Aristotle's Blog


"Love life and life will love you back. Love people and they will love you back."
(Arthur Rubinstein)

     I've been throwing this idea around in my head for a while now.  The idea of just going about my life, full of compassion.  What if I really made it a goal to give value to those around me.  My first reaction when thinking about this idea as a clinging feeling.  It's so strange and absurd now, but the idea of giving value initially triggered in me feeling of clinging.  I felt like I was giving away something that was dear to me.  It's completely irrational and selfish but that seems to be the natural reaction of the ego.  Value is not a limited resource.  It's not something that you will run out of if you give it.  In fact it is quite the oppisite; the more you give value, the more value you have.  This is what compassion is.  To live life in the state of compassion is to keep your self open to giving value.  You go about your day thinking of others.  You approach interactions with others with a positive mind and the intention to in some way bring some good to the interaction. 
     Compassion arises from solidly having the values of presence and gratitude.  In the Gratitude artical we talked about how having gratitude is realizing that you really have things great and you don't Need more from others.  The natural progression of this is realizing that not only do you not have to leech off of others, you can actually Give to others.  This is also a default setting, if you will, of being present.  I really don't know how to explain it but im sure you can relate to what Im talking about.  The way that when you are fully present in the moment, you feel so content and fulfilled that the overflow leads to you being more caring, or just gererally nicer to people.  In addition it's not the kind of chode "Im nice because I want other people to like me" nice; it's the very attractive "Im nice because I want other people to feel good, why wouldn't I" kind of nice.  There is no neediness there.

     The most important thing here is, that with compassion, you're not doing it because it will make people like you and make you more attractive to women, you do it because YOU FEEL LIKE IT.  It has to be a basic part of who you are.  Being not doing.  If not it turns on it's head and becomes a form of neediness. 

     There's not a set way to go about being compassionate, you just do it.  The only thing you can really do to cultivate genuine compassion is to understand what compassion is to you.  You need to find a way that compassion is important to you.  For me, I just feel better when ever I make someone else feel good.  The deeper level of this I suppose, is that I see a little bit of myself in every one.  I've been reading "The art of Happiness", a book of a bunch of interviews with the Dali Lama about living a happy life.  I reccomend this book for getting you to think about compassion.  By seeing people around me as other living concious beings, I feel more open to authentic communication with them, and in this I feel more compassion for them.  This process works in both directions.  Through the practice of compassion you strengthen your interactions with everyone and create win-win situations where everyone involved gains value.  Who doesn't want to be around a fountain of value.

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