Now we are going to start to really get into the Left Hand path a little, start to make some progress. Up till now we have presented versions of what is already out there with the correct 4th way focus and modern language.
With this 3rd secret we are going to head out in the wilderness a little. So, much as this still follows the same path as the previous 2, the classic basics of the spiritual process, its interpretation is very different from other versions you may have read.
Not going to spend much time explaining compassion, as that’s a much bigger job, going to spend this post teaching you how to do it, OK? Next to the development of Character and Willpower, Compassion is the primary way to proactively make spiritual progress at the start, so please do take it serious.
Secret: Compassion is the No1 weapon against Ignorance. It’s not a strategy for life, you don’t ‘act’ compassionately, you feel compassion, you learn to feel it on demand to stop the attacks on yourself through the mechanism of Ignorance dead in their tracks, to beat them down. Cause and effect DO NOT work like you think they do in the dark and scary world of spirituality, the actual cause of EVERYTHING that happens is buried deep inside your subconscious, well below your current level of surface understanding, and Compassion actually acts against it at that level. Feeling compassion correctly, using the same method as the Ride to lead yourself too the True feeling of Compassion and then add your heart centre is the way you use this weapon.
What you need to learn is how to correctly feel compassion and then develop the habit of using it when you are in a difficult situation either internally or externally.. See, acting like something over and over again in order to become it is how they train soldiers, policemen, monks and nuns et al to do difficult things until it becomes a habit, automatic. And that is what we are going to do, we are going to train you to fight, as a normal everyday thing, casually even, like its no big deal – ahhh… it’s just my demons, fucking with me, the little devils, guess it’s time for the bitch slap…
Compassion is primarily a defensive weapon, a weapon against Ignorance, negative mind states of any kind. It’s the canon on top of the stronghold you have started to build with the Ride, that you can retreat to when you feel, even suspect you are being attacked, threatened, like you can’t remember something when you really want to, you are suddenly clumsy, you get mad for little reason etc etc. Compassion literally disempowers the ability of Ignorance to affect you, however it does not remove the potential for further attacks, for that you need a more offensive weapon which we will do later. The only other thing worth noting is that when you start to do this you may notice the ‘subtlety’ of those attacks goes, and things become a little more… obvious, in your face, which is very disconcerting at first, but a very good thing overall, a milestone of progress no less..
So you need to learn how to develop real compassion, 1st and foremost, and you do this by simulation, then building on the feeling of self-love, of tremendous relief you have learnt through the Ride. We are going to build on this feeling, and start to use what you should regard as supernatural methods to focus it. You do this through ‘imagining’ being compassionate and then harvesting that feeling, remembering it. You CAN act compassionately in the simulation, indeed it’s the only time you are actually capable of ‘true’ compassion at the start, otherwise you see compassion as a moral behaviour, as some sort of ‘good deed’, as some sort of suffering, ie you are just pretending to be nice, you are insincere, and we have to avoid that now – this is not about the ends justifying the means, this is about honest feeling.
But wait you (the wannabe Buddhists amongst you at least) say, Compassion (along with the Wisdom/Ignorance duality) is THE fundamental tenet of Buddhism, that is what you do… I feel compassion toward the unfortunate by helping them. And I say your wrong… Radical Generosity is the go to strategy for the serious Buddhists of this world, that is what they do, THEY DON’T PRETEND COMPASSION without feeling it, they develop it over literally decades through an ancient process, and one that is fundamentally misunderstood and unsuited to the modern world, but that’s another story. Their practice of radical generosity, much as its works by itself fine, HAS to be done anonymously, otherwise you are just buying more fame for your ‘brand’, it’s a business decision, it’s all about ego still. Buddhists know it’s IMPOSSIBLE to fake real compassion, as compassion is a gateway state, a gateway feeling that comes over you, a feeling of something that is way, WAY bigger than that English word could ever convey. Indeed Buddhist Compassion does not even really mean the Oxford English dictionary definition – real Compassion feels more like a sense of ecstatic relief meets total non-resistance, when it initially happens to ‘you’, when you fall down the emotional ‘well’ into ‘it’.
Don’t believe that? Ever remember a time when you were so relieved that the Worst did not happen, that you ‘got away with it’, that for a few short minutes, you just wanted to hug strangers in the street.. That was glimpse of true compassion, not pity, not condescension, actual compassion. COMPASSION IS NOT AN ACT IT’S A FEELING. To be compassionate is to feel compassionate, you don’t ‘act’ compassionately, that a mistake caused by the structure of language, indeed acting compassionately as you currently understand it is actually dangerous and misguided, unless you happen to be a saint.
In buddhism they refer to this practise very simply, just feel ‘compassion toward all living beings’ for a while. It is the central instruction given to adepts to use this process before they do ANY FORM OF SPIRITUAL CULTIVATION, principally mediation. Sadly this practise is largely ignored in the west as its totally misunderstood, seen as a pointless little ritual that can be ignored. Little to they know that the most important part of any teaching they are doing is the casual guidance at the start…
One point to be clear, it’s fine to ‘remember’ the real experience of compassion, and use it to set your sensation. That’s NOT faking it, that’s memory and god knows you are going to need it later, if/when you start to meditate for real.
Right, this training is in 3 parts:
- Develop the feeling of compassion through simulation, through imagining compassion as a fantasy.
- Solidify the remembrance of the compassion using the same method as the Ride, then learn how to push it outside of yourself, .
- Use compassion as a weapon, through your heart centre as a focus.
When you can do 3. to a reasonable standard you have one of the greatest spiritual weapons at your command, and you don’t need to continue with 1 and 2, just do 3, to use it. Then you are on the road to becoming an adept, not just a seeker, not just a student, but someone of consequence in your own right. This is not just the ability to defend yourself, as per the Ride, this is as much as offensive weapon, that you can use in any difficult situation to get a better outcome, to win, to beat back the bad luck and anxiety.
- You need to start to find the particular feeling of compassion through imagining compassionate acts, through helping and giving, radical generosity, including giving your life for someone else. For most left hand path types the quickest way forward here is not giving to a beggar in the street, it’s a heroic fantasy of fighting a lecherous evil dragon to save the beautiful girl, or smashing your way into a burning building for the sake of saving a child. This style has been used since time immemorial cause it needs to be dramatic at this point, cause you need to get it, and the more enjoyable it is to die the better. Find something personal that works for you, that makes you feel a hero in a selfless way, and start to remember the feeling. It may take a while so stick at it, but remember if you are going to be a ‘hero’ you HAVE to die at the end, and be happy to do so. The feeling you are looking for is ultimately being ‘unburdened’, but people call it many other names.
2. Then, sit comfortably, and do the following a few times:
- Breath out through your nose and focus on the sense of tremendous Relief you learnt in the Ride, but bring your attention to your heart and try and feel non-resistance, some people say to almost feel the sensation of ‘weakness’ on your skin tone, NOT the power of enthusiasm.
- Close your eyes and use your imagination to picture the room you are sitting in, first straight in front of you, then going round in a circle, either way and seeing what is there, at the boundary of the room. Then try and hold the image of the whole edge of the room in your mind for a few seconds, made up of the main objects you just saw by rising above yourself and looking down, but keep circling your attention round if you need to. if you struggle with this stand up and walk round in a circle memorising what is there then try again.
- Combine the 2 together – Open your eyes, then feel your memory of compassion while holding the image of the empty space between you and the wall, NOT the objects on the wall. In the process you are focusing the memory of compassion you developed in 1. and directing it at the world around you. Sit there and hold that feeling as long as you can, 10, 20 mins if possible, you are using this to ‘wash’ you mind.
3. This is the killer part of compassion, so pay attention now.. cause blink and you miss it – as soon as you find yourself thinking or affected by Ignorance (for the training force a recent BUT not current problem), STOP, hold the feeling of compassion as intensely as you can in your heart, and then as you exhale let it expand like a growing sphere into the space around you, as you feel the deep sense of relief that is the sensation of weaknesses, non resistance.
Yep, unlike the Ride this one has proper training and you need to do the training a lot to get good at it. You can see this as a form of practise if not quite cultivation, see it as preparing to practice.. Once you can start to hold part of your awareness in the empty space around you while using another part to do something else you can start to use compassion. Even if its not perfect, remember the Ride – don’t worry, repetition is your friend, just try again, and again..
One on the leading lights of the left hand path, 100 years or so ago, used to describe this practise as – think about your problem, release your problem and wish it well, then think about nothing else but God, for a few mins, but be careful that you do not go back to thinking about your problem. Back then people were a little closure to spiritual emotions than we are now so maybe some folks got that, maybe they did not. The above is my modern day version for people who have learnt the Ride already…
Quote to end as always, something very modern and left hand path, just to prove the point that real spirituality is everywhere in this world, you just don’t know it… Yet. From a movie (figure it out yourself), the gunslinger’s oath:
‘I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I aim with my eye.
I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I shoot with my mind.
I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father. I kill with my heart.’