Dennis Dossett

Dennis L. Dossett
(All Rights Reserved)

    This month's topic deals with Compassion, The Fifth Step Toward the Ultimate Life Lesson. We all know what compassion is, right? I thought I did but ... not so fast. Despite its importance in terms of the Ultimate Life Lesson, it turns out that there is not only disagreement about what Compassion means, there is also a great deal of misunderstanding regarding this phenomenon. So, what did I learn about Compassion?

    One definition of Compassion I found described it as
• “Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.”
    Another source said that Compassion is
• “To empathize with someone who is suffering and to feel compelled to reduce their suffering.”
    Still another source proclaimed that
• “Compassion is not sympathy. It is empathy, it is being able to feel other people's pain.”
    Other sources defined Compassion as
• “The feeling that arises when you are confronted with another's suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering,”
    and when
• “We care about others, treat them with kindness, and feel a strong desire to help people in need.”
    There are some similarities here, but also some stark differences. And the confusion gets even thicker:

• “Compassion is the awareness of a deep bond between yourself and all creatures.” ~ Eckhart Tolle (1948-; German-Canadian spiritual teacher and author)
• “Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things.” ~ Thomas Merton (1915-1968; American religious author and Trappist monk)
• “Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” ~ Pema Chodron (1936-; American ordained Tibetan Buddhist nun and author)
• “Compassion becomes an automatic reaction when you see all of humanity as one undivided and indivisible family.” ~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer (1940-2015; American psychotherapist, self-help advocate, and author)
• “Wisdom is knowing we are all One. Love is what it feels like and Compassion is what it acts like.” ~ Ethan Walker, III (American spiritual author)

    The underlying themes of these well-known writers is their emphasis on the awareness or recognition of “oneness and interdependence” of all souls. So, is Compassion an emotion (a feeling), one or more actions, a state of consciousness, or some combination of these factors? Well, I guess “beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.”

    “But wait! There's even more!” as the endless stream of television marketing tells us. Is the underlying motive for compassionate behavior a factor? What about philanthropists who are publicly acclaimed for their financial support of deserving causes? To what extent is that acclamation sought as a means of ego gratification? Is that truly an indication of Compassion? Is there a difference between them and the many celebrities whose gifts are made anonymously and may only later be revealed after their death by their benefactors? Is that just a different kind of Compassion or a more complete form of Compassion? Are they similar in some ways but completely different in terms of motivation?

    I have had the disturbing sense that there is more to the topic of Compassion that may be necessary for understanding this important phenomenon. Consider the following words of Maitreya (Ascended Master channeled by Margaret McElroy):

• “What is Compassion? True compassion is the understanding of another soul's problems. One can have compassion and yet not get involved in the situation. Many souls seem to think that to be detached emotionally means one cannot have compassion and understanding, but this is not so. The true balance of spirituality on the Earth plane is to have no emotional body, but to have compassion without becoming involved in the situation.” ~ Maitreya (Newsletter #131)

• “What is Compassion? It is the ability to see another with no thought of wanting to comment or to give advice, but just to see them with love and understanding. It is the ability of knowing they have a life path just like you, but not interfering in that life path, and having love for them-total and unconditional love without judgement, fear, or any other emotion.” ~ Maitreya (Newsletter #146)

• “Detachment does not mean one cannot have Compassion or understanding. One does not become a part of the emotion; one stays aside from it. It is not YOUR emotion. Once you learn to detach, you will find life will not only become easier, but simpler also.” ~ Maitreya (Newsletter, “Learning to Understand Differences”)

• “True detachment is a higher form of Compassion. Detachment teaches you to not waste energy reacting to anything or anyone, but instead to focus on your own energy and life journey. This is accomplished by working on your karmic debt, past life energy and life lessons. When you have truly learned detachment, you will no longer have mirrors in your life anymore, because that means nothing concerns you, and you have no fear. All you have is the peace that surpasses all understanding. By then, you are a truly enlightened individual.” ~ Maitreya (Wisdom Card #20)

    The Compassion that Maitreya speaks of in these (and many more) quotes is that of detached (or Non-attached) understanding. Non-Attachment was the topic of last month's blog in which Maitreya tells us that “Detachment is one of the hardest lessons to learn in the journey of spiritual development” (Maitreya Wisdom Card #20). In that blog, I also noted that “Judgment (an Attachment to my being 'right' or 'correct,' and your being 'wrong' if you don't agree with me or don't do something my way)” ... makes the difference between conditional versus unconditional Tolerance, Acceptance, and Respect. We must now include Compassion in that list as well.

• “The major block to Compassion is the judgment in our minds. Judgment is the mind's primary tool of separation.” ~ David R. Hamilton, PhD (American chemist, motivational speaker, & writer)

    Note that judgment as a “tool of separation” is the antithesis of “oneness and interdependence of all souls” referred to earlier. In other words, Judgment allows only conditional Compassion, thus preventing the full expression of unconditional Compassion as a necessary “Step Toward the Ultimate Life Lesson.”

    Of course, it goes without saying that unconditional Compassion must include Compassion for oneself as well as for others. Indeed, the “Empty Cup Principle” (“You can't give what you don't have”) applies here. It is lack of love for ourselves that inhibits our compassion for others. If we make friends with ourselves, then there is no obstacle to opening our hearts and minds to others.

• “If your Compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” ~ Gautama Buddha (c. 563-483 BCE; Indian spiritual teacher and founder of Buddhism)

• “If you have no Compassion for yourself then you are not capable of developing Compassion for others.” ~ H. H. the 14th Dalai Lama (1935-; leader of Tibetan Buddhism since 1950; Nobel Peace Prize, 1989)

• “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we can know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others.” ~ Pema Chodron

    So, is Compassion an emotion (a feeling), one or more actions, a state of consciousness, or some combination of these factors? Does it really make a difference? After all, isn't it likely that different people experience it in somewhat different ways?

    Personally, I've decided that making judgments regarding anyone else's Compassion doesn't serve me and is really none of my business anyway. It is an issue for me and me alone on my journey of working to become a better version of myself. I'm now thinking that all that really matters is the intention to raise my own vibration—in the spirit of oneness (all souls are interrelated parts of the Creator)—through increased understanding and support both of myself and of others—but without involving myself either in their business or my own emotional attachments. What do you think?

Have a great month!


Have a great month!


“Old habits die hard, but with a little faith and a lot of hard work, they die before you do!”
~ Dennis L. Dossett (Dancing with the Energy - Book 1: The Foundations of Conscious Living) ~