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RE: Actions without motivation of the affective quality of love/compassion

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My intention was not to hijack Nikolia’s post but I think I did that so I wanted to at least stop it and respond here.

ed c:
I’ve read the glossary information and other writing and while it makes intellectual sense to me why these “affects” aren’t all they are cracked up to be, I can’t seem to make that leap that the loss of them would be good from the perspective of my wife/kids who would still value them... I admit I'm personally hung up here a bit with this, but it leaves me wondering if those “left behind” who still want love and compassion will have a sense of loss at my inability to feel love and compassion or if things like benevolence will make this “loss” irrelevant or a even a good thing. I haven’t got my head around it this will work from the perspective of others dependent on me, not just me.


trent:
also know that love's imitations of caring, intimacy, sweetness and kindness are only ambiguous shadows of what they mimic (those actual things), thus there is nothing but suffering being lost by letting go of it entirely.


Beoman:
to take it a bit further, you say your family might miss the fact that you can't feel love and compassion. how does your love and compassion manifest, for them? from their perspective, when they look at you and interact with you, how does the love and compassion show? you are feeling love, but you’re feeling of love is only something you feel, not them. it seems to manifest most in the actions you take towards them. you might say 'i love you', for example, and true, you wouldn’t be able to say that sincerely any more. but all the things you do like taking care of them, giving them advice, doing things for them to make their lives easier, etc., that all remains, and apparently is even amplified (loving caring, intimacy, and kindness are only ambiguous shadows of actual caring, intimacy, and kindness). just a direction to think about.


That’s it, the whole ball of wax! If what you are saying is true, I have no issue pressing forward. This is as clearly written as I’ve been able to find anywhere. Please humor me for a second and tell me if what you’re saying is true based on an example from last night.

My daughter (7) was not feeling well, primarily physically but a little emotionally. So I started to rub her back and then soon the the feeling of warmth and care increased and I reflexively hugged her really tight and rocked for awhile. Somewhere In that moment I thought to myself “If I don’t have affective feeling would I be rubbing her back and hugging her?” What you are saying (and others),is that while I might not have specifically rubbed her back and hugged in exactly the same way if I were AF, I would have responded to her needs in a way that she would receive as “caring, intimacy, sweetness, kindness etc…) Right?

That’s the crux of my concern, will I take actions that approximate or improve upon the actions I take now that are often motivated (for better or worse) by feelings? You’re saying unequivocally, yes! No offense to you or anyone else, real life examples of how this manifested in someone would be great, but up to this point this wasn’t even conceptually clear to me so that’s a huge help. I have some more introspective work to do. I’m sorry if this is painfully obvious to everyone but me, if so maybe another novice like me will come along and benefit from this…

You write:

My daughter (7) was not feeling well, primarily physically but a little emotionally. So I started to rub her back and then soon the the feeling of warmth and care increased and I reflexively hugged her really tight and rocked for awhile. Somewhere In that moment I thought to myself “If I don’t have affective feeling would I be rubbing her back and hugging her?” What you are saying (and others),is that while I might not have specifically rubbed her back and hugged in exactly the same way if I were AF, I would have responded to her needs in a way that she would receive as “caring, intimacy, sweetness, kindness etc…) Right?

That’s the crux of my concern, will I take actions that approximate or improve upon the actions I take now that are often motivated (for better or worse) by feelings? You’re saying unequivocally, yes! No offense to you or anyone else, real life examples of how this manifested in someone would be great, but up to this point this wasn’t even conceptually clear to me so that’s a huge help. I have some more introspective work to do. I’m sorry if this is painfully obvious to everyone but me, if so maybe another novice like me will come along and benefit from this…

***

I have a five year old daughter. When my daughter is sick, or upset, I hold her, hug her, rub her back, give her kisses, and cuddle her. And I enjoy giving her comfort and taking care of her. I am not motivated out of a sense of distress or worry when she is ill or upset, but only want to help her feel better in whatever way I can. Nor am I motivated by any sense of what I 'should' do as a parent or out of sympathetic co-suffering; she is a human being in pain, and I will do all I can to help her be pain-free. She happens to be my child, so it is my especial (and legal) obligation to take care of her the best way I can.

A concrete example:

My daughter currently has an ear infection and for a few days before it was diagnosed, she was grumpy and in pain. It was very easy, before she was on antibiotics, to figure out what she needed from me. When she wanted a hug, I gave her a hug. When she wanted to be held, I held her. When she was pensive and withdrawn, I asked her, "Are you okay?"

Being actually free means that I didn't freak out because she was ill. It means that even though I know she is in physical pain, I am not anxious as a result. It doesn't mean that if she wants contact, reassurance, and comfort that I stonily withhold it; that would be silly.

I don't think people "from the outside" would see much difference in how I parent my daughter now and how I did before. The difference between "then" and "now" is that prior to becoming actually free, I would spend hours googling every ailment she had to figure out what was wrong, talk endlessly to friends about it, swap horror stories with other parents, spend copious amounts of time sanitizing her hands to keep her from germs, and generally being stressed about her health and well-being. Many of my friends still do this and are pretty stressed out, all things considered, about their children.

I'm not stressed about my child. I take very good care of her, give her what she needs, and remain perfectly content the whole time.

Does this help or should I say more?

Stefanie

RE: Actions without motivation of the affective quality of love/compassion
Answer
3/15/11 2:58 PM as a reply to Seraphina Wise.
That helps immensely given that you are actually free and have shown me in great detail how you reacted in a common parent/child situation!

No need to elaborate, yet. This is exactly what I needed to hear/understand. I need to process this and a few related things a little but what you’ve said is here is pretty straight forward and clears the way for me to concentrate better on the end game! My assumption is a PCE will help give an experiential taste of how this works which should help to deepen my understanding and resolve.

Thank you!!!emoticon
Ed