Ask: Since the world isn't real is there a basis for compassion?
Since the world is not real and all that we are experiencing is an illusion is there a basis for compassion? (November 16, 2012)
Actually, true compassion arises naturally and spontaneously only when you are aware that the world is not real and that the personal experience is an illusion. True compassion is an effect of true forgiveness.
The experience of Truth (God) is wholeness. It is boundless love, peace, and happiness. Any other experience is not-True (illusion). So all pain is caused by a lack of awareness that the Truth is in you and that you have everything in Truth.
The personal thought system’s (ego’s) version of compassion is to reinforce in your mind the idea that lack and pain are real. It has you join with another in their pain. You hurt with them and/or for them. This version of compassion carries a lot of weight and baggage with it. You experience suffering, sacrifice, and reinforced feelings of victimhood and powerlessness. To offset the pain of this a bit the personal thought system allows you to “feel good” that you are a “compassionate person” suffering with and/or sacrificing for another.
But when you are aware that the Truth (God) in your mind is all that is true you are also aware that the Truth is all that is true in every mind, whether others are aware of this for themselves or not. When another hurts you observe their pain but you know for them that the basis of their pain is not real. You know for them that they are whole in Truth. So you are detached from their pain but not from the Truth in their mind. You do not correct their perception of hurt but you meet them where they are, offering what they say they need. You say, “I am sorry that you are hurting” or “That sounds painful”. You listen to them and you offer whatever support you can. You may be temporarily saddened by their story but you do not carry away this sadness with you.
True compassion begins first with yourself. The personal experience is one of limitation and inevitable loss. But the pain of the personal experience turns to suffering only when you resist it or indulge it. So you will naturally be compassionate (gentle, patient) with yourself when you are aware that the Truth in you is untouched by the personal experience (forgiveness). You will accept the personal experience as it is and no longer judge it, fight against it, or try to control it. You will allow the personal self to have its reactions of fear, anger, and grief. And then you will turn inward to remember that only the Truth is true.
When you have compassion for yourself it will naturally extend to others. You will remember from your own experience that in the absence of an awareness of Truth a person is going to act out in ineffective and dysfunctional ways to relieve their sense of lack, loss, conflict, guilt, and fear. So your compassion will extend not just to seeming-victims but to seeming-victimizers as well. Really, your compassion will extend to just about everyone you encounter because very few are willing to be aware of Truth so they live in pain. And since they are unwilling to be aware of Truth because of feelings of unworthiness, guilt, and fear you will feel compassion for their lack of willingness as well.
You cannot force true compassion. It is the natural effect of your awareness that only the Truth is true. So you do not need to work at being a “compassionate person”. Instead, grow your awareness of the Truth within you and true compassion will occur without effort.
Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, and 4 Habits for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.
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