Thought cannot, by any means whatsoever, cultivate compassion. I am not
using that word compassion to mean the opposite, the antithesis of hate
or violence. But unless each one of us has a deep sense of compassion,
we shall become more and more brutal, inhuman to each other. We shall
have mechanical, computer-like minds that have merely been trained to
perform certain functions; we shall go on seeking security, both physical
and psychological, and we shall miss the extraordinary depth and
beauty, the whole significance of life.
By compassion I do not mean a thing to be acquired. Compassion is not
the word, which is merely of the past, but something that is of the
active present; it is the verb and not the word, the name, or the noun.
There is a difference between the verb and the word. The verb is of the
active present, whereas the word is always of the past and therefore
static. You may give vitality or movement to the name, to the word,
but it is not the same as the verb, which is actively present…
Compassion is not sentiment; it is not this woolly sympathy or empathy.
Compassion is not something that you can cultivate through thought,
through discipline, control, suppression, nor by being kind, polite,
gentle, and all the rest of it. Compassion comes into being only when
thought has come to an end at its very root.
The Book of Life - November 27