How to Be Free
Author: Joe Blow

Chapter 19
Compassion is Projected Self-Pity

As neurotic armoured individuals we are still able to connect with the suffering of others by identifying it with our own suffering in some way. In our suffering state our attention is directed towards ourselves, but, if we can identify our suffering with that of someone else it can motivate us to try to do something to help them and by feeling a sense that our suffering is shared we can achieve some sense of catharsis.

Since, in our neurotic armoured state our inner child is frightened, unloved, oppressed, starved, molested, blind, deaf and crippled, there are few forms of suffering in the world with which we are incapable of identifying.

Clearly in a neurotic society compassion, the ability to feel identification with anotherís suffering, is tremendously important as it allows for mutual aid between pathologically self-centred individuals.

However, as we become less neurotic and thus suffer less ourselves we may be worried about the fact that we start to feel less compassion for others. If we express to others the fact that seeing people suffer on the news each night no longer makes††us feel bad, they may tell us that there is something wrong with us. But this is actually a sign of increasing mental health.

Some incredibly armoured individuals feel no compassion for others. We call them sociopaths. These are not healthy individuals. They are totally self-centred and very often behave very destructively towards others. Their lack of compassion is not due to a state of health, but to the fact that their armouring is so complete that it blocks out all awareness of their inner childís suffering.

The end of compassion, however, does not mean the end of mutual aid buts its true beginning. When we are no longer at war with ourselves we will be full of energy and enthusiasm, and the most enjoyable way of using that energy is in helping others. It is not necessary for us to be motivated by an experience of their pain any more than it is necessary for us to be dirty ourselves in order to feel motivated to clean the kitchen floor.

 

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