Saturday, July 7, 2012

A crazy thought

When we unskillfully try to reduce our own suffering, we turn to entertainment, diversions, distractions. When we do it skillfully we seek our own liberation.

When we unskillfully try to manifest compassion -- to reduce the suffering of others -- we apply bandaids that solve the proximal causes of suffering. Hunger, pain, etc. When we do so skillfully, we try to point others toward their own liberation.

We do require diversions until we are "strong" (or lucid) enough. And helping others in conventional ways is a fantastic and important thing to do.

But perhaps, just perhaps, suffering and compassion are actually blessings in disguise, to help us restore ourselves to our true nature.

This really belongs on my other blog,, because of the pontificating. But I'm putting it here because (1) it's an (unconventional) answer to the question "why empathy?", and (2) trying to hide my crazy ideas is just another form of ego clinging. Might as well out myself while I have the courage to do so.

(And, of course, I think this is a useful post, which is the bar I use to decide whether or not to post on either blog.)

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