Jordan asks in his last blog [here] "Is my intention kindness, love, compassion like that which one might have for a small child?"
I wonder if it useful to be clear that there is a difference from feeling and action. And, given that clarity (if it is there) where does "intention" fall? Is an action "compassionate" because of some intrinsic nature of the action, or is it "compassionate" because of the feeling in the person undertaking the action? This may be some tricky ground. I think one can judge an action, but perhaps not along strict moralistic lines. Something like, did the action help in the moment? Did the action move the situation along so that all benefited as much as was understandable in the moment?
Therefore, I guess I don' believe in compassionate actions. Compassion is far too complicated an idea. It is not immediate. It is thought out and pondered over. What may have been an action taken for a whole variety of emotional impetus, including anger, can be judged as compassionate even if there was no such forethought in the actor.
We can, I think, also speak of true compassion. True compassion, it is said, is like a hand reaching back in the night for a pillow. I still haven't gotten to the bottom of that explanation, but it seems to me it is saying compassion has no thought. It does what is needed for "the good" in the moment, and it is never quite clear.
I think I as a Buddhist cannot, and should not encourage people to have any particular type of feeling. I should not care what emotion a person may be under when they take action. My focus should be on the effect of the action. I should learn to practice seeing how what I do, including what I speak, or write, impacts the world, did things improve or did things go wrong? Did the wheel turn?
If I can learn to see what I am doing, I can help the world along even in a fit of anger.
2 days ago