Ethics – Integration – Empathy

Friday, November 19th, 2010 at 8:00 am.
by pre.

Our last guided lucid dream helped you to increase your empathy skills. To learn how to better understand another’s point of view and actually mentally put yourself in their position, to feel what they feel.

You learned how empathy actually works, that it’s not some strange psychic communication between souls, but a neural system built into brains designed to interpret another’s actions, body language and words then push your brain closely towards being in the same state as theirs.

You should also by now understand why the empathic skills are useful, to you personally and to the society in which you live, how feeling another’s pain or joy helps to bond you socially to your fellow man, helping guide your ethical system which in turns increases your social credit, the opinion others have of you, their likelihood of helping you in turn.

You empathy abilities are built from all the other skills in the spiral, and it helps build them in turn.

You must of course have some awareness in order to be aware that there are other beings in the room, let alone begin to approximate their mental states. However your empathic skills also help to increase your awareness. Every time your empathy leads you to being in a new state, to being aware of a new internal state or emotion, you are pushing your awareness into new areas. Observing others being aware leads to your own awareness increasing.

Your memory is also essential to build empathic skills. Much of the process relies on recalling past events when you were yourself in situations similar to those whose emotions you are emulating. Recalling that when you were crying and sullen you felt sad at the time. Your memories of those past events pull along emotional states with them.

Your very consciousness is affected by your empathic abilities. Some states of mind only exist because they are brought about through social convention and conditioning. Meditation not only affects the mind of the meditator, but also the minds of those who empathise with her. Self awareness, self confidence, sapience, even sentience are improved by learning to wield our emotions consciously.

Connected with this, the placebo effect comes in great part through the abilities of the practitioner to empathically project their emptions into the mind of their patients. Our very body is affected by empathy. Indeed, physical changes in hormonal and endocrine systems are associated with empathically experiencing someone else’s emotions.

None of this would work without cognition. The whole mechanism under which empathy works is a mental process, a thinking process. Understanding the body language and other cues given, understanding a person’s situation and imagining yourself there with them. Practising these skills though the actual use of them makes them stronger. Empathising requires thought, so doing it practices those types of thought and being better practised makes you a better empathise too.

The social-skill of empathy can help you when bio-programming yourself, and others. If you’re trying to learn to be happier, you can spend more time empathising with happy people. You can take deliberate control of your mind state by selecting the people you spend time with, since the empathic systems in each of your minds will ensure that as you spend more time together, you become more alike.

In a deeply social species like ours, a mind’s growth depends deeply on being able to stretch and experience things which the others in it’s community experience. Our meditation presented next week will help you to practice and improve your empathic powers because doing so is important to being better at every single one of the spiral skills.