither is "spiritual science". Spiritual science, in the
          sense I understand it, is a kind of way station. We pass throught it on the way
          to other matters. It is like a tool, very useful for a time, but not of the
          timeless, or the eternal, in and of itself.

          If one wants to "know" the eternal and the timeless, "now", then spiritual
          science gives one of the best means (the "how"), and some of the best inspiration
          (the "what").

          warm regards,
          joel

          John Massengale wrote:

          > From: "John Massengale" <john@...>
          >
          > > This time when I read your post (your 28 February reply to me) I am not sure
          > > I understand your tone, your emphasis, your direction. But maybe--maybe--
          > > that is not for me to understand (smile).
          > >
          > > When i say that i don't understand your distinction between spiritual
          > > science and compassion, and i suggest that spiritual science is fed by
          > > compassion, you replye:
          > >
          > >>
          > >>Fed by compassion? Of course, but spiritual science is based on esoteric
          > >>observation and does not always lead us to the answers that compassion
          > >>would
          > >>prefer.
          > >
          > > Why "of course, *but*? As far as i can see, there is not a
          > > "but"...Compassion is all. For me, there is no spiritual science without
          > > compassion, none i care to practice.
          >
          > Science and compassion are not the same thing. Compassion can alter the
          > objectivity of science and lead to answers that are not scientific.
          >
          > If I have read Steiner correctly, he says that there are objective truths
          > the Spiritual Scientist can observe: isn't that the basis for Spiritual
          > Science? This requires a detachment and lack of emotion.
          >
          > The Catholic church says that angels have no emotions. I THINK Steiner also
          > says that somewhere.
          >
          > Either that is wrong or right. If our compassion makes us think that can not
          > be right (Oh that's not human! -- well, they're not human), than it seems
          > our compassion may be preventing us from seeing things as they really are.
          >
          > I know it seems logical to me that higher beings would have more compassion
          > than we have, but compassion is an emotion. So I have to wonder if Steiner
          > isn't contradicting my belief.
          >
          > Several times in our communications, Elaine, you talk about not
          > understanding the implications or about reading between the lines. The
          > internet is telegraphic, but I try to write things that can be taken at face
          > value.
          >
          > I hope to write something about Littleton when I get back from New York
          > tonight. I hope people don't think it's too far off the subject of this
          > list. It does have to do with spiritual development of the individual.
          >
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