Empathy for life is what separates humankind from the rest of the animal kingdom
feel deeply

Empathy for Life!

Empathy Museum


The Empathic Civilisation

The Power of Outrospection

Empathy requires intuitive understanding of the other using mirror neurons.

Empathy occurs when we suspend the single-minded focus of attention on our own needs and instead adopt a dual-minded focus of attention that includes the consciousness of another individual. If our attention lapses back into a single-minded focus empathy has been turned off. When we shift our attention back to a dual-minded focus we switch empathy back on.

For empathy to be active we must use our ability to identify what someone else is feeling and to respond to their emotions with the approriate emotional response. When we engage in empathic response we valuidate the other person.

vicariously experiencing emotions

"The love of life that Edwin Wilson has named biophilia, and our natural empathy toward other human beings, is ultimately irrepressible because we are life and life is us." - Charles Eisenstein

"We will never be able to inhabit the conscious state of another person. Our subjectivity is an inviolable, unenterable state. On the other hand, there's much in the new neurology to suggest that empathetic links have also been evolutionarily selected for. The brain has these amazing curcuits, mirror neuron circuits, which are actively firing and activating motor and visual circuits simply as simulations of other people's activities. That suggests the brain itself is manufacturing empathy circuits that allow us to participate in rich and complicated ways in the sensibilities, actions and motivations of other people." - Richard Powers

lack empathy not religion

"Empathy is central to our humanity. Rather than elevating empathy, public dialogue has marginalized it, giving way to authoritative and sober pronouncements that we can't help everyone. No doubt, closing the empathy gap is a difficult task.

We must balance the forces of emotion and rationality.

In order to do that, we have to know a lot about how both operate. Thanks to progress in psychology, behavioral economics, and neuroscience, we now have much of that knowledge. Together with empathy, our system of rational and logical thought can now extend our moral concern to people further from our private lives, but equally deserving." - JD Trout

balance is key

Finding our place in the human social network and tracing our connections to others who experience joy and suffering due to our personal activities constitutes real personal moral progress as we can then modify our personal activities to increase the joy and reduce the suffering distributed to others.

Empathy honors a moral sense to advance moral principle. Empathy responds to the effects of violated moral principle. Empathy is alert to the humiliation and indignity of being treated differently for reasons that are morally irrelevant.

"Indignity is hard to avoid when our whole economy revolves around the creation and fulfillment of phony needs. It is an indignity to make anything less than an art out of your work." - Charles Eisenstein

Excluding psychopaths every human, has to some degree, empathy.

Children normally begin to display the fundamental behaviors of empathy by having an emotional response that corresponds with another persons emotional state of mind - comforting others or showing concern for others as early as 24 months of age. Children between the ages of seven and 12 are naturally inclined to feel empathy for others in pain. The basic capacity to recognize emotions is innate and subconsciously achieved in most cases by most people unless empathy is consciously or subconsciously tamped down.

There is an interesting aspect of empathy that even empathetic individuals occasionally forget. You can only concentrate on doing one thing at a time. If I am trying to describe or explain something to you I must pause for a moment and study your facial features to see how you are reacting. If I get too caught up in my rhetoric then I fail to observe your reaction and at that point in time my empathy is not functioning.

Perhaps the first thing we need to do is slow down.

People typically exhibit an increased empathetic sense after experiencing traumatic life events. Anyone who has recently been divorced, experienced the death of someone close, experienced the miracle of birth, been in a life-altering accident or witnessed a horrific act of violence is going to have an increased sense of empathy.

In modern Western social cultures, such as the American social cultures, empathy has to be continuously tamped down in the interests of class stratification and the needs ofthe global industrialized compartmentalized "developed" social culture police state to re-enforce the social envelopes that contain and support the divisions of labor.

The police state scoffs at human empathy as it finds
empathy not at all conducive to the facilitation of social control.

turning honest people into criminals since 1937

The conscious mind must be conditioned by the global industrialized compartmentalized "developed" social culture of the police state to believe that individual suffering can not be alleviated and there are always those that deserve to suffer.

They may be the Japanese at Hiroshima, the Germans at Dresden, the insurgent Salvadoran, the Taliban, al-queda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Shite Iraqi footsoldiers of Muqtada al-Sadr, the Afghan poppy farmer, the Peruvian coca grower, the Northern California grower of Cannabis indica or the even more despised illegal generic pharmaceutical drug user.

At the same time the subconscious mind must become enured into rejecting empathetic emotional responses which are now felt only as a slight uneasiness when walking by the homeless beggars instead of the sharp pain of a commonly felt empathetic sorrow at another human beings obvious misfortune.

Once it has become acceptable to demonize people then the homeless, the mentaly ill and the disenfranchised in the midst of the social culture can be safely ignored without apparent and obvious conscious effort. (Some individuals must use legal antidepressants; some are required to use nueroleptics; some just become self-righteous Zionist Fascists by vilifying those that bemoan the spititual corruption.)

It is not only acceptable but expected that Americans as individuals ignore the plight of those less fortunate.

American aristocracy is dependent on the upper middle classes - investment bankers, lawyers, credit swap facilitators, politicians, derivatives brokers, executives, insurance issuers, etcetera - to retain and maintain their elevated economic positions.

The vaster lower and middle class are fed an endlessly stream of glimpses of the life styles of those upper middle classes which suggest elevated income levels are easily attainable even though the truth is that one must to able to compartmentalize reality and be willing to sell one's soul to the syndicate of the soulless. This class envy works to smother empathy. To attain an elevated position one must not concern oneself with an other's troubles.

For any group to live in extravagance the division of labor of the social culture must be such that a large percentage of the lowest paid workers creation of value through his or her production is siphoned off by the purchaser of the workers services.

Disparity of wealth creates envy among the disenfranchised of the social culture which can only be tamped down by police state means.

For police state means to be acceptable to the population at large it is required that most of the enfranchised agree to the severity of the degree of force allowed to be used to create compliance.

It is always in the best interests of those on the top of the social pyramid to reduce any feelings of empathy the upper middle classes may feel for the downtrodden disenfranchised lower classes at the base of the social pyramid. American aristocracy started down this road when they hired Russell Herman Conwell, minister and graduate of Yale law school to spread his "Acres of Diamonds" lecture in 1888. {Conwell was dismissed from the military after being charged with deserting his post at Newport Barracks, North Carolina in 1864. On September 10, 1888, the Society of Christian Endeavor was organized as a world-wide youth organization - the benefactor remains unknown.}

We can see this enacted both literally and figuratively in the movie of the Aztec Empire Apocalypto.

Demands of industrialized compartmentalized "developed" social culture of the police state creates the need for the adoption of a guilt free attitude toward known wrongs committed by the social culture overall.

Those wrongs may come in the form of smart weapons, waterboards, extra-legal executions; they may come in the form of baby formula, peanut butter or bitter flavored water; they may come in the form of running shoes, a child's toys or other deceptively advertised consumer products like chemically modified tobacco (nicotine delivery systems) or they may come in the form of incarceration of unrepresented juveniles by judges for personal profit.

The industrialized compartmentalized "developed" social culture police state scoffs at human empathy as it finds empathy not conducive to social control.

Individuals that tamp down their empathy become spiritually corrupt as they must cut off access to subconscious intuition in order to dampen their empathetic responses.

empathy map

Spiritually corrupt humans scoff at human empathy for living beings.

Empathy for living beings is not a weakness.

Empathy for living beings is a biological imperative

as we are dependent upon life to live ourselves.

All spiritually uncorrupt humans feel sorrow in the end of a life, human or animal.

Gardeners even feel sorrow in the end of perennial plant life.

Humans have cared for each other, animals and plants for time immemorial.

"In the Gospel of Thomas Jesus says: "lf you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you will kill you."

The Gospel of Truth teaches to stretch out your hands to those who are sick and to awaken those who are asleep.

It is the Creator and Sustainer's Will that all human beings come to compassion.

I take gnostic statements emotionally; it's an image of the truth, illumination and divine presence to be found in every human being. It teaches that within every human life is a bit of the divine source, and everything comes from that source. All life is to be respected as coming from God." - Elaine Pagels

"Humanity is given dominion over animals, and has the right to use animals for legitimate needs. Animal flesh can be consumed for food; animal skins can be used for clothing; the Torah itself must be written on parchment, that is, animal hides. However, we are permitted to use animals in this way only when there is a genuine, legitimate need, and we must do so in the manner that causes the animal the least suffering. Hunting for sport is strictly prohibited, and hunting and trapping for legitimate needs is permissible only when it is done in the least painful way possible." - Mechon Mamre


The Earth is undergoing the sixth big extinction in Earth's history,
- this one caused by humans.

In a detailed series of population surveys that combed virtually every square yard of England, Scotland and Wales over 40 years, more than 20,000 volunteers counted each bird, butterfly and native plant they could find.
They reported in March, 2004 issue of Science that populations of bird and butterflies were in sharp decline of
54% to 71 %, with some species gone altogether. Two surveys of 1,254 native plant species showed a decrease of about 28% over the same period.

Hundreds of the Earth's animal species are in imminent danger of extinction, primarily in tropical mountains and islands in developing nations. While more than 10% of the Earth's landmass is afforded some environmental protection, efforts are not being focused in places that have the greatest concentration of imperiled species. Scientists concluded in their multi-year study that urgent action is necessary to prevent hundreds of unique complex species from going extinct.

The multi-year study found that at least 300 critically endangered species of animals exist in unprotected areas as well as 237 critically endangered and 267 vulnerable species. A critically endangered species is defined by the World Conservation Union as having a 50% probability of extinction within 10 years.

"This is the tip of the iceberg," said Ana Rodrigues, a research fellow at the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at the Washington-based Conservation International. "There is a window of opportunity here. Many species across the face of Earth are hanging on to little bits of habitat."

Ana Rodrigues identified sites in the Andes, in Sierra Madre mountains in southern Mexico, on islands in Southeast Asia, on Madagascar and in southern India as areas of high biodiversity and low protection. These regions are well known to international conservation organizations for their importance.


Illumination requires a redevelopment of
our sense of empathy if we hope to arrest
the destruction of the Earth - our home.

The mortality of all living things rests in human hands.

"Mortality is a fact of life that is hard to bear.

Human beings are the only animals who have to live with the knowledge that they will die one day,
and they have always found this vision of extinction difficult to contemplate.

Most of us manage to find some solace in the happiness and affection that is also part of the human experience.

Some people simply bury their heads in the sand and refuse to think about the sorrow of reality, but this is an unwise course, because, if we are entirely unprepared, the tragedies of life can be devastating.

From the very earliest times, men and women devised religions to help them cultivate
a sense that our exisistence has some ultimate meaning and value.

Sometimes the myths and practices of faith seem like some incredible fantasy.

People then turn to other methods of transcending the sufferings
and frustrations of daily life: to art, music, sex, drugs, sports or philosophy.

We are beings who fall very easily into despair, and we have to work very hard to create within ourselves a conviction that life is good, even though all around us we see pain, cruelty, sickness and injustice." - Karen Armstrong

Redemption from spiritual corruption comes simply by respecting each and every individual life.

Redemption from spiritual corruption comes from following God's Natural Laws.

Let us pray mankind will awaken in the hope that Rachel Carson's vision of a lifeless future never comes to pass.

walk a mile in their shoes


"Everyone is born an empath. We all have the physical equipment necessary to pick up on what other people are feeling. But, for most of us, this ability will slowly fade away from lack of use." - Elise Lebeau

"At about age fifteen human beings are meant to develop empathetic, holistic, transpersonal modes of cognition, abilities that violate the dogma of the discrete and separate self.

Primitive societies acknowledged these abilities and fostered their development, providing both models and methods for transcendence of the limited, rational, egoic self of the pre-teen.

This was the point of many coming-of-age ceremonies, in which the teenager's ego boundaries were temporarily shattered through such means as psychotropic plants, deprivation of food, water, or sleep, isolation from the tribe, pain, or other intense ritual experiences.

Returning to the tribe afterward, the young man or woman (no longer a child), would have a profoundly different conception of self. Not by accident, many of these ceremonies incorporate ritual reenactments of the birth process." - Charles Eisenstein

An empath has an acute or highly developed sense of empathy and is able to sense the emotions of others. Empaths are able to project their own emotions - wittingly and unwittingly - affecting the emotions of those around them. For this reason many empaths in American social culture are locked up in mental institutions under heavy sedation.

In the past empaths were given frontal lobotomies to control them.

(As in the movie One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest )

Today empaths are given neuroleptics - a chemically created frontal lobotomy.

Empaths are dangerous to a social culture in general as they tend to point out the hypocrisy of those in control of a social culture and are dangerous specifically to the state as they are unwilling to accept the crimes of the state as "business as usual."

Empaths have the ability to read, understand and resonate with other peoples emotions.

Empathtic abilities may occur either voluntarily (consciously) or involuntarily =subconsciously).

Empaths pick up on other peoples emotional state of mind, naturally, unlike psychotherapists winky.

Most Empaths simply accept that they are emotionally sensitive to others.

Empaths sense emotions that run deeper than those portrayed on the surface.

Due to the constant sensing of emotion empaths tend to walk one of two very divergent paths. Either they develop a very deep emotional intelligence or they hide their heart away deep within a walled citadel.

People are commonly conditioned to hide authentic emotional expression in complex industrialized
social cultures based on a division of labor that includes multiple daily contacts with strangers.

Empaths have an ability to see the emotions that lurk behind that "civilized" Mask.

Empaths have difficulty in that most individuals want hidden emotions to remain hidden.

Unfortunately for the Empath subconscious hidden emotions are clearly revealed. The Empath must be extremely careful to not reveal his or her emotional knowledge at an inopportune moment as people may become very upset when their subconscious hidden emotions are so clearly read.

Statements made by the empath may unwittingly reveal the Empaths extent of knowledge of those hidden emotions which typically causes consternation in the individual who has worked so hard to hide those emotions.

Empathy, like Reality, is not bound by Time or Space.

An empath can feel sorrow for past and distant victims of suffering, for the end of animal and plant life on the other side of earth as entire ecosystems are destroyed and for the needless destruction of any and all types of life for unnecessary short term OTC derivative gains.

Empaths have a deep sense of understanding of the emotional state and thought processes that accompany
different human actions having searched deep within their own souls for comparative situations.

Successful practitioners of the daily application of empathetic response
become compassionate, considerate, and understanding of others.

There are varying levels of empathic strength, emotional awareness, which are related to an individual's self-awareness, understanding of the powers and drawbacks of being empathetic, and/or the acceptance or non-acceptance of the expression of empathetic concerns by associated individuals, including family and peers.

Empaths that are blind to their empathetic abilities may develop digestive disorders and lower back problems. The solar plexus chakra is based in the centre of the abdomen and it's known as the seat of emotions. This is where empaths feel the incoming emotion of another which can weaken the area of the solar plexus chakra if not properly reinforced. Many Empaths that do not recognize their own empathetic abilities seek seclusion.

An Empath can become a dumping ground for everyone else's issues and problems, which, if they're not careful can end up as their own. Empaths often get drained of energy, either from energy vampires or just taking on too much emotional pain from others.

Empaths are natural healers but many empaths end up turning away from being healers as they tend to take on too much pain from the one they are trying to heal. Overwhelmed Empaths seek seclusion to recuperate.

empathetic capacity

Those who are empathic grew up with empathic tendencies.

Perhaps they were told, repeatedly, that they were overly sensitive.

Most Empaths are conditioned and disciplined by outside forces in an attempt to suppress any empathetic connections they may develop. Many empaths learn to build a wall around their psyches - a fortress to strengthen and harden their resolute hearts. Unfortunately once an Empath builds a perimeter wall or a fortress they tend to lose the ability to read and understand others as they have now relegated their empathetic talents to their subconscious - subjugating it to their compartmentalized intellect.

Empath will have a strong creative streak and a vivid imagination. Empaths are known for multiple talents as their interests are varied, broad and continually evolving. Empaths are often poets, writers, singers, and artists with a high degree of creativity and imagination.

Empaths are curious beings, interested in human nature - anthropology, religion, civilizations (existing and deceased), psyche, philosophy, sociology, art, history, economics, literature, music, nature and reality.

As an Empaths interests are broad they typically hold a broad-minded perspective
unlike those that have compartmentalized their psyches.

Empaths are passionate towards Nature, respect of its bountiful beauty, holding Nature in awe.

Empaths are continually drawn to Nature for revivification as they have a need for solitude in which to recenter their weary souls. Within Nature empaths recapture the naturally balanced pace of life unlike the hectic lives they are forced to live in an industrialized "developed" compartmentalized materialistic social culture. Time to get away from the social culture and commune with Nature is essential to the Empath.

Empaths are Gnostic. Empaths see through the Veil of Cognitive Blindness peering within the Core of Reality.

Animals are often dear to the heart of empaths as they reflect the natural beauty of life.

in the distance

Empaths are highly expressive in all areas of emotional connection, and talk openly, and, at times, cause consternation in the listener in respect to their emotionally charged reflections. (A good time for "intervention" with neuroleptics!) This sometimes leads to Empaths being seen as reclusive and apparently unresponsive to a neighbor's unperceived needs - needs unperceived by distance through lack of personal contact.

Empaths lose interest in mundane tasks once proficient and find it impossible to engage in activities which they fail to enjoy.

Empaths are Free Spirits that Seek Truth as anything untruthful feels wrong and causes physic pain. This is why Empaths avoid Narcissists and Psychopaths.

"Empaths have a tendency to openly feel what is outside of them more so than what is inside of them.

This can cause empaths to ignore their own needs. In general an empath is non-violent, non-aggressive and leans more towards being the peacemaker. Any area filled with disharmony creates an uncomfortable feeling in an empath.

If they find themselves in the middle of a confrontation, they will endeavor to settle the situation as quickly as possible, if not avoid it all together. If any harsh words are expressed in defending themselves, they will likely resent their lack of self-control, and have a preference to peacefully resolve the problem.

embrace your tears

Empaths are sensitive to television, videos, movies, and news broadcasts. Violence or emotionally charged dramas depicting shocking scenes of physical or emotional pain inflicted on adults, children or animals can bring an empath easily to tears. At times, an empath may feel physically ill or be unable to choke back the tears. (Another good time for "intervention" with neuroleptics!) Some empaths will struggle to comprehend any such cruelty, and will have grave difficulty in expressing themselves in the face of another's ignorance, closed-mindedness and obvious lack of compassion. They simply cannot justify the lack of concern for the suffering they feel and see.

All types of people and animals are attracted to the warmth and genuine compassion of empaths. Regardless of whether others are aware of an individuals empathic capabilities, people are drawn to them as a metal object is to a magnet! Empaths are like beacons of light! (The closed-minded work hard to snuff out that beacon of light! Neuroleptics for sale!)

Even complete strangers find it easy to talk to empaths about the most personal things, and before they know it, they have poured out their hearts and souls without intending to do so consciously. It is as though on a subconscious level that person knows instinctively that empaths would listen with compassionate understanding." - Christel Broederlow

People who exhibit natural empathy are often targets for con-men!

Con-men will try to empaths that they have magical talents,
psychic abilities or paranormal powers.

Empathy is a naturally occurring ability that can be honed or trained to achieve varying degrees of intensity or accuracy but empaths do not have any magical talents, psychic abilities or paranormal powers. Anyone who says otherwise is a con-man!

concentrated empathy

signs that you are an empath

Do you feel overwhelmed in public but can not determine the reason?

An empath who hasn't yet learned how to block other people's emotions out can become overwhelmed in the bustle of public places. Many empaths prefer to keep their own company living the life of a hermit as dealing with emotional expressions of unhappiness can be a harrowing experience.

Do you experience other people's physical ailments?

Do you feel overwhelmed when watching something horrible on television?

Viewing the news, violent imagery or depressing advertisements designed to induce sympathy and open wallets, can debilitate an empath for hours. While most people get upset an empath will often feel like their hearts have been lanced - a feeling of guilt and moral empathy not easily assuaged.

Do you ALWAYS know what someone really means?

Can you always tell what someone meant to say to you even if they used improper words or terms? An empath can detect lying and will know the intent of the lie - to spare feelings, to deceive, out of malice, etcetera. An empath will know if you mean them well or not – no exceptions. This is more than good intuition, this is true knowledge.

Do you feel compelled to care for anyone who suffers, no matter who they are and what they've done to you?

A true empath cannot walk past someone suffering and not feel an emotional need to stop and help that person. A true empath feels compelled to go to anyone they who suffers, be it angst or something physical. A true empath's compassion will usually be accepted on the spot by suffering people and animals no matter how they would normally react to strangers. They know, instinctively, that their suffering is shared.

Do people open up to you – even if you don't want them to?

The ill, the suffering, the weak are all drawn to the compassion an empath emits. And empaths emit it whether they want to or not. Empaths with the most profound sensitivity sometimes break down inside having no other way of keeping other's emotions at bay. (Time for antidepressants or neuroleptics.) These are empaths who are blind of their curse!

"Many people reading the signs that you are an empath will likely think themselves empathic. I cannot stress the following enough – there is nothing fun about being an empath. It's often a very draining and miserable existence in which you feel like you have to be entirely alone in order to survive. It is not glamorous, it is not exciting, it is painful more often than not." - Isabella Snow

a basic categorization of empaths by Elise Lebeau:

* Non-Empaths have completely shut down their empathetic skills and use other cues to get emotional information (such as verbal and non-verbal indicators). Over time, they completely loose their empathetic abilities and may eventually transform into Vampires (psychopaths) or Zombies (mindless human robots/corporately conditioned consumer clones).

* Impaired Empaths might have some basic filters but can easily get overwhelmed, especially in a crowded venue or during emotional turmoil. They tend to experience emotional distress (i.e. feeling the weight of the world) and physical symptoms (i.e. exhaustion, headaches, depression). Impaired empaths make statements similar to the following: "What is the matter?"

* Functional Empaths are able to control the flow of information so that it does not create emotional distress or uncomfortable physical symptoms. Functinal empaths may, at times, spiral back down the empathetic scale and become Impaired Empaths when under extreme duress.

* Trained Empaths are able to interpret complex emotional information accurately and use it for specific purposes (such as an aid in healing work).

empathy vs sympathy

Empathy - Brené Brown


as defined by Herbert Spencer in 1851 (sympathy = empathy in 1851)

The way to a solution of this difficulty has been opened by Adam Smith in his Theory of Moral Sentiments. The ability to derive pleasure from seeing pleasure, involves the liability to derive pain from seeing pain: the sympathy by which either of these results is effected, simply having for its function to reproduce observed emotions, irrespective of their kind. Sympathy prevents its possessor from inflicting pain, that he may avoid pain himself, and which tempts him to give happiness that he may have happiness reflected back upon him. It is the aim of that work to show that the proper regulation of our conduct to one another, is secured by means of a faculty whose function it is to excite in each being the emotions displayed by surrounding ones - a faculty which awakens a like state of sentiment, or, as he terms it, "a fellow feeling with the passions of others" - the faculty, in short, which we commonly call sympathy. As illustrations of the mode in which this agent acts, Adam Smith quotes cases like these:

"Persons of delicate fibres, and weak constitution of body, complain that in looking on the sores and ulcers which are exposed by beggars in the streets, they are apt to feel an itching or uneasy sensation in the corresponding part of their own bodies." - Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments

"Men of most robust make observe, that in looking upon sore eyes they often feel a very sensible soreness in their own." - Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments

"Our joy for the deliverance of those heroes of tragedy or romance who interest us, is as sincere as our grief for their distress, and our fellow-feeling for their misery, is not more real than that for their happiness." - Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments

"We blush for the impudence and rudeness of another, though he himself appears to have no sense of the impropriety of his behaviour."- Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments

To these facts cited by Adam Smith, may be added many others of like import; such as that people - women especially - start or shriek on seeing an accident occur to others; that unpractised assistants at surgical operations often faint; that out of the soldiers drawn up to witness a flogging, usually several drop down in the ranks; that a boy has been known to die on witnessing an execution. We have all experienced the uncomfortable feeling of shame produced in us by the blunders and confusion of a nervous speaker; and most likely every one has some time or other been put into a horrible tremor on seeing another at the edge of a precipice. The converse action of the faculty is equally observable. Thus, we find ourselves unable to avoid joining in the merriment of our friends, whilst blind of its cause; and children, much to their annoyance, are often forced to laugh in the midst of their tears, by witnessing the laughter of those around them. These and many like evidences prove that, as Burke says, "sympathy must be considered as a sort of substitution by which we are put into the place of another man, and affected in many respects as he is affected."

In tracing our benevolent actions to the influence of such a faculty - in concluding that we are led to relieve the miseries of others from a desire to rid ourselves of the pain given by the sight of misery, and to make others happy, because we participate in their happiness, Adam Smith puts forth what seems to be a quite satisfactory theory. But he has overlooked one of its most important applications. Not recognising any such impulse as that which urges men to maintain their claims, he did not see that their respect for the claims of others, may be explained in the same way. He did not perceive that the sentiment of justice is nothing but a sympathetic affection of the instinct of personal rights - a sort of reflex function of it. Such, however, must be the case, if that instinct exists, and if this hypothesis of Adam Smith's be true. Here lies the explanation of those qualms of conscience, as we call them, felt by men who have committed dishonest actions. It is through this instrumentality that we receive satisfaction on paying another what is due to him. And with these two faculties also, originate that indignation which narratives of political oppression excite in us, and that gnashing of the teeth with which we read of the slave-dealer's barbarities.

return to the root

It was elsewhere hinted, that though we must keep up the distinction between them, it is nevertheless true that justice and beneficence have a common root, and the reader will now at once perceive that the common root is - sympathy. All the actions properly classified under the one, and which we describe as fair, equitable, upright, spring from the sympathetic excitement of the instinct of personal rights; whilst those usually grouped under the other, as mercy, charity, good-nature, generosity, amiability, considerateness, are due to the action of sympathy upon one or more of the other feelings.

In support of the foregoing theory much detailed evidence can be adduced. If it be true that men's perceptions of justice are generated in the way alleged, it will follow that, other things equal, those who have the strongest sense of their own rights, will have the strongest sense of the rights of their neighbours. And, by observing whether this is the case or not, we may put the theory to the proof. Let us do this.

The first illustration that suggests itself is afforded by the Society of Friends. Ever since they appeared in the days of Charles I., the members of that body have been remarkable for their determined assertion of personal liberty. They have shown it in their continued resistance to ecclesiastical power; in the obstinacy with which they successfully defied persecution; in their still-continued refusal to pay church-rates; and even in their creed, which does not permit a priesthood. Observe, now, how the sentiment which these peculiarities imply has manifested itself sympathetically. Penn and his followers were the only emigrants of their age who made any acknowledgment to the aborigines for the land they colonized. Of this same sect were the philanthropists who commenced the agitation for abolishing the slave trade; and who were most energetic in carrying it on. Amongst lunatic asylums, the York Retreat was one of the first, if not the first, in which a non-coercive treatment of the insane was adopted. They were Quakers too, who years ago began publicly to exclaim against the injustice as well as the cruelty of war. And, whilst it may be true that in business they are firm in the assertion of their claims, it is not less true that on the whole they are remarkable for dishonest dealing.

Conversely, we find that those who have not a strong sense of what is just to themselves, are likewise deficient in a sense of what is just to their fellow men. This has long been a common remark. As one of our living writers puts it - the tyrant is nothing but a slave turned inside out. In earlier days, when feudal lords were vassals to the king, they were also despots to their retainers. In our own time, the Russian noble is alike a serf to his autocrat, and an autocrat to his serf. It is remarked even by school-boys, that the bully is the most ready of all to knock under to a bigger bully. We constantly observe that those who fawn upon the great are overbearing to their inferiors. That "emancipated slaves exceed all other owners (of slaves) in cruelty and oppression," is a truth established on numerous authorities. And that where opportunity offers the submissive nature becomes a tyrannical one, is further illustrated by the fact, that the negroes are frequently caught and sold by their own kings.

claer vision

Thus we find the proposed theory to be supported both by direct and converse evidence. One qualification must be made, however. There is no necessary connection between a sense of what is due to self, and a sense of what is due to others. Sympathy and instinct of rights do not always co-exist in equal strength any more than other faculties do. Either of them may be present in normal amount, whilst the other is almost wanting. And, if devoid of sympathy, it is possible for a man who has a sufficient impulse to assert his own claims, to show no corresponding respect for the claims of his fellows. The instinct of rights being of itself entirely selfish, merely impels its possessor to maintain his own privileges. Only by the sympathetic excitement of it, is a desire to behave equitably to others awakened; and when sympathy is absent such a desire is impossible. Nevertheless this does not affect the general proposition, that where there exists the usual amount of sympathy, respect for the rights of others will be great or small, according as the amount of the instinct of personal rights is great or small. And thus in the average of cases, we may safely conclude that a man's sense of justice to himself, and his sense of justice to his neighbours, bear a constant ratio to each other.

Sympathy can be strengthened only by exercise. No faculty whatever will grow, save by the performance of its special function—a muscle by contraction; the intellect by perceiving and thinking; a moral sentiment by feeling. Sympathy, therefore, can be increased only by exciting sympathetic emotions. A selfish child is to be rendered less selfish, only by arousing in it a fellow-feeling with the desires of others. Patience, self-denial, a sufficient insight into youthful emotions, and a due sympathy with them, added to a little ingenuity in the choice of means, will usually accomplish all that can be wished. Only let a parent's actions and words and manner show that his own feeling is a thoroughly right one, and he will rarely fail to awaken a responsive feeling in the breast of his child.

Now it is by the growth of those two faculties - the strengths of sympathy, and the instinct of personal rights - which together originate what we term a Moral Sense. In proportion to the strengths of sympathy, and the instinct of personal rights, will be the impulse to conform to the law of equal freedom. And in the mode elsewhere shown, the impulse to conform to this law will generate a correlative belief in it. Only after considerable social advance, can there arise either subordination to this law, or a perception of its truth.

The impulse to maintain liberty of action which generates regard for the liberty of action of others is explicable by an extension of Adam Smith's doctrine of sympathy. Our sentiment of justice is really due to a sympathetic excitement of such impulse.

When each individual possesses an active instinct of freedom, together with an active sympathy - then will all the still existing limitations to individuality, be they governmental restraints, or be they the aggressions of men on one another, cease. Then, none will be hindered from duly unfolding their natures; for whilst every one maintains his own claims, he will respect the like claims of others. Then, there will no longer be legislative restrictions and legislative burdens; for by the same process these will have become both needless and impossible. Then, for the first time in the history of the world, will there exist beings whose individualities can be expanded to the full in all directions.

mind control drug

oxytocin receptor gene

Researchers have found compelling evidence that people who are more empathetic possess a particular variation of the oxytocin receptor gene.

Published in the journal Proceedings in the National Academy of Sciences, the findings by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, support other research showing that oxytocin plays a major role in countering stress. All humans inherit a variation of this gene or "allele" from each parent.

The study looked at the three combinations of gene variations of the oxytocin receptor. The most empathetic - able to get an accurate read on others' emotions - had two copies of the "G allele." In contrast, members of the AA and AG allele groups were found to be less capable of putting themselves in the shoes of others and more likely to get stressed out in difficult situations.

!! examples of empathy blocking exclamations ??

Downplaying - "It is not the end of the world !"

Denial - "There is nothing wrong !"

Reasoning - "It was an accident !"

Positive Spin - "Perhaps it happened for a good reason ?"

Cheer Up - "Let me see that smile !"

Advice - "Modify your behavior !"

Expectation - "Why let it bother you ?"

Put Down - "You are jumping to conclusions !"

Labeling/Diagnosing - "You are being over sensitive !"

Distraction - "Look at this sock puppet !"

Stealing the Thunder - "Now you know how I felt !"

Global Empathy Experiment

"All living beings feel pain. Only arrogant humans feel they are somehow entitled to ignore this simple fact."
- Tim Martin

Empathy for life is what separates humankind from the rest of the animal kingdom
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This website defines a new perspective with which to engage reality to which its author adheres. The author feels that the falsification of reality outside personal experience has created a populace unable to discern propaganda from reality and that this has been done purposefully by an international corporate cartel through their agents who wish to foist a corrupt version of reality on the human race. Religious intolerance occurs when any group refuses to tolerate religious practices, religious beliefs or persons due to their religious ideology. This web site marks the founding of a system of philosophy named The Truth of the Way of Life - a rational gnostic mystery religion based on reason which requires no leap of faith, accepts no tithes, has no supreme leader, no church buildings and in which each and every individual is encouraged to develop a personal relation with the Creator and Sustainer through the pursuit of the knowledge of reality in the hope of curing the spiritual corruption that has enveloped the human spirit. The tenets of The Truth of the Way of Life are spelled out in detail on this web site by the author. Violent acts against individuals due to their religious beliefs in America is considered a “hate crime."

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