eindoofus wrote:I'm sure I'm thinking too far ahead having barely done Metta meditation, but how does Metta explain compassion for psychopaths? I know the thought of these types of people is going to creep into my mind as I move forward and I don't know how I will reconcile it. These types of people are genetically born with no empathy or remorse. I can feel compassion for someone who has gone off the path due to various reasons, but psychopaths are simply born as cold-blooded individuals.
One might even argue that they are born without a "heart", and yet their extremely happy being themselves. They'll probably be happier than many of us will ever be in this lifetime.
I recall reading a story of a CEO psychopath who took genuine joy in firing workers when the company had to downsize, since he viewed the act of firing as being fun. Not to mention the large quantity of serial killers who are psychopaths who never felt any remorse for their victims.
It's not just that life has led them astray, but they are born this way. How can someone feel compassion for this type of human being?
Do you feel angry when you see a cat torturing a small mammal to death? I don't, I just feel a little sad about the cruelty of Nature sometimes, but the cat really isn't capable of compassion, so I'm not angry at it. As for human psychopaths, well I don't like
them, just as I don't like cockroaches; but just as I try to treat cockroaches with kindness, so too I try to cultivate compassion for psychopaths, even though they have none themselves.
Feel sorry for the CEO who gets his jollies firing poor workers. He might (think) he is happy in this life, but what kind of kamma must he be building up for the future? He is sowing the seeds of future misery for himself.
Another thing to think about is that, if we could have goodwill for all beings, regardless of who they are or what they have done, that we ourselves would feel much happiness as a result.
You don't have to like people to feel goodwill towards them. Forgiving others is really something we do for ourselves, because when we let go of ill-will, it is like a tightness around the heart has been loosened.
But it will be difficult for you to achieve this if you keep pondering over their misdeeds. If you keep thinking about all the terrible things psychopaths have done, you won't get free from ill-will towards them that way. You have to instead redirect your focus to your own body and mind.
How does anger or resentment feel inside you? How does goodwill and kindness feel?