Evolutionary Awakening Journal
Empathy - Love's Little Sister...
Our true nature is formless and undifferentiated divine Love, a love that not only includes everyone, but also IS everyone…and everything…everywhere.
Direct recognition of this Love reveals its timeless, infinite and unchanging nature…and yet its living expression as you, me and the world are subject to both time and change and also evolution.
One very real sign that evolution is happening is that the boundless Love that we are is now emerging increasingly through us as our growing ability to feel empathy for more and more beings on the planet…we are able to embody more of the infinite ...within the finite.
One note about empathy is that it is radically different from sympathy in one very important way. When we are sympathetic we may see someone is in a difficult situation and feel sorry for for them, however we and they remain essentially different and, crucially, separate.
To have empathy however, is to have the lines of separation begin to dissolve as we encompass more of life. As we empathise, we are no longer ‘over here’ looking at them ‘over there’ but instead we stand in another’s shoes and see, and experience, the world from their perspective.
The ‘other’ still remains different from us, but they are no longer so separate… and as this takes place we are actively embodying more of the mystical and boundless Love that is all.
Expanding Circles of Empathy
Examples of the growth in empathy include the world-wide increase in animal welfare regulations, born out of the recognition that animals are sentient creatures, like us, with thoughts, preferences and emotions.
Not only are we able to sympathise with an animals situation, for example in a farm or a zoo, but we are developing the ability to actually get a sense of what their experience of life is like…and in the experiencing or this, more easily recognise what must to be changed so that their life is more aligned with their, often unspoken, needs.
As we do this we are then no longer holding animals as totally separate from us, and therefore the ability to ignore their requirements and have the animal be only for our use begins to fall away.
Throughout all this our circle of empathy is steadily growing and as it does so the underlying Love that we really are is gradually dissolving the great illusion - that we and the world, and its contents, are fundamentally separate…and can be treated as such.
The traditional, and transcendent based, nondual teaching has been that to focus on the personal and the world, which would include paying attention to empathy, is to miss the mark and risk wandering aimlessly, caught in the delusion that the material and tangible world is the only reality.
There is a truth, well understood by nondual teachers, that generally it is much easier to focus on personal growth or action in the world instead of Awakening, and sometimes there can be so much focus on the personal and the world that it serves to avoid Awakening completely.
The downside of this transcendent only teaching is that it misses out on emphasising that the totality of who we really are also includes the gift of form - the gift from the Divine of the opportunity of the living experience life in this world.
As we evolve we are now in a better position to take a overview and see that within a bigger picture, this teaching originated in a time when we were a younger race, more easily distracted by the material world, with less knowledge and resources to assist with awakening, and also that our the ability for empathy had not yet emerged as extensively as it is doing now.
Within awakening we can now combine both, the transcendent and the embodied, so that life is no longer seen in 2D, transcendent or immanent, but rather now in 3D - which includes and integrates both together, and therefore more accurately reflects the true totality of who we really are.
One important sign this new, and embodied awakening, is taking place and also demonstrates our growing empathy, is with practical action in the world.
These world wide challenges are largely born out of our long held misunderstanding of who, and what, we really are. They reflect the common, but ultimately false, belief that we are separate individuals and are not actually embodied expressions of the One undivided whole.
In the awakening community, people who are on the ‘pathless path’ of opening up into our true nondual nature, have in the past been been tempted to rest only in, and identify with, the silent and changeless freedom which is beyond and before life, and I myself have faced this.
Love in, and is, Action
With the ongoing unfolding of life and maturity, it becomes clear that this is only one half of the equation, and to not be engaging fully with the world and be taking appropriate action, such as happened with the animal rights legislation, to change and improve life globally can actually indicate both a misunderstanding, or worse - a dismissal, of the fullness of the gift of life as it lives through, and as us.
This may also indicate a failure of empathy, and therefore - ultimately - a failure to open into the fullness of the Love we truly.
Awakening into Oneness is key, and as this occurs is there also some practical action in the world that you could be taking, as sacred action, to live out more fully the Love you truly are ?
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