Here is an example of a process that can be seen with various content:
I feel compassion for all the people who are suffering with the pandemic. Perhaps they’ve lost their jobs, don’t have enough to eat, don’t have health insurance. People are experiencing so much loss, fear, deprivation…. I feel tremendous compassion, my heart opens, I feel such love and care and concern. Then, before I know it, attention moves to how what’s happening to them is wrong. It shouldn’t be happening. It’s all unnecessary. There’s no reason for it. I start comparing how it is to how it should be, could be. How different it could be if people in charge actually cared. I leave compassion as I go into content. I’ve moved from the heart to the head. Now, instead of being in the process of caring, I’m “caring” about. In that shift from the process of compassion for the people (how they’re suffering) to “caring” about the people and their circumstances, the content (how wrong what’s happening is), I’ve gone from the Heart and aligned with ego. Once this movement is complete I’m left with outrage, frustration, anger, upset, maybe depression or even despair. It’s all so hopeless, nothing I can do about it.
The result of that is two-fold:
- I’ve left compassion. There’s no compassion for the person who is now being subjected to an ego takeover in which they will suffer mightily, and
- the person has been removed from the compassion that would have led to caring “action” had the person been able to stay with the original compassionate response felt for the people and circumstances.
The big winner, of course, is ego as it reassures me that “I” am compassionate and caring while they are the problem.
The caring and compassion belong to Life, are Life. When we stay with our direct experience of compassion, kindness, caring, gratitude, or any of the rest of the near-endless list of synonyms for thisherenow, we have, we are Life living. When we follow ego out into its imaginary world of dualities, of content, of “about,” of what “it’s like,” we’re lost. And we feel lost. We suffer.
We have moved from a full heart to conditioned mind to ego identification to, as the old saying goes, being part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
Fortunately, we know that the solution to all ego’s “problems” is to move out of a conversation in conditioned mind and back to the Heart in thisherenow.