There are so many good people and light workers in the world today that have, and are, messing the place up. They charge off on their quest to make the world a better place without having a deep awareness of what exactly a better place looks or feels like. They know something is wrong, but they haven’t explored the depths of their own soul in order to have a tangible understanding of what heaven on earth is; this makes them susceptible to every fad and bandwagon cure that comes along. I am all for light and love, but without awareness, compassion can be quite destructive and misguided.
Osho, in his book “The Tantra Experience: Evolution through Love“, has this to say about compassion that lacks awareness, as well as awareness that lacks compassion:
“As you become aware, in the same proportion there is compassion.
Buddha has said: If there is compassion without awareness, it is dangerous. That’s what is in the people we call do-gooders. They have compassion, but no awareness. They go on doing good, and yet that good has not even happened to their own beings. They go on helping others, and they themselves need much help. They themselves are ill, and they go on helping other people–it is not possible. Physician, heal thyself first!
Buddha says if you have compassion without awareness, your compassion will be harmful. Do-gooders are the most mischievous people in the world. They don’t know what they are doing, but they are always doing something or other to help people.
…If you don’t know what you are doing, you can think that you are doing good, but good cannot happen.
Buddha says compassion is good when it follows awareness; otherwise it is not good. Compassion without awareness is dangerous, and awareness without compassion is selfish. So Buddha says a perfect buddha will have both awareness and compassion. If you become aware and you forget about others and you say, “Why should I bother now I am happy?” You close your eyes, you don’t help others, you don’t help others to become aware; then you are selfish, then a deep ego still exists.
Awareness kills half the ego, and the other half is killed by compassion. Between these two the ego is utterly destroyed, and when a man has become a no-self, he has become a buddha.” ~Osho, The Tantra Experience: Evolution through Love
Those who “do good” without awareness are dangerous, but what exactly is awareness? Where does it come from? Awareness is emotional depth, it is plumbing the depths of who you are and why you do what you do. It is understanding each and every pattern in such a way as to become one with them, thus neutralizing their control over your life. It is through leading a life of awareness that you become “one” with everyone and everything around you, allowing you to see how each person, plant, animal, and energy (dark or light) is connected. Awareness is NOT knowledge, as knowledge is simply reverse engineering life to see how it works, rather, awareness is Self-discovery that engenders an understanding and connection with all life, and is founded in paths such as Shadow Work and Tantra.
Conversely, if this awareness is not grounded in the NOW, according to Osho and Buddha, it is selfish; as we are meant to connect and share our awareness with those around us. Awareness without this sharing is like a balloon floating up in the sky with no tether to the earth, being blown around from here to there without a tangible connection to those below. A balloon floating in the clouds can see the big picture, but it cannot share this view with those living on the ground, thus it is necessary to ground your awareness with compassion, which is taking your enlightened awareness and allowing it to infect the mundane tasks of life.
The understanding and realizations gained from Self-discovery must be grounded in ordinary life events such as doing the dishes, gardening, homework, your job, making love, taking a walk, shopping, and more. Each time you are present in the moment with your expanded awareness, you get to shine your compassion on the mundane, making it extra-ordinary; you are grounding enlightenment in the NOW.
As Osho (and the Buddha) said, “a perfect buddha will have both awareness and compassion.” If you are a compassionate person but lack the depth of Self-discovery to open your heart, spend more time looking into your shadow side, to understand your patterns and why you behave the way you do. If you have spent a lot of time in Self-discovery, but lack a tangible way to share this awareness and understanding with those around you, start by finding more opportunities to “work in your garden”, to ground your insights into this dimension. Don’t just be present with those around you, ground your presence with action, bringing balance between your awareness and compassion.