Dynamic Compassion

Dynamic Compassion is a compassion that goes beyond just respect, service and care. Compassion is the willingness to suffer with others. Dynamic compassion is the underlying cause of change or growth that comes from that willingness to suffer with others.

Dynamic compassion is a willingness to engage the world or a situation that is unhealthy, possibly making that situation temporarily more dynamic (dis-eased) so as to bring about a change towards a healthier situation.

I remember a situation from my childhood where my mother demonstrated Dynamic Compassion with my older sister that probably saved her life and gave me a great example of love, which was a deep and profound experience in my life. I was about five or six at the time and all three of us, my older sister, myself and my younger sister, had the measles. My younger sister and I got over the measles in the normal amount of time but my older sister did not. My mother was worried about this because she had heard that measles, if they last too long, can do permanent damage or even kill. So my mother called the doctor who told her to induce the spots on the skin to eruption. To do this he said she should draw a hot bath that was just less than scalding and put my sister in it. He said this would be very uncomfortable for my sister but that my mother would have to hold her in the water until the spots erupted. can still remember how my sister screamed and cursed my mother for doing this. My mother had tears in her eyes but also knew that if she did not do this then my sister could die. My sister, still a child, could not understand this.

The spots erupted and my sister got better. But I can see that my sister always seem to hold that experience against my mother and still does not have much of a relationship with her.

But, I can see that this act was an example of Dynamic Compassion, loving when those you are serving cannot understand how you are loving them. This is unconditional love for it was not conditional upon a return of appreciation or love.

Dynamic Compassion is much more than Ahimsa, the Buddhist and Hindu doctrine expressing belief in the sacredness of all living creatures and urging the avoidance of harm and violence. Dynamic Compassion goes beyond the equanimity of non-aggression and injury of others to the active involvement in the lives of others. Ahimsa implies an avoidance of involvement in another’s life while Dynamic Compassion implies confronting and embracing involvement in another’s life. Ahimsa is a good start but it does not go far enough. In the spectrum of consciousness Ahimsa only goes half way to equanimity while Dynamic Compassion pushes us toward the extreme positive of love.

Dynamic Compassion means confronting the ills of our society. Non injury is non involvement while confronting is engaging the causes of injury BEFORE they happen or at the root of their source. Compassion by itself may mean being a “Mother Theresa” type person who comforts the wounds of those who have been injured. Dynamic Compassion means confronting the cause of injury so as to protect against future injuries.

Often those who are being harmed are also the ones doing the harm. Many injuries people experience are self-inflicted yet they blame others for their own behavior. For instance, “verbal or emotional abuse” is harm that we have learned to cause ourselves. Dynamic Compassion confronts the source of the injury by confronting the person who is abusing themselves emotionally.

Dynamic Compassion would also motivate one to confront the BELIEF that words are the source of our suffering. For it is this belief that keeps people trapped in the cycle of abuse and violence. Confronting deeply held beliefs in society is not popular but it is loving and deeply compassionate.

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Jim

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