Meditations on the
7-Pointed Star of Druidism
Seren Derwydd Series
Part 2: Eluseugan - Compassion

Ed. by Senior Archdruid El Arseneau, RDG

As we covered in the first part of our discourse. in the second age of Reformed Druidism, we interpret the 7 pointed star by the Welsh word “Derwydd” (Druid) with each point standing for one of the seven attributes of a Druid:

Point #1: Doethiweb – Wisdom
Point #2: Eluseugan - - Compassion
Point #3: Rhyddfrydwr – Liberalness
Point #4: Wmbredd – Abundance
Point #5: Ymnellltuaeth – Noncomformity
Point #6: Dysg – Learning
Point #7: Delfrydwr – Idealist

Last session we discussed the first attribute, “Doethiweb,” or wisdom. Out of wisdom flows then the second attribute of the Druid: “Eluseugan,” or compassion. Those of us who are member-Druids of the Order of the Mithril Star already know a little about compassion, for it is at the very heart of our definition of love:

“Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person
is essential to your own.”

~~ Robert A Heinlein, Stranger In A Strange Land ~~

 

Compassion is a feeling deep within ourselves —a "quivering of the heart" — and it is also a way of acting — being affected by the suffering of others and moving on their behalf. Today, the Dalai Lama is the most well known exemplar of compassion, and it is the central ethical virtue in the religion of Buddhism, as well as other systems of enlightenment.

The spiritual practice of compassion is often likened to opening the heart. First, allow yourself to feel the suffering in the world, including your own. Don't turn away from pain; move toward it with caring. Go into situations where people are hurting. Identify with your neighbors in their distress. Then expand the circle of your compassion to include other creatures, nature, and the inanimate world.

The practice of compassion increases our capacity to care. It reinforces charity, empathy, and sympathy. It is very good exercise for your heart muscle.

But when you move toward others with compassion, you are likely to bump into some common attitudes, just waiting to close your heart again. The usual suspects are judgment and all its associated "isms": racism, sexism, ageism, classism, and nationalism.

On a personal level, your compassion is sabotaged by feelings of ill will toward others: spite and malice. These feelings, and others arising out of emotional wounds and personal pain, are actually symptoms indicating that you need to have compassion for yourself.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe,
a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself,
his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest,
a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is
a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to
affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to
free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion
to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

~~ Albert Einstein ~~

“Compassion is the radicalism of our time.”

~~ HH The Dalai Lama ~~

“When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched,
you begin to discover that it's bottomless, that it doesn't have any resolution,
that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless.
You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there,
as well as how much space.”

~~ Pema Chodron ~~

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

~~ HH The Dalai Lama ~~

“No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, there can never be
good for the bee which is bad for the hive.”

~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~~

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.
Without them, humanity cannot survive."

~~ HH The Dalai Lama ~~

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things,
and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better
than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now,
that while there is a lower class, I am in it;
while there is a criminal element, I am of it;
while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

~~ Eugene Debs ~~