Bill wrote:

> [Bill!] I understand 'compassion' to mean 'to be aware of the feelings
of
> others'. Merriam-Webster Online defines it as "sympathetic
consciousness of
> others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it". That
definition
> satisfies me.



Bill, Bill, Bill,

The definition is consonant with ones I have seen in Buddhist texts.

However, questions come to mind (as usual):

o   Is possessing 'compassion' a badge of merit, or is it a normal and
natural aspect of human nature?

o   Is not  "sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with
a desire to alleviate it" none other than a stipulation that a person
not possess genes for autism?

o  And when we do experience compassion, is it not usually selectively
directed toward persons we feel connected to in some way?

o  For instance, do we feel compassion for the million-plus war-widows
caused by the US/UK/Australian invasion of Iraq?

--ED



--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, <billsm...@...> wrote:
>
> Ed, Ed, Ed…
>
> I posted a quote attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas:
>
> "I would rather feel compassion than know the meaning of it."
>
> You then asked:
>
> [Ed] Wherein do you perceive any intelligence or wisdom in St.
> Augustine's preference?


> [Bill!] I don't perceive any intelligence in St. Aquinas' statement
above.
> I do however perceive a lot of wisdom. I perceive the wisdom in his
stated
> preference for experience over knowledge.
>
> [Ed] What does St. Augustine mean by 'compassion'?


> [Bill!] I don't know and I don't care. The meaning of compassion is
not
> important in the quote, in fact the quote itself says that. You can
> substitute any word you want for 'compassion' in his quote and the
wisdom
> will still be there.


> [Ed] What do you understand 'compassion' to be?

> [Bill!] I understand 'compassion' to mean 'to be aware of the feelings
of
> others'. Merriam-Webster Online defines it as "sympathetic
consciousness of
> others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it". That
definition
> satisfies me.

> ...Bill!



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