February 18th, 2009 by Admin | Filed under Uncategorized.
Every major religion and path includes the teaching of two major spiritual concepts; appreciation and compassion. These are very much aligned, although this is often missed.
The teaching of appreciation is currently very popular due to our economic difficulties. Clearly when a person is thinking of lack, they experience feelings of lack. When one “counts one’s blessings” one feels blessed. Focusing on feeling appreciation for what one has can produce immediate results.
Compassion is often overlooked, or swept to the side with “laws” or “principles” of giving and charity. While giving to the poor and random acts of kindness are certainly important, the acts themselves do not always come from a place of compassion.
They most often come from pity.
Pity looks innocent. It seems to produce acts of kindness and charity, which are also encouraged in most religions and spiritual paths.
However pity is an insidious emotion that masquerades as compassion. It produces no real joy for either the giver or receiver who comes in contact with in fact people who pity others lack real happiness or joy. The emotion places one on a never ending treadmill of chasing after happiness, much the way that some people buy things to be happy, but the feeling is short lived.
Pity deceives us into thinking that we are feeling loving and kind. The further convinces us that we are good people. There is a kind of high that one can have plus good feelings about oneself when one feels or acts from pity. However the happiness is really a kind of glee, the good feelings are smug self satisfaction and feelings of superiority.
Real love and compassion lack feelings of superiority.
Superiority in relation to a specific may be a fact. For instance, when it comes to a plumbing problem any plumber is superior to my best DIY efforts (and I’m fairly handy). If someone wants their portrait painted, most likely I’m a better person to for that job than my plumber.
Genesis Aleph 2009
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Whatever our talents, skills and professions, possessions, attributes or relationships, are, they do not make us essentially, intrinsically superior to others. Any seemingly good feeling of being superior other is based on a lie.
Pity always involves seeing a lack in or for another person, which produces the superior feeling emotion of pity. Noticing that someone could use a helping hand can be a simple matter of fact recognition and the solution, such as giving one’s seat on a bus to an obviously pregnant woman need not involve any pity, or even self satisfaction..
Teaching children, caring for the injured and sick, stopping to help a complete stranger are acts of kindness that do not require pity, although obviously one can see if not a need, the fact that doing so will be useful.
The kind of lack that pity tends to see is the same kind of lack that a person who is not appreciating what he have sees. The difference is that the person who feels pity does not appreciate what another person has for themselves.
For example, people who are out of control in relation to their own intake drugs (even prescribed) alcohol or nicotine, are known to look with pity (and also disdain) at people who are obese – and vice versa. Or, if family members these groups with pity each other and “sympathize” with the alternating “fact” that the other person is out of control and that it’s somehow not the other person’s fault. They pity each other for problems they would rather not have. One person “feels sorry” for the other.
People who feel sorry for others are focused on lack. It is just as easy to feel sorry for oneself. Then out the door goes appreciating what one has!
This is Part 1 of a 2 part article. Next, How to See and Have More Abundance and Appreciate More in Life
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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.
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Tags: Compassion, help, joy, kindness, negative emotion, pity, religious, spiritual