Tantra is the only religion which has not used any such conditioned reflexes. Tantra says you have to flower into a perfectly awakened being, not a robot-like mechanism. So if you understand Tantra, habit is bad; there are no bad habits, there are no good habits. Habit is bad, and one should be awake so there are no habits. You simply live moment to moment with full awareness, not by habits. If you can live without habits, that is the royal path.
Why is it royal? A soldier has to follow, a king need not. The king is above, he gives orders; he receives no orders from anybody. A king never goes to fight; only soldiers go. A king is not a fighter. A king lives the most relaxed of all lives. This is just a metaphor: a soldier has to follow; a king simply lives loose and natural, there is nobody above him. Tantra says there is nobody above you to whom you have to follow, from whom you have to get your pattern of life, through whom you have to become imitators. There is nobody. You live a loose, natural and flowing life – the only thing is, just be aware.
Through fighting you can cultivate good habits, but they will be habits, not natural. People say a habit is second nature, maybe – but remember the word second. It is not natural; it may look almost natural, but it is not.
What will be the difference between real compassion and a cultivated compassion? A real compassion is a response – the situation and the response. A real compassion is always fresh; something has happened and your heart flows towards it. A child has fallen and you run and help the child to stand back up, but this is a response. A false compassion, a cultivated compassion, is a reaction.
These two words are very, very meaningful: response and reaction. Response is alive to the situation; reaction is just an engrained habit. You simply go and help, because in the past you have been training yourself to help somebody if he has fallen, , but there is no heart in it. Somebody is drowning in the river: you run and help the person just because you have been taught to do so. You have cultivated the habit of helping, but you are not involved. You remain out of it, your heart is not there, you have not responded. You have not responded to this man, to this man drowning in this river; you have not responded to this moment, you have followed an ideology.
To follow an ideology is good: help everybody, become a servant to people, have compassion! You have an ideology, and through the ideology you react. It is out of the past that the action comes, it is already dead. When the situation creates the action and you respond with full awareness, only then something of beauty happens to you.
If you react because of the ideology, old habit patterns, you will not gain anything out of it. At the most you can gain a little ego, which is not a gain at all. You may start bragging that you have saved a man who was drowning in the river. You may go to the marketplace and shout loudly, “Look, I have saved another human life!” You may gain a little more ego, that you have done something good, but it is not a gain. You have lost a great opportunity of being spontaneous, of being spontaneous in compassion.