THE child who learns caring and compassion for others enhances not just her own life experience but all others around her.
If true, this suggests that the acquisition of a higher moral state could eventually change the world.
An example of this quintessential spiritual state is found in The Key to Theosophy, where Mme. Blavatsky insists that “altruism is an integral part of self-development.”
If a selfish, self-serving worldview were in fact the prevailing sentiment, then no one would ever care about starving children, the sick or elderly, or animal abuse. For such, helping to heal a stressed planet, homelessness, and poverty, would not be on their to-do list.
If life is ultimately purposeless, because we are “nothing but a pack of neurons” in the brain—then altruism would hold little importance for us. Only what we can grab for ourselves ‘now’ has any meaning.
Materialistic worldviews are compelling in our consumerist societies. Yet it can be shown there is also a generous undercurrent of compassion in the world. If such altruistic views come to dominate our human behaviors, this will be our saving grace as a humanity.
Neuroscientists like Jordan Grafman director of brain injury research at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, are “investigating specific regions of the human brain that give rise to altruistic behavior,” (Hard-Wired for Giving).
“While we often tend to think of altruism as a kind of sophisticated moral capacity we use to squelch our urges to dominate others, this new evidence suggests that giving is actually inherently rewarding: The brain churns out a pleasurable response when we engage in it.”
Despite the daily barrage of dispiriting news headlines people do practice altruism, (see Good News Network) enough to make personal sacrifices in time and resources — even the most skeptical of us will pitch-in offering a helping hand to those in need.
Yes You Can!
“This is the inspirational story of a father, Dick Hoyt, and his son, Rick, who compete together in marathons and triathlons across the country. Team Hoyt strives to help those who are physically disabled become active members of the community. Their message: ‘Yes You Can!'”
“The way to selfish bliss, is shunned by the Boddhisattvas of the ‘Secret Heart,’ the Buddhas of Compassion,” the Book of the Golden Precepts declares. Reaching the bliss of Nirvana and refusing it, the true disciple remains on Earth, as an Adept, “invisible to uninitiated mankind, to watch over and protect it.”
Such was Gautama Buddha with several of his Arhats, says the Esoteric School, “higher than whom, on account of the great renunciation and sacrifice to mankind there is none known.”
Asked how a person could achieve such an elevated compassionate state, Mme. Blavatsky’s reply focuses on four overarching principles: “the use of our higher reason, spiritual intuition and moral sense, and by following the dictates of what we call ‘the still small voice’ of our conscience
which speaks louder in us than the earthquakes and the thunders of Jehovah.”