Archive for October, 1998

re: to E on compassion

Compassionate action is action which allows the other person to exist in a certain state of being. My difficulty is that though I have a concept of what that state of being is like and I can in general sense how to promote that state of being in other people I do not what exactly are the right words to describe it.

i disagree fundamentally with this. Compassionate action is action that doesn’t place demands. there is no “certain state”… just what is. if that means that a person dies, then they die. If it means that a person loves, then they love. BUT!!!! the intent has to be compassionate. “preserve life” is a demand we make of ourselves. is that really compassionate in all cases?

I think that I agree with you. I don’t think that we are defining the same things in the same way. Ok, I’ll go through this quickly because I started to see it when I was reading what you were writing. Yes, you are right, there is no requirement on action, at ;east not a fear based requirement (compassion has it’s own requirements, but I’ll not go into that.)

Ok, some people focus on action an purifying action and acting rightly; aka. don’t kill, don’t steal, yadda yadda yadda. I moved back a step from that and said that it was not important what you did, it was important why you did it and the action would emanate from the motivation. So, I was working on purifying motivation. But, motivation itself arises from something else. It is that that I was calling compassion. I was trying to make it into a place like the motivation was a place, but it is not, it is before that. There is no specific place that comes from compassion (there is no bounds on motivation; you don’t have to be any specific thing.) Compassion is something that comes before the motivation and acting more or less from compassion (which I think is the same as acting from Love or from God) will by necessity purify your motivations.

Likewise therefore, love begets love, so by acting in a compassionate way towards others you change the place where they act from because you make them more capable of acting from compassion, which as I said preceeded motivation (and is in a relationship with it.)

But I have to go to search. This is still being put together. I’m gonna work on it some more. Is it making sense thus far?

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re: compassion

I have problems with your definition of compassion. It seems that you can’t have compassion for someone who is unafraid or undeluded. A compassionate action doesn’t make the fear go away, nor does it promote enlightenment. I’m not saying it *can’t*, but that’s not the prime motive. Compassion is a validating experience for the other person. It lets them know that they are not alone in the universe, that someone cares enough to help them or hurt with them.

The stupid VAX ate my reply last night so I am beginning it again. This time I decided to send it out to everyone since in my first attempt at this message I decided that I had not been describing accurately what I was seeing. Trying to describe exactly how I was wrong was very convoluted. It wasn’t that I didn’t have a clear idea of what compassion was, it was that the idea is a set of kinesthetic sensations (kinda, not totally, there is some thinking in there too) and when I went to put a label on it I mislabeled and didn’t even notice until you got me to thinking about it.

I do remember my first sentence though from my first attempt because it was cute. =) “People who are undeluded and unafraid? You know of such people? =) As a wise man once said, ‘we are all charity cases.'”

And I went on from there to agree with you that my definition of compassion wasn’t quite right.

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a groups request

In relation to leading the group on RLT I was wondering if it would be possible to work it so that there was approximately an even gender ratio. The first two sections of RLT deal a good bit with love and relationships and I think that it would be helpful to the people doing the group if they had a chance to hear the “other side”‘s perspective. I have done an all male discussion of relationships before and there is a place for that. That might work ok except that S will be there. I have done groups before discussing relationships where there was just one of two girls and it unbalanced the group alot.

I recognize that RLT is primarily intrapersonal when discussing relationships, but I think that gender issues will still be pertinent, or at least issues that have gender as an aspect of their discussion.

The reason that I doubt my motivations on this is that the thought of trying to lead a group of guys in a discussion of relationships and love turns me off. I know that I don’t want to do it, and I do not know if that dislike of the idea would make me avoid something that might be productive for them. This sounds very reasonable though reading it, so I am going to say not.

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j: doing people

I have several little things that I have been noticing that I don’t really have an explanation for, but which I want to concrete my observation of, so I am hopefully in the next little bit going to send out a flurry of little observation journals.

This one is about disliking people and what happens when I am doing that. I have been more open about not liking people as of late. Before, when someone did something that I did not like I would try to take the full brunt of the responsibility for there being a problem. It was my job as an individual working on spiritual enlightenment to be able to experience anything without being discomforted by it.

I was allowed to analytically disagree with a person, but the feelings of resentment and anger that would come up on occasion were not acceptable.

Lo and behold this process of deeming a part of myself unacceptable and trying to make it cease to exist did not work especially well.

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presentation for nchc

This is the first and a half draft of the presentation that I am planning on giving at nchc. I’m sending it out in case anyone would like to critique me on anything. I make several statements about the honors program and if there is anything really markedly wrong in my ideas it would be good for me to know.

I enjoy building a cohesive model when I am speaking and I have done that to some extent here. The danger in what I am doing is that I created this model myself and it is a description of other people, so unlike when I am writing about myself, if I am way off base I might actually be stepping on somebody’s toes.

Opinions and constructive criticism would be appreciated. Don’t be nit picky or nothing, it is really hard to try to describe something adequately to another person and I don’t think that this is perfect. I don’t think that it can be. If you have something that would really make it better I am all ears though.

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Beattie Youngs' Paintbrush Poem

I wandered away from my keyboard for a while to discover that in my absence J had been sending to me asking if I remembered the paintbrush poem that Shelly sent out at the beginning of the semester. I did in fact and I had it in my mail archive from when it went out to the self-esteem classes last semester.

The concepts surrounding honesty in relationships is something that I am thinking about alot as of late and I am planning on using this poem as a jump point to work from sometime soon (whenever I can get the world to stop for about 3 days and let me catch up.) =)

Anyhow, here it is. (I left my questions in in case anyone wants to answer them.) =)


 I keep my paintbrush with me
 Wherever I may go,
 In case I need to cover up
 So the real me doesn't show.
 I'm so afraid to show you me
 Afraid of what you'll do
 That you might laugh or say mean things.
 I'm afraid I might lose you.
 I'd like to remove all my paint coats
 To show you the real, true me,
 But I want you to try and understand,
 I need you to accept what you see.
 So if you'll be patient and close your eyes,
 I'll strip off all my coats real slow.
 Please understand how much it hurts
 To let the real me show.
 Now my coats are all stripped off.
 I feel naked, bare and cold,
 And if you still love me with all that you see,
 You are my friend, pure as gold.
 I need to keep my paintbrush, though,
 And hold it in my hand,
 I want to keep it hT
 In case somebody doesn't understand.
 So please protect me, my dear friend
 And thanks for loving me true,
 But please let me keep my paintbrush with me
 Until I love me too.

 	                        - Bettie B. Youngs

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are my motivations pure; I think so; this is honest

I’m scared to send this to you all because ever since E accused me of using honesty as a pick-up for girls I have been hypersensitive about that and I am concerned that I am doing it. I’m afraid that you will see me being manipulative (aka. I’m afraid that I am doing it and that it is obvious, but I can’t see it.) Also, I’m afraid that I am afraid because my intuition is telling me that what I am doing is false (so I am getting afraid) but my sex/intimacy drive is clouding it.

I don’t know though. -Will

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re: to E on changing personality

This is a reply to something that E sent out a little while back on developing a method for learning SJ traits. Later then Wayne sent out a message in reply, and part of the thinking in Wayne’s reply relates to conversations that we have had in the past.

I am going to try to include the gist of that argument and then explain a couple more thoughts that I had as I was reading Wayne’s reply this morning.

(For reference, for those of you who don’t remember the journal in question, E’s original was the one with the:

         SP    NJ

in it.)

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j: #4

This is an experience that I had the other day as I was walking across campus on my way to the honor’s lounge. It was on Friday (this last one, which was right before fall break.) I was getting out of class and I was deciding where to go from there. I was thinking about the break and the fact that I wouldn’t see anybody for a couple of days. For a bit I lingered on the thought that it would be relaxing not to have the pressures of bunches of people around for a couple of days, but then this picture of me sitting in my room working on my computer flashed into my mind.

It is hard to describe why I reacted like I did. The image was terrifying. It had nothing to do with the image, it was the knowledge that somehow went along with it that I was completely alone in the world; lost and forgotten. The fright only flashed into my mind long enough for me to recognize it and then it was gone. I think when I saw it I blocked it off.

The issue of me thinking that I am not cared for or not really liked is coming into focus again. It faded for a while and I was fairly confident in my thoughts that I was an attractive person who was enjoyable to be around. That was while I was being a fun person though. I was enjoying making people feel good about themselves and I could tell that on the whole people enjoyed my company.

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j: #3

I reckon I’ll go into the main sparking event. Peck was pushing the idea of the difficulty of being aware and the other night E challenged me on how I have been dealing with the freshman girls.

I had trouble getting a clear picture of his fears out of him. What he said that made the most sense was that he was afraid that I was pushing too hard and that I was going to “break” someone.

I can feel tension in my body that is resentment towards E. I am going to dump some first to see if I can take out some of that disclarity before I talk about this stuff. This is hard to do because I am in a different place than where I was last night when I started this journal. I could distinctly feel the place where I was holding tension last night, in part I think because I had been writing for a couple of hours beforehand and I was deeper in myself. I remember the gist of what was bothering me though and I’ll start from there and see if I can recapture the feelings.

E is full of it… Nope, I don’t think this is going to work. I’ve been sitting here trying to come back to that resentment, but I can’t find it. I reckon I’ll try to go in with the rational stuff that I came up with this morning and over the last little bit and see if I feel the resentment again.

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