Does Compassion Need to Evolve?
I introduce the issue of compassion needing to evolve to embrace the larger causes of human suffering and degradation of nature in the short article “Does Compassion Need to Evolve” on the Co-Intelligence Institute website at
Our deeply engrained, well-evolved heart-to-heart responsiveness — the compassion widely advocated by major religions — is still central for people to feel cared for and for care-givers to feel the warm and often transformational humanity of caring. But in its simple spirit-based form this natural compassion is insufficient to actually reduce most of the suffering on the planet now and in the foreseeable future. This latter goal requires systemic understandings and systemic redesign to actually achieve its purposes. And that, in turn, requires collective efforts that often feel little like traditional compassion, and so must find their motivation from other sources. Developing and growing into that broader sensibility and systemic sophistication is itself an evolutionary leap, and constitutes the next order of evolutionary complexity for compassion as a human response.
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