A `developmental path of tolerance’: does such a path exist? In this article the meanings of notions such as tolerance, empathy and compassion are explored. Starting with individual `developmental paths’ and collective societal developments, a broader existential perspective inspired by evolutionary psychology is presented. One possible developmental path is presented, based on evolution in the form of differentiation and integration, transcending and including: empathy includes and transcends tolerance, compassion includes and transcends both.
For our collective survival we need as individuals to move from inner, divided,(pre)self with variable levels of tolerance, via a coherent self that can afford to be empathic, toward an experience of mutual connectedness and dependence, where self-attachment can fade and compassion surface.
A holy war outside ourselves can never solve the problem: the only holy struggle is that of a resolute personal, collective and structural nonviolent transformation to a more integrated society.