C9. My mind takes compassion on my brothers.
With the cultivation of compassion the mind wakens and, all of a sudden, realizes something very important, which he had never thought of throughout the years, although it was self-evident. The only reason for this disregard was that he was indifferent, steeped in his personal problems and had not yet expressed the will to receive a training on caring about his brothers, sympathizing with them and wanting them to be happy.
As a result, he now realizes that in the concrete-covered city where he lives, in the nearby blocks of flats, in a radius of less than five hundred meters, thousands of unknown brothers reside and sleep every night, and many of them have for years identified themselves with at least one of the following painful roles. My mind has also adopted more or less nearly all these roles from time to time during his life. He still notices many of them emerging from within regularly even now:
- rich people who feel miserable in their loneliness, because they are afraid that all people who approach them allegedly with love are hypocrites and are doing it only because they want their money;
- poor people who have been cursing their poverty for a lifetime and envy the wealthy people and blame them to be responsible for their unfair fate, thus filling their hearts with hatred, resentment, fury and misery;
- insecure narcissists who, in order to somehow fill their drab and empty life, have been used to constantly showing off their physical or spiritual beauty, thus living a miserable life, since they repeatedly lose opportunities to love and be loved by brothers due to the fact that their minds are always polarized on and absorbed in the ceaseless search of ways to draw the admiration of others for their beauty, their intelligence, their achievements and whatever else makes them stand out above the average person;
- celibate men and loveless women, dried out for years, without love, cuddling and hissing, who turned to be dismayed and misanthrope, because they did not dare – and they still do not – to take a chance to suffer pain again, since they took the pain of rejection too heavily in the past;
- lovers who anxiously exploit each other for the fulfillment of their own sexual and emotional needs, without having ever tried to taste the joy they could reap from the broadness and the sweetness of understanding, compassion and active participation in the inner life of their partner and without having ever relished the profound satisfaction of developing with acceptance, love and care a blissful and free person in their partner;
- parents who do not in the least communicate with each other and their whole life revolves around their children and constantly poison their lives with too much anxiety and fear about their studies, their bad companions, the drugs, their health, their proper nutrition and whatever else is related to the life of their children, thus holding them suffocatingly close to them, until they rise up; then rupture comes, the children go and the parents remain alone and desolate in their empty house; they get depressed, quarrel all day with each other and seethe against their “unfair fate”, as they say;
- hunted male adolescents, wrongfully frightened due to the responsibilities of the forthcoming adulthood, which have been overrated by their parents and by society; these teenagers, emasculated by the overprotection of their parents, end up doing drugs, drinking alcohol, suffering from depression and taking psychiatric pills, or even committing suicide;
- toilers who do not manage financially, because they have mistaken the acquired and artificial needs for real and day and night strain to fulfill them, get upset, sigh, grieve, carry with great difficulty on their shoulders and lug along the unbearable burdens of life, look back on their careless childhood with nostalgia and desperation, until they become sick and die, without having understood even the least from the meaning of life and leaving behind their woman with small orphans, uneducated and incapable to continue their life with dignity, since the only paradigm they have in their mind is their desolate father who sickened and died because of the burdens of life;
- parents who have lost their child due to an incurable disease or drugs or car accident and have now wilted, be-cause for them life has now lost its meaning forever; they do not want to give their life a new meaning, nor do they want to find new recipients for their love, because they have too much pain in the heart and stubbornness in the mind and, therefore, cannot go along with the idea of becoming happy again since their child no longer exists within this world; they do not even want to hear such words, to their wounded mind they sound nearly as a sacrilege;
- brothers suffering from defeatism and low self-esteem, who, although they have too many dreams remaining unfulfilled, prefer to always stay in obscurity and endure their dull loneliness with fatality, because they cannot bear to be exposed to the inhuman world of the competent and beautiful people who deserve happiness; they are afraid of the comparison and a priori believe that the others are better and happier than themselves;
- stressed technocrats, who have believed that the career is everything in life and out of fear refuse to admit the poverty of their emotional life; moreover, they become cruel and un-charitable towards all their brothers who “dare” to have weaknesses and not conceal them;
- drug addicts, alcoholics and gamblers, who did not tolerate the pressure to take the responsibility of themselves and did not make it, before they sickened mentally, to taste the joy of offering to other suffering brothers; that’s why they now choose self-destruction in order to keep the abyss of their misfortune constantly filled up and thus not be forced to under-take themselves and fill their time more creatively;
- neurotic brothers, who proved to be incapable to weather the storms of life (for their unfulfilled aspirations are uneducated, immature and intractable and yell from within) and have been used to lighting a cigarette in the face of every hindrance, or eating without being hungry, or diving into the fake world of television and cheap readings and, generally, to chasing after a recourse in order to avoid mulling over the impediments which do not allow them to achieve their goals and obtain what they desire;
- mischievous brothers, who incessantly waste their energy by looking for ways to wrong their fellow-traveling brothers and thereby deduce financial or other non-essential benefits, thus ignorantly sacrificing the one and only essential benefit, that is to say spiritual freedom and, by extension, comradely life;
- sexually abused women and children who since many years ago have not yet managed to overcome the rape they underwent, and their minds cannot get liberated from that tragic experience, which results in not being now able to trust their erotic partners and enjoy love in all its magnificence;
- men and women whose marriage turned to be a compromise, not for any serious reason, but merely due to naiveness and negligence, and now out of financial insecurity or out of fear for loneliness they are scared to end it; but they also do not want to make it revive, because they no longer believe to have the power to change their life and make it better, since they have been convinced of not being competent nor worthy of anything more than the misery they have experienced until now; and so they only wait for the rest of their colorless life to pass, in order to sometime get rid of this burden which is called life;
- and many other roles, burdensome and inconvenient up to tragical, which hold lots of my brothers in Hell and do not let them breathe and celebrate the gift of life.
And all this misfortune existed, exists and shall continue to exist in a radius of only a few meters away from my pillow during the nights, when I sleep unsuspected and indifferent for the avalanches of pain which sweep off with their impetus countless brothers to the inner crag.
While I summon up the sufferings of all these brothers of mine, I sense the inner feeling of urgency inundating me. I have something to tell them, something that might help them. I have to do it, now, not tomorrow, because tomorrow it may be too late for some thousands of these brothers. But I cannot do it, it is not possible, I am finite, I cannot make it to talk to all of them in an evening. Besides, I do not know whether they will be prepared to listen to what I want to tell them; they might disagree, even get angry with me for daring to invade into their personal lives.
And they will be right. Let my compassion not be transformed to a mania, to a fixation. I am not supposed to save the world myself. I do not have either the power or the knowledge, not even the unreduced care and endurance required for this task. Even if I had all these, the world does not want to be rescued now. If they wanted, they would have already done so. However, they may come to want it tomorrow; hence it is my duty will and joy to impart, either in writing or verbally, the story of my suffering and the ways I have found to soften it and transmute it to a sweet experience of affection and love for my aching tiny self.
This is what I do; without haste and devoid of demand. With simplicity and compassion I help – in the best possible way afforded to me by my very limited level of knowledge and care – whomsoever reckons and feels that what I can offer will be helpful for him. I wish that humanity will soon find the path to compassion and love, since in the last decades, thanks to the mass media, we have been told that there is a lot of paranoia and wanton distress among the people of the world, as well as total indifference for the suffering of the fellow man, too much hatred, too many undeserved killings and crimes of any kind; these are committed by their perpetrators and abettors (who are all of us due to our passive attitude, tolerance and over-adhesion to our personal affairs) lightly and airily, due to their ignorance about the rejoicing and peace of mind which is immanent in the brotherly comradeship.
Fortunately there are, of course, also some brothers of mine – hopefully, not too few – who do not belong to any of the aforementioned categories of distress, or, at least, do not experience in such a tragic way the suffering which is inherent in these categories. I am honestly glad for the sake of these brothers, and from the bottom of my heart I wish them to continue being happy, regardless of the adversities of life.
This is the way in which the feeling of compassion applies inside me even for the brothers who seem to be already happy; by wishing for them not to stop being happy. Additionally, I wish for them to entrench and steady their happiness even firmlier by getting to know themselves deeply and by developing understanding and compassion for all their brothers, in order to taste also this kind of superior and permanent joy, which they may have not tasted yet sufficiently. Thus, they will at the same time constitute a luminous example for their brothers, who will also experience the joy of freedom, if they imitate them.
 Loving care and compassion can also be the result of training apart from innate gifts. As a result, love is an attribute that can be learned with strong will and struggle; it is not a capability that is granted by the “unfair” nature only to some privileged ones, like I wanted to believe for many years, in order to have a paper of indulgence for my indifference about social problems and my sloth-fulness. My slothfulness (to wit the mind’s fear and refusal to admit his imperfectness and his need to change) did not want to let me work in order to develop some salutary values in me, such as care, understanding, compassion, forgiveness and love, because it knew that this kind of work required the sacrifice of their opposite habits (respectively: indifference, egocentrism, utilitarianism, resentment and self-interest). These habits were familiar to me and, hence, I thought that it would be too much of an inconvenience for me if I would lose them. Consequently, I do not need a paper of indulgence that is sunken in lies; I prefer to consciously forgive myself for my slothfulness (to wit my fear of change) that I have just confessed.
 Why overshadow and darken with the oppressive clump of an imaginary debt or duty something that I like and want so much and that fills me with delight and rejoicing whenever I practice it?