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Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by deep, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. deep

    deep TRIBE Member

    I was reading something by the Dalai Lama the other night and up came his treatise on compassion.

    He describes two types, one unstable, the other not.

    The first type is the kind most people engage in, when they demonstrate compassion and understanding towards others so long as there is benefit back to them to do so. In other words, the attachment to the person or what you will gain induces compassion towards them, so that these benefits can continue to be received. When the person does something to disappoint you it hurts because of the removal of what it is you value of them, and can induce feelings of sadness and resentment. As a result this is an unstable form of compassion against the natural ebbs and flows of relationships, and shows that the negative feelings associated with disappointment are something we subject to ourselves and are not subjected to by others.

    The second type is recognizing that the other person is also a human being who like you has to face suffering in life and thus has a right to try and avoid that suffering just as you do. It does not depend on what the person gives back to you in your life but instead on a more fundamental common condition - being human. This type of compassion for others provides two benefits : 1] removes yourself from having any specific need of the other person, thus reducing the chance for disappointment and consequently the negative emotions associated with it and 2] is independant of what the person says or does since their being human is a constant and is thus more stable against the changes that come in life. It allows one to unbind their happiness from being dependant on another person, as a result making compassion ultimately a method of facilitating not only another person's happiness but your own, as you cannot fully control what other people say / do / think.

    Not sure how much discussion value this has but I thought it was an insightful perspective worth sharing.
  2. Viceroy

    Viceroy TRIBE Member

    Thanks for sharing that....I can relate many of my relationships to what you posted. The lama man sure knows his stuff. If I was wanting to read up on his theories where would be a good start?

  3. willis

    willis TRIBE Member

    "The art of happiness" is one of his best books
  4. dicksherwood

    dicksherwood TRIBE Member

    I think many of the problems we face as humanity have to do with a lack of the second type of compassion, that which is expressed towards others just because we share a common bond, we're human.

    The dominance of capitalism, which espouses the notion that all relationships must provide some advantage to be worthwhile is mostly to blame. We throw money and resources at poor, less developed countries not because we want the best for them, not because we want to help them become independant and live a style of life that they believe in, but because we want them to provide another market for our goods, hence the advantage.

    True compassion is the expression of sympathy and understanding towards another with no strings attached, no matter what the other person (or peoples) beliefs, creed, sex, economic condition maybe. We help because we are them, they are us. I think we're all capable of it, but we've been conditioned to believe compassion is an expression of weakess, of softness, again if no advantage is to be gained then it is not worthwhile.

    I'd like to live in a world not where we tell those less fortunate, or those who are suffering what we are going to do to help them, rather I'd like to see us ask how we can help. That is true compassion.
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Further to Steve's point, later this year, Canada is hosting the annual G8 summit. First on Chretien's agenda is the implementation of a plan to aid African countries. Second is the war on terrorism.

    If we think about Canada's relationship to the USA, and then to the world, Chretien's agenda seems perfectly transparent. We must pander to our neighbours, yet, our hands are relatively clean on the world stage. Therefore, we can act as a cat's paw.

    With Canada's reputation as a "compassionate" state, few will suspect our motives to aid Africa. However, don't believe for a second that the US isn't the one pulling the strings here. Africa has a massive population; a massive untapped market. Using Canada's reputation to pave the road, the US will piggyback its way in, through conditional aid.

    My point is: Don't ever think states do anything out of compassion. Further, when you need someone's help, never appeal to the person's compassion or pity. Always appeal to his or her self-interest. Sadly, that is the only way to succeed in the socio-political-economic structure we have in this part of the world.

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