The Science of Compassion


You are alive. You know that for a fact. You breathe. Your heart beats. You sense the world around you and respond, physically, mentally and emotionally, to the sights and sounds and tastes you experience in that world.

You think. You feel. You move into joy or anger or fear and you feel it deeply. For you, rocks are hard and food must suit your particular taste and sleep ensues regularly.

You are alive. You see patterns and make sense of signs and signals. You remember the past—to some degree—with gratitude and/or regret. You project from remembrance of the past into the future. Certain things give you a rash. You learn to avoid them.

Science of Compassion

You have a type. A series of types—blood type, genotype, Myers-Briggs type. But you are individual. Your life is unique. You believe in certain things because they match your experiences in life. Your logic fits almost perfectly, given a few imponderables. The universe according to your world-view is validated regularly by events. Yet you find yourself often at odds with certain other people over the meanings you assign to these events. You are rarely swayed in your assessments. You are exactly you, a perfect example of seven plus billion individual humans on the planet.

That is the evidence of consciousness. You are alive. You think and feel. You remember and imagine. You are a classic and singular example of a group: homo mamadada.

Being alive is a real thing. Consciousness is fundamental to the universe. Like Space. Like Time.

Let’s take that as a starting premise and subject it to the framework already established to qualify and quantify concepts: scientific inquiry.

To begin, what do we know to be replicable about our universe from mathematics and physics? Here are some of the biggies: Electromagnetism. E=mc2. Relativistic space and time. Quantum mechanics. Antimatter. The weak nuclear force. The strong nuclear force. String theory.

Next, what are the mysteries that haunt science? Dark matter. Dark energy. Gravity as a part of the unified Theory of Everything. String theory. (And of course, First Causes.)

Oh, and the nature of consciousness, and all that entails.

So, can we imagine a way to fit all these parts together (maybe not First Causes)? Can we determine patterns that reveal connections between seemingly disparate notions? Can we widen the vision—get outside the box that holds all our other boxes inside?

Major scientific discoveries throughout time have readjusted concepts to allow greater synthesis. Like thinking of Time as a dimension that interacts with Space; or that Matter is essentially congealed energy; or that Antimatter exists outside DC Comics. Can we play with the idea of consciousness? Maybe we can find scientific justification to allow for Compassion to heal us all.