Excerpt draft from my forth coming Psychological thriller Compassion for a Psychopath ( End of the book )
I hope you enjoyed the journey with Maria on her quest through the early years of her life. The stages of life from childhood have a huge impact on our personality and choices. It is very easy to judge others behaviour but not understanding why they acted is more complicated. The influences in a person life can either be for positive change or lead to negative consequences. Understanding a person motives both in their subconscious and conscious will give a different perspective of the situation. The actions of others reveal much about our core beliefs and how we would act. For example, if a young man is exposed to his father repeatedly being abusive to his mother the young child has at least two perspective on how he may treat his wife and other women in the future. He may copy the example of his father believing that behaviour is acceptable or he may vow never to treat a woman in abusive way going even going to opposite of allowing her to be abusive to him. The conditioning of our childhoods are programs we carry throughout our lives.
The flexibility of behaviour is possible for individuals to change because of neuroplasticity. The first important ingredient is being aware of our thoughts and actions reflecting on why. The Psychopath have tendencies to be narcistic and self-indulgent of grandiose illusions of importance. Difficult for them to accept their behaviour as ruthless and uncaring. There egos use confirmation biases and not taking responsibilities for their actions. The compassionate side of them is turned off. The Psychopath has learned to act in a way of self-preservation often from circumstances not choice. The emotional intelligent they have is external of others not themselves. Their perception and intellect can be highly polished understanding human nature. The compassion for them is viewed a weakness unless it is for there advantage. The differences of degrees of each Psychopath will be variable.
According to Forbes.com many of the top career paths for Psychopaths ar
- Media (Television/Radio)
- Police Officer
- Clergy person
- Civil Servant
Maria(Psychopath) journey of her step father being involved with the church and sales had a strong influence on her growing up. Her mother had a background of being a strong femine role model in a loveless marriage looking out for herself. Ignoring Maria emotional needs influenced her perspective as a child because of isolation with no attachments. The internal programming of a child serves the brain as the modulator of behaviour for the future self. The stress Maria had to endure as a child affected her brains emotional intelligence of the prefrontal cortex. This decision processing area of executive function damaging her pathways of neural patterns from limbic system. For more information on how brain effects our perception is in my book What are you afraid? Take the Fear out of Fear available on amazon.
I have also written several Posts about Psychopaths on my website https://2020-learning.com/They include Personality of a Psychopath, The birth of a Psychopath, Feelings of a Psychopath and a female Psychopath. There are many great books and stories about Psychopaths for you to investigate so you can come to your own conclusions.
The definition of Psychopath according to https://www.merriam-webster.com dictionary is
“a person having an egocentric and antisocial personality marked by a lack of remorse for one’s actions, an absence of empathy for others, and often criminal tendencies”
Contrast to that personality trait with compassion the same dictionary defines compassion as
“Sympathetic consciousness of others’ distresses together with a desire to alleviate it”.
The fascination I have with human behaviour has been my quest over the last four years. I have been drawn to the Psychopathy in helping me understand the mind of these individuals from a Psychological, biological, and neurological perspective. Sadly, the Hollywood movies and media reports that all Psychopaths are dangerous and a menace to society. The truth of the matter, there are various degrees of the personality trait and not every Psychopath is a danger. The personality of a Psychopath is not a simple equation of cause and effect. There are genetic, environmental, and other factors that influence the Psychopaths personality and behaviour.
The foundation of many personality traits is in biological mechanisms. Modern science helps clarify the brains of different disorders with MRI technology. A Psychopathy academic scientific paper came to this conclusion after examining the data. Its is called: Brain Basis of Psychopathy in Criminal Offenders and General Population by Mathew Hudson. “Normally functioning individuals with high psychopathic traits have structural and functional brain characteristics that are similar to violent offender with high psychopathic traits. These characteristics include both fronto-limbic cortical atrophy and enhanced brain activity in affective circuits while seeing violence. Altogether these data show that integrity and function of the frontal and insular cortex associate with both extreme and benign variations of antisocial behaviour, providing neurobiological support for a common neural basis of antisocial behaviour with different severity.”
The story of Compassion for a Psychopath is to help the reader understand the consequences of a Psychopathy behaviour because of their abnormal brain wiring. The key difference in Psychopathy actions is rooted in a lack of empathy and compassion. Severity of each individual Psychopath behaviour vary greatly. In the right environment many can perform in an acceptable way in society but when the pressure is on, the personality changes especially with cognitive dissonance.
I have endeavoured to make the story as authentic as possible taking the reader on a journey of discovery in the mind of a Psychopath. When I was writing the book, I did much research to bring the story to life. In the world of my imagination, I hope will give an experience of roller coaster of feelings and sensations for the reader. Writing the story, I could visualise the scenes because I used real places and time frames in history. Added to the story is many references to music because music stirs the emotions and very much part of what I could hear in my imagination while writing the story. One day I would like to see the story as a movie because I want the world not to just be glamourised with violence of a Psychopath but to have compassion for them who don’t have the joy of being present in the human body with empathy and compassion.
“Tears come from the heart and not from the brain.”Leonardo da Vinci
Do you love a good movie , a good book or a good song especially if those moments includes happy endings to the story. We remember information easier if there is a story because the brain classifies information in pictures in relation to our experiences. Life events shape our perception and memories either in a positive or negative situation. The reality for all of humanity will experience trauma in all its shapes and forms. Painful experiences can shape our view of reality to be counterproductive for not moving forward. For example PTSD( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) the effect has according to N.H.S. U.K says” Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia and find concentrating difficult.”
There are many different approaches to rectify the unsettling events and experiences that occurred in the brain and the body. On my journey of experiences from learning therapeutic counselling skills with many other models and reading many insightful books the many approaches have limitations. One shoe doesn’t fit all because everyone is different and each persons reality will be different. Even twins have different perspectives.There is a fascinating ongoing study to emphasis this point of differences in individuals. The old story nurture very nature.
Here is a quote from paper”These first results highlight that there is a genetic contribution accounting for variance in both grey and white matter. Results from the later phases will further identify the specific genetic and environmental contributions to each aspect of grey matter — volume, thickness and surface area. Because cortical thickness and surface area are both functions of volume (Panizzon et al.,2009), volumetric estimates may not, by themselves, discriminate between genetic and environmentally independent traits of surface area and the correlated traits of cortical thickness results provide the first outcomes from the TWIN-E study, and indicate it is a generalizable sample that will build on previous findings. It provides the first step towards linking brain imaging data with measures of self-report, functional status, side effects, genomics, cognition, and psychophysiology, to establish endophenotypes for emotional health and risk for mental illness.(https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/twin-research-and-human-genetics/article/twine-project-in-emotional-wellbeing-study-protocol-and-preliminary-heritability-results-across-four-mri-and-dti-measures/A5B1FDA4BAD55F96F56A55588F0D707D#)
I watched a program recently with an interview with Joe Dispenza and he used this quote which is from one of his older books(I have read it)“Can you accept the notion that once you change your internal state (story), you don’t need the external world to provide you with a reason to feel joy, gratitude, appreciation, or any other elevated emotion?”
I was relating to my 20 year son who lives near Oxford explaining how to resolve trauma effectively. My wife (his mother) died of cancer 4 years ago and he was at home experiencing the events with the rest of the family. I said the main reason why some of our past experiences are still painful is because we retell the story with the emotion attached to it. Logically and rationally if we retell the story without the emotion it is just a piece of information. Of course to do this we need to process the emotion and release it or detached the emotional charge. This can take time and sometimes professional help to process it. The suffering Buddha says comes from attachments. An example why changing the story helps is example of myself mentioned earlier. I was happily married for 21 years then my wife died at a young age. It was a massive loss for me and the children and the rest of the family. If I still believe I was in a marriage with a dead person and focus on the past continually, naturally I would get depressed and eventually die with her. The fact is my emotional attachment needed to change. For example if you hit your finger with a hammer you don’t relive the pain every time you use a hammar , the emotional charges has gone. For me personally I needed to ADJUST to a new self and release the idea of being married to a single person again adjusting my life focusing on Steve not Kate. Now when I relate my story I rephrase the emotion on a positive for Kate because she is no longer suffering and for me I had privilege of being blessed with 4 beautiful children and being married. Finally every day is a bonus because ancient wisdom says “If you realise that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.”
― Lao Tzu, Dao De Jing
Every problem we encounter on our journey give us opportunities to learn from the experience. I have the wisdom of life experiences of teaching myself compassion. Before my wife died I never thought I was important and believed my feelings were not important. Despite the huge problems you are going to face in this lifetime remember after every storm there is going to be a sunny day. Reprogram your stories to release all the negatively and stop being the victim be victorious instead. Focus on the narratives you tell yourself by lowering expectations when times are hard. Be kind to yourself then you will be kind to the world. The Quran says ” Is the reward of goodness anything but goodness” ہَلۡ جَزَآءُ الۡاِحۡسَانِ اِلَّا الۡاِحۡسَانُ ﴿ۚ۶۱﴾
“Tears come from the heart and not from the brain” Emotions tell us that something is wrong for that moment so don’t be ashamed feel the emotions be compassionate to yourself then you can share others pain with no judgments. The heart is the gateway to Change The Story to release the Pain and embrace the love of life.
Working on my novel for some months and have completed about three quarters so far. I am hoping to finish it before I start my Degree in October. Here is the first chapter draft for free , enjoy the read.
You Shall Not Murder
The minister animated with fire and brimstone exhorting the congregation at a small church hall. His veins swelled with passion, shouting to the flock with a scathing message of hatred against the heathens in the world. The sweat poured down off his face at the climax of the sermon with the audience in fear of his piercing eyes looking for his next scapegoat in the congregation.
“The blood of Jesus dripped down on the ground of Golgotha for all of you miserable sinners. God gave Moses the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai as a divine revelation… You Shall Not Murder.”
After he said these words, he smashed his fist down on the podium. The children in the audience moved closer to their parents in fear of the minister’s retribution of anguish. Young Maria was in awe of her tyrannical father. It intoxicated her soul, watching with his fury leashed against the congregation. Young Maria’s ears fixated. Every word bellowed out in the ghostly atmosphere, with dark shadows. The imagination of Maria’s mind transcended to the crucifixion of Jesus hanging in the scorching sun. The sky was a dazzling blue, cloaked in stillness with serenity. Scorching sun blazed on thirteen bodies randomly pitched on the hillside left to die slowly. Maria watched the victims hanging, gasping for breath. The sweat, blood and tears slowly dripping from their swollen bodies. Maria walks towards Christ in her imaginary world and looked up, gazing into his eyes. Her hero bravery fascinated her, and she examined his scars and punctures wounds on his body. She touched her masters’ legs, stroking them, feeling the heat of sun on the skin. She heard a voice behind and turned around and looked up at an old man hanging on a torture stake. He whispered in a soft voice gasping for air,” He is dead, my child, go home”.
Maria awakes from her imagination with a nudge from her mother.” Listen to your father Maria, people are watching you”. Maria looked around the audience with her eyes wide opened. She noticed a young girl in a seat watching her and she gave a friendly smiled. Maria noticed the warm invitation of the girl. The sweet child was sitting next to her father with no one nearby. Maria focused her attention on her father again being drawn to his theatrical performance preaching from the stage.
Maria’s father continues his sermon “Jesus said, you shall not murder and whoever murders shall be liable to judgement…. You will go to the fire of hell.” He paused and shook his head in disgust. “Our men died in Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq, Bosnia, and for what?”.
The audience, many of the families, felt the minister’s pain because they also lost close family members during the many wars. Over the decades, many never returned home, leaving an empty place in the family’s hearts. Suffering didn’t stop for some in the community after the war when the battered solders returned to their families. Bloody nightmares haunted a few young veterans night and day. The release of anguish disturbed the sanity of the young men and their loved ones. A tsunami of emotions ripped open the hearts with the call of duty lead many of the soldiers to suicide to escape the unending battle.
The minister composed himself, clearing his throat, shook his body and dried his eyes with his handkerchief that had the pattern of the American Flag. The American flag triggered the minister into a frenzy of emotional again elaborating him into a childlike state. He launched into another character of a pure patriot lighting up his body with his voice echoing the last verse of the nation’s anthem.
“Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven have rescued land
Praise the Power that has made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
Over the land of the free and the home of the brave! ”
He continued in his sermon, “God bless America and all its citizens who can go to bed at night because our boys fought for our freedom. The freedom of Christ gives each one of you dear sheep the privilege of seeing your boys in heaven.”
Patriotism filled the church atmosphere of the small suburban town. The rain persisted shadows of cascading torrents lashing against the creaky wooden windows. A tear slowly drips from Maria’s mother’s face on to her lap. Katya remembers the pain of her first husband’s death while listening to the new husband’s sermon. Maria couldn’t understand why her mother was sad, because her stepfather had the congregation in the palm of his hand.
Katya’s mind reflected to a time before Maria was born. She was fleeing her hometown during her country’s civil war. Remembering the days living in Serbia with her first husband. He was a loyal Balkan soldier who fought in the Bosnia and Herzegovina war. Katya recalls the time of them both fighting together and watching the thousands die in their homeland. They both knew about the execution of local people who worked and lived in the community for decades. The pain in her heart congealed to bitter anger of frequent sour, stagnant outburst through her life. When the pain in her present life escalated, she would spew out prejudice and hatred, blaming the Bosniaks having to flee her homeland.
The Patriotism Katya felt in the small American church touched her inner spirit as memories of the past flooded her body of stench of death and torture running through her veins. Her daughter Maria never heard her mother’s truth. Young Maria never understands her mother’s inner pain because of the walls of her mother’s heart were solid, never allowing the daylight of love in. Maria knew very little of her mother’s inner world of reality because her mother was distant and unforgiving to her. The young child’s connection to her mother’s world was through pain and anger.
The adrenaline of the audience peaked again as the minister retold the story in the bible of Judas, one of Jesus’ trusted friends who betrayed him.
“Judas, during the moonlight, came with an army and the crowds followed Judas, filled with hatred and violence. Judas went up to his master Jesus as the stars above witnessed the passion of the devil’s accomplice, Judas embrace the Lord.”
The minister cried in an ecclesial fashion as the passion of Christ filled his heart with animation of heavenly aura. Maria, spellbound again by the incantations of her father. She became bewitched by the supernatural charisma her father displayed. Maria’s stepfather took a long deep breath and looked straight at Mari’s eyes and said” Jesus said to Judas… my beloved friend, why did you do this to me after all what I have done for you… you will burn in hell my friend for your betrayal”
Mara went into a religious trance again, seeing Judas in a transfiguration, her entire world transmigrated 2000 years in an instance. She imagined watching justice being served in front of her, watching Judas’s body roasting in a fiery bonfire with fireworks colouring the darkness of hell. Her mother noticed her daughter in a lucid state.
“Maria, you are going to be punished for not listening to your father and Jesus is not happy with your behaviour.”
Maria quickly came back to reality as her pupils opening wider with her breathing slowly increasing back to normal. Her face muscles relaxed. Her eyes shined radiantly, displaying an angelic personal appearance in serenity resembling a little angel waiting at the gates of heaven.
The minister looked up at the celling with his arms stretching out and said” God we are all sinners, and we deserve to be punished for our errors, PLEASE forgive us”…. There was a stillness in the congregation of awe and fear, with a minute of silence. “Now we will praise the lord with our hearts full of conviction singing Christian warriors fight for Peace on earth”.
When the service finished, two war widows walked casually towards the minister. Their eyes filled with tears and sorrow, but their lips and breast revealed another story. The sparkle of their jewellery wrapped around their necks revealing the voluptuous energy illuminating from the women. They were seeking validation with rapture of intimate consolation from the messenger of God in their presence. The minister’s passion consecrated his ambience, looking for his next conquest to release his sexual tension of suppressed frustration.
“Oh, minister Barrington, we connected to your spirit during your service. For the love of God and country we praise you for a passionately delivery.”
The minister cleared his throat and held his arms out like a shepherd rescuing two little lambs.
“Your men were brave, and the Lord is taking care of them. Know you are safe with me” As he embraced them both, he pulled them tight to his chest with their breasts being lifted in unison against his body. He looked into their eyes, full of lust and desire. His mouth salivated, and he cleared his throat and whispered into their ears, “God told me to look after you two beautiful girls”
One woman said,” Minister Barrington, we would love you to come over for dinner”
The minister said, “Please call me Michael, after all I am only human, like you lovely girls. May the grace of God bless you both, as he works in mysterious ways. I wondered who is going to cook tomorrow evening because Katya has to work the late shift. So, what time shall I come over my darlings?”
The younger woman was eager to please the minister even more and gave him a kiss on the cheek and said seductively,” About 8pm honey, we will see you then”.
Maria watched her father from a distance, and was familiar with his masquerade of pleasing the different women in the church. Maria always wanted her father’s attention but never received the warmth and attention he showed to other women, especially in church. He was a false reincarnated Christ in church, but he reverted to the ways of the devil in his miserable dungeon at home.
Katya noticed her daughter Maria watching her father and grabbed her hand.
“Stop staring, you know its rude, come.”
The delegated Katya had to collect the tithings from the church collections after each service because her husband was always busy. He said it was church business, but Katya knew his schemes of conniving with the flock for his earthly sensual pleasures. Katya walked towards Dante, a tall, slim, dark, handsome man with olive skin with a youthful look. He was always polite to her at every church service. His gentle voice interesting lured many women to listen because of his Italian American accent. He was an immigrant from Europe who came with his family to America twenty years ago. When his parents arrived in America, he was a young boy growing up. His parents mixed with Italian communities, speaking little English only when necessary. He had a little girl with dark brown hair and brown eyes standing next to him quietly.
Dante said “Hello Katya, you are here to collect the collections. Please give me one moment, my dear friend.”
He walked towards a small room near the main auditorium. Inside this room was a safe with the church valuables. Dante carried a leather bag that contained all the collections from the service.
“Katya, here is the collection for you. I neatly wrapped it for your husband to take to the bank. I have put the money into different amounts of dollars so it will be easier to count.”
Katya thanked Dante for his kindness as she took the bag off him.
Dante said,” My daughter Kate would love to spend some time with Maria. You have a beautiful daughter. Maybe we can organise one day for both of them to play together” Young Kate looked at her father with excitement and smiled at Maria.
Katya replied,” I will check with my husband first, and Maria always has so much to do at home. I can’t stop now. Please forgive me Dante; I need to go”
Dante said as Katya was walking away,” no problem, we can talk about it again. I beg the master love and happiness for you both”.
Katya walked to the safe room, with Maria quickly glancing around to see where her husband was. She noticed he was busy talking to one of the church members, who was a local police officer. Recently, the police officer caught the minister speeding. Mr Barrington’s charm and audacity was trying to convince the police officer of his innocent by a little white lie.
Katya went into the safe room with her daughter, closing the door shut behind. She opened the bag and took some money out. Mrs Barrington hid some cash inside her bra, concealed from any suspecting individual.
Katya said to her daughter “We need to keep this money because one day we are going to leave this corrupt town and be free of your wicked stepfather” Maria knew it wasn’t safe to answer back because she learnt in the past not to question. The anger of her parents unleashed on Maria when she questioned them, causing her pain and shame. She loved her stepfather strangely, because she always got what she wanted from him, apart from his affection. When he was drunk, he taught her how to control and manipulate people and encouraged and trained her to try it out at school.
“Wait her please Maria. I need to use the bathroom. Keep tight hold of the money and don’t move or else.” Katya rushed out of the room, leaving Maria all alone with the money. Maria locked the door and opened the bag, and noticed all the coins and notes in the bag. She noticed a few loose dollars bills so took them out and hid them underneath her clothes like her mother’s example. She quickly zipped the bag and unlocked the door, waiting patiently for her mother.
Katya came back and said to Maria,” Hurry, we need to go before your father gets in the car waiting. Katya pulled her along by her arm as they both hurried outside the church into the dark night in the pouring rain. The rain washed away some of the gravel path in the church cemetery next to the church building. The flags that were tied around a few gravestones flapping in the wind. The noise sounded like a bird’s wing injured escaping a fierce predator. Both of them ran towards the car in the carpark that was crowded by the parishioners vehicles.
Maria sat in the dark, damp shadow, all alone in the back seat. She was watching the rain bounce off the windscreen from her seat. Katya was in the front seat in complete silence, with the sound of heavy rain hitting the roof of the car piercing her ears. It caused a flashback, reminding her of the bullets bouncing off the cars during the Bosnian war. She could hear screams of innocent prisoners begging for shelter from the bullets as the heavy rain cascade off the metal roof in the old secluded garage in Serbia. Katya faced filled with rage with her blood pumping fiercely like a boxer in round one full of energy. She clenched her fist that became a pounding instrument of death with a shiver through her spine, causing pent up pressure of anger and fear. Then suddenly Katya screamed out like a force of lightening in Serbian,” Shut Up, be quiet or I’ll muzzle you like a dog”.
Maria sat still, holding her breath, knowing her mother could explode at any minute into anger hurled towards her. This was her safety strategy in a confined space, trying to disappear from the mother bear. Young Maria never reacted to her mother’s words because this was one of many episodes of flashbacks.
“Separation causes Alienation from Life Origination”Steve Hyne
A child would say “what a big head” because of a person bragging about their accomplishments. In truth that would be true if their Ego was inflated in a literal fashion. We all need self esteem because it is crucial for a person survival mechanism and it can give an individual a purposeful life. BUT the problem of many modern societies encourages the self(The Ego) to separate to Me rather than We. The Ego in simple terms from my definition means “Part of a person mind who makes decisions based on previous knowledge either through life experience, academic or knowledge learnt from others”.
The Ego has many masters from instinctual impulses , survival mechanisms , Psychological Precepts and much more. The problem of allowing the Ego taking total control will cause loss of identity as a human from its natural and true source. The pages of history will tell you this from religious ideology , scientific dogma and the tribal chief or masters.
Western civilisation promotes the illusion of you as a special and truly unique individual. That is true in a simplistic face value system but below all the camouflage the human species are all the same unless you are an alien from another planet in disguise(lol). The protocol of individuality is just a concept of capitalism for control to fool the masses into submission. For example the economy in modern societies is based on the consumption of products. Lets be honest and I include myself , how many products did we buy, not because of a need but because of greed. The propaganda of large cooperations is driven by share indexes not the consumer needs. I am not a communist or radical political insurgent. If you delve deeper below the surface of the obvious “The Promise of Individuality of You being different or special causing separation not unity in the common market.” The complexities of the economic systems has its benefits but it has caused a global separation of wealth of the human species as one example. Scientific data and historical references can be found in Karl Marx works. He has written much on the subject(warn you, it can be subjective to what you read and heavy going.)
A recent shooting in my hometown of Plymouth was a gunman murdering his close family members then finally himself. The tragic circumstances of all including the remaining family and friends will be impacted for a long time. It is very easy to make judgements on news events but that is often the Ego talking. I don’t agree of taking innocent lives but the response of the Emotional Ego comes to preconceived ideas of events. If we look closer at the awful event with open mind of compassion will help us to see another side of the story. If the man had the support he needed from mental , Psychological and emotional systems the probability that he wouldn’t of killed anyone.( At this juncture, sometimes with all the resources doesn’t stop tragic events unfolding sadly.) One reason why the gunman acted crazy from my perspective was because the social brain craves community and belonging. Humans are social creatures and need love to thrive and survive. The core foundation of human needs is love in all its different formats. The reports indicated that the man hate was fuelled by isolation and separation of his basic human need.
Sacred Texts of The Ego restricting Compassion
Through out history the sacred texts have highlighted the importance of compassion. A fundamental reason why religious ideologies have survived by the wonderful stories of love and empathy. In contrast the Ego is driven by reward and aversion principle of core beliefs in binary thinking. Sacred texts very often touch the heart of humanity essence of compassion and empathy. The religious gurus were not demonstrative of just Self they were focused on the community and others. The texts quoted just a sample of many instances emphasising the We not Me as the foundation of the true self.
The Master said,”In ancient times, people learned with a view toward themselves. Nowadays , people learn with a view toward others”Confucuism: Analects X1V:25 Confucius
The Ego has less influence and control of the self by regular reflection in meditation practices. The Ego hates quietness it loves distraction because it is a biological mechanism not the real you. Confucius contrast learning from others as medium of knowledge. A child can teach its parents , even animals can teach us wisdom. Being present with others turning the Ego off or I imagine putting my little snappy Ego in the cage while listening. Others can teach us many wonderful things and this imbues a closeness and connection coming from the heart and not the head. One of my insights and sayings about compassion is ” Fill your cup first then you can pour compassion on others.
The ancients acted in Dao. Not to give the citizens knowledge, but to let them become simple.
Citizens are hard to govern when they have too much knowledge.
So, using knowledge to govern the nation is thievery. Not using knowledge to govern the nation is good fortune.
Understand these two and use them as principles. Always understand these principles, this is called Primal De. Primal De is deep and everlasting!
When creatures return, they reach their greatest harmony.Taoism: Dao De Jing 65 Lao Tzu
The word Dao in simple terms is way of behaviour and actions throughout the universe. The word De in simple terms living in line with the laws of nature as results of our actions. It reminds me of being kind to everyone because one day we might need their kindness . The old english saying “what goes around comes around and you reap what you sow by Jesus. Did you notice that too much knowledge or rules causes problems in everyday life. Another saying I like . rules are made to be broken. Deep down humanity knows how to treat and respect life it is part of human nature. The Ego loves to implement a cascade of dos and don’t because of the premise of fear. The motivation in these passage highlighting come from the heart not the head of knowledge.
“He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.”Hinduism: The Bhagavad Gita
The Gita is allegory of Ego(Self) fighting against the rest of the universe. This is my interpretation of reading the book in very basic terms (There are more significant details in the book but from a Westerner perspective I have put it in simple terms and I am not a Hindu Scholar). The quote is important from a humanist viewpoint because we are all the same in nature. A dog is a dog and a human is a human. The Ego loves to classify and label things because it makes its job easier to navigate the world especially in communication. Humans have all the same basic needs , water, food , sleep , sex and so on. The dictionary definition for impartial is : treating all rivals or disputants equally. When we look or observe everything with an impartial eye we don’t judge others with the Ego. Everyone in society are important, can you imagine a world without cleaners or conversely a world without scientist. Compassion moves humanity as a part of the whole as we not I. Thankful for the lowly keeping the earth clean and grateful for the scientist to save the lives of others and the planet.
“17 ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you may most certainly rebuke your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take revenge nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor (acquaintance, associate, companion) as yourself; I am the Lord.Jewish: Leviticus 19:17&18 Jewish Law ( Part of old Testament bible Amplified Bible version)
The Jewish separation as a nation was clearly set out in their way of worship compared to the alien residents( Non Jews) The verses emphasis on not acting from a place of hate towards those that are different. The Ego of a person mind constructs core values and beliefs of what it has learnt. This framework can supersede compassion of rules and regulations practiced by the Jewish nation as mandatory and formalistic. The verse reminded the reader to go beyond an Ego set of constraints from the head lead to the inner person of the heart. Concludes the verse of love your associate from compassion not by the Ego.
“There is nothing so disobedient as an undisciplined mind, and there is nothing so obedient as a disciplined mind.Buddhism: Gautama Buddha
The Ego can control you or you can control the Ego reactions. American Psychological Association dictionary Ego control says: Personality characteristic consisting of the tendency to inhibit the expression of emotional and motivational impulses, ranging from under control to over control of such impulses. The experiences in history clearly left a legacy of individuals Egos become so inflated or out of control basically narcotic and narcissistic caused much suffering. Working with a group of people from small office to a large arena only takes one or two individuals to cause fractious environment by their undisciplined mind being overrun by alcohol. Buddha through his teachings emphasised the root of all suffering is attachments. That could be people , ideas , places etc. It is easy to say I am easy going but being present and letting go of precepts is a harder activity. The sacrifice of ones attachments to help others is no easy task. The Ego resists change and familiar lifestyles and patterns. If it was easy the equilibrium of wealth throughout the planet and wars would cease because Egos be disciplined put others first especially others needs despite the differences.
“43 “There is a saying, ‘Love your friends and hate your enemies.’ 44 But I say: Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way you will be acting as true sons of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust too. 46 If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even scoundrels do that much. 47 If you are friendly only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even the heathen do that.Christianity : Jesus Christ Matthew 5:43-47 (Part of the new testament of bible Living Bible version)
When a friend or close family member upsets us generally it is easy to forgive and move on. But if The Ego is in control it always wants to be right and first. Compromise isn’t in the Ego dictionary. Jesus encourages to end differences by praying for enemies. Praying for people who inflict pain is not easy because often the wounds are deep. The emotional barrier of separation of binary philosophy stops mankind seeing beautiful rainbow of diversity on earth. The verse says that even the Christian creator is benevolent to the pagans , it doesn’t judge or disregard as person status. Examine nature we don’t see animals being prejudice it is only instinct that they differentiate in their choices. Humanity have a higher consciousness than animals with a core strength of compassion.
“Have you then considered him who takes his low desire for his god, and Allah has made him err having knowledge and has set a seal upon his ear and his heart and put a covering upon his eye. Who can then guide him after Allah? Will you not then be mindful?”Quran 45:23 ( Shakir )
Quran identifies the desire to a god. The Ego can act like a god. The Egyptian Pharaohs embody the idea of their position to be worshiped while on earth and preparing for next life. Their desires to take all their attachments including live individuals at their death into the next life. The rational mind knows it is impossible take anything into the next world. The Ego thinks its invincible and will never die and pursues that journey at all cost. The realty of life is transitory and the Quran reminds the reader that knowledge is the the problem. The Ego lifeblood is knowledge from its own perspective and storehouse of knowledge not from a higher source. From a Ego perspective desire of self is more important than others. This causes separation of We To Me that inhibits the the true self to give to others with unconditional love.
In conclusion from a limited human mind I have endeavoured to show through religious ideologies the key of knowledge scattered for our Ego to observe. The Ego induces separation then it causes alienation from the origin of life.
“”Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body.“
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Expressing feelings is a part of human nature but sometimes we don’t know how or what is happening to the mind and body and feel stuck? Exploring challenges from a fresh and different perspective could be the cultivation of the new you. With support and clarity from the foundation of compassion is the start of a new journey to unlock your unlimited potential. No one has all the answers but by sharing a difficulty with a trusted companion may be all you need. If you don’t have access to such resources drop me a line via my website
I have noticed the increase of anxiety of some individuals coming out of lockdown with the removing of restrictions. During the pandemic it has caused anxiety and stress for many. The anticipation of freedom from lockdown has fooled a few that all the challenges they faced over the last year or two would go away instantly. The brain doesn’t like unfamiliarity and new situations. This can add more stress especially with ongoing challenges and uncertainty. The lockdown worldwide has caused many losses of life , friendship , holidays , employment , money and associations and much more. There has been a significant effect on the human body and mind of many during pandemic. Being compassionate for self and others will strengthen resilience and solidarity for all humankind.
I have seen in my personal life how a few regular compassionate routines helps me recenter back to my normal self. There are many resources that involve financial commitments and time that adds stress. With limited resources and time the free resources is always available. These free resources can be adapted to your personal needs and circumstances.
Meditation quiets the prefrontal cortex , the command centre of the brain. Start with 5 minutes if unfamiliar with the practice and increase whenever possible. The secret is regularity practicing every day not necessary the amount of time. The average brain process up to 80000 thoughts a day. Relaxing the mind will quiet your nervous system. The Ego part of the mind wants undivided attention like a relentless dog chattering in the background. Meditation will help focus on the true self not the worries of life contniually.
Focus on a happy place and imagine you are in a dream. Engage all the senses if possible.
Breathe slowly through the nose and release any tension through the mouth. ( ok to say ahhhh help release stress through the mouth)
Nurture Yourself in Nature
Nature is your friend and you can connect with the calming effects of fresh oxygen and colour.
Focus on the beauty and simplicity with no unnatural noise pollution or distraction.
Talk to nature and release all your pent up concerns and worries. Nature will never turn you away but will always listen to you for eternity.
Gratitude is a spiritual practice. Developing the inner person is a on going spiritual practice.
Singing or listening to soft or calming music is a spiritual practice. Writing or reading poetry is a form of spiritual practice.
Spirituality is being present in the moment embracing life rainbow of emotions. You don’t have do anything being aligned with your authentic self. The true self will connect with the universe effortlessly inducing calm and peace.
For thousands of years the ancient practiced different exercises to synchronise the mind and spirit as one. Yoga , QI Gong and other traditional exercise are examples. The life energy was used in martial arts to defend and protect the people. The practices copied the examples of movements found in nature. This very brief video will show some simple movements to increase the flow of energy in the body and relax the mind to synchronise both in harmony.
The benefits are outstanding to the calm the mind , nervous system and strengthen the muscles with resilience. Start the day or break up the day of receptive unnatural life style of modern life to release trapped tension with more energy. The emotional repression is very common with challenging responsibilities. The ancient exercise practices can release the stored emotional stress in the body and mind effortlessly. The inner spirit of a natural warrior can help you tackle the obstacles from a place of peace to make the right decisions in life to find an equilibrium.