Sympathy and compassion….

Sympathy is of the mind: you feel somebody is in trouble, somebody is in misery; you think somebody is in misery and you have to help. You have been taught to help, to be of service, to be dutiful, to be a good human being, to be a good citizen, to be this and that. You have been taught; you feel sympathy. Compassion has nothing to do with your teachings. Compassion arises as an empathy, not as a sympathy. Compassion arises when you can see the other person as he is, and when you can see him so totally that you start feeling him. You start feeling in the same situation.

It happened: A few people were beating a fisherman. Ramakrishna was moving from one bank to another of the Ganges, near Dakshineshwar. On the other shore a few people were beating a man. Ramakrishna was in the middle of the stream. He started crying and weeping, and he started shouting, ”Stop, don’t beat me!” People who were sitting around him, his disciples, could not believe what was happening: ”Who is beating you? Who can beat him?” They said, ”What are you saying, PARAMAHANSADEVA? Have you gone mad?” He said, ”Look! They are beating me there on the other side.” Then they looked; a few persons were beating a man, and Ramakrishna said, ”Look at my back.” He uncovered his back — there were marks, blood was coming out. It was impossible to believe. They went, they rushed to the other shore, caught hold of the man who was beaten. They uncovered his back: exactly the same marks.

This is empathy — putting oneself into somebody else’s place so totally that what is happening to him starts happening to you. Then compassion arises. But these states are all of no-mind.

Communication and communion….

Communication is of the mind: verbal, intellectual, conceptual. Communion is of no-mind, of deep silence; a transfer of energy, non-verbal; a jump from one heart to another — immediate, without any medium.

The basic, most essential thing to remember is — because it divides your life, it divides the whole world into two worlds — that if you are looking through a screen of thoughts, then you live in one world: the world of belief, thinking, sympathy. If you are looking with clean eyes, unclouded eyes, your perception has a clarity: pure, just seeing into things as they are, not projecting anything upon them. Then you have understanding, then you have meditation. Then the whole world changes. And the problem is that mind can deceive you. It creates sympathy. It creates pseudo coins: for compassion it creates sympathy. Sympathy is a pseudo coin. For communion, it has only communication, which is a pseudo coin. For faith, it has belief, which is a pseudo coin.


The Beloved, Vol 1, Chapter #2

Chapter title: I am just a midwife, Q 3