ONENESS – IV
Which lesser reality?
Which greater reality?
One need think only a moment before a conflict comes to mind: How does one select the appropriate lesser solution? The reader is reminded at this point that empathy is a tool with which to make the best decision. In the example of the owner of a small business, the owner actually has several options: Layoff? Sell the business? Go into debt? Restructure the business in a way that maximizes short term profit? How does one select a lesser solution that maximizes the opportunity to select a correct greater solution?
This is no easy consideration as any individual will attest. In the example, consideration begins deep in the philosophy of the owner. Is profit, his religion, his character, the definition of who he is? Is his measure of personal worth his obligation to others – if only to his kind or his business? Is his measure compassion? Have we come to a root that solves the dilemma? Is it the act of compassion?
Compassion deserves further investigation. It is not a strong objective in global awareness. The link between lesser and greater realities almost always is a compassionate consideration and suffers mightily from self interest and the predatory nature of the human species.
If one examines prejudicial behavior, particularly racism and religious prejudice, the smaller situation is a matter of conditioning rather than thoughtful consideration. Racist and religious behavior may be inculcated by parents. Perhaps peer pressure is the source of prejudice. It may be that people of color simply are a scapegoat for personal feelings of inadequacy. Confronted with an interracial or religious situation, how does the person find empathy required to select the appropriate lesser reality? Even if they found empathy, could they select the greater reality?
Many years ago, the mariner had a conversation with a racist man. His position was that African Americans, Latinos and Chinese all looked different than he did and, conversely, he looked different to them. This turned out to be a telling point. “What,” he said, “if they became the majority of the population? I would no longer be part of the majority and my normal white privileges would disappear.”
Is this man able to find sympathy or to act with compassion involving nonwhite individuals? If so, it will take a mighty wind of change.
Prejudice is not limited to race or religion. The author knows a number of individuals who are so opposed to smoking that friends and events first must be tobacco free. Then more compassionate behavior may arise. Confronted with a situation involving tobacco, how does the individual select the correct reality which will link to a greater, compassionate reality?
One solution is to ignore that which is offensive. It takes practice to hone one’s mind to accept the person first – despite the automatic rejections of race, alcoholism, smoking, or whether a person is neat and clean, has a job or makes as much money such that the person is a credible member of the human race. The 2012 presidential race caught candidate Romney admitting that forty-seven percent of the US population depended on government handouts. It was spoken with derision and contempt. Where was the seed of empathy that is necessary to link a lesser and greater reality? Without empathy, Romney was unable to perceive the dependency of banks and industries on government handouts, tax breaks and loopholes. The woes of a beaten middle class would not be an element of reconciliation between lesser and greater realities. There is no act of compassion. To Romney and the attendees in that room, people are Matrix batteries.
Science has a theory that all things in the universe are entropic. The mariner suggests that oneness can induce growth, depending on oneness as part of a resolution. In other words, an act of compassion expands orderliness, consciousness, and discovery while negative acts accelerate entropy.
The question: Pick one of the people you know that you have difficulty relating to because of your opinion of that person. Imagine that person without letting your opinion affect you. This takes a lot of practice. You know you are doing the right thing if you can feel a growing empathy. This is an exercise coined in the phrase “walk a mile in his shoes.” What are the good characteristics that you noticed? Can you separate your smaller situation and the person’s larger situation enough to reconcile the difference? What act of compassion will be required?