Compassion for Cruel People


“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” ~Luke 23:34 KJV.

The world is a cruel place. If you have any doubt about that, turn on the news. Watching any news channel for no more than five minutes makes it abundantly clear that there is no shortage of cruelty in all levels of society – from that of the lowliest janitor or laborer to that of the wealthiest financier or ruler – and in all cultural milieus – from the most technologically challenged tribal villages to the most technologically advanced urban centers.

Cruelty is commonplace. There is nothing special or remarkable about sadism. It is widespread and universal. It infects the human condition from childhood through advanced age. We are hard pressed to escape it.

Essentially, as I have discovered, after some reflection, cruelty is a way for weak people to feel empowered. What is truly remarkable is compassion and empathy – that takes inner strength and courage, especially in the face of cruelty.

Cruelty is easy.

Compassion is hard.

And compassion for cruel people is hardest of all.

When one confronts cruelty or a cruel person, the experience is invariably painful in some way – physically or psychologically. The most natural response to cruelty, therefore, is to respond in kind – with more cruelty – to seek to hurt or inflict pain on the people who inflict pain on oneself. The experience of pain makes one feel powerless, and one seeks to respond by inflicting pain on others in order to feel empowered.

One might seek to inflict pain on those whom one deems to be responsible for one’s own pain, thereby gaining a sense of retribution – or on some random, hapless bystander or scapegoat, thereby gaining the satisfaction of feeling oneself to be higher up in the food chain and not quite so helpless as the experience of pain and cruelty invariably make one feel. The sad reality to this situation is that if one responds to cruelty with more cruelty, then one is, essentially, succumbing to the influence of cruelty – becoming infected by the contagion of cruelty – allowing the inhumanity of others and of the circumstances one experiences to rob one of one’s own humanity.

It is a case of “an eye for an eye mak[ing] the whole world blind,” to quote Gandhi.

The most difficult thing in the world is to respond to cruelty with compassion, with kindness, with understanding. What that requires is tremendous inner strength – the strength to absorb pain and not allow a painful experience to render one heartless, unsympathetic and vindictive. It then requires one to try to appreciate the fact that those who are cruel towards you are, invariably, themselves in pain – that they are reacting out of their own personal sources of pain. That they seek to inflict pain on others in an attempt to alleviate the pain that they themselves feel, for some reason. It then requires one to seek to understand their source of pain in order to feel compassion for them.

If one is able to accomplish this truly heroic feat – a feat more admirable than winning any Olympic gold medal, in my humble opinion – one is able to respond to cruelty with compassion, with kindness, with empathy, and, thereby, one is able to overcome it, and not be overcome by it. One is then truly able to “love your enemy” and “turn the other cheek” and, in doing so, help to make the world a slightly better place.

David Icke and the Limits of Human Perception 

banksy-canvas-prints-people-with-television-heads-73cm-by-50cm-1r177mRecently, I have been delving into the ideas of the reputed conspiracy theorist turned metaphysical philosopher, David Icke. I now own several of his books and have watched and listened to hours of video and audio footage of his talks and interviews, so I think I have some basic understanding of some of his more esoteric and mind-bending ideas.

One of his ideas that really speaks to me is what he says about the very nature of human perception of the universe. Complementing the ideas of such brilliant minds as Tesla and Einstein, Icke delineates his concept of the universe as a giant field of wave-form energy that we human beings inhabit as conscious, sentient entities. We interpret this field energy through our five senses and brain to construct the experience of living in a universe of three-dimensional space and time – physical reality, as it were. But this construct really only exists in our minds – it represents how we human individuals interpret the field of wave-form energy in which we are immersed. In its raw form, the universe is nothing like how we perceive it. Icke likens our perception of the universe to the video programming one might watch on a television screen. The TV interprets the electromagnetic waves that it intercepts via its antenna or cable to construct a recognizable experience of the world. However, in its raw form, the TV signal is simply electromagnetic wave energy.

The really fascinating insight that David Icke provides is that the human sensory apparatus is tuned to an extremely limited bandwidth of frequencies. We can perceive visible light and infra-red (heat) radiation through our senses of sight and touch, we can hear a limited range of sounds through our sense of hearing, we can detect a limited range of odors through our olfactory system, and so forth. But the senses we are capable of constitute an extremely limited range – other members of the animal kingdom, in fact, have their senses tuned to different ranges, so that cats can see in the dark, dogs have highly sensitive senses of smell and hearing, and bats have a highly developed sense of hearing that it uses as a form of acoustic radar to navigate through a world in which it is, essentially blind. Furthermore, while our senses are bombarded with signals at all times, our brain filters these signals so that only a fraction of what our senses perceive actually reaches our awareness.

The bottom line is that what we human beings know and experience as reality is only a tiny fraction of what is really around us – our interpretation of the vast field of wave-form energy that surrounds us is extremely limited. There is much that we cannot perceive simply because of the limitations of our senses and the capacities of our brains to process the information our senses receive. Even with the benefit of peripheral devices and technology, our perception of reality can only be slightly extended.

And this brings David Icke to the startling hypothesis that, potentially, explains much of what we conceive – and dismiss – as the workings of the supernatural. If our perceptions are so limited, how can we reasonably infer that what we see or hear or otherwise sense is all there is to the universe around us? If we are tuned to a specific channel on our TV sets, then we are limited to viewing only the specific programming to which we have access. But that doesn’t mean that all of the other channels don’t exist, simply because we are tuned to one specific channel. They do exist, and if we flipped the channel we would be able to access that programming.

But what if we lived in a backward totalitarian state, where the only programming we could receive on our cheap black-and-white TV sets was the government channel of 24/7 state propaganda? Because we would not have the capacity to flip the channel on our cheap one-channel TV sets, we would never be aware that any of the other channels or programming even existed. We would not be aware that there was such a thing as color TV or multiple TV channels!

Becoming aware of color television and multiple channels of TV programming and, in fact, the ability to flip channels on a whim, would be something like experiencing an expansion of personal consciousness. One becomes aware of other dimensions of reality, beyond what one had previously been exposed to in one’s very limited sphere of awareness.

That, in effect, is the profound metaphor that David Icke uses to explain his understanding of what we deem to be the “supernatural” – in other words, phenomena that we dismiss as incredible simply becauase they occur beyond our capacity to perceive them! When you really think about it, it seems perfectly logical, but the implications of this feat of reasoning are profound – and, indeed, terrifying! What, in fact, lurks out there in the universe, behind our very shoulders, perhaps – beyond the reaches of our ability to perceive it? David Icke makes some terrifying suggestions – he claims the existence of parasitic reptilian creatures who feed on human life-force energy. Apparently far-fetched, but is it really?

Having previously written about human perception on my blog, this subject is particularly interesting to me and worth thinking and reading about in greater depth!