Compassion is a mysterious emotion, the development of which defines the human realm. Paradoxically, this development is based on both a visceral identification with one’s experience, existing prior to one’s separation of self from other, and its more refined manifestation in the province of the intellect- the evolution of a faith based on an unprovable but nevertheless persistent idea that the pursuit of one’s material self-interest, or even the interests of those close to one, will not suffice in the attempt to confront the wretchedness of one’s condition. The first element is, of course, a latent potential common to all experience; the second development, however, characterizes the human realm in its gradual, if uneven, progress toward ever-widening considerations of connectedness and community. Universalism, the idea that certain truths apply to all of existence and that no entity is irrelevant, is the logical extension of this development. Human awareness presents its inheritors with a unique challenge and opportunity: to embrace the sentient Universe as a single living being, and consciously confront the physical deficiencies of material existence – bodily pain, disease, senescence, mortality, temporality, the limits of physical transformability, and separateness. To a degree without precedent in any of the earlier states of being, the Human Realm, both in its microcosmic form as a individual striving for greater self-actualization and in its more general form as a species defined by history and culture, stands at the threshold of taking control over its own evolution and radically accelerating the progress of consciousness towards divinity.
(c) Copyright 2009 by A. Rogolsky