Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Compassion

According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, "compassion" means "sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it". I'm mentioning it because it may come in handy when reading the following quote, from Miriam Greenspan's Healing Through the Dark Emotions:

Many spiritual traditions speak of a larger sense of Self connected to the Divine. We can realize this Self as we grow in compassion through the alchemy of the dark emotions. This self sees the larger picture and knows that compassion, the highest form of love, is the greatest healing balm for universal suffering. This kind of love is the Divine at work in the lives of humanity. Compassion is the gold in the accumulated sludge of humankind's sorrows. It is the best medicine for what ails the human family. (241, emphasis mine)

Now, this seemed asexually relevant because most asexuals will, at some point, run into some person who will say that we're missing out on the "ultimate expression of love" (ie, sex) and therefore are not quite fully evolved. I always thought this was pretty ridiculous, because aren't there as many expressions of love as there are people? Anyway, I thought it was refreshing to come across these thoughts on compassion; now you have a renowned psychotherapist backing you up against those "supreme act of love" people. And goodness knows compassion is what the world needs more of (although I'll settle for making love and not war).


7 comments:

chamila said...

superb!

chamila said...

nice!

chamila said...

good!

snoutsparkle said...

Another source for asexy-friendly conceptions of love are the Greek ones:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love

I think agape is akin to compassion. Thelema also seems particularly a propos.

Ily said...

Cool! I'd never heard of the last two, Storge and Thelema. English has so many words, but when it comes to love, it's so deficient. Spanish has "te quiero" and "te amo" to mean "I love you" but we're stuck with just the one.

Isaac said...

Yes, we have these two expressions for "I love you," but they are quite different form my native point of view. For me, the natural is "te quiero," which is very clear despite the polysemy of the verb. Contrary, "te amo" is unambiguous but it sound very unnatural before my ears. The latter is more formal and the former is more colloquial, at least in my Spanish dialect. I know that in American usage is different, but I think that there is no semantic splitting. At least, you have different words (to hope, to expect, to wait and to queue) for "esperar" splitting its meaning, and a lot (odd, strange, queer, weird, rare...) for "raro," but intonation and meaning is completely different when you are told "raro" for homosexuality or for asexuality.

Queers United said...

There are many sexuals who are far from "compassionate" and capable of loving. Sex does not equal love, it can but it doesnt necessitate.