Cultivating Compassion

January 21, 2013 Divine Love Talk

Guests: Renee DePalma, the founder of the world interfaith harmony film festival and Reverend Doris Davis of the Sol Cal committee of the parliament of world religions.

Topics: ways to cultivate compassion using art; world interfaith harmony film festival; the limitations of the ego; art has the potential to take us beyond the ego; beginner’s mind; reincarnation.

Renee:… Hope that we have events in the Los Angeles area that bring people together to promote compassion, cooperation and kindness from different faith traditions and from different points of view and countries around the world.  

Parthenia:And what a concept.  I want to bring Kim Michaels in on this discussion.  Kim, what do you think about – you know, we talk about religion all the time and how it’s always fighting amongst itself as my religion is the one and the only one and this whole concept now through film and art bringing together all of these different diverse religions.  So Kim, take that one.

Kim Michaels:  Well, I think it’s a wonderful idea.  I mean, obviously, as we have talked about several times on this show, religion really should not be a dividing factor; it should bring us all together, because it should bring us closer to the source that we all came from.

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Parthenia:Kim, do you have any other comment?  I want to move into cultivating compassion and how we can do that through art.  Any suggestions?

Kim Michaels: Well, I think it’s only the ego that has turned religion into this divisive factor.  And I think really that religion should be a tool for helping us go beyond the ego.  And so, when it doesn’t do that, there is, obviously, something we need to look at.  And I think art has the potential, obviously, to also take us beyond the ego; because it gives us an experience that is more than what we can deal with with just the ego and the analytical mind.  And I think that’s a wonderful avenue.

Parthenia:Well, thank you for that.  And we, also, have another special guest accompanying us and would you introduce?

Dr. Sarah:Oh, absolutely.  Reverend Doris Davis is the Southern California committee of the Parliament for World Religions here joining us.  And we had the most interesting discussions already today.

Parthenia:And she was so kind to just come in front of the camera, because she is really just here supporting Renee.  And we were having this comment about art and ascended masters and how they have such an amazing sense of humor.  And one of your teachings, Kim, on transcendence toolbox is about joy and how we here to experience joy and how a sense of humor can really get us there.  And then you popped in with this comment.  Would you share that?

Rev. Davis:Well, joy is a sure sign of the presence of God.

Parthenia:Isn’t it?

Rev. Davis:And you were asking me about – well you mentioned the ascended masters – and I popped in and said:  do you know the name of the ascended master of joy?

Parthenia:I thought it was Hilarion.

Rev. Davis:She thought it was Hilarion, but I don’t think so.  It’s Fung Wei.

Parthenia:Alright.  And can you give us just another tidbit about Fung Wei?  Joy and there was something else.  But, Kim, I do notice the whole thing about having a sense of humor.  Could you add something to compassion and having a sense of humor about our ego, because our ego can be such an idiot in terms of dividing us?

Kim Michaels: Yeah, well, one of the well-known ascended masters, El Morya or Master MORE.  He was embodied as the British man, Thomas More, who was fairly known as the Lord Chancellor.  And he used to say, back in that embodiment, himself, that if you laugh at the devil; he runs away.  And I think it’s a really important concept, because the ego does make us take ourselves incredibly seriously.  And really, honestly, I have met some people on the spiritual path, who were THE most serious people I have ever met anywhere.

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Parthenia:One of the things that Joseph Campbell talks about is the power of myth and how we can use myth to empower us.  And, Kim, I want to bring you in on the discussion about the hero’s journey and us becoming our own hero, because we tend to look outside of ourselves for heroes.

Kim Michaels: Yeah, this is exactly the effect.  We think that with the ego that we always have to get something from outside of ourselves, because the ego, obviously, makes us feel vain, incomplete (This could be the word ‘incomplete’ or two words “and complete.’  The latter didn’t appear to make sense in this context.)  And so, I believe many of these old myths, the ones Joseph Campbell is talking about and the ones we see elsewhere, is precisely to describe that we all have this potential to find what we need inside ourselves.  And I really think, also, that’s one of the differences between the outer, more formal, religions and the mystical religions that kind of run as a hidden thread behind the outer religions.  You talk about the three major monotheistic religions, and they all three have mystical branches.  Once you go to the mystical branch, you have unification of these principles.

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(Discussion is about Youth Forces of Harmony, young people producing and directing their own movies.)

Dr. Sarah:And my kids love interacting with the filmmakers, because that’s part of their – Oh my gosh, it’s on the screen.  Here’s a person, who the person is 11, 12 years old.  They’re not looking at a big giant.  They’re looking at and feeling like, wow, if he can do it, she can do it; I can do it, too.

Parthenia:Well you know what that reminds me of - and, Kim, I want to bring you in on this - is the line that says: and a child will lead them all.  And I believe that we as adults should honor and respect the intelligence and the gifts of children.  And allow them to teach us to become more child-like.  And, unfortunately, many of us who are in our ego, we become childish, instead of child-like.  So Kim, could you address that scripture?

Kim Michaels:  Yeah, I mean, Jesus said it, himself.  He said unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom.  But, there is also a concept that is very similar in Zen Buddhism, where they talk about beginner’s mind.  And the way I’ve always looked at that is that we need to really step back from this ego game of trying to be so serious and trying to have the absolute truth and the only truth – (Parthenia inserted: one way.) yeah, and there’s only one way to do things.  We actually have to realize – if you look at science, there is a concept called the second law of thermodynamics, which basically says that any closed system will self-destruct.  And what the ego does – it turns our minds into closed systems.  And if a lot of people are in the ego, our whole group, our whole society becomes a closed system, and things start breaking down.  And all of a sudden, we can’t find solutions to our problems.  And the only way to snap out of that is to take a fresh look with a pure mind, the innocent mind of the child.

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Rev. Davis:Well, art as a means of salvation - truly art is a catalyst for the evolution of the human spirit.  And what happens in drama, what happens in film, is that you have an opportunity for healing – a catharsis, exactly.  For the healing power of drama is, as the Greeks realized, truly great and essential to our soul and our spirit and our salvation.

Parthenia:And that’s one of the reasons why people flock to the movies.  And I think there is WAY too much shoot ‘em up, bang, bang violence, domination, kill, kill, kill and stimulation of the senses and not enough and documentaries and dramas that literally do inspire the soul.  And I’m going to move into some more of the films that I picked out and there are so many others.  One of them is the Shift of the Ages and would you care to tell us why you like that one?

Renee:Well, Shift of the Ages is our opening night movie playing on Wednesday, February 6th.  So what’s neat about this film is that it’s very timely.  It reveals the story of Mayan culture and the sophisticated prophecies that everybody focused on in December of 2012, but this film goes beyond.  It kind of takes us down that journey and lets us know why the Mayans were communicating to us and how this relates relevantly to our times today and where we are going in the future.

Parthenia:And people kind of overlook the fact that the Mayans were taking about there is a timetable for the evolution of human consciousness, that there is a time period for us to move beyond the ego and into unity consciousness.  And Kim, I know you have something to say about that.

 Kim Michaels:  Well, yes, I think this is the time to do that.  And I think it wonderful when films are part of that.  I was thinking about your comment about what has happened to film - with the shoot ‘em up.  I think one of the worst things that has happens to movies is actually the computer, because now you see so many movies that are focused on special effects, instead of the human element and the actors.  You have some great actors, but they never get allowed to say anything, because it’s all the special effects and running and shooting.

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(The film, Yangsi, Reincarnation is Just the Beginning, was discussed.  It is a documentary of the reincarnation of a Buddhist Master that gets placed on the thrown at 4 years old.  Dr. Sarah mentions that the energy of our being is never created or destroyed, and is here at this time on purpose to really connect with all of these new ideas to some and really, really old ideas to many.)

Parthenia:… I’ve always marveled at how people could think that we are the only sentient life in the universe.  And when you consider how small we are in terms of consciousness, that’s scary, to think that we would be the only sentient life in the universe.  I would hope that we would want to believe that there are other beings out there that are more evolved than us, because we need all the help we can get.  Kim, I know you have something -

Kim Michaels:  If we were the only intelligent beings in the universe, we would, obviously, have blown up the entire universe long ago.  There’s got to be somebody looking after us.  I also think this reincarnation is important for interfaith dialogue, because reincarnation was actually part of all of the three major western religions in their early days.  Most Christians don’t realize that it was deliberately taken out in the sixth century from Christianity.  It was done for political reasons that are no longer relevant.  So this is something we need to look at, because if we can re-establish some awareness of reincarnation in the three monotheistic religions; there is a bridge to all of the eastern religions, which have taught this for thousands of years.

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Parthenia:Kim, I’m bringing you in on how the ego keeps us in chaos.  And in one minute, can you, like, address that one?

Kim Michaels:  Yeah, because the ego always tries to solve a problem with the exact same state of consciousness that created the problem.  And that is what Albert Einstein said we cannot do.  And, so the ego is stuck in a track, and when – (The recording skipped.)  - it creates a contradiction.  And when that contradiction becomes a problem, it can only keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result, which is Einstein’s definition of insanity.  And so, the ego can’t do anything else.  It’s like a computer.  It will keep doing the same thing until it breaks down.  And you say: I’ve had enough.

Parthenia:And so what would be the solution to moving out of that craziness?

Kim Michaels:  Well, it’s like we talked about before.  You have to find a different way of looking at the problem.  And that means you have to step outside of this perception that the ego has created.  The ego creates a definition of the problem that just isn’t correct.  So you have to have that beginner’s mind or the child-like mind.

 

 

Copyright © 2013 Kim Michaels

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