It is very enlightened egoism, but it is egoism – very intelligent, but it is egoism. Compassion is a very uncalculated flowering, flowing. You simply go on giving because there is no other way to be.
So remember, the first thing: it is not kindness, in one sense – in the sense you use the word “kindness” it is not kindness. In another sense, compassion is the real kindness. You are not being kind to somebody, you are not bigger than the other, you are simply releasing the energy that you are receiving from the whole. It comes from the whole, it goes to the whole – you don’t stand as an obstacle, that’s all.
When Alexander was coming to India he went to see one great mystic, Diogenes. And Diogenes was lying on a riverbed, taking a sunbath. Alexander had always cherished the desire to see this man Diogenes, because he had heard that this man has nothing, yet there is no other man who is more rich than this man. He has something within him, he has a luminous being. He is a beggar, but he is really an emperor. So Alexander had become intrigued. While coming to India he heard that Diogenes was just nearby, so he went to see him.
Early morning, the sun is rising, Diogenes is lying naked on the sand. Alexander says, “I am happy to see you. Whatsoever I have heard seems to be true. I have never seen a happier man. Can I do something for you, sir?” And Diogenes said, “You just stand to the side – you are preventing the sun. And remember! Never prevent the sun. You are dangerous, you can prevent the sun reaching many people. Just stand to the side.”
Compassion is not something that you give to others, it is simply not preventing the sun. See the point of it: It is simply not preventing God. It is becoming a vehicle of the divine, it is simply allowing the divine to flow through you. You become a hollow bamboo and God goes on flowing through you. You know? Only the hollow bamboo can become a flute – because only a hollow bamboo is capable of allowing a song to flow through it.
Compassion is not from you, compassion is from God; kindness is from you – the first thing to be understood. Kindness is something that you do, compassion is something that God does. You simply don’t prevent, you don’t come in the way, you don’t stand in the way. You allow the sun to fall, to penetrate, to go wherever it wants.
Kindness strengthens the ego – and compassion is possible only when the ego has disappeared utterly. So don’t be misguided by your dictionaries, because in the dictionaries you will find compassion is synonymous with kindness. It is not so in the real dictionary of existence. And Zen has only one dictionary, the dictionary of the universe.