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Chapter 3: Compassion: Love’s Highest Refinement

I have been reflecting on the difference between “feeling sorry” for someone and “having compassion.” It seems to me that to be sorry for someone has an element of condescension in it, as if you were superior to the other, and that it does not necessarily have anything to do with love, whereas compassion must be an integral part of loving. Please comment.

The first and the most important thing to remember is that reflecting is not going to help at all. Reflecting is nothing but a beautiful word for thinking. The blind man can go on thinking about light, he can arrive at certain conclusions too, but those conclusions cannot be right. Howsoever right they appear to be, they are bound to be false, untrue.

The moon in the sky is one thing, and reflected in the silent lake is totally another. One exists, the other is only a reflection. If you jump into the silent lake you will not be able to catch hold of the moon - on the contrary, you may even disturb the reflection because the lake will be disturbed.

The more you think, the more you are creating waves and ripples in the mind. The real thing for the blind man to do is not to think about light but to cure his eyes; for the deaf man, not to reflect on music but to go through some alchemical processes which can make him hear.

That’s the difference between reflection and meditation: meditation opens your eyes, reflection is thinking with closed eyes. Meditation is seeing and thinking is remaining blind. But thinking can give you great conclusions, very logical too; in fact only thinking can give you logical conclusions. Meditation will give you very paradoxical experiences - illogical or supralogical, but never logical.

Existence consists of contradictions - it is vast enough to contain all contradictions. It consists of polar opposites. They appear to be opposites to the logical mind, but deep down in reality they are complementaries. They exist together in a kind of simultaneity.

In English meditation again has the same flavor as reflection. In English there is no word which can be said to be the equivalent of dhyana or Zen, so we have to use the word meditation; that comes closest. But a few conditions have to be put upon it.

The moment you use the word meditation, the question immediately arises “On what?” because meditation in the English language means meditating upon something. And the words dhyana, or Zen, simply mean emptying yourself of all thinking - it is not a question of meditating upon something. Meditation is a state of absolute silence, of profound peace, of not thinking at all but just being aware. Only in that awareness will you be able to see the truth.

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