Compassion in patterns

May 25, 2022 Empathy - Compassion No Comments

This may be, at the same time, the deepest and the highest (tentative) view on the phenomenon of Compassion.

Thinking is pattern recognition and completion.

You’re spoilt today. This may be, at the same time, the deepest and the highest (tentative) view on the phenomenon of thinking.

I mean ‘pattern’ at the most abstract level. This is the level at which anything is a pattern. The dot at the end of this sentence is a pattern, as is also the whole universe, and anything in-between. A number is a pattern, as is a heuristic, as is a set of cells/synapses/molecules that together form a pattern in your brain that correlates, for instance, with this single thought you are having precisely now.

What you consciously perceive is yet another pattern than the – probably very much more complex – underlying pattern in your brain. You don’t consciously perceive a brainy cell or molecule. What reaches your conscious awareness is (relatively) conceptual. Where it comes from is sub-conceptually much more detailed.

Compare it with a painting you see from afar.

From afar, you see a face. From close, you may recognize the face of Maya from a painting by Goya. From nearby, with a looking glass, you see many more details, even the smallest speckles of paint. From afar, these speckles are sub-conceptual, each one invisible, yet all together needed within the painting.

The above is a rudimentary analogy in comparison to the brainy reality. In the brain/mind, the patterns are broad, deep, parallel, and overlapping to a huge degree. There are many associative influences at each moment, in many ways, at many places in the subconceptual landscape.

This is the engine of your mental being.

With a widely neglected engine, what happens at the surface is, well, only the surface. You may recognize inner dissociation by now.

The mental and social repercussions are ubiquitous. Inner Dissociation is never OK.

Into Compassion

People need insight and support in this depth of themselves ― especially in an ever more complex world. Proper insight and support are what Compassion is about.

It is infeasible – and not recommended to even try, by far – to consider all mental patterns. One would drown in an ocean of patterns. There is a trade-off to be made between depth and a pragmatical stance. At the same time, both are crucial. In most cases, in the present state of humanity’s history, depth is most direly missing. In this situation, the ‘pragmatical stance’ may run amok, as one can recognize, for instance, in what can be called a sociopathic streak in many leaders ― and more.

This is not the end of it, of course. With the question of what is ‘proper’ support starts a whole range of possibilities, in which still a lot remains to be discovered and made pragmatically available. If so, then the effectiveness of real Compassion should not be left underappreciated.

You got it.


Here’s the full painting of the Maya Vestida by Goya, one of my favorite painters.

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