Living in separation is by definition a state of suffering, but the antidote seems to be compassion.
One of the revelations offered for study in the November-December session of the Free School of the New Message from God is called The Separation. The entire first month of this session–God, Cosmology and Creation–is devoted to this revelation, whereby those participating are asked to read it and listen to it repeatedly. This is very sound advice because, personally, I have found this revelation to be a hard nut to crack. It has taken repeated reading and rereading, listening and listening again to even begin to gain an inkling of what is being conveyed here. I am trusting what it says in the introduction of the Study Plan for this session and wish to acquire the self-understanding, insight and compassion for the world around me it promises.
“The perspective and insight provided to us by this month’s revelation on our core condition of Separation is a true gift. It has the power to generate enormous self-understanding and insight and compassion for the world around us.”
You can listen to part of this revelation here.
This week, the third week of the session, I am asked to search out all the references to “suffering” in the revelation and ask myself what light this sheds upon my experience in life so far. The word “suffering” appears a total of eight times in The Separation, four of them in the same paragraph. It was this particular paragraph that struck me as I studied this teaching. And I must say that I felt very affronted. I do not like to think that I am not aware of how much I am suffering because I do not know what it is like to be free of it. Even the state I call “normal” is a state of suffering, I am told.
It is then all a matter of time, and time here can be equated with suffering, the suffering you experience to various degrees every day of your life. You do not even know how much you are suffering because you do not know what it is like to be free of it, except perhaps for brief moments here and there. Even your state you call “normal” is a state of suffering—a state of apprehension, concern and anxiety; a state overshadowed by the difficulties of life and the great change that is happening in the world at this time.
I do not like to think that living in a state of separation from Creation, my Source and my deeper nature means suffering to one degree or another every day of my life. I would like to think there is some redeeming grace, some antidote. And I find there is.
Compassion is the antidote to suffering
Another practice this week asks me to choose someone I know or know of and put myself in their position, seeing and feeling how they are suffering (or have suffered) from the effects of the Separation in their lives and affairs. This, of course, is an exercise in compassion, for when I switch the focus from my own suffering and observe other people’s suffering, I am filled with compassion.
The way I now see it is this. In separation I suffer because my focus is inevitably on myself. But my life is not about me, it is not about getting what I want, it is not about self-fulfillment, it is not about being better, more beautiful, more successful, more loved, more appreciated. Instead, it is about touching others and the way in which I touch them.
My steps of the past two days have been Step 121. Today I am Free to Give and Step 122. I Give Without Loss Today. These steps call for thinking of others and giving them something they need, something I would like to receive myself. For what I am asked to give can only increase as I give it. What came to mind for me was to give compassion. I wish to treat myself with more compassion and I can only do that by showing more compassion for others.
I am getting the idea that compassion is the antidote to suffering.
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