The Center for Investigating Healthy Minds did some research showing compassion can be trained. Some audio and scripts used in the study for compassion (traditional metta or loving kindness meditation) and reappraisal are available for download.
Some quotes from Daniel Dennett's new book:
The mind? A collection of computerlike information processes, which happen to take place in carbon-based rather than silicon-based hardware.
The self? Simply a “center of narrative gravity,” a convenient fiction that allows us to integrate various neuronal data streams.
The elusive subjective conscious experience — the redness of red, the painfulness of pain — that philosophers call qualia? Sheer illusion.
Human beings, Mr. Dennett said, quoting a favorite pop philosopher, Dilbert, are “moist robots.”
On Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
Kant’s insight was that, in order for the knowledge we get from our senses at any given moment in time to mean anything, our minds must already be distinguishing it and combining it with the information we get in prior and subsequent moments in time. Thus there is no such thing as a pure impression in time — no absolute, frozen moment in which we know the sun is rising now without being able to infer anything from it — because such a pure moment without a before or after would be nothing at all.