Peach Clubhouse Newsletter is Posted on the blog

The March newsletter has been posted to the right of this blog under PDFs. In addition to the below, this month contains the second in a series about food, genetic engineering, and the ecosystem. This issue contains the shortest imaginable description of genetic engineering. Next time we’ll discuss implications. Below is copied the compassion corner from the march newsletter.Compassion Corner

Compassion is not hugs and kisses. If you think about it, hugs and kisses have been used – often are used — to cause harm or to hide negative intentions that are in our heart or mind. That is definitely not compassion. The bottom line of compassion is wishing for — and also doing — what is best for the welfare of the other. Think what that means! What an enormous responsibility to try to understand what is is really best for “them,” and for the community, and the country, and for life itself. Even though we would much rather believe, and it is very much easier to believe, that we already know. Of
course we don’t know what is best for our future. We can seriously consider every level of organization and every different situation, and still we often don’t really know what is best for the future. And all the propaganda makes it more difficult. So compassion is about choosing to honestly try.

I have been asked, how do we know who to believe? This question is usually about the biological problems we are facing in the world today. The answer is: Look for the compassionate person or the compassionate solution. Make sure the solution is aligned with measurable facts. (Use your brain in addition to your instincts and training). And then think deeply about the differences between real compassion and real loving-kindness and fake loving-kindness, and sharing the joy of others.

Compassion is difficult. If you see an abandoned dog that has been brought to the “animal shelter,” do you feel a warm rush of caring, or loving-kindness? Does your heart sing, in sympathetic joy, that animal has been “saved?” Those are good feelings, but they aren’t the whole of compassion. Compassion feels with the animal — that horrible hollow fear of the heart; the incredible tragedy of betrayal of the
innocent soul. And it feels for the animal our adult anger that anyone would raise a dog, or a child, to believe in love and joy and happiness — and then pitch it out to fend for itself in reality. And then compassion does something. Not only something to help the dog, but to stop the root causes of the abuse.

Lovingkindness is not compassion; sympathetic joy is not compassion In fact, these can be excuses for not STOPPING THE ABUSE, because
they feel good. They give so much pleasure to the rescuer. Bottom line, the rescuer who is moivated more by loving-kindness or sympathetic joy than she cares about compassion, is mostly caring about herself. Compassion shares that ugly despair and terror as the dog feels it; empathy is the foundation of compassion.

And then comes the determination to stop the abuse at its source. Or as I heard one woman say about her goal to grow gardens in inner cities: “I swore that would never happen to another child if I could preven it.” That kind of dedication is not fun; it’s not cute, it’s not loving-kindness; it is practical, wise compassion. When you get your head and your heart together to do something that genuinely
works, long term, to make a change at the root cause of the problem, that is wise, practical compassion, and the result is that no more puppies are tossed aside for us to enjoy saving.

If we really care, and we all do, then the way to give what is best is to puzzle out the root causes of our sad, sad modern world culture. If we only rejoice in picking up the pieces and do not change the causes, we are not living our heart/mind compassion and life will become sicker, rather than better.

Fortunately we all have a good brain (*RR Taylor), because it is the responsibility of our age to unwind that puzzle and find the root causes of our human abuses of life. And that is why Compassion Corner comes at the beginning of this newsletter before politics, education and fact-based biology that are the tools we use in our efforts to solve the puzzle that we have been given.

So how do we understand root causes? Not by our compassionate instinct alone. Certainly not from the propaganda that characterizes our age. We must use our brain — if necessary, we must use our brain to change our world view we have been taught. We must look at all sides of each problem and and we discuss with people who know more than we do about each level of life (the individual, the population and the whole living ecosystem). Discuss with people who care very much about solving problems, rather than people who primarily care about winning or getting something for their own satisfaction. Align your compassion with fact-based reality. That kind of compassion HH The Dalai Lama (*RR) refers to as “wise compassion” I say practical compassion. Wise compassion indeed does use the inborn warmth of our human caring, but it also uses the inborn power of our human intellect. Intellect not as in college examinations – intellect as in every ordinary person has an amazing brain (*RR Taylor).

Practical (wise) compassion is the art of aligning our dreams with measurable realities. It is the craft of thinking deeply about the
natural law of cause and effect – the expectable results of our behaviors. Our current crisis is primarily biological, so as humanitarian activists it is our obligation to explore fact-based descriptions of what the ecosystem physically requires for its good health. The primary cause of our biological problems is human — our adversarial relationship with the ecosystem, and inability to understand that we can’t do whatever feels good. Instead — no matter what our passion or our expertise, we must ALSO care enough to learn what the ecosystem really needs to be healthy. So we also can be healthy.

References cited above are available on under Recommended References on the Newsletter itself.

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