Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On the Pain of Compassion

It hurts so much to care... to think about the suffering of others and all the sufferings to come due to environmental damage, and shortages of energy and materials...  to know that human beings have overpopulated this Earth, and that nature will balance things, one way or the other, in her own harsh ways. It hurts so much to know and care.

That pain seems like a good argument against caring. To just "forget about it" and save myself from the anguish by turning away. Perhaps I could find sufficient distractions. It's true that I'd  have to integrate my frustration and powerlessness and numbly accept those conditions as what I am.  But theoretically I'd be free of all the concerns and worries, at least over everyone else... But is there any way that I could also drop my concerns for myself? Especially if my whole reason for eliminating compassion towards others is an attempt to obtain aloof composure?  No, clearly I'd be in a self-centered mode, and therefor I could not drop my concerns over my own future and the suffering I'll personally encounter as a result of Peak Oil, and Catastrophic Climate Change.

So I'd still be anxious and depressed. And now also isolated. Alone in my own selfish concerns, and I couldn't honestly expect anyone else to care about me.

If my original motivation is to reduce my own suffering -- then the only path to that goal is to maintain my compassion for others. We're all in this together.   It hurts so much to care - yes, the suffering has begun, it cannot be eliminated, and the only way to reduce it is to face it.

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