One may ask, “Is compassion very significant in life?” Yes, compassion is immensely significant because it reflects and is a wonderful radiation of the whole. That whole has its own intrinsic, organic intelligence (of which compassion is a very big component). A fragmented, isolated consciousness, that merely perceives with self-idolizing boundaries and cold distance is, unfortunately, not of compassion. Such a debilitated mind is distorted and is not of the whole. Such a mind is isolated and apart. It may be intelligent in a very mechanical, crude, and limited way, but it is not intelligent in a living and wonderfully dynamic way. The isolated mind’s intelligence is — being limited — like that of a programmed, mechanical, robotic computer.
A mindful consciousness is of the whole. Such a dynamic, living mind sees beyond “learned distance” and learned isolating patterns. It is not like a left hand that is attacking the right hand; it sees that both hands — and all organisms — are of the same body. A mind of the whole has great intelligence (because it is of “right relationship”). Majestic love involves all (i.e., the whole) and it is not just yours or mine. A mindful consciousness is the whole.
A short poem by E.E. Cummings:
love is a place & through this place of love move (with brightness of peace) all places
yes is a world & in this world of yes live (skilfully curled) all worlds
There are different levels of love. Superficial love is constituted of motivations for the limited self. That limited self is what was learned (from miseducation) and it is primarily unreal, unintelligent, and fictitious.
There is a profound love that exists beyond the illusory framework of the self. It is a vast intelligence that breaks through the limitations of boundaries and fragmentary, learned perceptions (including the distance that is, in actuality, inherited ignorance). Selfless love is of bright truth, not of shady falsity and erroneousness.
The dictionary defines “Sensibility” as ‘the capacity to feel.’ We can — if we are aware — observe that our society is largely bereft of “feeling,” these days. More and more people are concerned about money and power… not about others, not about curtailing suffering. Of course, there are some people who care, but society (as a whole) is generally headed in a disorderly direction. In regular public schools, they mostly focus on teaching you the 3 Rs. They do not, unfortunately, encourage students to probe deeply into such things as awareness, compassion, deep perception, self-understanding, mindfulness, wholeness, and transcending limitation. Public schools generally do not want students who would question society’s superficial values and norms. Public schools are generally designed to crank out followers and “robotic sameness.” This is why i’ve consistently donated to decent alternative schools such as the Brockwood Park School.
If you are (or were) educated in a run-of-the-mill public school, you will have to re-educate yourself. You will have to step out of the box. But you can’t easily step out of the box if your conditioning and brain are the box. Profound compassion requires going beyond superficial mental distance and numbing perceived space. Profound compassion is a real art (in a world full of sameness and secondhand imitation).
My beloved wife Marla passed away on 10/07/20 due to complex complications from Wilson’s Disease. Her Hepatologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center said that it was amazing that she lived as long as she did. This makes me feel that i succeeded rather well at helping her with her illnesses. Marla was very brave and went through a lot of suffering. She was born with Wilson’s Disease, an autosomal recessive genetic disorder rendering the body to be unable to eliminate excess copper naturally. She had an auto-allergic reaction due to the penicillamine medication that she was on for Wilson’s in the past; penicillamine has a lot of very bad side-effects. At that time, she almost died from ARDS and ended up with only half-lung capacity. She suffered from dystonia — a strong tightening of the muscles involuntarily — and had to have Botox injections deep in her neck every two to three months. Due to the chronic dystonia of her neck, she had to have 8 cervical vertebrae replaced with titanium implants. She then lost the ability to swallow and had to (permanently) eat via enteral feeding (i.e., by a tube going into her stomach area). Before i retired, i was a teacher for the multiply handicapped, and — for decades — helped with enteral feeding (i.e., stomach feeding tubes) with some of my students; so i was very experienced with helping Marla with hers. Marla then had to have shoulder surgery… and then reconstructive shoulder surgery. She had Elastosis perforans Syndrome, a skin disorder (on her thighs) caused by having been on the penicillamine for years before getting on the better (less intrusive) new zinc therapy. She often told me that she had a low threshold for bearing pain but she was way more brave and stalwart than i could have ever been. Despite her pain and struggles, we had a whole lot of great, joyful times together.
I fell in love with Marla largely because of her warm and compassionate heart. She always put others first and was always thinking of others. She often made things for others, like quilts, fancy embroidery things, and homemade lotions. She was a nurse and often would take her elderly mother to the doctors. Everyone who met Marla loved her radiant, caring personality. I am so honored to be her husband.
The following is one of the E. E. Cummings poems that i read at her beautiful outdoor memorial service along the Kankakee River:
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling) i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
[Note: The following poem was written days ago and was prescheduled. This note was written on 10/1/2020. Marla, my wife was taken to the emergency room today regarding sudden serious problems with her liver. She has Wilson’s Disease. I will be absent from blogging and will not be able to respond to comments. Take care and stay safe. ]
Note: This is a Praying Mantis. She is a female, laden with eggs. Because of the rotten, declining environment, there are fewer Praying Mantises in our area every year. Years ago, we used to see Mantises frequently; now we rarely see any. I found this one in a hospital garden, along a river, that used to have a lot of them. This was the only one that i saw. Fortunately, female Mantises do not need males in order to reproduce; they can produce fertile eggs and young that are exact clones of themselves. (It sure seems like my childhood premonitions about man ruining the environment are, many decades later, turning out to be true.)
Don’t be a torpid, sluggish mind, indifferent about the environment, about others, and about goodness. We’ve been donating a lot, over the years, to all of the Hurricane victims (both to charities for humans and for dogs), including (recently) Dorian. These hurricanes are worsening over the years due to global warming. I see some bloggers who claim to love nature, yet they travel — in jets and planes that spew out tons of pollutants — to distant countries or far distant places to get “great nature photos.” I’ve been unfollowing such hypocritical behavior blogs. I’m not afraid of devils or goblins around Halloween. I’m more concerned about people who treat the earth wrongly, indifferently. We all can do more to help nature; we all could do less harmful things. Please watch the following Greta Thunberg video. I feel very sorry for kids these days; if things do not change, they — because of the increase in carbon dioxide — will not be able to breathe properly in a few short decades. 30% of all birds in North America (alone) have gone extinct in the last 50 years; they are the canaries in the coal mine, but most adults just don’t see it enough.
If one is merely a marionette, repeating what others poured into you, then what you say and do will usually be rather robotic, quite puppet-like… though it will seem quite pleasant and socially acceptable to you (while you feel quite unique). There are so many standardized lemmings out there. To question things fundamentally, deeply, with substantial passion, takes great intelligence. That great intelligence (naturally) is largely constituted of immense vastness, which inherently includes compassion. Compassion acts beyond many of the limits of ordinary perception. It perceives beyond all of the mundane, superficial, circumscribed borders. It is not tethered by stale, dinosaurian, antiquated beliefs. Such intelligence (i.e., such profound, penetrating insight) is extremely rare in the world as it now exists; miseducation has a lot to do with it. Acceptance of mediocrity has a lot to do with it.
“I love you in a place where there’s no space or time.” — Kodi Lee
We saw the extraordinarily talented Kodi Lee the other night on America’s Got Talent. Kodi reminded me of a lot of the very fine and wonderful students that i used to have when i was a teacher for the multiply handicapped (before i retired). Seeing Kodi perform brought tears to my eyes. The students that i had were a delight to be around. Some were very gifted. When i was a teacher, we had students, for example, who were very mentally handicapped but who could play the piano flawlessly. One fellow could be shown a complex scientific book (or complex passages on whatever subject); the book could be opened at any section, with both pages flashed (even upside down) in front of his face for a fraction of a second. He then would recite the entire content — from memory — of both pages… word for word, perfectly.
Kodi has autism and autism is increasing worldwide (especially in developed countries) at alarming rates. The adjuvants in vaccines, increasing pollution, fragmented-unhealthy GMO foods, and food additives are possible contributing factors to autism’s increase, i think.
For many years, our classrooms were situated right within the elementary school building and it was a good thing for so-called “normal” children to often interact with those who had severe handicaps. Such a close relationship between these two groups of children benefited those who were handicapped and helped the so-called “normal” population develop empathy, compassion, and understanding concerning the handicapped. Some of my students, by the way, had regular IQs but, because of very severe physiological problems, were quadriplegic and could not control their arms or legs whatsoever. (Real meditation is not merely sitting around being quiet. Compassion is a vital component, and if you don’t have it, the sacred — that timeless enormity that man has sought after for eons — will never visit you.)
My wife and i went to Navy Pier, in Chicago, a few years ago, and we saw and heard some visiting classroom of kids making fun of (and taunting) some other children who were there (who happened to be handicapped). Such callousness is sad and disgraceful. The so-called president of the United States — before he was elected — in his ugly callousness, hateful nature, and typical nefarious manner, mocked and made fun of a gentleman who happened to be mentally handicapped. (Google that!) With his neglect for others having misfortune, and with his gross neglect about the health of nature and the environment, Donald Trump’s behavior is a disgrace to humanity.
(See the short video of Kodi below.)
Gifted Sweat Bee going after the gold while surrounded by tons of adoring fans … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
[Note: My wife, Marla, is still in the hospital — getting strong antibiotics through a PICC Line for the serious infection that has been occurring in her shoulder, following her recent shoulder replacement surgery — so my online correspondence will continue to be limited for the time being.]
Do you feel small in this huge cold world? Don’t feel large. Don’t feel small. Just express warmth… the warm of compassion.
That’s all that really matters.
Golden Skipper Resting … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018