The heart knows something which the mind is not aware of. It knows the way of empathy. The heart can connect itself to the whole existence. And that will bring it great ecstasies, immense joy – as if constantly flowers go on showering on you from nowhere.
Your question is significant, but I don’t think you understand what you have asked; empathy is not your experience. Once in a while lovers, great lovers, have felt it. Once in a while great disciples and masters have felt it.
Gautam Buddha had a disciple, Ananda, who remained with him till his very last breath – almost forty-two years without a single break, day in, day out, twenty-four hours a day. His relationship with Gautam Buddha was not of the mind. The relationship between the master and the disciple has not to be of the mind. If it is of the mind, then it is the relationship between teacher and student. If it is of the heart, then it is the relationship of master and disciple.
Slowly slowly their hearts came closer, became almost one. It is said that before Buddha asked for water, Ananda was ready. Before Buddha said that he was feeling cold, Ananda was already bringing the blanket. A very underground way had opened – no need to say anything.
Many times Buddha would say, “Ananda, why have you brought this water? I had not asked you.”
Ananda said, “It does not matter whether you ask or not, I felt the thirst, that my master is thirsty; I felt my master is cold. I don’t know how, because it is not a question of my mind. Just the feeling – and so strong a feeling that I cannot go against it. If you are not thirsty, don’t drink.”
Buddha laughed and he said, “No. I was just inquiring how you managed to know it. I was feeling thirsty, I was just going to say. I was feeling cold, and I was just going to say – but you don’t allow me even to say a thing!” Even in the night – if Gautam Buddha was not able to sleep because there were mosquitoes, Ananda could not sleep either. The moment Buddha awoke in the morning – exactly, simultaneously, immediately, Ananda awoke.
With lovers it has happened that before your beloved says something you know it. It is already heard by you, although it has not been said.
So only in very rare cases is empathy still alive. But it has been a great loss to humanity. It is because of the loss of empathy that we have become unspiritual beings. It has to be regained. Getting it back will give you a totally new, luminous existence. And then you will not feel as an island apart from everybody else, but just part of an infinite continent. And just to feel it is so relaxing, to feel that you are one with the trees, and one with the rivers, and one with the stars. Then for the first time you will know what beauty is, what bliss is, what life is. All that you have to do is to behead yourself.