We're hearing the word 'breakthrough' a lot lately. It's starting to sound like one of those words that has no meaning, like 'compassion.'
Does the overuse of both words point to something that people intuitively feel is unquestionably necessary, though few actually understand what the words mean beyond the verbal and conceptual level?
A phrase I heard in my teens, which every elementary school child should be taught, is, "the word is not the thing."
A variation is, "the map is not the territory." That's perhaps more clear, since few people mistake a map for the actual land, though the most educated people confuse the word with the thing.
Even America's hate-mongering president, who refers to illegal immigrants as an "infestation" like vermin, uses the word 'compassion.' (One of the White House staffers quit recently, and she said, "He's the meanest man I've ever met." Of course, she didn't give her name, due to the climate of hate this cretin has stoked in the United States.)
Actual compassion, not just the word that people on the left or the right throw around, is not personal. Indeed, it isn't an emotion at all, but a state of awareness and attention in which one sees each person as a human being, no matter how deplorable their views and the so-called leaders they follow.
So can one have compassion even for willfully ignorant people who project themselves with statements like, "All liberals are the most unethical, bigoted, hateful, lying bunch of S.O.B. cry-babies we all have the misfortune of sharing this planet with"?
It's difficult, to be sure, since their thinking, feeling and being has been so infected with malice. But without being looked down on them, they can be pitied.
Of course, they also must be stopped, since in following a strutting, lying, latter-day Mussolini, they and the devil they serve (literally and figuratively) present a real and present danger to the nation and humanity.
With respect to compassion, is there an Intelligence in the universe that cares about creatures like us? I feel yes, but God does not exist apart. There is no separate God, since separation is the root of all evil.
Even when a volume of love flows like Yosemite Falls through a human being like Jesus of Nazareth (who would have been the first to say it's a blasphemy to call him God), it is just a drop in the ocean of the infinite.
Then how can we counter the evil of such a pitiful excuse for a human being like Donald Trump? By realizing that the intelligence of the immanent God can only flow into and through us as human beings. The amoral Trump is the worst kind of atheist.
Ordinary people can tap into the infinite wellspring of compassion, since human beings are potential vessels of the intelligence of the universe. We are vessels of comic intelligence, or our lives have little meaning at all, especially in a society and world like the present one.
Stillness is reverential. It opens us to the inexhaustible wellspring of compassion as an actuality. Life is sacred, the universe is sacred, and all that is except thought is sacred.
By observing the movement of thought within oneself in the mirror of nature, one discovers tremendous things for oneself, beyond words and concepts.
One observes there is always a reaction of judgment, association or choice in the movement of thought. One sees that judgment prevents perception and understanding; that association is merely memory and conditioning; and that choice is delusion.
All psychological thought is reaction. When one observes one's reactions without choice, a remarkable thing happens---the mind-as-thought grows effortlessly still.
This points to the breakthrough that is necessary---a breakthrough in the individual, in human consciousness, and then in the political sphere globally and nationally.
In the world as it is, people who think and feel themselves first as American or any other thing are traitors to humanity. Such atavistic humans build walls, increase divisions, spread hate, and grease the rails of war.
As we see in America, the tribalism of nationalism inevitably fractures into polarization, with nationalists seeing "liberals" as the enemy, and liberals reactively hating Trumpians. Liberals and progressives must cease to react to Trump's division and hate with fear and loathing.
It may be human nature to be tribalistic. But if so, a breakthrough means changing human nature within oneself.
Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He welcomes dialogue. firstname.lastname@example.org
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