Friday, February 3, 2012

The Emerging Compassionate World -- by Drew Moore

The following piece is part of a larger piece written by Drew Moore. This is a speech given by a character in a novel he is writing. I loved what he was saying and wanted to share it. He happily obliged.


I should like to speak to you today on a concept that I like to call “The Emerging Compassionate World.” A world in which children are allowed to grow up in an atmosphere of love, dignity and respect, and are allowed a free range of expression of their humanity. Further that we who are charged with shepherding them are caught up with wonder and delight with our own existence.

I stand steadfast in my belief in this world, and believe beyond doubt that we, the collective humanity, are caught in the midst of that emergence. Think birth; at times ugly, even profane, yet powerful and unstoppable. We are not passive observers of this emergence, rather we are mid-wives, those who facilitate the very genesis of this world. So for today, and only for today, for that is all that I have, I stand in advocacy of something.

I am not advocating for the reduction or abolishment of anything. Absences lead to vacuums, and nature in his irreverence of us, tends to fill vacuums with that which we wanted eradicated in the first place. As well, to stand contrary to anything hinders the process by which The Emerging Compassionate World arrives.

I am calling for a filling in, a condensing, and compacting of qualities. Think saturation. Think of the experiments we did in our childhood where we created our own crystals. Double was our delight for not only did we experience the thrill of creating something out of nothing, that something was pretty and tasted good too. You remember, creating sugar crystals? It taught us about saturation.

We would take a pot, or a beaker, and after filling it with water we would heat it. As the water heated we would add sugar until the water was beginning to boil and the crystals no longer dissolved. Then we would allow the solution to cool, and add a catalyst, a thread, to which the sugar would solidify against.

I am talking a super-saturation, a saturation to the point where none else can exist. I am talking about a saturation of respect, love and dignity to the point where compassion crystallizes in spontaneous acts – no catalyst is required. These acts of compassion reverberate with acts of kindness and affection.

I believe that at this point in time, we stand at a precipice that allows us an opportunity to create such an environment. Never before, in all the annals of time, have we had the world so inter-related. Billions of people around the world have in their hand a device that transmits data in so many different ways that our commonality as one people has never been more realized than it is now. In other words, the environment required for supersaturating is ready, the water is heated.

What is required is the acceptance of three specific concepts. Rather, these concepts need to be embraced as if we were drowning people clasping our life saver; for we are. We need to embrace these concepts with much more vigour than we have grasped the concept that violence is an acceptable means to our ends.

These three concepts are easy to understand, the challenge is to live by them.

The first. There is no separation. We are not separate from each other, nor are we separate from our sisters the animals. You and I are the same being. When I look into your eyes, it is my own soul that I see. Any act towards you is an act towards myself, to heal one is to yourself and to heal all. In this concept lies the truth that there is no such thing as charity, to care for another is an act of self-nurturing.

Consider the poem “The Stream of Life” by the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore:

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.

We are where we are supposed to be, we stand in the middle of the presence of divinity, and she is all around us and in us and is infused in the very fibre of everything that is seen and unseen, felt and unfelt, known and unknown. There is no terrible rejection of us, there is no need to transcend to get back to being in her presence for we are already held comfortably in her lap. There is no favour to seek, no failure to overcome, no chasm to cross, there is no dread hereafter, there is only now.

The Second. You are insignificant. With the exception of a handful people no one waited with baited breath for your arrival. And with the exception of a different handful of people your passing will not be noted.

If you think significance is possible ask any child who Edward Jenner is? Or ask who Louis Pasteur? You might try, Galileo Galilei? Think Steve Jobs will be remember? Think again. Those who we do remember, we actually remember the person, maybe the accomplishment, but really we remember who they were for us.

You are no more significant, than the man down the street, the woman half way round the world, the child who plays. There is no attribute that makes one unique – regardless of age, race, religion, gender, weight, height, intelligence, and nationality we all fill the same role – the expression of her who created us.

The humour filled irony is, that when you embrace that you are insignificant you are then free to pursue the designs of your own heart. It is within this freedom that great accomplishments come to pass.

If you seek significance, seek it in the handful of people who surround you now. For it is the handfuls of people that we are truly known, loved and appreciated.

The third. Our morality, must be based on our being elicited to serve each other and to live in joy. This compelling is not through force or threat of punishment but is an irresistible response to the world around us; think salmon spawning; think of our bodies responding to the beat of music; think of our desire for sex. We are driven from within to action.

In embracing my responsibility, there are no lesser thans or greater thans. The role I play is no less or more important than yours, regardless of how many or few people can do each. At its core is the recognition that I can only be as content as we can be.

Our response to the wrongs of others? A compassionate out pouring of support to come back to the innocence that we were born possessing us. An understanding that she who picks up weapons is inclined to cut only her own hand.

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