“You may call God love, you may call God goodness. But the best name for God is compassion.” Meister Eckhart
Contemplate this quote. I came upon it today and it struck a chord in me. I sat there for quite some time, took it in and then it’s meaning revealed itself: Compassion is a quality of Love. It means the essential Goodness in us, this genuine impulse to help others in a utterly generous and completely selfless way. Our true nature is to be perfectly generous. There is nothing we would not give to another, refrain from doing for another or withhold from each other. It seems to be completely natural, because how can I withhold something that my brother needs, without depriving myself of the same. How can I not reach out and give freely what is in my power to give.
Observe yourself walking past a beggar, a person in need or denying something. It does not feel good. It is a struggle, an inner conflict and a resistance. This does not mean we need to give away all we possess, but it means to become aware of this generousness, this kindness and this genuine instinct to be there for each other. And it means to become aware of our tendency to hoard and stockpile.
Do not confuse compassion with pity, or charity. These are learned attitudes and acts of benevolence of someone in a superior position to another perceived to be much worse off. Compassion does not know this separation. It does not know class distinctions or economic differences. Compassion means to give freely what is there to give and hence must be given away. The beggar to the king and the friend to the enemy. It is done out of a natural instinct, not because my position demands it or because I feel guilty about having acquired riches. It simply means to give, to share and to exchange, without condition, reservation or caveat. Without thinking really. Like the rain gives water to the plants, or the sun radiates warmth on a cold day. This is the law of universe – excess always flows in the direction of lac to create a balance.
Why do we think we need to resist this impulse ?