Compassionate Understanding


Tight is tight. And we can be very tight even in the position of absolute truth.

When someone takes the position

that a certain viewpoint

is the only way to explore things,

this is tightness!

It may be a beautiful tightness

but nevertheless it is a tightness.

And this tightness is like a chain around our necks, too. It may be such a fine, fine chain that it is almost invisible but it is there. So how do we get rid of a chain completely? We cut it! We don’t make it finer and finer—we cut it.

We have to cut, not refine, the opinions and ideas we have about what is and what is not. Then we can come from a place of openness and fluidity and love. It is amazing what happens when we do that.

When we are open, we are flexible in all these areas.

When we are flexible, we become freer.

Then we have much, much wider perspectives. When we are presented with a difficult situation, we can see many more possible ways to handle it. When we think we have made a mistake, we understand that it was one approach we took among many possibilities—and we don’t judge ourselves so harshly. I make many mistakes. I’m the first to admit that I make many mistakes. Many times I contemplate some of the things I have done or not done. And I see sometimes that some things that I have done were not very good or not very effective—and I learn from them. But I do not get paralyzed about all the errors I make because I still want to live and do and be.

When we are only coming from the position of the absolute, it’s easy to say to somebody, “Do not bother me with the things you are telling me. They don’t matter” It’s so easy. And it can be so cruel.

Let’s say somebody comes up to us and says that they are having this problem in life that is consuming them. And then we say to them that their problem means nothing. Their problem means nothing because in absoluteness there are no problems—which is true. But at that particular time when somebody is thinking that this problem is the biggest, most gigantic problem that has ever been created in the history of problems, we will have slapped them in the face with the biggest slap that could ever have imagined with those words. Then we have added to that problem!

So if we are compassionate, we can use the Olmec and Toltec teaching that is known as controlled folly where we put ourselves in this big problem. Then both of us are having this gigantic problem and everything is a problem until eventually we can make some move in understanding or in action to see that this is not such a big problem.

But it’s very cruel to slap people in the face with their problems from the position of somebody who knows there is no problem. It’s very cruel.

When we are in a place where we know there are no problems, we cannot be tight and say that nobody has a problem. We must be very, very loose in this place and say, “Yes, this person is having a problem.” And then with compassion we can address the problem.



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