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Witnessing: A Form of Compassion

--by James O'dea (Mar 12, 2007)


At this time a whole new configuration of science, spirituality and health is in movement. Many of us have come to enjoy fresh insights from quantum physics. How extraordinary that when we looked down into the smallest manifestations of existence, we found a world that said, "You are not separate from me. You, the observer, are part of the story." From the quantum physicists's point of view, you cannot isolate and separate the observer from the observed. Wow! We are in this together. What a teaching from the microscopic up!

And I say we are more than observers. We are also witnesses. Now, the difference between an observer and a witness is that the observer thinks that he or she can stand back and let things go along -- that we are separate from that which is observed. But think of the witness in a situation of great turmoil. The witness stands together, inside, with those who are hurt and with those who are violated; the witness has an extraordinary capacity to stand in the fires of hatred and violence without increasing those elements.

In fact, the deepest form of witnessing is a form of compassion for all suffering beings on all sides of a conflict. In reality, we are never outside observers. We are inside the wound together. It is just that some feel and some are numb. We are inside the very thing that needs to be transformed. Isn't that good news? We ourselves -- each one of us -- is part of the wholeness of consciousness. Each one of us has our work cut out.

--James O'dea


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6 Previous Reflections:

 
On Mar 14, 2007 Xiaoshan wrote:
Quantum physics again: There is no difference between an observer and a witness.

Work is done at the moment when one observes without judgment.

On Mar 13, 2007 Greg wrote:
One of the most compassionate, powerful and empowering things we can do for our brothers and sisters is to simply and quietly bear witness difficulties of their lives.

On Mar 13, 2007 Rajeev Muralidharan wrote:
When I see the wise and learned, the philosophers who grapple with the simple, a verse from the bible comes to mind.

"I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants". Jesus talking to an unbelieving generation.

The witness is the Holy Spirit and it is He who convicts you and witnesses to the Fruits of the Spirit. Compassion being one of the fruits.

God Bless us All!

On Mar 13, 2007 Conrad wrote:
A quote from Thomas Merton also applies:
"In a koan someone said that an enlightened man is not one who seeks Buddha or finds Buddha, but simply an ordinary man who has nothing left to do. Yet stopping is not arriving. To stop is to stay a million miles from it and to do nothing is to miss it by the whole width of the universe.

As for arriving, when you arrive you are ruined. Yet how close the solution is: how simple it would be to have nothing more to do if only -- one had really nothing more to do.

The man who is unripe cannot get there, no matter what he does or does not do. But the ripe fruit falls out of the tree without even thinking about it.

Why?

The man who is ripe discovers that there was never anything to be done from the very beginning."



On Mar 9, 2007 CP wrote:
David Geoffrey Smith, in "Trying To Teach In A Season Of Great Untruth- Sense" Pub. 2006

"Instead of Descartes' Private enterprise model of the epistemological and ontological certainty, "I think; therefore I am," today it may be more appropriate to say, "we are; therefore I am."

On Mar 7, 2007 Conrad wrote:
Einstein said: “However, if one renounces the assumption that what is present in different parts of space has an independent, real existence, then I don't see at all what physics is supposed to be describing. For what is thought to be a "system" is, after all, just conventional, and I do not see how one is supposed to divide up the world objectively so that one can make statements about the parts.”17 (M. Born, ed., Albert Einstein–Hedwig und Max Born. Briefwechsel 1916–55, Nymphenburger, Munich (1969), p. 223.) Thank you Viral for the opportunity to share athought from Einstein and another from Meister Eckhart who says, "The more deeply we are our true selves, the less self is in us.” Peace,Conrad