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The Three Aspects of Equanimity

So I've been reading a book called "Change of Heart-Bodhisattva Peace Training of Chagdud Tulku. So far the book is very informative and have given me some insight into how to have more compassion for other people, and how to keep from becoming irritated at times, and how to keep my mind 'pure' from harmful thoughts. What's great about this is that there are sections (so far) that show a question asked to Rinpoche and he will respond, and it gives more insight into some of the questions I might have had.

But the problem is, the three aspects of equanimity is: the suffering of all beings, who are equal in their desire to find happiness; the kindness of all beings, who are equal in having been our parents; and the essential purity of all beings, who are equal in their true nature. (exactly how it is typed in the book)

Now personally, I'm not quite sure I believe in reincarnation, or the thought that everyone was once our mother or father; but it does give some interesting things to think about. But I personally can't feel compassion, and love for those who do some extreme, incomprehensible things. Such as those in Mexico who kidnap random people and torture them, and mutilate their body, and put fear in the heart of everyone in that country (this was just an example and I will use it until the end of my discussion post). How am I supposed to actually feel compassionate and think "well, maybe their upbringing was in a very harsh environment, and maybe there was no way for them to stay away from the gang way-of-life"? There's no way for me to ever feel compassionate for those kind of people. Not all gang members are like that, and would ever be willing to go as far as doing the horrific crimes that they have committed.

It tells us we need to be compassionate and care for all kind of beings around us, and to understand that everyone has problems and would LIKE to be happy. But those kind of people aren't people anymore in my mind. They're monsters. I don't think there is ANY way for them EVER to be happy and they will forever create pain and suffering as long as they live.

So, is this terrible for me to think this about them? I would LOVE to actually feel compassion and feel that they are good inside and COULD change if ever given the circumstance. I just don't think they deserve it because they've done so much damage to everyone's lives around them. I know that having hatred for even a single person creates more hatred and harm, but it just doesn't feel like I can for them. How would you go about trying to find compassion?

(And as I've stated, that was just an example. I know there are A LOT of things out there that are as terrible as what is going on there, all throughout the world, but I was reading a passage in this book and it made me think about what is happening in that country, and all the people are in a constant state of fear; so I decided to talk about that instance, and I know I said a lot of "but"s lol and that's not a good thing)

Comments

  • maartenmaarten Veteran
    Have you asked yourself why they torture and murder? Perhaps they have human motives for doing those things. In that case, wouldn't it make them human and not monsters?
  • ericcris10senericcris10sen Veteran
    edited June 2013
    @maarten I'm pretty sure they do it to instill fear into those around them so that they won't ever try and fight back. I'm sure that's the ONLY reason they would do that. That's not a humane thing to do. You don't KILL random people to keep everyone in a constant state of fear.

    @Jeffrey I don't know those people who do that horrific acts. All we see are the crimes they commit. If they have a family and friends and children, then there MIGHT be SOME compassion to see that they SOMEWHAT have some love and care in their lives, but needlessly and without care, cut those around them who aren't involved, down in the streets, and don't care that those people might have family and friends and those who care about them, or actually depend on them for survival.

    I know it's wrong to categorize some people as bad, but such actions can't be categorized as anything else.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    I'm only as good as I am at my worst.
    Invincible_summer
  • It is greed, hatred and delusion that drive people to do what they do. Don't blame them. Blame the defilements.

    "Forgive them for they know not what they do."
    riverflowericcris10senJeffreyInvincible_summer
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    my theoretical understanding says: after emptiness will be realized, then genuine compassion will arise for all sentient beings - but till emptiness is not realized, there will be compassion, which will be virtuous, but it still will have a 'you' having compassion for 'others', so it will still be not totally pure.
    riverflowperson
  • riverflowriverflow Veteran
    edited June 2013

    How am I supposed to actually feel compassionate and think "well, maybe their upbringing was in a very harsh environment, and maybe there was no way for them to stay away from the gang way-of-life"? There's no way for me to ever feel compassionate for those kind of people. Not all gang members are like that, and would ever be willing to go as far as doing the horrific crimes that they have committed.

    Something to consider: No one KNOW absolutely 100% that such people can't turn their lives around. Maybe so, maybe not, but you'll never KNOW. And no one can KNOW what all those conditions were either.

    But the first step toward a positive change in such circumstances is that the conditions in their life have got to change, otherwise it will like l never happen. It was those conditions that got them there in the first place. And there are people who HAVE truly turned their lives around. Can we see the future and KNOW this?

    My dad used to work with the worst of the worst juveniles in Louisiana. He had non-profit program to help juvenile delinquents-- granted none of them were killers, but they were on their way there. He had two centers which were schools for these kids. I'm telling you, there was one kid who was in a gang and who would've thunk it that four years later he wasn't dealing in a crackhouse but had gotten a degree in engineering.

    The important thing about the program is it involved social workers going into the homes of these kids, knowing the environment had a huge role to play in all this. Sadly, the state government cut funding for the centers (in a political game of tug-of-war) because they liked "boot camps" for delinquents better--that hasn't turned out so well.

    I used to work for a place in New Orleans (I was just in the accounting dept!) that dealt with alcoholics and drug users. The clients had to go through a year long rehab program. Some of these people were homeless, many of them thieves or worse. They were given simple tasks there and gradually worked their way back out into "the real world" with better social skills and a job.

    It CAN be done. Perhaps it is better to just say, "I'm not sure *I* am up to that task at this point in my life." Do we really need to possess a definitive, final answer?

    I'm not saying that's easy to do either, but if we start writing off some people, where do we draw the line, and who has the "qualifications" to say what that line is?
    JeffreyInvincible_summerperson
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    riverflow said:

    I'm not saying that's easy to do either, but if we start writing off some people, where do we draw the line, and who has the "qualifications" to say what that line is?

    There are many people here who feel they are undeserving of compassion . . . :bawl:
    We have to start with ourselves. Then, as has been wisely said we extend to those deserving . . . Through 'wait lifting', or patience as it is sometimes known, we develop the skilfull means, inclination and ability to be more compassionate . . . which makes us more qualified to be even more compassionate . . .
    riverflowperson
  • @person I guess I just need to continue building my compassion for all kinds of beings and then perhaps I can start looking into being compassionate for those who do such horrific crimes, like you said. I agree with that in a way. Most people don't know what it's like to grow up in an extremely hostile environment where death is continuous.

    @seeker242 that is a good analogy lol :)

    @pegembara you would think that there would be a line though right? A time in your life that you'd say, okay, even for me, this is too much. Unless they have turned into a complete sheep and do what they're told without thinking for themselves.
  • karmablueskarmablues Veteran
    edited June 2013
    Work on anger and compassion at the same time. That means striving to become not only a more compassionate person, but also a less angry person. When you have less anger, your capacity for compassion increases. When you become more compassionate, you also become a less angry person. So when you work on anger and compassion at the same time, you reinforce this virtuous cycle which can make you progress faster.
    riverflowericcris10senpersonlobster
  • @maarten that does go further into the reason behind things lol thank you for that.
  • There is nothing to 'work on'
    Understand 'Oneness'
    See with the Dharma eye Inter-being
    How could you NOT have compassion?
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