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Monday, May 28, 2007

Confessions of an Empath

It's time for me to come clean about why I do what I do. You see, I'm an agent. Yep, that's right - I am an agent for change.

Seriously, I do what I am doing because I cannot stand the notion of suffering - anywhere in the cosmos, much less here at home on good ol' planet Earth. My motives practically since birth have been the same: I am sickened by violence, injustice and man's inhumanity to man and other creatures.

A little known fact about me is that I spent the first decade of my life becoming physically ill at the mere thought of violence. My family shielded me from violence, but still it managed to creep into my innocent psyche through images in the media, in movies, TV, books and magazines. I recall one Life magazine photo of a bloated corpse being pulled from an African river - a more grotesque sight my child eyes had never seen before.

I didn't vomit at that image, but I did puke all over the upstairs hallway after my older sibling explained to me what a "leper" was, as I was watching the movie "Ben Hur." As it was described to me, leprosy was "where your fingers and other body parts turn black and fall off." Not exactly a clinical definition, but it sufficed to have me running for the bathroom. I didn't make it.

Nor did I make it to the barf bag my family had brought especially for me to the drive-in movie theater, where we watched the scene of a man being hung in front of a jeering mob during the era of the American Wild West. Nope, that time the candy took the hit, as I grabbed the wrong paper sack. Needless to say, my siblings weren't thrilled at losing the candy.

Prior to the Ben Hur incident was a nightmare at grade school - fourth grade, when I was 9 years old. The kids in my class were surrounding one pupil, looking at a photo sent by his penpal and going, "Ooohhhh, grossss!" The children were also laughing, so I peeked over the boy's shoulder to see what they were looking at.

To my horror and shock, the photo was a picture of an American GI holding the severed heads of two Vietnamese soldiers - and smiling. I immediately backed up from this diabolical image, turned around and walked away, choking back tears and vomit. I was incompassionately pursued by the other children, who ridiculed me for not being a "good American," because these slaughtered human beings were "the enemy." Horrified, I looked to the teacher for relief, but she seemed to be joining in the finger wagging!

A Decisive Moment

That moment in my life was decisive. I knew then that I was very different from most people. I had seen an image of two human beings viciously murdered, while the others had seen "the enemy." I've never tortured or killed anyone, and I cannot even stand the sight of such atrocities; yet, I feel sometimes as if I'm all alone on this planet.

At some point during my first decade on this planet, it was suggested to me that, in order to survive in the world, I would need to become "inured" to its horrors. If by "survival" is meant that I couldn't go on barfing, I agree. And for many years I managed to push hideous atrocities out of my mind. A couple of decades later, I finally woke up, once and for all. I will never become inured to the horrors of this world. I am simply too emphathetic not to feel the evil that men do. Indeed, my empathy was the mechanism by which I would become sickened and vomit as a child. I would actually feel the terror, pain and suffering of individuals as they were tortured and killed. I am still feeling the suffering of my brothers and sisters globally, and I am compelled to expose this suffering and help it to heal.

Unfortunately, there are some very evil characters on this planet, and their sickness is infectious enough to have spread far and wide to what amounts to millions of people. These loathsome characters have created their clones and drones, desensitizing them to a mind-numbing level of violence against other living and breathing human beings. The crimes of these evil creatures are beyond comprehension, including but not limited to:
  • torture of all manner
  • floggings, lashings and beatings
  • beheadings
  • slitting throats
  • stonings
  • hangings from cranes and other devices
  • hacking off hands and feet
  • rape - gang and individual of both genders
  • child abuse, including rape and sodomy
  • animal abuse
  • "honor killings"
  • female and male genital mutilation
  • depriving women of air and sunlight, and subjecting them to sweltering heat beneath black or other dark-colored clothing
  • acid attacks on women's faces and other body parts
  • slavery
  • genocide
Most sickening, these atrocities and crimes against humanity are being committed by entire groups of people in the name of God! In other words, these horrors are unleashed as a major part of "religion." Is it any wonder there are "angry atheists" speaking out against the very notion of an all-powerful, good and merciful God in charge of everything? If the scenario just listed is "godly," what the hell is satanic?!

Every day, day in and day out, these vile thugs are grabbing people - including children of both genders - against their will and doing heinous and evil things to them. In all too many places, these montrous tyrants get away with this despicable behavior all the time, because they are allowed and commanded to do so by the governing authorities, both political and religious. Psychotically, these sadists believe themselves correct and righteous in seizing other living, breathing beings against their will and beating, torturing and murdering them. These savages have such power that large groups of people are under their dominion - and they are not content to stop there.

Who is stopping these constant abuses against innocent human beings? Who can these voiceless victims turn to for respite and salvation? As a person of empathy, I am feeling their pain and suffering - and I am outraged by their persecutors' audacity and megalomania. This unmitigated hubris of vilely destroying God's creatures is absolutely ungodly.

And it must be stopped, because it's making not only me but all of us sick. If there has ever been any creator, it seems "he" has long abandoned his flawed creation to its own devices, much to the dismay of all rational and compassionate human beings. That is to say, all true human beings. I can only fervently hope that there are enough of us true human beings to stand up to these sadistic bullies wherever they may be found.


Anonymous said...

Excellent blog!

Thanks so much for sharing. It gives me a better understanding of why you write to expose religion for what it really is. It can be a place for murderers & worse to hide out in the name of their god & particular holy book. The point of your books is not about being anti-religion, your books are much more about actually being human.

Your work is at the top of the list of some of the greatest gifts to humanity I've ever seen. Keep up the great works!

chris said...


Luis E. said...

I personally belive that we ha so much in common that it is unbelievable. You are not alone!

The problem with our Global Society is one of lack of true unbias knowledge and a total absence of respect toward any other human being that does not have a parallel or tandem set of beliefs.

We have to learn to co-exist in world of peace. But as long as we will have several religious movement thinking that they have to kill all the infidels because God or Allah said so, we are doomed and condemed to fight for our lives in this meaningless genocide the the world is seeing.

Hey my invitation to PR for a good cup of Coffee still open. Please write me to my E-mail. I love to have good and healthy conversations with intelligent people that are willing to give a fight for what they believe.

Greetings from Puerto Rico,

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent blog. I saher your life story also. Keep up the good work, we need more humans like you.

Ismael said...

when i was a child i too was troubled by violence. but i moved away from that and accepted violence as a normal part of life. I've "come back to my senses" and realize there is nothing normal about the violence that is in this world. Not just violence against our fellow man, but against all things on earth, the gallexy, and universe.

Ismael said...

I to was very bothered by violence as a child, but as I grew up I began to accept it as a normal part of life. By the time I joined the US Navy my views were probably much like those kids with the photo. This journey throough life has however shown me things that brought me back to my senses. There is nothing normal about violence it is a abnormal behavior that is accepted by to many people. And I am not just speaking of our violence against one another, but against all things on earth, in this galexey, and universe. I'm glad that their are people such as yourself who speak against such abnormalities.

Subbiah said...

Bravo Acharya.
That was a wonderful blog to help us understand you. I agreed with your empathy earlier, now I understand your empathy and where you come from.
But then, history reminds us that the brightest and most beautifully sensitive humans suffer the most.... a sad fact of life.
I like you even more now !

Anonymous said...

As usual your writing inspires me! Thanks for sharing this with us. As a child I too was horrified by violence and mean spiritedness in people. All the way into my adult life I tried to deal with it. When I could no longer deny that the people in church were just as bad if not worse than the people outside the church in cruelty, I left it for good. At 50 years of age I now realize that I can rise above cruelty, hate and intolerance. I can do good things and show kindness when it inconveniences me just because I WANT TO. I don't need some "god's" permission to be good and to desire good for my fellow beings. As for "god's followers" I wish they would smarten up and try to stop destroying the world so they can get to "heaven" faster and instead help heal their planet so we can all have "heaven on earth".


Anonymous said...

Frankly Im not suprised by these writtings at all...

Yes we can use religion or atheism to committ varied crimes against others so what...

Its just more proofs that we as a species were made to die...

David said...

I still cannot watch TV or movies for this very reason.

Anonymous said...

Thanks also. More and more I am revolted by any rationalization of violence, and perhaps the most insidious is that which claims to justify it in the name of liberation, revolution, justice - for in that way good people can start down the road toward evil. Gandhi's admonitions about means and ends come back to me... I've had arguments with a Marxist not too long ago and the abstraction was chilling, as much as as listening to a Nazi or some imam justifying the abuse of women. Non-violence is the only way out.

Goose said...

Best post ever! Even some of my hard-core environmentalist friends say violence is natural and will never end. But if humanity cannot evolve toward peacefulness, then I wish a quick end to our species. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love." Okay it's PDM (pretty damn mushy).

Jim Farley said...

Acharya, if there was any doubt that you are not human, you have now removed it. Bravo to you and to all you other evolving beings! I so much identify with you in your childhood. I have stamped in my memory as my intro to violence, a nature film sequence you have undoubtedly seen as many times as I have: the scene of a bobcat going for (and catching) a snowshoe hare in slow motion. I remember running from the room crying, and those around me were utterly baffled by my behavior. All evolving beings would naturally react this way, but we are surrounded by those who do not evolve (homo sapiens). Instead they have been regressing for thousands of years, and the cord is getting pretty taut on the plug. I can hardly wait for the universe to pull it. This is my last round trying to prove that love is possible. It seems I have mostly benefited my own self, rather than those I have been trying to help. That's not a bad thing, but I can benefit my own self in much nicer digs than what planet Earth has been like since homo sapiens took over.

You go, girl. Get what you want, and don't let a single person tell you that you are selfish for it. Bleeding hypocrites!

zahira said...

I feel very much the same as you descibe and remember very well the feelings an reactions I had as a child and also the reactions it had on my relatives etc. I remember when in winter I went out on the ice and let all the fish which where caught free and if there was a fish wounded i could cry for hours over the cruelty which seemed to be ok in the world of the adult. then i went through a time "se no evil ,speak no evil, hear no evil" as I thought that is the way out to see only the good and the beatiful, Now i am back on track seeing very well leaving nothing out and digging in my own unconsciouss to find out about my own darkness.
This is a challenge for sure.

Rene said...

Hi ya little cutie! Looks like you haven't changed!

I can't say that I am as sensitive to the evidence of violence, but I am not innured to it in any way. It is rare for me to get physically sick over the sight of the effects of violence, but it offends my emotional and rational senses to the point I must admit shamefully having offensive thoughts of how I might react to those committing such gross violence. I don't know that I ever would act upon those thoughts if the opportunity arose, but they are there none-the-less. I know I certainly couldn't stand by and do nothing to stop an act of violence by resorting to violence as a last resort if I had to myself.

As many people I would rather see the world and every people at peace with each other, but alas we are imperfect beings. Of course that doesn't mean we should stop trying and be agents of change ourselves to the best of our abilities. I applaud you and others like you, who actually take an active role in DOING, what every human being should be doing--instead of imbibing in brainless consumerism and hedonism with out a care or thought that the worst things that happen to others outside of their little world is bound to crash their little party of selfism.

Can't say they shouldn't deserve it, but it seems it is always up to a minority of people with conscience to do the battles and change things for the undeserving (perhaps I am being too judgemental here?). In any case, kudos to you and the many kind and conscientous people for sticking your necks out.

Anonymous said...

Hello Acharya

I agree with you. I am sickened by the violence we all hear about on a daily basis. And it does not seem to be getting better. That is why I believe that a "multucultural society" is a myth in and of itself. It cant work because of these varied reasons. But also I would like to know if you Acharya are against ALL violence including self protective and defensive? Just curious thanks!

Acharya S said...

Agreed on all counts.

I am against violence in the name of self-defense and protection?


I am all for whatever means necessary for good, decent and innately moral people of ALL races, creeds and cultures to protect themselves from being harmed or injured in any way by those who are evil, indecent and innately immoral.

If the humane species is to have any meaning or future, it absolutely needs to defend itself against heinousness and viciousness worldwide in every culture.

There is such a thing as a "warrior" for truth, but that truth is open to definition - in my estimation the "good guys" are those who value life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (scrupulously and ethically achieved), while the "bad guys" are those who wish to take away such basic human rights and freedoms.

Anonymous said...

Why don't I see the word "Islam" on this post?

If you are serious about eradicating it, and not just pontificating about how much you hate violence - then, NAME THE ENEMY!

Acharya S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Acharya S said...

Ah, yes, the faceless "anonymous" chastising someone else for not stepping up to the plate enough for his/her taste. Please feel free to do your own part in this battle, rather than playing armchair quarterback.


Anonymous said...

Even the devil can quote scripture. I've never went to church and I've studied many religions, but I still don't 'GET' what religion really is, unless it is just an 'Excuse'. But I do believe some people bring judgement on themselves...

Lucy Stewart said...

You remind me VERY much of myself! LOL.....i am apparently over sensitive.

Well, not apparently if i am honest with myself...i am too sensitive, well...i'm not sure if it is possible to be TOO sensitive, but EVERYTHING seems to affect me in some way. I cannot even look at my cats without my eyes filling up with tears...not with sadness, but with love! LOL.

The same feeling happens when i see my niece and nephew...i love them so much.

But, ever since childhood..i have always been easily traumatised by certain things, be it seeing a friend being bullied....or being bullied myself.

I guess that is why i have such an interest in psychology, the human mind etc. I find it trully fascinating how something that completely traumatises me, for most other people i know.. seems to just be brushed aside as a lesson to be learned from. Not me, i feel it so deeply that it stays with me forever! LOL.

If i could make anything happen in this world, it would be to end all suffering....cruelty to animals is what affects me more than anything and i would LOVE to change the attitude of so many people in this world who seem to think it acceptable to allow such disgusting treatment!!

Yes, i'm a dreamer...but still...i wish it could happen...although i know it never will since so many people only care about what affects them personally.

Lucy Stewart said...

Anonymous - isn't religion just how you practice your 'religious' beliefs?

I mean...many belief systems can be classed as a religion...but they are different belief systems, therefore different religions.

I could be wrong...but i am not sure that one has to believe in a divine being in order to be 'religious'.

One could have a belief system, which is not based on the supernatural yet follow certain religious rituals...

Although i may be completely wrong....i just thought that religion is mainly seen as a belief system that incorporates the supernatural...but is not necessarily the case...much like many people seem to think that in order to be pagan, one must be interested in magick etc, which is not the case, considering the origin of the word pagan refers to anyone who is neither Chrisitan or also means a 'peasant, or country dweller' if i remember correctly.

Did that make sense?

Likely not! LOL!!

ShaneMuir said...

Acharya: The more I read, the more impressed I am. You are an incredible human being doing exceptionally good things for the planet.

..and you are certainly not alone.

Acharya S said...

Thank you very much for the love and kindness!

Liberty Alvar said...

wow. me too, Acharya.
(thanks for posting this link...)
when i was a child, i was even sickened by displays of anger... (still sort of am) so the bible always struck me as a most heinous book... and what i've learned of people in my nearly 40 years (I don't look a day older than 30) ;) is that non-religious folks are kinder, more honest, more virtuous - naturally... maybe they turn away from religion because of some early empathic (traumatic) revulsion of 'god's' behavior... or maybe just because it's all bullshit. i dunno.

i still become so disturbed by violence i get queasy and cry fairly often when exposed to it, until i come to the conclusion that it's not helping anything of course... but i refuse to become desensitized.

i can tell you refuse to also.
thanks for all your work, A...

Heather said...

Terrific article, Acharya! You are such a gifted writer. And of course, I agree with pretty much everything that you write. :) You're such an inspiration to me. I can't wait until the rest of the world is able to see things from your perspective.

opsudrania said...

Well you have to know the real face and the breeding ground of what you are wanting to eradicate. See the the following YouTube clip and know the roots of Islam:

Can you ever hope to come out of this terror net? Some of these dialogues are in local Punjabi language from Islamabad with a commentary by a westerner in English.
Dr. O. P. Sudrania

Anonymous said...

Hey, I think it's really cute that you're an empath. I can imagine you getting really upset at movies as a kid, that's endearing.

Seeing other people be callous to certain situations makes it even worse doesn't it?

Sometimes, when the world feels like a cold, dark place, I think about the beautiful people I know, and feel my connection to them, and it really helps to elevate my spirit. So stay connected with your friends, and with the light, and with the beautiful things in the world.

Our suffering is transient, and when I look into your eyes, I see someone who has really diminished herself to come to the earth plane and help us out. You are such a beautiful person, and I see all the light and love in your eyes. Always remember all those who are supporting you.