Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Conflict resolution without war through the learned skill of compassion
by Rinaldi, Jacquelyn Ane, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2016, 184; 10164664
Abstract (Summary)

Compassion is often misunderstood. To live with compassion does not mean to give up one’s own well-being or to jeopardize the well-being of her family in order to serve the needs of others. Compassion means one must first take care of herself before she is able to tend to another. True compassion can exist only within the framework of well-balanced psychology or even-mindedness. It takes healthy self-esteem to realize one’s own limits and set clear and direct boundaries to protect those limits. Compassion means being deeply human and at the same time honoring one’s self and others.

Compassion, like muscle memory and rote memorization, is cultivated through practice. The current research from the field of neuroscience interprets compassion as a learned behavior as well as delineating that meditation is one of the most powerful tools for cultivating compassion and other balanced neurological states of being.

If we cultivated meditation, as we do reading and writing, as a part of the educational process for children from toddlers, through higher education, would that, in time change, what seems to be our addiction to the Ares archetype—war? At the very least, some students will see more compassionately, relate to life with more empathy, meet challenges with more optimism, and live with a greater sense of well-being and resilience. At best most of our children will grow up with these life affirming qualities that have power beyond measure to heighten the collective to live in a more peaceful state of consciousness.

This dissertation discusses the relationship between compassion and peace. As humanity becomes more compassionate, peace becomes a more viable state.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mahaffey, Patrick
Commitee: Belzer, Marvin G., White, Dana
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Mythological Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 78/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Peace Studies, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Compassion, Emotional maturity, Meditation, Psychological wholeness, Self-awareness, War
Publication Number: 10164664
ISBN: 978-1-369-19156-1
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