Let’s change pronouns and say compassion is not aware OF interconnected, but awareness AS interconnection. When I’m aware OF something, I’m in the I-IT relationship Martin Buber described as subject/object consciousness which is our everyday common sense consciousness that is recognized in our materialistic culture as the only consciousness.
Awareness AS is a consciousness that is prior to Awareness OF. You are relaxed walking in the woods, being present with the total woods experience, and you notice a squirrel. You go from being aware AS the woods, interconnected with the whole and not feeling separate, to being conscious of an object, and when we are aware of an object, the separate subject rises with it like two ends of the same horseshoe coming up out of water. In order to be aware OF something se have to be separate from it.
In our consumer culture, we have created ourselves as a self-image, and this image has become our subject or I that is aware-of objects that have meaning relevant to the needs of the self image. Compassion, therefore, is not a choice of one’s ego or self image.
Compassion, Tolle says, is when this awareness-of surrenders to awareness-as the whole. But, this requires a dis-investment in our self image and our cultivated identity. This requires a dedicated spiritual journey. Mad Men is a great TV series about self-image as a cultural conditioning.