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dm: Thanks for the book reference. Looks like an interesting concept.

“Oh, and William, you should say more about the differences among compassion, empathy, and sympathy.” I was afraid you might ask the difference.

Compassion cannot be done. We cannot do compassion. Compassion is based in the understanding of the underlying reality of phenomena. I.e. spiritual awareness.

Sympathy is actually feeling the suffering or pain of the other person. We feel their pain, which does not help or heal them. We suffer with them.

Empathy knows about their pain. We might say such things, as we know how you feel when we are being empathic. We have suffered and know how it feels to suffer.

Compassion is of the highest degree in spiritual understanding. Compassion is the purest of love in action. To my knowledge I have only experienced it once in a dream state that many call a visitation that I received in a life review from an entity that showed love and acceptance and an understanding of my struggles in life and the underlying reality and motivation behind my struggles in life.

I suspect but don’t know that during our evolutionary journey we move from sympathy to empathy to higher degrees of compassion. When Jesus or anyone says forgive them they know what they do with total love for that person in their hearts as he or she is being harmed that may be an indicator of compassion.

Dr. Hora’s book beyond the dream writes about these differences. His website is PAGL. Compassion knows no judgment or blame. Example, a compassionate person would show compassion for the worst of the worst of humanity.

A sympatric person I suspect would not show sympathy due to their judgment and blame for a Hitler or the terrorists that kill others for their own hatred of others who do not think like them. A person showing empathy might say something like these people will have to suffer greatly for their sins and for that I feel sorry for them.

An empathic person has knowledge whereas a compassionate person has understanding. World of difference between these two levels of awareness. One is intellectual one is spiritual awareness. One is a knowing, one is a knowing beyond knowing.

A compassionate person would only show love for both the Hitler’s and the terrorists of the world not out of some religious necessity or we have been told it is a good thing to do but out of a sincere love for humanity all humanity.

Best I can do. Hope it helps.

Would it be possible for a planet to exist where the species only shows compassion and love for all of its inhabitants? Is suffering a necessary condition for the development of life forms on a planet? From my point of view this would be an interesting discussion on suffering.

Is an evolutionary process of consciousness the one and only way for the development of life forms? And could this evolutionary process be different for each planet? Interesting questions I think that may get at the underlying reality of suffering. Perhaps an intellectual discussion is a pre existing condition for discovering these “truths”. Or not.

Pain imprints the parameters of the body on the soul. Bits of information. It's how the soul learns about the physical universe. Sort of like the way a sculptor chisels a body out of marble or a computer programmer uses computer code to write a body. The more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates.

The soul will use this information after it crosses over to "create" a body in the Spiritual Universe. Heaven is a place where thoughts are things and consciousness creates reality. Where matter is an epiphenomena of consciousness. Each soul learns about time and space and what it's like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe by spending some time here. Without that knowledge there is no way one can know what it's like to be alive and live in a physical body.

The soul's lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and learns holistically about what it's like to live in a physical universe simply by spending some time in this Physical Universe.

Without that information the soul wouldn't have the information it needs to create it's own reality and would exist in eternal nothingness forever. Without first spending some time in the physical universe there is no way to know what it's like to make love, or taste food, or see a rose or smell a flower or hear sounds or feel touch. One can't read a book about what it feels like to make love to another person and truly know and understand those things. It has to be experienced to be truly understood.

Heaven is a place where thoughts are things and consciousness creates reality. Where matter is an epiphenomena of consciousness. Where consciousness is primary and matter is secondary. (from The Spiritual Universe, by Dr. Fred Alan Wolf).

But, first, in order to be able to create something you have to be able to think of it first. If you have never been exposed to something how can you think about it? If you have never spent any time in a body how can you know what it means and how it feels to be in a physical body?

We are spiritual beings having a physical experience. This earth life is a school. The soul uses the body to learn about the physical universe and then discards the body like a worn out pair of tennis shoes. But while the soul is here in the physical universe it craves sensation and directs the body to do as much as it can to gather that information.

Young girls cutting themselves, religious fanatics in Malaysia who stick metal bars through their skin, religious fanatics who self flagellate themselves, eating scorching hot habenero peppers, African tribes that do scarification rituals, tattoos, body piercings, mosquitoe bites, stubbing your toe, paper cuts, hitting your funny bone, hemorrhoids, every single thing we feel in this life imprints memories, code, on the soul, about the parameters of the body.

Bits of information. Teaching the soul what it means and how it feels to be in the body - and the parameters of that body. Ratios, etc. Little dots of information that when all added up together teach the soul about the body, about time and space, about what it feels like to be "physical."

Great post, Michael. Don't have much time to elaborate here (I wish I did), but please look up K.Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration. I think you'll find it useful as a conceptual framework (and more) for the role of suffering in personality development.

No, Art does have an obession with this separation/Holographic universe thing and it's mind numbingly redundant and boring; so much so that over at the NDERF forums, one of the posters started posting pictures of broken records after Art once again highjacked a thread and began ranting about separation, life being a school where we learn about separation, the holographic universe and separation, ad nauseum. And did I mention separation?

I'm sure Art is a nice guy and so forth, but some of his constant yammering about well worn topics and his allegiance to this highly theoretical holographic universe concept makes me suspicious about Art having a case of OCD in relation to holographic universes, separation, duality, and the entire boring lot. I mean, how many times can a person make the same statements and cover the same territory without realizing that they're repeating themslves and not adding anything new to the discussion?

It is very much like a broken record and although I thought the image of the broken record was a bit harsh, I had to contain my laughter because it's so very true that much of what Art has posted and is still posting is more or less the exact same topic rephrased. I thought to myself, "Finally, someone had the balls to address this issue with Art and his love affair with the holographic universe theory. We all know it's annoying but none of us had the nerve to come right out and say it".

Please, Art, if you're reading this, don't be offended. Just post some fresh and original insights/perspectives every so often; and leave that "separation/holographic universe" stuff alone for awhile. We understand the whole story: the universe is a hologram and life is a school where we come to learn about pain and separation, blah, blah, blah. To some of us, however, this theory neither holds water nor is it helpful to our acceptance and understanding of why there is pain, duality and separation, in the first place.

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