--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, Anthony Wu <wu...@...> wrote:
What I meant to say was that if you are living in a world of illusions
(maya) compassion is a badge of honor and something you need to
cultivate and practice.
If you are not living in a world of illusions there is no compassion, no
honor, nothing to cultivate and nothing to practice. There is Just THIS!
Says Buddha Bill, in Diamart Sutra. A. See: Heart of the
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
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
> others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it". That
> satisfies me.
[Ed] The definition is consonant with ones I have seen in Buddhist
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
believe that having compassion is a highly desirable quality. I believe
is a normal and natural aspect of human nature, but like a lot of normal
natural aspects of human nature it doesn't function well while we are
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
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