Goal for self: cultivate spiritual compassion.
Ordinary compassion privileges others over oneself. It says we shouldn’t be selfish but should aim to help others.
Spiritual compassion looks on self and others equally. It doesn’t identify oneself with the self but looks to ones own self with the kind of compassion we normally reserve for others.
Ordinary compassion looks outward as an escape from egoism. As if the only way of relating to oneself is in a selfish way. In a grabby, id driven, impulsive and possessive way. As if the self can only be overcome by devoting oneself to the service of others. As if we are meant to subdue our selves while promoting other selves.
Spiritual compassion goes deeper. It seeks to bring the full force of compassion to ones own self, removing all traces of self blame, anxiety and self doubt.
In spiritual compassion we love ourselves. Truly love ourselves. Not the needy, clingly, immature, surface everyday love of the self of the ego awareness. But the rich, pure, bottomless, unjudgmental love of letting oneself just be. Giving oneself not this or that thing one wants, but the space to truly and unequivocally be – just be oneself without needing this or that thing to be more fully oneself.
Ordinary compassion seeks to overpower the self and chastise it to turn its attention to others.
Spiritual compassion is the natural outgrowth of ones love for oneself. But pruned of its egoistic manifestation and narratives.
Ordinary compassion is an ought we tell ourselves. Spiritual compassion is our very nature maturing into its full blossoming.
Because ordinary compassion is grafted onto the ego awareness, it is always in danger of falling away. Of us becoming selfish again. A threat we have to safe guard against by judging ourselves constantly.
Because spiritual compassion is nothing other than love of oneself in its purest form, there is no danger of it falling away. Once attained, we only want more and more of it. And as we get more and more of of it, we give more and more of it to others. Give them space to seek it in themselves.
Ordinary compassion has immediate results. Spiritual compassion produces lasting changes.
Ordinary compassion is a steeping stone to spiritual compassion. Initially growing beyond ego awareness first means turning outward. But truly growing beyond ego awareness means turning back towards oneself with complete compassion for oneself.
Ordinary compassion produces results we envision. Spiritual compassion creates results we can’t envision and which transforms our very nature.
Ordinary compassion reaffirms the difference between oneself and others. Spiritual compassion transcends the distinction and merges oneself with others.
Ordinary compassion is work. It takes effort to go against one’s own impulses.
Spiritual compassion is no work. It arises in giving up effort and going with one’s deepest impulses.
The problem with egoism isn’t the orientation to the self. It’s that it doesn’t go deep enough into the self.
Go deep. Be fully yourself. Leave egoism and ordinary compassion behind. Be spiritually compassionate.