Whitsun is upon us.
Pentecost is here.
As the festivals live in our daily consciousness Pentecost is not a big one – probably for two reasons: The profane reason is there is no earthly profit in the material sense – no Hallmark greeting cards, no special presents like Christmas gifts or the Easter baskets, no decorations, and no days off. And the sacred reason which is harder to state or understand is that Pentecost is a new beginning of universal love, of unity, harmony and peace in everyone everyday and we just aren’t there yet as religion excludes and judges those who speak a different language of beliefs.
Here are the basic “facts” of Pentecost.
- Occurs fifty days after the Resurrection and 10 days after Ascension.
- The apostles and friends enter and gather in the “Upper Room” – the same room as the Last Supper.
- They form a circle.
- The Virgin Sophia (Mother of God) stands in the center.
- A “Mighty Wind” fills the room.
- The Holy Spirit appears from the Heavens.
- Twin tongues of flame appear on the brow of each one present.
- Suddenly, everyone understands everyone else – languages lose their differences.
Isn’t it amazing how the listing of “facts” distort the true image and obscure the meaning of this great cosmic event. “Facts” about anything, no matter how accurate, are distorters and obscurers of the real sense of things. We must always bring something of our hearts to the facts to get a glimpse of the significance.
I would love to write a post about each of the eight facts, fill them with life, light and love, but my time and yours, won’t allow it.
So I am going to limit myself to the final experience of the Universal Conversation and the disappearance of the difference of languages. If Easter is the heart-awakening of I AM without, and beyond, all limits, Pentecost is the heart-awakening of YOU ARE without, and beyond, all limits.
What came to me over the last few days of my Pentecost preparation was the need to distinguish between sympathy, empathy and compassion. These are three words that describe the way we experience the soul of another.
Sympathy is an alignment or harmony with another. You like someone and wish them happiness and are sad if they suffer. With sympathy, your sense of self is very present and in the forefront of your experience. Sympathy is always in relationship to antipathy, the dislike, misalignment, or lack of harmony you feel toward or with another. The separateness and differences mean there is always a breaking into parts and measures — there are mixtures and degrees of sympathy — that you feel and mete out.
Empathy is the real sense that you feel the others suffering within the context of your own feeling life. It is beyond sympathy but the sense of separateness and difference is still present. You are aware that the feelings are theirs, not yours.
With compassion separateness and difference disappear. It is an experience without limits. In our earthly consciousness, rife with boundaries, a spiritual oneness is known through compassion. There is no end and no beginning to you and the other, because each one is flooded with the Holy Spirit. We can also find the significance of the Virgin Sophia representing the ability to hold and grow with the conception of the other and the ability of the Divine Feminine within every human soul to renounce self to bear the life of the other.
With sympathy you think about the other.
With empathy you feel the other.
Compassion awakens in your will and empowers meaningful self-surrender to the experience of the other.
With the Pentecost experience, two different languages of self/other (twin tongues) flame forth with limitless compassion and loving wisdom whenever two are gathered together. One tongue of flame is you and one is other, the flames become one. You don’t lose yourself when the other lives in you, because you live in the other now.
I don’t know if I have described this well enough for you to find the feeling for what this means to me, to understand my language with sympathy, empathy or compassion, but I hope you have had a light flicker up in your soul. Imagine what our social life might become if we lived into the mood of Pentecost. No misunderstandings or resentments. No arguments or battles. Just love and freedom and joy — self and other as one.
Sympathy becomes empathy and empathy becomes compassion.
Flowers and Healing
Because of my interest in the healing activity of the flowers (and Pentecost is the festival of early summer flowers) I have had the privilege of knowing a couple of truly gifted flower essence researchers. In order to know the healing properties of a particular flower or gem or environment, these extraordinary individuals are capable of becoming the flower, of speaking the language of the flower. When they bring the same compassionate attention to their clients, the image of the right flower or flowers comes over them. This would not happen if the self of the flower essence practitioner remained in the forefront. This healing work is a step toward compassion and Pentecost. One listens to the suffering voice and words of the other with compassionate empathy – with loving wisdom (Virgin Sophia) — allowing the healing language of the flowers to be speak back.
I have also witnessed energy healers using Emotional Freedom Technique. As they language the experience of the other without premeditation, they will speak a phrase that hits the mark and suddenly years of doubt or pain or fear will disappear often including all memory of the suffering. The EFT practitioner has surrendered self to speak the truth of the client. Again, one-sided, but I believe we are coming close to the consciousness of Pentecost.
Perhaps what we can grow into is our sense for freedom, love and joy. As I ponder the power of compassion, I see my experiences of sympathy and empathy as steps along the way. My awareness of a deep desire to become compassionate is awakened by the pain of misunderstandings and resentments. I am humbled by this awareness, and open myself to the gift of wisdom, truth and understanding.
This illuminates my study of autonomy and merging.
Sympathy is merging with another without staying centered in one’s own space.
Empathy is bearing witness to the suffering of another from one’s own space
Compassion is when an autonomous individual merges with another autonomous individual. Duality is transcended. As you said … the beginning of Universal Love, Peace, Harmony, Unity.
Let it be.