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Envy vs Sympathetic Joy

Envy vs Sympathetic Joy

Envy versus Sympathetic Joy

June 10, 2012

Jan Chase

PURPOSE: To help people recognize their suffering in the state of consciousness of envy and use that to motivate oneself into action to achieve one’s one good, and to develop the higher states of consciousness of sympathetic joy, where one lives in joy for one’s own good and the good of others.

BENEFIT: Move from suffering to joy.

OPENING: Many of you know the story of David and Goliath, especially since I talked about it last week. But to you know the rest of the story of David and Saul?

Saul was the first King of Israel, appointed by God and anointed by Samuel. At first Saul was very humble. But as he got used to the position, he lost much of his humility. It was in Saul’s war with the Philestines that young David foght and killed Goliath, the giant problem.

Then David went to live with King Saul and his some Jonathan. Jonathan and David had become best friends. David was put in charge of the army and was successful wherever he went. The people said, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”

You might imagine how King Saul felt about that!

He said, "They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands; what more can he have but the kingdom?" 9 So Saul eyed David from that day on. 10 The next day an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand; 11 and Saul threw the spear, for he thought, "I will pin David to the wall." But David eluded him twice. 12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. 13 So Saul removed him from his presence, and made him a commander of a thousand; and David marched out and came in, leading the army. 14 David had success in all his undertakings; for the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in awe of him.

Saul offered David his daughter to marry, and then was even more jealous of David.
Even though David loved Saul and served him well, Saul continued to be insanely jealous of David and plotted his death. Jonathan help David escape. Saul chased David all over the country with his army, trying to kill him. Once Saul fell asleep in a cave in which David and his friends were hiding. David could have killed Saul, but did not want to kill him the kind anointed by God. So he cut off a piece of Saul’s robe to show Saul at a later time that he was loyal to him and did not kill him when he had the chance. Saul was touched and swore he would not try to hurt David again. But soon Saul’s mad jealousy overcame him and he chased David once more with his armies.

God protected David and again put sleeping Saul in David’s hands. And again David did not harm Saul. But his took his sword and water jug to show Saul he could have easily killed him, but he meant him no harm. Again Saul apologized for his behavior and promised that David would become king. Soon after Saul and three of his sons were killed in battle with the Philistines.

Saul was king. Yet he spent much of his kingship chasing someone else because he was envious of their good. When he allowed envy and jealously to take over, the Spirit of God was no longer leading him. His power, his position, his time and his life were spent chasing after something what was not his, instead of owning his own power and position.

It is the mentality of the lower brain that says, “YOU MAKE ME CRAZY!”

This can only happen when we give our power away!

This is insanity! Yet how many of us do that? Give our power away! Persue another’s good instead of our own! It is a waste of our time and may be a waste of our life, if we allow it to continue.

"Our envy of others devours us most of all"
Alexander Solzhenitsyn

God has her own gifts and plans for us that we can align with and develop and find true purpose peace and happiness.

Series of the 7 Deadly Sins or Spiritual Traps.
Why Deadly? They do not enhance our Life, but promote Death of the Spirit and the Body.
Why Sin? Sin is not a word we use much in Unity. Sin is an archery term that means to miss the mark. When we sin, we are not aligned with our life’s goal or purpose.
These 7 Deadly Sins are Spiritual Traps in which we can become very stuck! And not even know we are stuck, but often we realize that we are unhappy, even miserable, sometimes we understand that we are suffering because we are not living the life of JOY that we were created to live.
As we become aware of the traps, which are mind traps, or ways of thinking that can keep us down, we can release the latch from the trap and let ourselves out to freedom and joy by changing our thinking.

Envy is on of the 7 deadly sins or Spiritual Traps

Definition of ENVY (Merriam Webster On-Line Dictionary) 1: painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage

Synonyms: covetousness, enviousness, green-eyed monster, invidiousness, jealousy, resentment
The 10th Commandment: You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
Mark 7:21 20 And he (Jesus) said, "It is what comes out of a person that defiles. 21 For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22 adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person." (Picture) BRAINS: We have a lower reactive, reptilian brain and a number of higher brains layered over it. We are in charge of which brain we are using. The lower brain is fine for reptiles. However, it can get us humans in a lot of trouble. Compassion, Freedom, Joy, all come from the higher centers of consciousness. It takes spiritual work to overcome the lower automatic responses of the lower brain. Envy is a function of the lower or more primitive brain. It is the animal who has seen another animal with the blessing of their hunt and wants to take it from them, like a vulture or jackal.
Or it could be like the animal who sees a successful hunt, goes about one’s own hunt and finds ones own success.
Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. 14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 15 If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. 16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another. James 3: Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. James 3: 16 For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace. "Envy is the ulcer of the soul"

"You can't be envious and happy at the same time"
Frank Tyger

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind. - Buddha

Loving what is!
joy--The happiness of God expressed through His perfect idea--man. Joy and gladness are strength-giving, especially if the mind is fixed on the things of Spirit. Affirm: "The joy of the Lord is my strength." Charles Fillmore Revealing Word
The Buddha took this understanding of JOY to a higher level.
Mudita, Sympathetic Joy
"Here, monks, a disciple dwells pervading one direction with his heart filled with sympathetic joy, likewise the second, the third and the fourth direction; so above, below and around; he dwells pervading the entire world everywhere and equally with his heart filled with sympathetic joy, abundant, grown great, measureless, free from enmity and free from distress." -- The Buddha, Digha Nikaya 13
Mudita is taking sympathetic or altruistic joy in the happiness of others. The cultivation of mudita is an antidote to envy and jealousy. Mudita is not discussed in Buddhist literature nearly as much as metta and karuna, but some teachers believe the cultivation of mudita is a prerequisite for developing metta and karuna.
Sympathetic Joy is the ability to experience joy at others good and happiness.

A little humor around envy.

Cartoon: David

Cartoon: Group of envys

Cartoon: Envy Homeless man on bench

What do we envy? LIST
Body/ face/ hair
Clothes, Jewerly, Accessories/ shoes
Age (Older or Younger)
Artistic & Musical Abilities
Toys: cars, etc.
Sex life
Zeal/ Enthusiasm/Motivation
Collections/ Stuff/beauty

Is there anything that might not be envied by someone? (NO)

How do you feel when you envy some of these things?

Sometimes envy helps us realize that which we want in life. So instead of being stuck in life, we get to work and create our own or ask God to give us this blessings.

Envy comes from people's ignorance of, or lack of belief in, their own gifts. -Jean Vanier
Ecclesiastes 4:4 NRSA: 4 Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from one person's envy of another. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind. 5 Fools fold their hands and consume their own flesh. 6 Better is a handful with quiet than two handfuls with toil, and a chasing after wind. 7 Again, I saw vanity under the sun: 8 the case of solitary individuals, without sons or brothers; yet there is no end to all their toil, and their eyes are never satisfied with riches. "For whom am I toiling," they ask, "and depriving myself of pleasure?" This also is vanity and an unhappy business.
Is it ours to have? Or is ours different?
When we see another happy, it reminds us that we too, want to be happy.
· If we think our happiness comes from taking what they have, we will not gain happiness.
· If we think our happiness comes from what makes another happy, we had best think again.
· However, if we realize that we too, want to be happy and we ask Spirit within ourselves to guide us to that happiness, envy can be a sign that points us to look within and become motivated to do our own goal setting and work.

What is the opposite of Envy? The Buddhist have an interesting understanding of love which they call the
Buddhists 4 Brahma Viharas:
1. Loving Kindness
2. Compassion
3. Sympathetic Joy
4. Equanimity

" The practice of mudita (Sympathetic Joy) lifts the heart out of its preoccupation with insufficiency. As a result, the buoyant energies of gratitude and generosity begin to restore the human spirit.
The near enemy of mudita is exuberance. Exuberance is an overly excited, even manic state. It is the sense of deprivation grasping at moments of joy.
The far enemy of mudita is resentment. Mudita is the medicine for the poisons of jealousy, envy and derision. Mudita heals the cruel urge to suppress happiness. With the cultivation of mudita we tap a reservoir of joy by sharing times of happiness and good fortune.
Mudita is exemplified in the mother-child connection when the child begins to express its own creative nature. Mudita is the ability to join and support this expanding spirit. The Buddha taught that one of our challenges is to cultivate mudita even in a world full of misery.

In the Buddha's most famous example of how to express an attitude of unlimited good will, he doesn't just express the following wish for universal happiness:
Happy, at rest, may all beings be happy at heart.
Whatever beings there may be,
weak or strong, without exception,
long, large,
middling, short,
subtle, blatant,
seen & unseen,
near & far,
born & seeking birth:
May all beings be happy at heart.

He immediately adds a wish that all beings avoid the causes that would lead them to unhappiness:
Let no one deceive another
or despise anyone anywhere,
or through anger or irritation
wish for another to suffer.
— Sn 1.8

Are you chasing another’s good with envy?

Sometimes we think having will bring us happiness. We want what the ad campaigns tell us will make us happy. We want what we see others having. Do we know that it makes them happy? Does it make us happy? Maybe maybe not. Maybe for a while, till we get bored with it. Maybe having our basic needs met allows us to find happiness in other places as Maslow spoke about in his laws. Living near LA it is easy to see that money, fame and fortune to not guarantee happiness.

Sometimes we think doing will bring us happiness. Doing what we see others doing will make us happy. Travel, sports or sporting events, certain jobs, careers, relationships. If we feel called to this doing, we may receive a great deal of satisfaction from doing. If we are stretched by this doing, we can see ourselves become a channel for Spirit. If we relax and take pleasure in the doing, we can feel satisfaction.

Could it be that What are you BEING may be the key to happiness.
When we are directed by the outer, are we being true to ourselves?
Will we find happiness this way. Not unless we align ourselves with this work.
Yet we all can align ourselves with what is ours to do for job, for family, for survival and find a way for it to nourish us and bring us joy.

When we are directed by Spiritual Guidance within us, rather than envy of another’s good, we find our own unique way in and through the world. We get the satisfaction of living fully from the inside out and seeing how the universe supports us in that journey.

Envy causes us suffering unless we use it to recognize a higher call for good in our lives. We can use envy to motivate oneself into action to achieve our good by taking it to a higher state of consciousness and by developing the higher consciousness of sympathetic joy, where we lives in joy for one’s own good and the good of others.

Move from the suffering of ENVY to the buoyant energies of gratitude and generosity cultivated by Sympathetic Joy.

HOW? When you notice envy, move your consciousness to that place where you can truly be happy for their joy!

Do this and your spirit will SOAR!

In the Buddha's most famous example of how to express an attitude of unlimited good will, he doesn't just express the following wish for universal happiness:
Happy, at rest,
may all beings be happy at heart.
Whatever beings there may be,
weak or strong, without exception,
long, large,
middling, short,
subtle, blatant,
seen & unseen,
near & far,
born & seeking birth:
May all beings be happy at heart.

May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes,
May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes,
May all sentient beings never be separated from bliss without suffering,
May all sentient beings be in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.
- The Buddha in Brahma Viharas (Skt.)

Proverbs 3:31 NRSA: Do not envy the violent and do not choose any of their ways; Proverbs 23:17 NRSA: Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always continue in the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 24:1 NRSA: Do not envy the wicked, nor desire to be with them;

"If there is love, there is hope that one may have real families, real brotherhood, real equanimity, real peace. If the love within your mind is lost and you see other beings as enemies, then no matter how much knowledge or education or material comfort you have, only suffering and confusion will ensue"
His Holiness the Dalai Lama from 'The little book of Buddhism'
“Joy with others, sometimes is called sympathetic joy or appreciative joy. It is the ability to be happy when you see others happy. Their joy becomes your joy as you welcome less suffering and happiness of others.”
Mudita strengthens the capacity to experience joy and happiness. It is likened to a flower at full bloom. It is the ability to appreciate something as it is blooming and releasing the fragrance of its happiness, without falling over the edge into a skeptical sardonic reaction such as "What is the point? It will only last for a moment.SYMPATHETIC JOY
The definition is: being happy with someone's fortune/happiness. Sympathetic joy here refers to the potential of bliss and happiness of all sentient beings, as they can all become Buddhas.
The near enemy is hypocrisy or affectation.
The opposite is jealousy, when one cannot accept the happiness of others.
A result which one needs to avoid is: spaced-out bliss, which can easily turn into laziness.
Note: sympathetic joy is a great antidote to depression for oneself as well, but this should not be the main goal.
By rejoicing in others' progress on the spiritual path, one can actually share in their positive karma.
Sympathetic joy is an unselfish, very positive mental attitude which is beneficial for oneself and others. In this case, it also refers specifically to rejoicing in the high rebirth and enlightenment of others.

"Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind."- Buddha

"A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones (Proverbs 14:30)."

"Envy eats nothing but its own heart"
German Proverb

"Envy and wrath shorten the life"

"By common consent gray hairs are a crown of glory; the only object of respect that can never excite envy"
George Bancroft


Envy loves to traffic in gossip, slander, hatred, retaliation, even thievery and murder.
In 1 Kings 21 there is a story about Wicked King Ahab and Queen Jezebel in ancient Israel. Naboth who was a good man, a righteous had a lovely vineyard next to Ahab’s palace. Ahab was envious and asked if he could buy the vineyard but Naboth said it has been in the family for years, I can’t sell. So Queen Jezebel devised a plot to invite Naboth to a royal banquet where two hired scoundrels surprised Naboth and accused him in front of the King of cursing God and the King. The false charges stood and Naboth was stoned to death.
I’ve got news that will be a shock some of you. If you are a Christian today, and live openly, people will lie about you and to you. Sometimes it’s even hard to be vindicated from their lies in this life.
Envy is a terrible sin. Proverbs 14:30 “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
There are a lot of stories in the Bible about envy. In the book of Esther ole hateful Haman was envious of Esther uncle Mordicea and sought to have him killed. King Saul envied David and once through a spear at him in the King’s court trying to kill him. In Genesis Jacob’s son’s turned against Joseph who was smart and good looking. They sold him into slavery and the history of Israel was changed forever.

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