24. Empathy in 1, 2, 3 – Part 3: ‘Beyond the Conceptual’

“Where two of you are together, I am present”. The human mind: rather a chest of drawers or rather a cloud? One could see the human mind as a collection of boxes and each box is filled. So, a kind of chest of drawers in which one can store all kinds of things. There is Read the full article…

23. Empathy in 1, 2, 3 – Part 2: ‘Openness’

Most important in empathy: do not stand in the way of it. Openness to meaningful patterns By this I mean YOUR openness. It may feel like intuition or a deep sensation. You may have already heard of ‘non-conceptual communication’: in addition to everything a patient tells you at a verbal conceptual level, he/she always sends Read the full article…

22. Empathy in 1, 2, 3 – Part 1: ‘Silence’

Silence is the mental space in which the patient may be him/herself. The destination is harsh In a previous column you could read about the importance of empathy. An empathic doctor does not need to be convinced of that. A non-empathic doctor does indeed, because for him it is, by definition, just not very real. Read the full article…

21. Empathy: What it Was, Is and… Will Be?

Empathy is very difficult to conceptualize just because it is ‘beyond the conceptual’. What it was In the second half of the 19th century, ‘bedside manners’ were the main instrument of the doctor. The time of bloodletting, purgatives and leeches (in 1827 in France still good for an import of 33 million specimen, in addition Read the full article…

Growth, Compassion, Love

With capitals, for it is about the total person, including a vast universe of unconscious processing. It’s all together a familiar, yet tremendous domain. [see first: ‘Landscape of Empathy’] . Please especially look at the image there before your read this present text. Dedicated lexicon: Growth: developing qualitative mental patterns at subconceptual level, of which Read the full article…

Towards Universal Empathy

Universal empathy is a moral stance that may solve the in-group >< out-group problem. [‘further on ‘In-Group Creates Out-Group?’] “How numerous the living beings may be, I pledge to liberate (from suffering) them all.” This is one of four Buddhist ‘vows of the Bodhisattva.’ Not being an adept of Buddhism, I find in it a Read the full article…

Beyond ‘Carrot and Stick’

Carrot and stick have a long history. Going beyond, one can foresee a future based on a more realistic view on human being. Reward and punishment are efficient means to make someone comply to rules and authority. So has always been thought and taught. Reality may have been quite more complicated. In the face of Read the full article…

Manipulation of Empathy

Since empathy is a primordially social reflex, manipulation of empathy is relatively easy and can rightly be called ‘sociopathy’. Unfortunately, this is not seldom in politics worldwide. People are ‘natural empathizers’ but diverse in form and object. For example: empathy for close circle (family, ‘own people’…) versus empathy for wide circle (‘human rights’…). Thus, even Read the full article…

Empathy and Morality

I (yes, I) contend that morality of a really human kind is basically based on empathy. Rationality is its servant. [This text is a continuation on ‘Landscape of Empathy’.] One may recognize a quote from the Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) “Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can Read the full article…

The Middle Way of Dialogue

Dialogue:  speaking while listening and listening while speaking. Dialogue strengthens. Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing lack of it. Speaking while listening Non-verbally, deeply attentive: showing yourself in your listening. It helps the other to speak well and thus it also helps your listening. Listening while speaking Straightforwardly: seeing the other ‘speak while listening’. Read the full article…

The Concept ‘Kindness For the Total Person’

Kindness… is probably the first word that comes to mind with reference to AURELIS. E.g. if you want to explain to anyone what AURELIS is about. It is also very important when you are doing an AURELIS session for example. The aim here is to allow you to be friendly to yourself. It’s not pushing Read the full article…

Do Not Turn the Other Cheek…

… unless you think it’s worthwhile. I have a lot of respect for other-cheek-turners. If however, nothing gets learned from it, one may keep turning cheeks indefinitely. If someone slaps you on the cheek, then I think that it’s better to look at that person than to turn your gaze away while offering the other Read the full article…

Is Empathy a Force of Evil?

Of course not. Still, some describe it this way. The main – but not all – disagreement is one of terminology. Terms matter. Concepts are important. See ‘Landscape of Empathy’. In that drawing, I’ve distinguished some related concepts. Others may put other terms to these concepts. Empathy devoid of rationality is impossible in my conceptualization, Read the full article…

There is Still a Dire Need for More Empathy in Leadership

Good leadership is mostly defined as empathic, yet we frequently end up with a non-empathic, ‘coercive’ one. May this be related to ignoring the unconscious? Although a lot of science proves the importance of the unconscious, to many it is ‘the alien inside’, which provokes anxiety when there is even a possibility to have to Read the full article…

How to Become a Strongly Empathic Leader

Empathy gets wrongly confused with weakness. What we need is strong empathy. Empathy can be defined as understanding and sharing another person’s feelings and emotions, accompanied by a desire for action and while not canceling your own personality. It comes frequently together with integrity, authenticity and humility. Empathy is not a weakness. To constantly take into Read the full article…

About Tolerance

One cannot be tolerant to something one doesn’t know. So first comes Listening. Otherwise ‘tolerance’ can be quite in-tolerant. “You must be tolerant.” is of course a paradox. Is tolerance then selective? It appears to be so. You could even define tolerance as being intolerant to intolerance. There is – at first sight – no Read the full article…

68. Altruism is egoism

Have you ever heard of the Samaritan paradox? Some ‘scientists’ find samaritanism (just doing something for someone else) a very weird phenomenon because it doesn’t fit the so-called biological premise of me-first (including we-first for a group). They look upon any derivation of me-first as either having a hidden agenda or being an aberration, something Read the full article…

24. Love is the ultimate healer

‘Love conquers everything, even death.’ You’ve probably heard it (many times) before. And yes it sounds good, doesn’t it? So you may wonder: is there more to it than just sounding good and ever in a while, maybe, also a bit cheap? ◊◊◊ I think it has been heard and used so many times that Read the full article…

Can Tango Teach Us Empathy?

Tango as art… Historically seen, thinking about empathy originates from thinking about experiencing art. Someone looks at a painting and experiences through this something meaningful deep inside. The viewer feels deeply, empathically touched ‘as if from inside the work of art.’ In most cases it’s difficult to express in words really what this is or Read the full article…

Landscape of Empathy

This drawing is an attempt to make appropriate distinctions in a complex reality around ‘empathy’. Terms that are used to point towards the distinct parts – as always – contain arbitrariness. Disclaimer Please take this with a grain of salt. The drawing is a metaphor to make some things clear while other important distinctions are Read the full article…