Empathy is the recognition and understanding of the states of mind, beliefs, desires, and particularly, emotions of others. It is often characterized as the ability to "put oneself into another's shoes", or experiencing the outlook or emotions of another being within oneself; a sort of emotional resonance.
What is Empathy?
The origin of the word empathy dates back to the 1880s, when German psychologist Theodore Lipps coined the term "einfuhlung" (literally, "in-feeling") to describe the emotional appreciation of another's feelings. Empathy has further been described as the process of understanding a person's subjective experience by vicariously sharing that experience while maintaining an observant stance.9 Empathy is a balanced curiosity leading to a deeper understanding of another human being; stated another way, empathy is the capacity to understand another person's experience from within that person's frame of reference.10
Even more simply stated, empathy is the ability to "put oneself in another's shoes." In an essay entitled "Some Thoughts on Empathy," Columbia University psychiatrist Alberta Szalita stated, "I view empathy as one of the important mechanisms through which we bridge the gap between experience and thought." A few sentences earlier in her essay, she had emphasized that ... "[empathy is] consideration of another person's feelings and readiness to respond to his [or her] needs ... without making his [or her] burden one's own."
While the ability to imagine oneself as another person is a sophisticated imaginative process that only fully develops later on in life, the roots of this ability are probably innate. Human capacity to recognize the emotions of others is related to our imitative capacities, and seems to be grounded in the innate capacity to associate the bodily movements and facial expressions we see with the proprioceptive feelings of those same movements or expressions.
Humans also make the same immediate connection between tone of voice and inner feeling. Hence, by looking at the facial expressions or bodily movements of others, or hearing their tone of voice, we are able to get an immediate sense of how they feel on the inside. We experience this as anything from understanding, to directly experiencing or feeling their emotion (say, sadness or anger), rather than just noting the behavioral symptoms of that emotion.
More fully developed empathy requires more than simply recognizing another's emotional state. Since emotions are typically directed towards objects or states of affairs (either real or imaginary), the empathiser first requires some idea of what that object might be. Next, the empathiser must determine how the emotional feeling will significantly affect the way in which s/he perceives the object. In other words, the empathizer must determine the aspects of the object upon which to focus.
Hence s/he must not only recognize the object toward which the other is directed, but also then recognize the bodily feeling, and then add these components together. The empathiser has to somehow find a way into the loop where perception of the object generates feeling, and feeling affects the perception of the object. This process occurs before taking in account the character of the other person as well as their wider non-psychological context (such as being short or being a lawyer).
In general two methods of empathy are possible: either a) simulate the pretend beliefs, desires, character traits and context of the other and see what emotional feelings this leads to; or b) start by simulating the emotional feeling directly perceived and then look around for a suitable reason for this to fit to. Either way, full empathetic engagement is supposed to help to understand and anticipate the behavior of the other. Additionally, other subtle methods may be available, depending on the purpose of the empathic act.
Empathy Versus Sympathy (and Versus Pity)
Despite some divergent opinion on the matter, we may propose a subtle but important distinction between empathy and sympathy.
Whereas empathy is used by skilled clinicians to enhance communication and delivery of care, sympathy can be burdensome and emotionally exhausting and can lead to burnout. Sympathy implies feeling shared with the sufferer as if the pain belonged to both persons: We sympathize with other human beings when we share and suffer with them. It would stand to reason, therefore, that completely shared suffering can never exist between physician and patient; otherwise, the physician would share the patient's plight and would therefore be unable to help.
Empathy is concerned with a much higher order of human relationship and understanding: engaged detachment. In empathy, we "borrow" another's feelings to observe, feel, and understand them--but not to take them onto ourselves. By being a participant-observer, we come to understand how the other person feels. An empathetic observer enters into the equation and then is removed.
Harry Wilmer22 summarizes these three emotions--Empathy, Sympathy, and Pity--as follows:
Pity describes a relationship which separates physician and patient. Pity is often condescending and may entail feelings of contempt and rejection.
Sympathy is when the physician experiences feelings as if he or she were the sufferer. Sympathy is thus shared suffering
Empathy is the feeling relationship in which the physician understands the patient's plight as if the physician were the patient. The physician identifies with the patient and at the same time maintains a distance. Empathetic communication enhances the therapeutic effectiveness of the clinician-patient relationship.
We as a race go through life sometime not knowing the pain that we cause as we live our daily lives. Empathy is the ability to charge that destructive nature. The wingmaker and the world server use empathy to help heal the pain. That this destructive nature has caused in the world today and we all work hard to bring peace and harmony to the earth and all it's inhabitants.
Get comfortable and relax.
Then charge your physical body with prana energy by using the prana energy charging technique.
Now close your eyes and visualize someone that you know is standing in front of you?
Now make eye contact with that visual image.
Then stretch out your feelings telepathically and feel what the person in front of you is feeling.
Then telepathically adjust your feelings to match the feelings of the visual image in front of you. This is what's known as Empathy.
Then I want you to interact with the person on their level. How well do you go interacting with this visual image that is in front of you.
When you have finished this exercise write down all that you have learnt while interacting with this visual image and remember to practice you will get better.
Two Person Exercise : Physical Exercise
First you will need to work out who will be the sender in this exercise and who will be the receiver in this exercise.
Right now we have sorted that out. I want you to sit across from each other and get comfortable and relax.
(Sender) Make eye contact with the receiver.
(Sender) Then Stretch out your feelings telepathically and don't forget to open your heart as well. Because the heart center is were we all feel from.
(Sender) Then I want you to look deeply in the eyes of the receiver. Because then eyes are the windows to both the heart and soul.
(Sender)Telepathically stretch out your feelings from your heart center up into your eyes. Don't worry if you can not do this with your eyes open if you need to close your eyes and visualize that you are doing this it will work as a visual exercise. then open your eyes again and focus on the receiver.
(Sender)Then telepathically adjust your own feelings to match those feelings that you are feeling from the receiver.
(Sender) Then tell the receiver what feelings you are perceiving from the receiver.
(Receiver) Remember to be honest with the sender as they perform the empathy reading and make sure you answer all the questions that the sender ask you honestly and correctly Because once the sender finished reading you its your turn to perform the read on them.
(Sender) If you have been successful in your reading well done.
(Sender) Now charge rolls with the receiver and see how the receiver goes doing the empathy reading on you.
RememberTo practice both of you. Because you will get better and faster at this exercise the more times you perform this exercise.
Good Luck and take care.
Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle-Inter-Planetary and Extra-Planetary Relationships
You will note, therefore, that though we call one of the major centers HUMANITY, yet - in the last analysis - all the centers are constituted of lives progressing towards the human stage, of those units of life who are at the human stage, and those who have left that stage far behind but who are endowed with all the faculties and all the knowledges wrought out into human expression in earlier planetary schemes or solar systems, or through our own definite and characteristic planetary life.
Because of this uniformity of experience, the art of contact and the science of impression become entirely possible and normally effective. The great and omnipotent Lives in Shamballa can impress the omniscient Lives and lesser lives in the Hierarchy because They share a common humanity; the hierarchical Workers or Masters and Initiates can consequently impress humanity because of shared experience and understanding; then the lives that compose the human family present the goal to the subhuman kingdoms and can, and do, impress them because of basic instinctual tendencies which are expressed in the human group but which are latent instinctual tendencies and potential assets in the three subhuman groups.
This teaching has always been implicit in the esoteric doctrines but has not been sufficiently emphasized, owing to the point in evolution of mankind. Today, mankind has made such progress that these points can be made effectively. I would call to your attention that this was the keynote of the Gospel story: the human-divine nature of the Christ, relating Him to the Father through His essential divinity, and also to man through His essential humanity. The Christian Church gave a wrong slant to the teaching by making Christ appear as unique, though the higher criticism (deemed so shocking fifty years ago) has done much to correct this false impression.
The outstanding characteristic of humanity is intelligent sensitivity to impression. Ponder on this definite and emphatic statement. The work of science is, after all, simply the development of the knowledge of substance and of form; this knowledge will make it possible for humanity eventually to act as the major impressing agent in relation to the three subhuman kingdoms in nature; that is humanity's primary responsibility. This work of relationship is practically the work of developing or the mode of unfoldment of human sensitivity. I refer here to sensitivity to impression from or by the Hierarchy.
The work done through the processes of initiation is intended to fit disciples and initiates to receive impression from Shamballa; the initiate is essentially a blend of scientific and religious training; he has been reoriented to certain phases of divine existence which are not yet recognized by the average human being. I am endeavoring to make clear to you the basic synthesis underlying all manifested life upon our planet, and also the close interplay or relationship which forever exists and expresses itself through the supreme science of contact or of impression.
The three great Centers are in close relationship at all times, even if this is not yet recognized by the intelligent disciple; an unbroken series of impressions is ever present, relating one center to another and bringing about an evolutionary unity of objective, and developing (with exceeding rapidity at this time) a secondary science, that of Invocation and Evocation. This science is in reality the science of impression in activity and not simply in theory.
The first great Invocation was uttered by the planetary Logos when He expressed the desire to manifest and thus invoked and brought to Himself the substance needed for His designed expression. That started the chain of being or of hierarchy; interrelation was then set up between all "substantial" units; the more potent and the more dynamic and greater could then impress the lesser and the weaker until gradually - as the aeons swept by - the seven Centers were created and were in close impressionable relationship. Of these seven we are at this time considering only three; the others we know very little about, for they are largely composed of units of the deva evolutions (and I would ask you to note the plurality there) and of subhuman lives, working under impression from the head, the heart and the throat centers of the planetary Logos.
Students are apt to make their thinking unduly complicated when they seek to itemize and define, to separate into academic groups and brackets the multiplicity of energies with which they feel confronted when considering the planetary and the human centers. I would advise you that you think simply and (certainly, at first) in terms of the three major energies as they emanate from some center, become impressing agents, and then are again transmitted or stepped down:
The dynamic electrical energy of Life itself or divine potency, of embodied Purpose, expressing through evolutionary manifestation the divine Will. It might be well to realize that purpose emanates from the cosmic mental plane and is the all-inclusive, synthetic, motivating principle which expresses itself as the divine will upon the cosmic physical plane - the seven planes of our planetary Life. This dynamic energy focuses itself through the Lives or Beings Who control and dominate Shamballa. Until the divine purpose has been achieved, the planetary Logos holds all in manifestation through the potency of His Will, and animates all forms with electric fire. Knowledge of this Will and Purpose comes to the student who is constructing the antahkarana and who is, therefore, coming under the control of the Spiritual Triad, the threefold expression of the Monad.
The attractive magnetic solar energy to which we give the quite unsuitable name of Love. It is this energy which constitutes the cohering, unifying force which holds the manifested universe or planetary form together and is responsible for all relationships; it is this energy which is the soul of all things or of all forms, beginning with the anima mundi and reaching its highest point of expression in the human soul which is the constituent factor in the fifth kingdom in nature, the Kingdom of God or of Souls. An understanding of this human potency comes as a man makes contact with his own soul and sets up a stable relationship with that soul; then he becomes a soul-infused personality. As you well know, the threefold personality is to the soul what the Spiritual Triad is to the Monad: a clear medium of expression. Most students are or should be today occupied with this attractive energy, for until they have mastered the desire nature and have transmuted it into aspiration and soul control, they cannot hope to comprehend the dynamic energy of electric fire. This attractive magnetism is the energy dominating and controlling the Hierarchy.
The intelligent activity of fire by friction. Students would be well advised to reread A Treatise on Cosmic Fire where I deal at length with these three conditioning energies. This third energy is the basic energy expressing itself in the three worlds and in the four kingdoms in nature, climaxing its expression in the creative energy of the human kingdom. This energy emanated originally (as far as our solar system and our planetary scheme are concerned) in the first solar system and is the best proven and the best known energy in manifestation. It is the medium for activity in all forms through which the planetary Logos expresses Himself; it is the result of the activity of the divine Mind, as that peculiar type of divine energy plays upon and through all atoms and upon all atomic forms. The fission of the nucleus of the atom in the past few years is the outer sign or demonstration that humanity has "encompassed" the divine Mind and can now move on to "encompass" the love or the attractive nature of divinity. Ponder upon this statement. I know not what word to use but encompass and it is entirely inadequate. A new and deeper esoteric terminology is badly needed.
If you will work with and reflect upon these three fundamental energies and search for their expression within yourself, you will greatly simplify your occult thinking. Let me here make a few more statements which you have perforce to accept hypothetically, but which can nevertheless be substantiated by you if you arrive at an understanding of the Law of Analogy or of Correspondences, and if you will also accept the truism that the microcosm reflects the macrocosm and, therefore, each human being is related to Deity through essential similarity.
Dynamic electric energy entered into our planetary sphere from extra-planetary sources and from a point of definite focus upon the cosmic mental plane; this energy was paralleled by a secondary energy from the sun Sirius, thus accounting for the dualism of manifestation.
This energy expanded outward from its central focus (the center called Shamballa) and in this expansion  became the agency which impressed the Plan upon the serving Hierarchy. The Plan is that measure of possibility of immediate importance which the divine Purpose can present at any given moment in time and space.
This process of expansion set up another focal point of energy, and the heart center of the planet, the Hierarchy came into being; thus two centers were created and en rapport, which constitutes a major event upon the involutionary arc; to this, little attention has hitherto been paid. It coincided with the advent or the arrival of the Lords of Flame from the alter ego of our Earth, the planet Venus. They created the nucleus of the Hierarchy which - in that far, very distant time - consisted of only forty-nine members; these were advanced human beings and not souls awaiting incarnation in human form on Earth, as was the case with the vast majority of these visiting Solar Angels.
Alignment between the head center and the heart center upon the involutionary arc was thus set up; another expansion took place which resulted, as you know well, in the creation of a new kingdom in nature, the fourth or human kingdom. This kingdom was destined to become and is today the third major center in the planetary life. Then another alignment, but one which is still contained upon the involutionary arc, took place.
Today, an evolutionary alignment is taking place. The planetary center which we call Humanity is active and vibrant, and it is now possible to "progress along the Upward Way and create the line which links the lesser with the higher, permitting thus an interplay." Men are rapidly moving out of the human center into the hierarchical center; the mass of men are responding to spiritual impression.
At the same time, the heart center of the planetary Logos, the Hierarchy, whilst it is being responsive to the invocation of the throat center, Humanity, is becoming increasingly evocative and is itself attaining a much higher contact and alignment with the head center of the planetary Logos; it is, therefore, capable of receiving a constantly developing dynamic impression from Shamballa.
Thus a great alignment is being achieved through the relationship and the interplay going on between these three major planetary centers; this produces a constant inflow of energies from several different sources, and these energies galvanize these three centers into a new and increased activity. Invocation is arising all the time between these centers and producing a consequent evocation of impressing energies.
In these seven statements, you have depicted a PATTERN of the present planetary work or the present logoic thesis. An involutionary alignment (the guarantee of future successful alignments) constitutes most ancient history; an evolutionary alignment in which all three centers are involved is constantly producing an interplay of energies as well as a constantly successful impression of one center upon another. Humanity, as the throat center of the planetary Logos and the prime planetary creative agency (which modern science demonstrates), invokes the heart center, the Hierarchy, and then receives the needed impression which will result in the developing civilizations and cultures as well as the eventual appearance on Earth of the fifth or spiritual kingdom. The Hierarchy or the planetary heart center invokes Shamballa, the planetary head center, and the Plan - as an expression of the Purpose - is impressed upon the hierarchical consciousness. If there is redundancy in these various comments of mine, it is entirely intentional; repetition serves the purposes of accurate presentation where esotericism is concerned.
As the invocative system spreads and a greater alignment is attained, Shamballa - the planetary head center - invokes energies outside the planetary life and the inflow of cosmic and solar energies will be very much greater; for this the esotericists of the world must be prepared. It will also produce the advent or appearance of many AVATARS, bringing with Them many and very different kinds of energies to those which hitherto have controlled human affairs and the events and evolution of the other, the subhuman kingdoms in nature. With the reappearance of the Christ as the focal point or the supreme Agent of the planetary heart center, a new era or "divine epoch" will be instituted. The Avatar of Synthesis will draw very close to humanity and He will inaugurate the "reign of Avatars" Who will be embodied Purpose and spiritual Will; They will initiate both the Hierarchy and Humanity into phases of the divine character of which, at present, nothing is known and for which we have no terminology that could convey the exact facts and nature. All that I am attempting to do here is to give you a general outline of events which may lie centuries ahead but which will inevitably occur - once the Christ is again in physical Presence and recognition on Earth.
H.P.B. speaks in The Secret Doctrine of the "three periodical vehicles," referring as he does so to the Monad, the Soul and the Personality; he is dealing, therefore, with the nine aspects of divinity which connote the nine major initiations and those divine characteristics through which the three major aspects of divinity reflect themselves. In this connection, it is well known to students that the Monad expresses itself through the Spiritual Triad, the Soul through the three aspects of the Egoic Lotus, and the Personality through the three mechanical vehicles. It will be obvious to you surely that these three periodical vehicles are under the influence or impression of the three major planetary centers and are, therefore, finally conditioned by the three major energies to which I referred earlier in this section. I do not feel it to be necessary to enlarge upon this basic relation; it is that which integrates the human soul into the vast general whole and makes the individual an intrinsic part of the sumtotal.
There is one aspect of the Science of Impression upon which I have not yet touched and that is the place of the centers as focal points, as transmitters or as agencies for the seven ray energies. It is known to esotericists that each of the seven centers comes under the influence or is the recipient of some ray energy, and there is a general acceptance of the fact that the head center is the agent of the first Ray of Will or Power, the heart center is the custodian of second Ray energy of Love-Wisdom, whilst the third Ray of active creative Intelligence passes through and energizes the throat center. These Rays of Aspect do find expression through the three centers above the diaphragm, and - on the larger scale - through Shamballa, the Hierarchy and Humanity. It is, however, equally true that Shamballa is primarily second ray as it is expressed, because that is the ray of the present solar system of which Shamballa is a part; and that the first ray, or its dynamic life aspect, is focused in the heart, for the heart is the center of life. The great center which we call Humanity is predominantly governed by the third Ray of Active Intelligence. This ray energy arrives at the throat center via the head and the heart centers. I am pointing this out for two reasons which must form part of your thinking as you study this science:
All the centers come under the influence of all the rays, and this must surely be obvious in relation to average and undeveloped human beings. Were this not so, such human beings would be unable to respond to first ray, second ray and third ray energy, for the centers above the diaphragm are, in their case, inactive. In time and space and during the evolutionary process, it is not possible to say which center is expressing the energy of any particular ray, for there is a constant movement and activity. The center at the base of the spine is frequently the expression of first ray energies. This is apt to be confusing. The human mind seeks to make everything precise, stable, to bracket certain relations or to assign certain centers to certain ray energies. This cannot be done.
At the end of the world cycle, when divine purpose is fulfiled and the evolutionary process has brought about the changes and adjustments needed for the full expression of the Will of Sanat Kumara, then the situation will be different and men will know (as the Members of the Hierarchy know) which centers express the seven ray energies. It must be remembered also that the Rays of Attribute shift and change constantly; for instance, humanity as the planetary throat center is under the constant influence of the seventh ray, as is the solar plexus center of the planet. To that subdiaphragmatic center I give no name. Though the human throat center is primarily expressing the third ray, there is an interesting situation to be noted in this connection: two ray energies control this center at this time.