Radical Empathy: Looking Through Another's Eyes

Make space to receive another. Make space to receive. Where there is emptiness there is no judgment. When ‘I’ is content there is room to listen. We listen, touch and see and understand...

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”
~Henry David Thoreau

Make space to receive another. Make space to receive. Where there is emptiness there is no judgment. When ‘I’ is content there is room to listen. We listen, touch and see and understand. Empathy/compassion overtakes ‘us’ as we know the nature of suffering.  If we look through the eyes of someone else our world expands. We take the emphasis from ‘my individual preoccupation’ and feel into what others might want or need. 

We are accomplishing two things: 1-we are paying attention to subtle levels of what we are capable of. 2. -functioning in a way that promotes deeper human connection and dissolves conflict. 

Marshall Rosenberg a psychologist, international mediator, author, and teacher discovered that asking people what they needed in contentious situations and then listening to their requests, repeatedly dispelled hostility. 

“Every criticism, judgment, diagnosis, and expression of anger is the tragic expression of an unmet need.”
~Marshall Rosenberg, Non-violent Communication: A Language of Life

Listening and empathy are key to unlocking the door to peace. It is very old knowledge that force meeting force eventually destroys as greater force is required with every blow. We tame the beast when the thorn is removed from the paw. We do not remove the paw. 

“Peace requires something far more difficult than revenge or merely turning the other cheek; it requires empathizing with the fears and unmet needs that provide the impetus for people to attack each other.”
~Marshall Rosenberg, Non-violent Communication: A Language of Life

Expectations we have of our selves and others are often without consideration for ‘unmet needs and fears’. We expect that we operate from a place of the mature adult when we have not yet come to terms with emotional issues from our pasts. The child has yet to be met. Learning to have patience with our selves and ‘taking care of our selves’ in every way is so important to our capacity to be present; available as mature adults. We do not judge our selves on the way as the way is our way.

This simply means that our way includes moving beyond conditioning that has been part of collective experience for a very long time. Being sensitive to our needs along the way is essential to eventual clarity and peace.

In Japan there is a word for the empathy/compassion one has for others that leads to thoughtful action, Omoiyari.

Omoi (思い) is thought. Yari is derived from yaru (やる), which means give or send.
So, Omoiyari literally means to give your thoughts to others.
Omoiyari is...the empathy for others that leads to thoughtful action. The key points are anticipating someone’s needs and providing for them in advance. To practice Omoiyari, you have to think in the other’s shoes and give them what they need without verbally expressing it to you.

When Omoiyari is practiced without filters it is a way of demonstrating kindness and caring. Our openness engenders openness in others and lays the groundwork for touching and being touched on a more intimate level. Joy and peace are the result. We all take care for each others quest to have needs met. 

New Moon October 14, 10:55 a.m. PT| 21° Libra

This New Moon in Libra (with annular solar eclipse**) at 21 deg., October 14, provides us with opportunities for deep insight into relationship. At this time we consider first, our relationship with self/Self as the beginning point of relating to others. When my own needs are recognized and met I do not have unrealistic expectations in relationship.

Libra people, often have a calm manner that is alluring to people. Their sense of equilibrium is enticing as most of us would prefer to know this composure. Whether sun in Libra, moon in Libra or ascendant in Libra, their own inner balance is something they inherently want to see around them. In relationship of any kind they wish to create this balance and will do what they can to have it be so. If others around them are content  Librans can also be content. 

Libra ruled by Venus is about relationship. That is Venus territory. With the moon at its furthest from the earth during an annular eclipse the two main bodies in the astrology chart experience a more intimate look at each other. It is a good time to reflect upon the relationship between the natal sun and moon in your own chart. How does the conscious self relate to the instinctive, subconscious, emotional self? 

Also looking at where this new moon falls in your natal chart will show you which area of your life will be highlighted for about the next six months. Plenty of time to make some significant changes in the direction you are called to at this time. Even if you do not feel a significant pull in any direction know that on a deep level we are always being drawn to that pinnacle to which all of aspire. Our own awakening and awareness that is regardless of this body mind. 

If we are dedicated to self evolution then the subject of how I relate to others is a great way to see where I may be ‘holding back’ or acting and reacting in ways that are limiting. 

With Saturn at 0 deg. Pisces trine to Mars at 1 deg. Scorpio we are motivated and focused upon taking a deeper look to promote a more intimate connection to Self; ultimately the only relationship that matters. The emptier I become the less judgment I have. The easier it is to go with the flow; to allow presence. 

Librans often have a keen eye. They are accomplished in many areas of creative endeavour. If something is out of place they sense that. As photographers they see what others do not. I had a very good friend in my youth, a Libra and a photographer. We could both take a photo of the same thing and hers somehow captured the scene in a truly powerful way.

Another Libra friend, a gifted musician could not help but critique my art work. And generally it would be accurate advice that he offered about composition. With this same precision Libra can turn that eye inward to notice where energy needs to move. Where emotions need attention. 

Although Venus may tend to laziness and inaction at times, now, during this new moon eclipse is not one of those times.  The solar eclipse provides plenty of energy to stay engaged with the task at hand. That task may be different for every individual yet will undoubtedly include attention to relationship of every kind; that entity which has the power through reflection, to blow the doors off of our limited way of experiencing life.

“It often happens that when you look at the familiar things through someone else’s eyes you see them as you have never seen them before.”
~John Mole, poet and jazz musician

**An annular eclipse occurs when the moon in its orbit is furthest from the earth. It appears smaller to us and does not completely cover the sun. The result is a ring of sunlight surrounding the moon. The ring of fire. 

Note: It is interesting that Uranus the planet of brotherhood and humanity (and much more) is situated at 21 degrees Libra in the Japanese chart (February 11, 1889). It forms a grand trine with sun at 22 deg. Aquarius and moon at 27 deg. Gemini. The sun and moon represent the conscious self and the instinctive self. Together they represent the whole human being. Uranus is the ruling planet of Aquarius and attends to an evolved way of being through independent expression, free of societal conditioning. 

"Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing. Instead of offering empathy, we often have a strong urge to give advice or reassurance and to explain our own position or feeling. Empathy, however, calls upon us to empty our mind and listen to others with our whole being."
~Marshall B. Rosenberg
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