Wednesday, August 20, 2014

CALENDAR OF VIRTUES
July 21-Aug 20:
COMPASSION LEADS TO FREEDOM


ABOUT THE CALENDAR OF VIRTUES
    The Calendar of Virtues represents a year-round opportunity to practice Virtue Transitions while outer nature is going through analogous changes. Your inner practice will be reflected in the outer world which can strengthen your experience. 
  
COMPASSION LEADS TO FREEDOM
OPPOSITE: Heartlessness

By Jean W. Yeager
IN NATURE:
     In high mountain lakes in the Rocky Mountains, the population of native trout are usually one species - Greenback Cutthroat trout. The population in the lake comes to balance the food use out of a natural, in-built compassion. They are not competitive with each other. There are no aggressors.
Let just one of a competitive, more aggressive species – such as Rainbow Trout - be introduced into that lake and the total population of native trout will drop.
That native population of trout is “free” to compete with one another for food but does not complete with its brothers and sisters – or with the aggressive trout should one be introduced. Competitiveness is not "natural" to every animal species.

IN HUMAN NATURE:
     In his lecture, "Brotherhood/Sisterhood And The Fight For Existence,"(1) Rudolf Steiner renames "brotherhood/ sisterhood" as "mutual help". Mutual help is a way of living and working that is based in compassion not competition. In the lecture Steiner traces the historical development of “mutual help” communities and trade guilds through the middle ages.
     Steiner contrasted "mutual help" with the “modern” attitude that we as individuals, and our communities, can only benefit by personally growing smarter, having greater physical prowess, and by having incredible personal expertise that puts us ahead of other individuals or communities.
     He suggested that in reality, we should do both.
     "It is right to make ourselves as strong as possible, but the question is, can we really become strong without love?"
In an example, the cells in our body must work cooperatively with other cells and each of them must be as healthy as possible so that the entire body is healthy.
Steiner goes on to say that everybody has a soul and then he says that communities have a "soul" and Love adds a dimension to our lives as well and the community “soul” is called "brotherhood/ sisterhood" or "mutual help".
Steiner says that it is NOT one or the other: the "Fight For Existence" personal desire to excel is to be expected; along with it he says we must also develop the capacity to help others excel – “mutual help.”
In this way the individual has options in their lives and the community has greater capacities and choices. By adding the capacity for compassion, one also adds freedom.

NOTES:

(1) Brotherhood and the Fight for Survival, GA 54

Berlin, 23 November, 1905
Translated by Manfred Maier and Nicholas Stanton
Privately Printed For Study Purposes

THE OPPOSITE – HEARTLESSNESS
     There is a spectrum of egocentric hard heartedness in humans based upon upbringing, education and culture. The human being is not hard-wired instinctively to be self-centered as are certain species. But even in animals, this instinct is variable. Some fish species will actually feed their young.

-   Jean Yeager
© Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved

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PLEASE WRITE YOUR INSIGHTS - Then, please post your insights (150 - 200 words max.) in the COMMENTS area starting August 20, 2014.
 

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STARTING AUGUST 21 WE WILL BEGIN OBSERVING A NEW PAIR OF VIRTUES
August 21 – September 20: Courtesy becomes Tactfulness of Heart
OPPOSITE: Inconsiderateness
 

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