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Hope Tank on Empathy
with Michael Nagler @ Metta Center
Video taped on 2010-01-08

This video is a group discussion on empathy at the Metta Center for Nonviolence weekly Hope Tank with Michael Nagler. The center is located in Berkeley, California.

Hope Tank on Empathy - Michael Nagler @ Metta Center from Edwin Rutsch on Vimeo



  • Introductions, names

  • 00:01:00: Greek origin and etymology of the word - Empathy

    • meant physical passion - doctors described it.

    • What does it do for us?

      • pathe - means experience, feel, or undergo

    • to in feel - feel what another person is feeling

  • 00:07:00: feeling empathy to other forms of life

  • 00:07:30: mental states that bring people together or apart

    • empathy is a unifying emotion

    • reunions

  • 00:09:00: mirror neurons studies - and torturers

    • empathy is not perfect unity

    • is resonating with unity

    • following the trail of empathy we can get to unity

  • 00:00:11: even to feel the pain of another person is a positive growing experience

    • joy shared is doubled, pain shared is halved

    • negative and positive states

  • 00:14:00:  Progressive and higher levels of consciousness

    • need to develop understanding

    • see with the eyes of compassion

  • 00:16:45:  have tenderness with your honesty

  • 00:17:00:  should we always tell the truth? with kindness

  • 00:18:00: better to have empathy than a truth

    • restorative circles and reflection

    • unifying versus division

    • telling the truth - being with them

  • 00:20:40:  going to interview republicans at CA GOP conventions

  • 00:22:40 denial and pain

    • gang members have empathy for members

    • we are driven to seek unity

  • 00:24:50:  conservative mind - how to frame empathy?

    • security

    • pioneer mentality

    • dog eat dog world

    • me and my....

    • talk about empathy and relationship to inner crowed

    • talk to the persons empathy

    • fear of empathy existing

      • the welfare state - my money given to the welfare state

      • undermines the world view.

  • 00:31:30: living in a capitalist society

    • not capitalist but a system that hurts people

    • the system is so ingrained - difficult to change

  • 00:034:00:  conservative convention

    • is all about nonviolence

    • see everyone as human beings

    • increasing circles of compassion

    • qualitative changes - love that depends on exclusion of others.

  • 00:37:00:  George Lakoff - conservative strict father - progressive nurturing mother

    • is not black and white

    • appeal to the nurture

    • we have different stories covering up our recognition of unity

    • awakening an empathic connection

    • appeal to empathy with conservatives

    • can appeal to logic

      • logic is an excuse to be more empathic

    • go along with what works

    • Nonviolence and mirror neurons

  • 00:42:00: Pains me to see progressives judging the judgers

    • can us strategy and logic

    • can use example

    • be an example of empathy you show empathy

    • seen it in own family

    • can be it and explain it, do it at 2 levels

  • 00:44:30: About mirror neurons

    • Feel others - pick up each others mental states

    • Sciences and spiritual masters both agree now

    • there is a neurological connection between people

    • Science is now helpful - in creating a story of the world

      • before said life was separate - materialistic.

      • science now showing connection

      • mirror neurons shows our connection

      • about mirror neurons

  • 00:52:30: Watching skateboarding videos

    • is a mirror neuron example

    • she could feel the skateboarders crashing and burning

    • another story watching downhill skiing - he twitches and feels it

    • high performance athletes - learning by watching

  • 00:58:00: story of playing musical chairs and reading intention

  • 00:58:30: empathy and inner states

    • connecting at an emotional state

    • mirror neurons is not the whole story

    • other layers or empathy

    • Greenwich village story and a fight

      • breaking up the fight - 'don't do that'

      • then wave of fear

      • nonviolence: deeper level wants to be able to do this without fear at all times

  • 01:03:45: deaf people listening with the eyes

    • listening

    • looking people in the eyes, looking past the hate

    • let people see past the fear in yourself

    • 'I'll try to love you'

    • 'I love you' can be over used

    • how to reach various people - conservative mind set

    • connect to love

  • 01:09:20: I have issue of anger

    • before was using logic - now will use more empathy in this situation.

  • 01:11:40:  Whammm

    • Ghandi - angry and softening up

  • 01:15:00:  end