Art of Living Study Group

Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Head-Learning and Heart-Wisdom

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    ModeratorTN
    Keymaster

          Weekly Theme for Contemplation:Head-Learning and Soul-Wisdom

    “Action based upon spiritual insight has a moral simplicity that neither can be understood nor imitated by the lower mind.”

    — Aquarian Almanac

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Art of Living Study Group


    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      July 15, 2017 Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Head-Learning and Soul Wisdom

      Can I see another’s woe,
      And not be in sorrow too?
      Can I see another’s grief,
      And not seek for kind relief?
      — WILLIAM BLAKE

      Rembrandt van Rijn 1606
      Thomas Bulfinch 1796
      Inquisition ended (Spain) 1834


      • Shen Rampersaud
        Participant
        Shen Rampersaud

        A tough dilemma.

        To assist another with empathy and effectiveness requires feeling the right amount of woe and grief. Too little leads to apathetic inaction and too much incapacitates both parties all the same. A balance is necessary, and the barometer for balance can only be felt.

        Bearing personal sorrow without drowning is a requisite. This is where soul wisdom is essential in understanding the hollow nature, transience, and silver lining of sorrow as one of many human experiences. This gives way for the detachment that enables people to respond appropriately for themselves and others.


        • Pavel Axentiev
          Participant
          Pavel Axentiev

          Interestingly, in Buddhism, as far as I understand it, the compassion (karuna), empathetic joy (mudita) and loving-kindness (metta) have to be balanced with equanimity (upekkha). These four comprise the brahmaviharas (“the four immeasurables”), while the latter two (metta and upekkha) are also included in the paramitas (“perfections”).


          • Mark Casady
            Participant
            Mark Casady

            Reminds me of a verse from another poet, the Sufi Saadi: “Human beings are members of a whole, In creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, Other members uneasy will remain. If you have no sympathy for human pain, The name of human you cannot retain.” (Gulistan 1, 10)


          • Shen Rampersaud
            Participant
            Shen Rampersaud

            This is a good point, Pavel.

            Detachment without indifference is a delicate skill, but an essential one in being engaged and responsive. With upekkha, one is not swayed by the daily current of stimuli.

            Upekkha demands some of the qualities of nekkhamma (renunciation), as one of the perfections. Arguably, equanimity lies on this foundation.


        • Pierre Wouters
          Moderator
          Pierre Wouters

          Shen, you said: “To assist another with empathy and effectiveness requires feeling the right amount of woe and grief”.

          How would you relate that “right amount of woe and grief” in turn to the idea of non-attachment as – for instance – explained in the Bhagavad Gita?

          In the Voice of the Silence, the Viraga Paramita speaks of “indifference to pleasure and to pain, illusion conquered, truth alone perceived”.

          Of course, as few have reached that exalted state of “indifference” or equanimity, do you see this “feeling the right amount of woe and grief” as an intermediate state?


          • Shen Rampersaud
            Participant
            Shen Rampersaud

            The response to feeling woe and grief is one of either non-attachment or clinging. Clinging is a result of identifying with the many reactions to feelings. And this obscures truth.

            Being touched by pain is not a sign of attachment. The deterrent to non-attachment is the spiral of thoughts, emotions, fruitless meaning, reactive actions, etc. that proceeds feelings. Identifying with them is immobilizing and illusory. In regards to the Viraga Paramita, I believe that indifference to our reactions to pleasure and pain is a great necessity to dissolve their impact.

            Upekkha is subtle and delicate; it is neutrality and a non-reactivity without being emotionally shut off. Because equanimity is not indifference, I don’t see “feeling the right amount of woe and grief” as an intermediate state. Great question, Pierre, and I hope this helps.

            We don’t need to feel pain over and over just to serve others. Figuratively, we touch a hot skillet on a stove, and must let go quickly! The burning sensation is understood and there is no need to hold on. We leave this experience with a core understanding to assist those who have similar or greater “burns.”


            • Laura
              Participant
              Laura

              The question is truly great. It gives a depth of opportunity to understand the inner life. The answer well put.


            • Pierre Wouters
              Moderator
              Pierre Wouters

              I can live with that response 🙂 Thanks.


    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      July 16, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: Head-Learning and Soul-Wisdom

      To cling to the Void and neglect compassion
      Is to fall short of the highest path.
      — DOHAKOSA

      The acquisition of Brahma Vidya is entirely dependent upon the development
      of a feeling of universal love. — D. K. MAVALANKAR


    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      July 17, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: Head-Learning and Soul-Wisdom

      Believe to the end, even if all men went astray and you were left the only one
      faithful; bring your offering even then and praise God in your loneliness.
      — FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY

      Where my heart lies, let my brain lie also. — ROBERT BROWNING

      First photograph of a star 1850

      Where there is ‘I’ there is bondage, where there is
      no ‘I’ there is release. — ASHTAVAKRA GITA


    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      July 18, 2017 Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Head-Learning and Heart-Wisdom

      Blessed are the pure of heart; for they shall see God. — JESUS

      ‘Tis wisdom sometimes to seem a fool. — THOMAS FULLER

      Fundamental theorem of the calculus (Leibniz) 1677


    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      July 19, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: Head-Learning and Heart-Wisdom

      Knowledge is proud that he knows so much;
      Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
      — WILLIAM COWPER

      Learn to unlearn. — BENJAMIN DISRAELI


    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      July 20, 2017 Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Head-Learning and Heart-Wisdom

      To be able to say how much you love is to love but little. — PETRARCH

      It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege
      of wisdom to learn. — OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, Sr.


    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      July 21, 2017 Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Head-Learning and Heart-Wisdom

      ‘Great Sifter’ is the name of the ‘Heart Doctrine’,
      O Disciple. — THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE

      Logic is a matter of mere intelligence, which cannot apprehend
      things that are clear as crystal to the heart. — M. K. GANDHI

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