presumptions preclude compassion…

Getting to know the ranch a little, the horses are becoming a bit individuated to me, even though most of them are in pasture or paddock and I don’t really have a lot of contact with them.

There is one parked right outside my door in a little holding area where she is waiting to be picked up for transport to Canada where her new owners live. I hope she gets to go soon. She’s lonely and it is interesting how acutely aware she is of every nuance of activities within her sight and hearing, and that seems to extend pretty far. We’ve connected in a small way and she comes up and engages with me. I assume it’s because I think I have some heretofore undiscovered talent for communicating with horses, in a minor fashion I do, but I think that mare  is just hustling me for a handful of grass.

I’ve been hustled for more. I’m a Boar in Chinese astrology, (some would say a bore in general), and that makes me a person that is easily fooled and taken in. I’m now old enough with some ability to see myself clearly and I think that is generally true. However, I actually like the fact that I’m open and sort of naive and can be taken advantage of, because the other side of that coin is that I also have lots of luck and good friends.

For a couple of days I’ve been bothered with some back muscle spasms that made me appreciate again the position I’ve put myself in. Older, alone, living at some remove from others and trying to get settled in for the Winter. I haven’t had to think about a lot of practical things for the last 2 years while living in the relative comfort and amenities of the Bay area, but a lot of those practical habits are coming back, and I do look forward to getting more or less quiet and out of touch with those other habits of urbanity, socializing, and distractions disguised as culture, or at least the access to it.

I’m hoping the Winter will show me a little balance and I can see and respond to it. One hinderance to balance for me is presumptions, in general. For instance, recently I was talking about of politics with a very good friend and had the occasion to image something I hadn’t seen before.

Which was, that when I watch certain politicians speak, I might turn off the sound and watch their expressions and body language and all I would probably see is a being that is in excruciating pain, confusion and torment. This is like watching someone suffer with no awareness of the origins of their pain and confusion; and that can certainly result in a lot of lashing out, creating more discomfort while trying in some inchoate fashion to comprehend what is going on.

To be aware of ones suffering as the result of the pain is the first step. Seeing the solution for ones suffering and being willing to participate in that resolution is another step in the process of healing and growth. The being I was watching writhe on the hot griddle of their own karma and delusions in front of millions, seemed to be in the first stage of their own process, so how can I respond?

One would not hate, or be mad at, a child that was experiencing some pain or fear which it has no control over and was causing it to lash out.One would feel empathy and want to help. Yet, because it’s politics and composed of “grown-ups” (Who have, for the most part, no idea of the laws of karma and consequence), One may feel free to disapprove, dislike, or even hate someone that is in the grip 0f painful emotions and old habitual patterns of view and action. A being that one can see is acting deludedly is not a reason for condemnation or disgust; yet one wants to be careful that the being’s lashing out doesn’t hurt themselves, or others. That is compassion by extension and now one would have to go very carefully because the helping hand can be delusional too.

So, sometimes we can just scale back our views and judgements and just be willing to see what may really be at work, it may be as simple as this:

We are all deluded in our views of ourselves and our understanding of life.

Being able to scale back and see this, for me, is allowed when I create a little space. In this case I can turn off the volume and just see the pain in the expression, literally, of the speaker; and that creates an opening for compassion for another human to arise and a deeper understanding that we are all pushed and pulled by forces within ourselves of which we are not always aware.

The hating or disapproving of someone because we think they should be better at something, does not a peaceful heart provide.

This is a lesson I am shown almost daily, because my dis-approvals run wide and they run deep.    A   little   space   seems   to   be   the   answer.

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