[ExI] Empathy re: Good Samaritan

citta437 at aol.com citta437 at aol.com
Fri Dec 21 15:00:20 UTC 2007

"On expanding our context of self-identification.  In contrast with the
western misconception of the virtue of becoming more self-less, it's
about identifying with a larger, more encompassing self."

"Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, asks why we aren't
more compassionate more of the time. Sharing the results of
psychological experiments (and the story of the Santa Cruz Strangler),
he explains how we are all born with the capacity for empathy -- but
we sometimes choose to ignore it."

The concept of self is reinforced by nature and nurture. The seed was 
planted from pre-eukaryotic period and the development of language 
multiplied the pressure to survive.

The propagation of this meme took so many forms i.e. religious memes 
which drive men to seek an outside help from some god or gods giving 
this god anthromorphic ideas of benevolence, power and whatever else 
they can imagine out of fear.

Feelings of empathy is an instinct akin to motherly instinct drawn from 
evolution not from any outside force. We don't see the universe as 
having any feelings of empathy or any survival instinct.

We started at birth with the survival instinct until around the age of 
two our developing brain reacts to thoughts of self as separate from 
other who respond or not to this body's needs. Most adults are slow in 
developing emotional intelligence due to genetic or environmental 

Btw, the Dalai Lama started the Mind and Life Institute in Colorado to 
encourage a continuing dialogue between psychologists and other 
scientists with Tibetan Monks.

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