Saturday, December 6, 2008

Chasing Wisdom and Compassion

Buddhists, like many religious, tout the attributes of wisdom and compassion. Some go on to make a practice of cultivating them. Unfortunately, it is easy for such a practice to lead one astray.

The want or need to act compassionately itself kills compassion.
The want or need to act wisely itself kills wisdom.

Compassion does not have a fixed form. It has nothing to do with doing what is expected, and it is not doing what you think should be done. Only when you are neither doing something nor not doing something are you truly acting compassionately.

A similar argument can be made for wisdom.

How can this be?

Wisdom and compassion emerge naturally as the mind is cleared of delusion. Giving life to the concepts of wisdom and compassion and then chasing them cultivates delusion.

There is no wisdom in trying to be wise. There is no compassion in trying to be compassionate.

[Inspired by this post on the Zencast blog.]

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