Is Kindness our natural state?

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default Is Kindness our natural state?

Post by SimplyNan on Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:32 pm

This question came up on a different post and it brought forth lots of thought from me so I thought I would post it as a separate topic. Honestly, I'm uncertain as to what beliefs I have on this. There is a part of me that agrees and another part that doesn't. And then I question just what is our natural state? To me there is the natural physical state (which has differing varieties) and then our natural spiritual state. But then if what I'm learning on the spiritual stuff is totally true, there is no duality, everything just is. So you can see where my monkey mind is running amok here. What about you, what do you think about this.
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Post by Luna on Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:52 pm

Hmm good question Nan. I guess I believe that our natural, divine state is one born out of love. I believe that we are truly being our authentic selves if we care about the collective whole and not just ourselves. I think it is natural to have compassion and concern for other human beings but I think it's something that people choose to shut off or don't know how to access perhaps?
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Post by Bluedream on Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:04 pm

Luna wrote:Hmm good question Nan. I guess I believe that our natural, divine state is one born out of love. I believe that we are truly being our authentic selves if we care about the collective whole and not just ourselves. I think it is natural to have compassion and concern for other human beings but I think it's something that people choose to shut off or don't know how to access perhaps?

I tend to agree with Luna that "love" is more the natural state...that all encompases. At least this is what my soul feels to be true. If this is so then "kindness...compassion" or some derivative thereof would be essential for us also to attain this state of being. Sort of the natural pathway for this "goal"...if we could even dare call it that. Perhaps it just "is" eventually....as "enlightenment" may also be.
Peace...
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Post by melodiccolor on Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:26 pm

I too feel that compassion, love and caring are my natural state. It is so deeply ingrained into me and has been back to my earliest memories.

But I am not so sure it is true for everyone. There are some who are born damaged, for whom this state of being is missing. Then there are others who learn not to be loving or compassionate.

I have observed both states in living things other than humans as well.

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Post by SimplyNan on Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:45 pm

See, while I tend to favor that compassion is a natural state, what about those, as MC said, are born damaged? Then their natural state would be something other than compassion. It's like karma plays a big part in this whole thing, too. And supposedly we enter into a physical form because that is how we learn, how we do "practical application" of various concepts. So maybe I'm just going to deeper levels here instead of just saying, yeah, this is how it is. My sense is that it does go deeper than we realize.
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Post by Nucky on Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:03 pm

I believe that the opposite is true. Most people seem to have an instinct that tells them that they have to be mean to get things done and to keep their defenses up.

We see this instinct in many animals in the wild, situations involving competition over resources or mates nearly always result in extreme aggression.

I do believe that we are rare in that all of us have somehow overridden this natural instinct to an extent where kindness feels natural to us. We attract who we are, which is why so many charitable individuals have gathered here and at OHH.

Another reason why I think it's GREAT not to be all-natural! Laughing


Last edited by nuckinfutz on Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:28 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : cleaned it up)

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Post by melodiccolor on Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:04 pm

I do not believe competetiveness and agression to be the opposites of kindness. One can easily be all 3.

Agression can be simply insisting on a point when one is sure one is right and not budging. That is not unkind. Or doggedly getting a project done and refusing to back off. It can simply mean taking charge. Agression is not always bad.

One can enjoy board and card games, sports and other competetive passtimes; one can compete for jobs or contracts without giving up kindness.

Kindness does not mean one becomes a doormat.

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Post by Nucky on Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:15 pm

melodiccolor wrote:
Kindness does not mean one becomes a doormat.

I agree, but it seems to me that most people are predisposed towards meanness and hostility. Most people seem to think that you have to be mean to maintain your competitive edge. "Nice guys finish last" is practically considered a proverb. Of course, I think that's completely wrong.

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Post by melodiccolor on Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:08 pm

You have experienced the worst people are, far too much of it in fact. What you may eventually find is that there is actually an equal number of kind folks out in the world.

My experience seems to point to that anyway. Unfortunately, many of those kind folk also live in fear due to the power of so much badness (such as bad bosses, governments and dictatorships, religious fanatacism, etc.). So they live in hiding; not showing their true nature in public.

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Post by Nucky on Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:13 pm

Yeah, I seem to bring out the worst in people for some reason. That's always been true of me, ever since early childhood.

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Post by melodiccolor on Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:43 pm

Or conversely, you seem to meet the worst people out there. You do come across differently, but a kind person would take the time to get to know you and not dismiss you out of hand or reject you for it.

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Post by melodiccolor on Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:26 pm

I've thought about this some more. In reviewing people I know, it is often that people are capable of both kindness and cruelty in the same person. I've seen people seem to be nice, do kindness for others and then totally devastate someone for some imagined slight or just because they found them annoying.

I've seen people be very kind to family but casually cruel and dismissive of anyone else and I've seen the reverse.

It is a conscious choice not to be cruel, to choose kindness and it seems we have all chosen it. We have all experienced too much of the cruelty people seem to so casually dish out.

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Post by Nucky on Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:06 pm

melodiccolor wrote:I've thought about this some more. In reviewing people I know, it is often that people are capable of both kindness and cruelty in the same person. I've seen people seem to be nice, do kindness for others and then totally devastate someone for some imagined slight or just because they found them annoying.

I can be like that. I'm not always one to turn the other cheek. But I really have to be provoked.

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Post by melodiccolor on Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:26 pm

Nucky, standing your ground under attack is not the same thing as attacking someone for an imagined slight and setting out to really harm them.

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Post by Nucky on Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:39 pm

Another thing that complicates the issue is that such slights aren't imagined by the person who believes (s)he is victimized by them.

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Post by sedona on Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:27 am

nuckinfutz wrote:Another thing that complicates the issue is that such slights aren't imagined by the person who believes (s)he is victimized by them.

I agree, I find this to be very true.

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Post by Little Sister on Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:59 am

I believe we are social animals, with survival instincts. Especially, as infants, we are dependant, and consequently, we will begin to develop those traits that will endear us to others, and kindness might grow from this natural instinct to protect and be protective. Aggression, likewise, is a natural defensive instinct, and while not bad, in and of itself, it can lead towards selfish and antisocial behaviors if one does not learn how to keep it in check. Ha! And now, my biases are showing, in that I prefer that protective instinct over the aggressive instinct, but both are important for survival, and are morally indifferent. So, I subscribe to the mixed-bag hypotheses, that we are our nature is both good and bad, and kind and cruel.

How we balance these instincts probably moves us into the domain of morality. Do we differ from other animals, in this regard? Perhaps. We are able to make some conscious decisions about how we behave. And I believe we have a spiritual nature that might differ from animals', and that spirit might help us override, what we term, our baser instincts. But the development of this spiritual nature is not a given, and must be learned.
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Post by melodiccolor on Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:40 pm

I am reviving this thread as well for our newer members because so many important points were made here.

For those struggling to understand people and learning to trust themselves, there is a lot here to consider.

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Post by jaded on Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:07 pm

I am unsure what I believe about this at this point of my life. I used to believe it was every bodies instinct to be kind and that environment damaged their souls into something else. I am not so sure now. I truly am just tired of making excuses for everyone.
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