Bill:I believe it is a normal and natural aspect of human nature, but like a
lot of normal and natural aspects of human nature it doesn't function well
while we are living in a world of illusion.
Mayka: This statement is relative. I have received at moments more human
warm, support from all those you think that live in an illusion that actually
from the ones who they believe not to live in an illusion. Human warm,
compassion, altruism...I go in complete agreement with your statement that are
very natural qualities but disagree over this statement the distentions you
made between illusion and reality. I have seen compassion in people living in
the streets towards other companions living in the streets too. Some of these
people are very tough and yet beneath that apparent hardness, there is
compassion. The fact of not knowing or being aware of what is going on in one
doesn't mean that compassion is illusory. Compassion or anger are very real to
any human being.
--- On Wed, 3/11/10, billsm...@hhs1963.org <billsm...@hhs1963.org> wrote:
From: billsm...@hhs1963.org <billsm...@hhs1963.org>
Subject: RE: [Zen] Re: FW: Quote from St. Thomas Aquinas
Date: Wednesday, 3 November, 2010, 4:34
My remarks are embedded below:
> [Bill! from a previous post] I understand 'compassion' to mean 'to be
aware of the feelings of
> others'. Merriam-Webster Online defines it as "sympathetic consciousness
> others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it". That definition
> satisfies me.
[Ed] 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?
[Bill!] Some, St. Thomas Aquinas for one and Buddhists for another example,
believe that having compassion is a highly desirable quality. I believe it
is a normal and natural aspect of human nature, but like a lot of normal and
natural aspects of human nature it doesn't function well while we are living
in a world of illusion.
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?
[Bill!] I don't know anything worthwhile to say about genes, but I don't
see a lot of people displaying compassion - especially for people that are
unknown to them, different from them or engaged in activities that are
problematic for them. In other words I think compassion is the exception
and not the rule.
o And when we do experience compassion, is it not usually selectively
directed toward persons we feel connected to in some way?
[Bill!] Yes, this seems to be the case for most people.
o For instance, do we feel compassion for the million-plus
war-widows caused by the US/UK/Australian invasion of Iraq?
[Bill!] I believe most Yanks/Brits/Aussies don't. They are taught to
de-humanize the enemies of their particular country. I think a lot of Arabs
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