Cultivating Compassion in the Face of Hatred and Division

“This is part of meditation, if you are interested in it, not just sitting cross-legged and going off into some fantasy. This is part of meditation, to enquire very deeply into the nature of conflict, into the nature of desire. Not what other people say about desire. The whole concept, the Christian concept of suppression of desire – as we have come to serve the Lord, have no desire, except one desire to be like him – or whatever it is.” ~ J. Krishnamurti

Working on ourselves takes work.

Self-knowledge, in other words, doesn’t come without ample intention, discipline, and reflection.

Donald Trump may be the President of the United States of America, but he is just one man, the figurehead, the representative of an entire government that in less than two weeks has turned back time, to 1984. Trump is the man-child in charge of the executive branch and executive orders. It seems obvious that he’ll soon face impeachment. But, what if not?

A paradox: we are all different, yet we are all the same. Each of us has an identity, roots, ancestry, a story. And, simultaneously, we are all simply human beings living a human experience with emotions and thoughts, ideas, memories and plans. Beliefs, curiosities, fears, hopes, personalities. Here’s how J. Krishnamurti puts it:

We are conditioned to individuality, we are conditioned to think that we are separate from another. We have separate souls, whatever that may mean. We must succeed separately. So is that mere conditioning, or is it an illusion, or it is something that superficially – because we are different superficially, you are tall, I am short, or I am black and you are brown and so on and so on – superficially we may be different at the peripheral level, but that does not constitute individuality. You may have a different capacity from another. I may be an artist and you may be a politician – those are outward dressings, outward coating. And we take the outward effects, outward appearance as individual.

As we said yesterday, we are not merely listening to the speaker but we are thinking together over this matter. The speaker is not laying down any dogmatic statement. We are questioning, we are enquiring, and doubt, scepticism, is part of this enquiry. Not only doubt what one thinks, doubt one’s beliefs, one’s conclusions, not merely doubt what the speaker says – that would be quite easy, and it becomes rather superficial – but to doubt one’s own behaviour, the way one lives, the whole religious structure, to doubt it, question it; to doubt all nationalities, why we kill human beings who are like us, why we tolerate wars and so on.

Hard as it is to swallow, politicians are also human beings, like us, who think and feel. Hard as it is to grasp, we are society and society is us.

What to do? Meditate. Reflect. Realize oneness.

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