Understanding and Compassion

Dear Scott, With all of the greedy, cruel, mean spirited people in the world, how does one live an enlightened life, or as you put it, “an intimate life”? We can’t just let people just walk all over us, can we?

It has nothing to do with with being walked all over. That is just a story line that breeds endless other similar story lines. What he did to me, what I did back to him, what he did back to me, and so on. There is no understanding, no resolution, and no healing in any of that. It is simply a form of insanity.

As long as we maintain, overtly or subtly, the assumption that we are separate from and in competition with anyone, anywhere, there will always be this habitual movement of tension, irritation, anger, hurtfulness, and retaliation. What is required is much more penetrating honesty. All of us, without exception, have had threatening, painful, cruel, shameful, humiliating experiences inflicted upon us, most of us a great many times. Further, all of us have thought, said, and done harmful things to others, not honestly taking into account how much pain or fear we have inflicted.

Further still, the issue is not over “an enlightened or intimate life”. The only question that matters is whether we are willing to be unconditionally intimate with this moment, with all that is here, now. Given that willingness, consider carefully and deeply the following:

Everyone, like yourself, wants to be happy and at peace.
Everyone, like yourself, wants to love and be loved.
No one, like yourself, wants to suffer.
Most people, out of ignorance (a lack of clear understanding), don’t truly know how life works, and therefore, don’t know how to be happy or put an end to suffering.

Your “worst enemy” wants to be happy, just like you do.
Your “worst enemy” doesn’t want to suffer any more than you do.
(Really let that sink in.)

That said, the only thing that makes any sense at all is to be in service to compassion and clear understanding, in your own mind and body, and in everyone else’s. Just how free from fear, anger, and sorrow you are depends on how honestly you are willing to investigate and find out just how much we are all the same. When I say that, I’m not suggesting you believe it or accept it, I’m saying to search your heart, deeply and directly, and find out if it isn’t so. If you do, you will realize there is no “other”.

-Your own Self-
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