Monday, May 11, 2015

Empathy: Awareness of Other Awarenesses

Empathy. The subjective experience of putting yourself in another’s shoes.

Not visualizing something happening to them, but imagining how they might feel. One could call that just as subjective an experience as thinking rationally, or feeling emotions.

Empathy isn’t really an emotion. It’s a way of thought. Emotions we’ve defined as physical feelings. Empathy doesn’t quite fit into that. Empathy can be deeper kindness towards other people, other animals, and our kin.

Really understanding intuitively that they are just another sentient being with free will in this world. To feel sorry for them when something horrible happens. To be able to put yourself in someone’s shoes and imagine how they are thinking. To get wrapped up in their joy, their anger. The way moods are contagious.

Empathy truly is simply being aware that other people are going through life too.

We base a good amount of our laws and societal morals on the idea of a deep understanding and respect towards others, their property, their sense of ownership, and their feelings.

“He has feelings too, you know!” is just another way to state that one should recognize and be aware that there are other beings with their own set of awarenesses regarding this universe.

As such, one can define empathy as a sense. A sense, which we previously defined as an awareness of some aspect of our universe. Not quite an emotion, and not quite a logical thought. Something else entirely.

Our senses list now looks like the following:

SenseAwareness of...
SoundEnergy Waves
TouchNuclear Force
TasteChemical Structure
SmellChemical Structure
EmotionsHormone Levels
EmpathyOther Awarenesses

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