Compassion—being defined as the ability, to not only understand another person's predicament, but to empathize with it—is dependent on the level of detail and surrounding context that is available. So lack of compassion results from a limited perspective and contextual understanding—or, put another way, not enough detail and a insufficient contextual gasp of a given situation. Gaining context and a wider perspective then will always result in increased compassion as long as the level of detail is not lost. If the level of detail is lost as you move to a broader and more inclusive perspective on a given situation, then you will only be substituting one scale for another scale. What this means is that cruelty is the result of not seeing broadly and clearly enough. There is no nasty or negative attitude that can hold in the face of more context, greater detail, deeper understanding.

The Two

All of a sudden Alistair Lyons was before them—one black and the other utterly white. They stood side-by-side, erect as ramrods, with globular heads and eyes that penetrated deep into him. Their eyes seemed to sink into an infinite vacuum of space below his consciousness and swap information about him. The black one examined him with what he could only describe as an intense disinterest, while the white one seemed almost on the verge of an emotional collapse at the sight of him.
“We will not harm you,” said the white one. After it spoke, he realized that its lips had not moved—that it had used telepathy.
“Be a tame point of consciousness,” advised the black one. This time he saw lips move, and the voice was not soft like that of the white one, but mechanical, obfuscated, it seemed, by some great difficulty of communication.
Alistair stood before them stunned. Only an instant earlier he had been preparing for bed. Now he was in a circular grey room, confronted by the strangest sight he had ever seen. His rational mind kept telling him to relax, to ride out the dream, while a deeper and more troubling voice inside him said that he was somewhere between dreams and reality, and that reality was actually relative—"yes," it said, "where you are at the moment is what is real." As he looked at them, he found his gaze returning most often to the face of the white one. Although bereft of any human-like features, it was a face that radiated complete caring…it was totally disarmed…and concerned…about everything. Looking at the face of the black one was more like looking into an abyss. It was not frightening so much as overwhelming, dizzying, requiring him to remind himself who he was for fear of forgetting everything.
“You are brave,” came the voice of the white one.
“He controls his fear with more fear,” said the black one.
“Would you like to learn what you are?” asked the white one.
There was something terrifying to Alistair about this gently worded question. He felt like a child being asked if he wanted to go up to the attic in a haunted house. His composure disappeared. He had long sensed an inhospitable landscape within him, something that shunned people but had been bent into a reticent and polite figure by socializing pressures. If not for those pressures, he wondered what he might have been capable of doing in this life just to have peace, to be left alone.
“He is not ready,” said the black one, metallically. “We have entered the continuum to soon.”
“He is ready,” came the voice of the white one.
“Let me go back,” said Alistair, feeling now like he had taken a terrible misstep that he could never retrace. Suddenly he realized that the white one was standing next to him, and with its presence cam a warm balm. All the tension in his muscles was drained and his mind rose higher on a windstorm of compassion. He felt as if he knew the being standing next to him, that he had known it for all eternity across the jagged pattern of a thousand lifetimes. Now he began to understand why he was being offered a glance as his inner self. He was being given a chance to take a giant leap forward…he was being shown mercy.
“Yes,” Alistair said, “show me.”
With that the black one appeared squarely in front of him. Alistair’s eyes were directly aligned with its eyes. Startled but buoyed by the energy of the white one, Alistair sank his gaze directly into the pitch-black orbs. He felt his awareness travel deep inside the eyes, into a blackness previously unknown to him. Despite the lack of concern he had felt from the black one, he now realized that the blackness was itself warm, populated with unlimited possibility—it was the birthing hole for existence. This was what lay at the heart of all experience—renewal, endless change, nothing was condemned, there was no need to forgive, all was completely as it should be…and still he went deeper….infinity stopped the mind in all directions, allowing only the awareness to continue like a naked child hurling through the dark….