On many occasions I have gone on about the great power of empathy. I keep making a big deal about it and telling you that it is the most important skill that you can develop. Many believe what I am telling them but they tend to have a limited perspective of how you can use the power of empathy.
Your ability to have empathic understanding of the world around you is very powerful, it can allow you to perceive things in a far deeper level and as a result it can give you an edge on everything in your life. To prove my point, let’s have a little fun with empathy..
I am certain that if you have ever done any kind of grocery shopping, you have been stuck trying to pick the perfect fruits and vegetables. It can be said to be an art, the ability to find the perfectly ripe fruit or vegetable. Many look at the color of the tomato for example, perhaps tap a watermelon in just the right way, or smell a mango to see if it is perfect for consumption. But there are those fruits and vegetables that can be quite difficult to read. Avocados for example can be very difficult because unless you actually squeeze them, is really hard to tell whether they are perfectly ripe or just hard rocks on the inside. Cantaloupes or any fruit with a thick outer shell, can be quite difficult to gauge and sometimes it’s basic guesswork, trying to find that perfectly ripened piece of fruit.
How about if I were to tell you that you can use empathy to get a perfectly ripe fruit or vegetable every time. As I have told you in the past, empathy is the ability to take a part of yourself and to project this part onto another. To imaginatively project yourself into the other and as a result be able to perceive their perspective. But this is not the end of empathy, empathy can also be used to find the inner reality of certain things, or perhaps it would be better to say, feel the inner makeup of things around you. For example you could project a part of yourself into a tree, an animal, or even a brick. By examining your feelings and your subjective experience in general, you can discover the inner quality of these things that you are projecting into.
Using the above technique, you can project yourself into the fruits and vegetables that you are about to purchase and find out whether they are delicious and ripe. Next time that you find yourself in the produce section, or an outdoor market, try this technique; pick up whatever fruit or vegetable that you are looking to purchase, and as you hold it in your hand, imaginatively project a part of yourself into that fruit or vegetable. As you do so, explore your feelings and your inner reality. Very lightly, without breaking that empathic link that you have with that produce, try to imagine what this fruit or vegetable might taste like. Relax, let go of that tight hold that the ego sometimes has, and imaginatively become one with the produce that you are holding.
When I do the above technique, I usually get a feeling or an impression of how delicious and how healthy that produce is. This feeling is a very subjective one and it is therefore very difficult to explain in words but it is sort of like a feeling of goodness where somehow I know that the fruit or vegetable that I’m holding will taste great and is also good for me. You need to experiment yourself and see if you can discover your own understanding of the subjective information that you are getting. We are all different and we must all find our own subjective language and symbolism. But do not fret, it is not a difficult exercise and I do believe that we are all quite talented at it since it was one of the methods that our early ancestors used in order to discover whether the food around them was any good to eat. In other words it is an ancient skill that you are reusing in a modern setting.
You can still look at the color and the smell, these methods are still good and you should rely on them. But through this empathic method you should be able to develop a very good sense as to how good the food that you are about to get is. It is possible that you might make a mistake, for example you might pick up an avocado that is all black on the inside while you believed that it was perfect. Don’t give up and keep trying, because this talent like any talent requires practice and a bit of effort. The only thing I might suggest, is to stop squeezing that produce! It really sucks when you go into a store and you see people squeezing the heck out of this or that and then just walking away. Anyway, that’s just a little pet peeve of mine, hehe.
Empathy is not just for dealing with others, it can also allow you to perceive every aspect of the world around you in a far more precise and direct way. Practice your empathic skill and develop new ways to use it to your advantage. Empathy can be used to discover the inner reality and the inner makeup of anything that you see before you, even those things that are beyond your physical vision. For example it was through this kind of empathy that Einstein was able to discover many of his great laws and theories. You can use the same skill in very practical ways; next time that you are in the produce section, use your empathic sense to get the best quality food for you and your family.