From the Voice of the Silence

"Compassion is no attribute. It is the Law of LAWS -eternal Harmony, Alaya's Self, a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things, the law of Love eternal.

The more thous dost become at one with it, thy being melted in its BEING, the more thy Soul unites with that which Is, the more thou wilt become COMPASSION ABSOLUTE."

Pages 75-76 The Voice of the Silence

Why is compassion the Law of LAWS?

What is compassion?

Why is it emphasized so much in theosophy?

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks Gerry.

Your quotes above from Voice of the Silence are good to think about.   I think we normally associate the idea of compassion as being something extraordinary - something great, good, (which it is of course), but we usually don't think of the act or the idea of compassion as being something having 'no attribute'. 

It's good to rethink this idea of compassion as being descriptive of the true state of the universe, and that the act of compassion is really, simply, just the act of being in cooperation with the universe.  Nothing unusual, nothing to take a bow over, but something quite profound and wonderful nevertheless. 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Don;

One of the students asked in another study group: Why is compassion called the LAW of laws?

It is important question.  I wonder if members would mind responding to Barbara about this.

Interesting quesion - 'Why is compassion called the LAW of laws?'

Perhaps a part of an answer to this is found in the composition of the word itself; 'co' (prefix) -'together'.  Passion - 'desire'.  These are rough terms, but I think we can get the underlying meaning here.  It could indicate the bonding of All, or, what brings the All - together.  The relationship of everything to everything. 

 

I see, it would be like saying Unity is the law of laws.

Oneness, Interconnectedness etc.

Other ideas anyone?

Perhaps,  before we can figure out why compassion is the Law of laws, maybe we can share what compassion is for each of us.  Is it the same as sympathy?  If not, how is it different?  Is compassion a sentiment or something more than a feeling?

I think the idea of compassion goes way beyond empathy and feelings.  Perhaps this is what the Voice passage is trying to say.  We need to think of it in the broadest possible terms. " LAW of Laws, Alaya's Self, a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, the fitness of all things."  These phrases conjure up thoughts connected to Oneness, Karma, the Supreme SELF, Harmony etc.

So I would say it is much more than sympathy although that is certainly an aspect of it.

Thanks, Gerry.  This helps;  so compassion is not just a feeling, it is more than sympathy and sounds like it encompasses "everything?"

When we think of it as more than a feeling, more than a sensibility, we are forced to see it as a living reality.  Compassion in this respect could be seen as a metaphysical reality of sorts.  When we say we are all connected to each other it would have to be because behind the visible curtains of this world we are all connected and what affects one affects all.

"Compassion is no attribute." What a curious statement. That must mean it does not inhere in some other substance. It is not a quality of a being more real or fundamental. 'Law of laws' must also mean 'substance of substances,' 'being of beings' or better 'Beness of beings.' But metaphysical concepts like this have no resemblance to compassion as we use the word, and as we experience the feeling. So what is the point of making such a statement? Does it summon faith in the universe? I've always found HPBs footnote (this is not the 'God is Love' of the theists) to be a disappointment. I don't see why you can't enjoy the thought 'God is Love' in an impersonal way.

What Gerry replied, I think it is the right direction to search in. Sympathy is still ruled by the forces of attraction / rejection. Compassion isn't. Compassion I think, is not a feeling, not an emotion, it is what we are in essence (wisdom-compassion). You can feel that in yourself, that difference, when you are sympathetic or really compassionate. In compassion there is no pittying the 'drama', it understands (doesn't necessarily means accept everything). Can we not feel compassionate towards let's say a criminal, but at the same time we do not justify his actions? Sympathy can not do that I think...

 

What I also meant to say is that it is law of laws, alaya's essence etc....because I think it refers to the absolute of which we are an emanation...So we ARE that in our deepest essence. Karma is the law that pushes you towards your higher Ego. Any thoughts on that?

"Karma is the law that pushes you towards your higher Ego. Any thoughts on that?"

Yes, I think so. After lifetimes of hitting our head on the wall, sooner or later, we will come to our senses and say there must be something better than this.  Or what is the meaning behind of all this?  Life becomes arid and empty and this is when the "prodigal son" starts his journey back home.  

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Peter on January 26, 2014 at 11:41am

Good question, Barbara.  William Judge relates Brotherhood and Compassion together in this passage:

"Brotherhood is not sentiment.  It is not emotion. Nor yet is it so-called love. It is putting one’s self mentally in the very place of another and realizing his difficulties, while showing him that true compassion for which we would hope in like place."  (Echoes of the Orient III, 356)

The compassion mentioned above involves both understanding and care.  Perhaps the understanding involved isn't possible unless one has also suffered and struggled in a similar way, which is something our human experience affords us.  I can't help but feel if we remove the 'lived experience' from Compassion and make it too impersonal we lose something vital which makes it supremely important.  

In a way, Compassion seems to link, or bridge, or unite the non-eternal with the Eternal, the part with the Whole, the many with the ONE.

Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on January 26, 2014 at 1:07pm

What a beautiful thought.  Compassion as a bridge between disparate parts, between polarities.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on January 26, 2014 at 1:28pm

I wonder, if we have lived thousands of lives before, is it not likely that just about all the troubles and difficulties, challenges and pain, mistakes and errors we see all around us were things we experienced or participated with directly at some time?

Permalink Reply by CERVERA Franck on August 15, 2014 at 5:14pm

The word compassion has two etymologies, the modern with the new acceptation of the word passion means to desire and the original with a meaning more hard means to suffer.

Effectively it’s subtle because we can suffer of love and desire for a man or a woman, but here it’s the pain of the absence the whole subject. Desire is just the modern second part of the meaning of compassion.

The etymology of compassion is :

“Com” (Latin) means together, with + “Passio” (Medieval Latin) means suffering. “Passio” come from the Latin “passus”, past participle of “pati” means to suffer. “Pati” come from “pē(i)-, pī-”, an Indo-European root means to suffer, to hurt, to harm, to endure, to tolerate. (Ref: Pokorny Julius. Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (1959) pp 792-793)

In brief compassion means to suffer with, to suffer together. And “It is the Law of LAWS” because of that. Because the people endure the pain together, and not alone, and more subtly means the people can goes to the path within itself, the absolute self.

A path of suffering like the Christ on the cross suffered his passion. By compassion for humanity the Christ is the way of the absolute love. Because the truth lies in the human heart is an echoes of the cosmic one. It’s to realize our bond with the cosmic harmony and remain one with it. “Together for always”. “All for one and one for all”.

“I am the way, the truth and the life; no one cometh unto the Father save by me” says the Christ (John 14.6). Save of what? Of suffering! Christ suffers with us! Only pure compassion.

But don’t forget the modern second meaning of passion, the passion, the desire (The desire is only a mighty love of a person for another person, or for an object.), the love… :

“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another that ye love one another as I have loved you” (John 15.12;13.34).

Or follow the “divine voice” on the path of the enlightment, the Vāc on the path of the light, such as Avalokiteśvara the compassion bodhisattva.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on August 16, 2014 at 10:43am

Reply by Don Petros on January 22, 2014 at 2:37pm

Interesting quesion - 'Why is compassion called the LAW of laws?'

Perhaps a part of an answer to this is found in the composition of the word itself; 'co' (prefix) -'together'.  Passion - 'desire'.  These are rough terms, but I think we can get the underlying meaning here.  It could indicate the bonding of All, or, what brings the All - together.  The relationship of everything to everything. 

 Going over discussions on the subject of Compassion Absolute, this one by Don Petros makes sense. Seems perfectly right. That in fact is Reality, True Being, transcendental unity of all.

Together  and Desire is the true meaning of Compassion.

It is Eros, the god of love of the Greek Pantheon. HPB shows that Eros is associated in popular conception as erotic desire but that it is different esoterically (Theosophical Glossary, p. 115)

In SD it is said of Eros, DIVINE LOVE, is the electric power of affinity and sympathy, an aspect of Fohat (i, p. 119)

Divine Desire in the gods and everything in nature to create and give life (ii, p. 234)

The Divine Will or Desire of manifesting itself through visible creation. Thus Fohat is prototype of Eros, becomes on earth the great power of "Life-Electricity," or the Spirit of Life-giving (ii. 68)

It is Kama Deva of the Vedas (God of Desire) or the Vishwa Deva (Universal Deity). It is said in the Glossary, Kama is a most mysterious and metaphysical subject.

"Kama is the first conscious, all-embracing desire for universal good, love, and for all that lives and feels, needs help and kindness, the first feeling of tender compassion and mercy that arose in the consciousness of the creative ONE FORCE, as soon as it came into life and being as a ray from the ABSOLUTE." (Glossary, 170-1)

Rig Veda is cited : " Desire first arose in IT, which was the primal germ of mind, and which Sages, searching with their intellect, have discovered in their heart to be the bond which connects Entity with non-Entity, or Manas with pure Atma-Buddhi.

Atma-Buddhi-Manas, our Higher Self, is that Universal Compassion which embraces all in a bond of infinite, boundless Love. 

It dwelleth in the Heart of all, heart being the organ of Higher Self, the most spiritual organ in man's body.

Hence we must attend to Heart Doctrine, more than  the Head Learning.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on August 18, 2014 at 10:43am

I might add that you could intuit a deeper meaning from the word compassion having to do with sharing a common life, a common consciousness, a common spirit.

Permalink Reply by Karlien Van de Leest on January 23, 2014 at 1:56am

Hi everbybody, this is my first reply on theosophynexus. My name is Karlien and I am flemish (well, that is not who I am, but you know what I mean :-D ), so bare with me if I make mistakes in english

Compassion, law of laws....mmmhhh....interesting question why that is. I think what Don Petros said makes a lot of sense...never looked at it that way.

Law of LAWS, for me that means that it is the most 'important' law, the only one that really matters, so it is the source of all the other 'laws', the essence. Maybe because everything that is manifested (and for the time being unmanifested) is in fact the absolute consciousness, and that absolute consciousness is not like a kind of cold being aware like we know it, but love absolute....even if it doesn't feel like that whilst our lower ego rules. Love (not the lower cupido love, but the eros love, universal love) is the same as compassion, love in action. The more we become what we really are (getting the lower ego to shut up :-) we will become compassion because that is what we really are, that absolute that is love? I don't know if I make any sense, it is not easy to put in words what I 'feel'....

Permalink Reply by Peter on January 23, 2014 at 6:44am

Hi Karlien - good to hear from you.  

I think what you and Don have shared is really helpfull.  Yes,  the "most important" law, perhaps because the Law of Laws is that from which all others follow.  This fits with Don's description of Compassion being the true state of the universe.  Karma, is always working to restore that "true state" - eternal Harmony.

We often say that our real Being or essence is Wisdom, perhaps we ought to add to that and see our true nature as Wisdom-Compassion.

Permalink Reply by Karlien Van de Leest on January 23, 2014 at 7:29am

Hi Peter, nice to 'meet' you :-) That is exactly what I meant. But now, beside the theoritically concept we have from it theosophically speaking, I wonder a lot in life, althought that it is very clear that compassion is my true state, it is oftenly obscured by....you know...everyday humdrum and frustrations. Towards animals for example it is more easy to feel that compassion full force, and towards infants the same...it comes naturally. But when it is about the 'average' person, it becomes more difficult. The latest years it is becoming even more difficult, to accept, tolerate, feel warmth towards other people. I'm not talking about the obvious situations where it is very easy to feel compassion f.e. to help someone or being of service, but those who are obnouxious, materialistic, limited, ignorant...There is a real exercise...Even compassion to oneself, and that one is mostly very hidden, is a major issue...So how can we practice this knowlege, this wisdom...does it has to pract iced at all....sorry to pull the discussion in this direction, but that is what interest me in this group. I think we all agree on the theosophical "theory" and we feel the truth behind, but isn't it so that we feel a lot of shortcoming of making it concrete? How to do that f.e. with a world and a lot of people who are shadowed, automatons....and the older I get the more I feel the influence of that...and that is slowly dragging me down. I know I am not supposed to refer to 'I' to much, but lets be honest, that is the only reference point I've got for the moment...from selfknowledge comes self-being and compassion and understanding....but I seem not to understand this world (never did by the way :-)

 

Permalink Reply by Peter on January 23, 2014 at 9:20am

Karlien - yes, those are points and questions that need to be raised.  It seems we each have to find our own way in this.  That said, as I'm sure you know, across the different religious traditions we see something in common that underpins systematic 'spiritual' practices designed to help the aspirant develop positive qualities such as compassion, patience, equanimity and so on.  So, it may be that a systematic approach is very helpful to some.

Well, if we know the teaching that's a least a start.  Clarifying the teachings is essential, as is reflecting upon them repeatedly and deeply - making them a core part of our lived understanding of the way things are, rather than just a set of concepts we have to hand to repeat at will.  I think we need some real measure of knowledge and understanding to allow ourselves to step back from the kinds of situations you speak about, or at least to reflect upon them afterwards when we discover that yet again we haven't lived up to our own ideals.  

I see it as a gap between knowledge and practice that needs to be bridged, and, for me, understanding is the key to that.  For example, the more I understand the constitution of the human being; what makes us what we are; the influences of the past; the effects we are generating moment by moment for the future,  the more I pause before making a judgement about other people, the more I wonder what life might be like if I lived it in their shoes.  If our essential nature is Wisdom-Compassion, what leads that person to behave in the way they do which seems the complete opposite?  What prevents me, in their particular case, from feeling the compassion I know can be present when the situation involves other people?  What can I do in this situation that might allow the best of us to come forward rather than the worst - of me in  particular?  

But this might just be an approach that works for my temperament in the particular conditions I find myself in this lifetime.  It's certainly a work in progress with repeated failures, and I feel much nearer the beginning than to the end.  And if the teaching speaks to us, what can we do but press on as best we can having a compass and map with which to navigate through the landscape of many mistakes and failings that no doubt lie ahead.

Permalink Reply by Karlien Van de Leest on January 24, 2014 at 10:34am

Dear Peter, thank you very much for your wonderful reply. Practice makes perfect I guess :-) It is good that I can exchange minds about it because it is very lonely on the path and I don't have no people who can help me in these cases.

Studying theosophy is very important, but like I said, it is the practice that starts to interest me much more after 10 years of study. Then one's notices indeed the big gap between theory and practice, the personal element doesn't die easily...

Warm regards

 

Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on January 26, 2014 at 1:00pm

This discussion group itself proves that we are not alone in the spiritual search.

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on January 26, 2014 at 12:57pm

Karlien;

I see it the same way too.  LAW of law would mean supreme Law, the highest law, the law from which all the other laws flow.  You might say it is the law that makes sense to the other laws. This pushes my mind in the direction of the idea of radical unity.  The idea that everything is connected to everything else.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on August 18, 2014 at 2:35am

What you have said is very true, makes perfect sense. Very helpful thought. Thanks.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on January 26, 2014 at 12:04pm

The Voice of the Silence on Compassion       From Fragment 1

Behold the Hosts of Souls. Watch how they hover o'er the stormy sea of human life, and how, exhausted, bleeding, broken-winged, they drop one after another on the swelling waves. Tossed by the fierce winds, chased by the gale, they drift into the eddies and disappear within the first great vortex.

If through the Hall of Wisdom, thou would'st reach the Vale of Bliss, Disciple, close fast thy senses against the great dire heresy of Separateness that weans thee from the rest.


Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on January 26, 2014 at 12:07pm

The Voice of the Silence on Compassion     from Fragment 1

Let thy Soul lend its ear to every cry of pain like as the lotus bares its heart to drink the morning sun.

Let not the fierce Sun dry one tear of pain before thyself hast wiped it from the sufferer's eye.

But let each burning human tear drop on thy heart and there remain; nor ever brush it off, until the pain that caused it is removed.

These tears, O thou of heart most merciful, these are the streams that irrigate the fields of charity immortal. 'Tis on such soil that grows the midnight blossom of Buddha,2 more difficult to find, more rare to view, than is the flower of the Vogay tree.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on January 26, 2014 at 12:10pm

The Voice of the Silence on Compassion   From Fragment 1

And now thy Self is lost in SELF, Thyself unto THYSELF, merged in THAT SELF from which thou first didst radiate.

Where is thy individuality, Lanoo, where the Lanoo himself? It is the spark lost in the fire, the drop within the ocean, the ever-present ray become the All and the eternal radiance.

And now, Lanoo, thou art the doer and the witness, the radiator and the radiation, Light in the Sound, and the Sound in the Light.

Permalink Reply by Catherine Austin on January 28, 2014 at 4:23pm

Hi, I have been reading your insightful comments and then these 3 excerpts kind of cause the heart to open and the mind to genuflect - a bit speechless for a while... 

"and now lanoo thou art the doer and the witness, the radiator and the radiation, light in the sound and the sound in the light"

This went through me as I realise the argument I had with my love, (So wishing it had not happened) I am trying "not to put both feet in my mouth as I don't have a leg to stand on then". and " trying to say sweet words as later on I may have to eat them!" 

This "Voice" quote lets me see I am doing the harm or the good to myself. And  - would I speak to myself that way. As a practical view, this will help, I think, and yet there is no I in that sense, or rather in Reality.

And yet there is. it is the two in One-matter and energy within the cosmos gelled together - Phenomena and Noumena together, Consciousness raised to let the self of this existence go....To forsake all Sense for the REAL Self - Yes, Please! (One day at a time)

Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on January 26, 2014 at 1:11pm

What is the sanskrit term for compassion?  What is the pali term for compassion?  How about the ancient Greek idea that comes closest to compassion?

Permalink Reply by Peter on January 28, 2014 at 11:31am

Grace, I believe "Karuna" is the word for compassion in both sanskrit and pali, but I would defer to David on these matters.

I'm not sure about the Greeks and Compassion.  Socrates believed it was his duty to be as good as person as he could be and, importantly, to help others to do the same. He believed his work in Athens was to help people develop the means to acquire a deeply philosophical outlook as to their own nature and of life at large.  He refused to be diverted from this even at the cost of his own life - which is what it cost.  Was this compassion? Socrates clearly felt it was his duty to himself and to others, as urged upon him by his inner Dæmon.  Perhaps this raises a question as to the relationship between Compassion and Duty.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on January 28, 2014 at 12:13pm

David;

Can you share with the group the etymology of the word Karuna?

Permalink Reply by CERVERA Franck on June 14, 2014 at 2:59pm

Hello.


"Karuna" (करुण) is the word for compassion, but not only. It is also and principally a negative adjective, meaning: sad, pathetic, miserable or lamentable...


But, there is always a "but" in Sanskrit, "Karana" (करण) means: doing an action, achievement, to do act of penance, to do a ritual.
"Kara" (कर) means: who does, who cause. But also: the hand, the trunk of the elephant ... you see where I'm going ...
But, I continue, "kāra" (कार) means: the one who does, the one who makes.
"Kara" & "kāra" come from "Kār" (कार्): to do.
The root of "kār" is "kṛ" (कृ) means: create. In Latin there is the word "creare" with the same etymology.


And from here come back to our compassion, because there is what we should be done: "Karaṇīya" (करणीय): to do his duty (to his neighbor…).  


Because as the song says: 
लोकहितम् मम करणीयम् ॥धृ॥

lokahitam mama karaṇīyam ||dhṛ||

Our duty is to do good to humanity ||chorus||   

(hitam = which has utility = good)

 

Because "Kārita" (कारित): there is what is what should be done. (The "Caritas" of the Latin or charity.But from other etymology)

That’s all for the first part.

Remains the second part of the word: "na"

"Ūna" (ऊन) means: little, small, smaller, less ...

The whole gives "Karuna", means: "doing for the little".

The third part, that of the symbol, which is not written, but which is represented in picture, we have it with the elephant… "Karin" (करिन्)… Because it is the mount on which is generally seated Avalokiteśvara (Kwan Yin). Indeed Avalokiteśvara it is etymologically "the lord who watching us" it means that the one who looks if we do all well ...

Others:
Karuṇākara is an epithet of Brāhman
Karuṇasāgara is an epithet of Rāma.

PS:

For the Pali, I cannot answer I don’t learn this langage, one day perhaps… But generally is not so far...

Permalink Reply by CERVERA Franck on February 17, 2016 at 4:03am

"Karua" is the benevolence, is the bounty, or is love others for guiding them whith magnanimity toward the mokṣadvāra. It is love who suffers and who does not suffer.

This word was overly translated as "Compassion", Compassion is a Christian concept to say “that we suffer with the person who suffers” , that is to say "Empathy" (from the greek roots : "ἐν" meaning on the inside , into, & "πάθoς" meaning sufferance, which is supported) similar concept to that of pity (for the people, not in the liturgical sense of "piety" or religious devotion, both from the Latin "pietas").

"Karua" is much stronger in the sense that it is an emission of love for all, as a wave flooding the space.

This concept of sufferance is not found in Karuṇa per contra is found in "Anukampā"(अनुकम्पा). Anukampā in Sanskrit is indeed what is meant by Compassion in the Christian world.

Anukampā etymologically means "Who trembles with."

The Sanskrit roots are :

Anu (अनु) : to be with, following, close to ...

Kamp (कम्प्) : to tremble, to be agitated, to be afraid ...

We find perfectly the sense of Compassion (Anukampā) in the Bhagavadgītā (X, 11) in the words of Kṛṣṇa (translation my own) :

teṣāmevānukampārthamahamajñānajaṃ tamaḥ 
nāśayāmyātmabhāvastho jñānadīpena bhāsvatā
 

With a compassionate motivation for them, I dispel with the shinning lamp of knowledge the darkness of their soul coming from of their ignorance.

As well We find the meaning of benevolence (Karuṇa), in the Bhagavadgītā (XII, 13) (likewise my own translation) :

adveṣṭā sarvabhūtānāṃ maitraḥ karuṇa eva ca 
nirmamo nirahaṃkāraḥ samaduḥkhasukhaḥ kṣamī
 

The one that, without envy, is a benevolent friend to all beings, and also without feeling of possession, without false ego, equal (with equanimity) in sorrow and joy, is full forgiveness ...

The meaning of the word "Compassion" is not broad enough to encompass that of "Karuṇa" which is more universal. I think.

Permalink Reply by Peter on January 29, 2014 at 8:02am

There’s an interesting insight into the theosophical view of altruism, compassion and karma In HPB’s article “What shall we do for our fellow-men.”  In the passages quoted below she is responding to a letter in which the  question is raised as to whether the final goal of enlightenment can only be reached by humanity as a whole and not by the individual alone.  The questioner implies that the theosophist-occultist's work for humanity is merely a selfish endeavour if that is the case, for by working for others she is really just working for herself.  The questioners words are in italics, below.  HPB’s replies are in (b) and (c).

1. The unselfishness of the Altruist has a very different character according to which of the two views he takes. To begin with our view, the true Mystic who believes that he can attain deliverance from the world and from his individuality independent of the Karma of any other entities, or of the whole humanity, is an Altruist, because and so far as he is a monist, that is to say, on account of the tan twam asi. Not the form or the individuality, but the being of all entities is the same and is his own; in proportion as he feels his own avidya, ajnana or unwisdom, so does he feel that of other entities, and has compassion with them on that account (b). To take now the other view: Is not the altruism of an

(b). To feel “compassion” without an adequate practical result ensuing from it is not to show oneself an “Altruist” but the reverse. Real self-development on the esoteric lines is action. “Inaction in a deed of mercy becomes an action in a deadly sin.” (Vide “The Two Paths” in The Voice of the Silence, p. 31.)—H.P.B.

occultist who sees himself tied to the Karma of all his fellow-men, and who, on that account, labours for and with them, rather an egotistical one? For is not at the bottom of his “unselfishness” the knowledge that he cannot work out his own salvation at any lesser price? The escape from selfishness for such a man is self-sacrifice for the “world”; for the mystic, however, it is self-sacrifice to the eternal, to absolute being. Altruism is certainly considered one of the first requirements of any German Theosopher; we cannot or will not speak for others—but we are rather inclined to think that altruism had never been demanded in this country in the former sense (of self-sacrifice for the “world”), but only in the latter sense of self-sacrifice to the eternal (c)

(c). An Occultist does not feel “himself tied to the Karma of all his fellow-men,” no more than one man feels his legs motionless because of the paralysis of another man's legs. But this does not prevent the fact that the legs of both are evolved from, and contain the same ultimate essence of the ONE LIFE. Therefore, there can be no egotistical feeling in his labours for the less favoured brother. Esoterically, there is no other way, means or method of sacrificing oneself “to the eternal” than by working and sacrificing oneself for the collective spirit of Life, embodied in, and (for us) represented in its highest divine aspect by Humanity alone. – HPB.

CW XI 469  (from “What shall we do for our fellow-men?”)

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on January 29, 2014 at 11:17am

From the Voice of the Silence Fragment 2

Alas, alas, that all men should possess Alaya, be one with the Great Soul, and that possessing it, Alaya should so little avail them!....

Sow kindly acts and thou shalt reap their fruition. Inaction in a deed of 
mercy becomes an action in a deadly sin.....

Step out from sunlight into shade, to make more room for others. The tears 
that water the parched soil of pain and sorrow, bring forth the blossoms and the 
fruits of Karmic retribution......

To live to benefit mankind is the first step. To practise the six glorious 
virtues is the second.....

Point out the “Way”—however dimly, and lost among the host—as does the 
evening star to those who tread their path in darkness....

Be, O Lanoo, like them. Give light and comfort to the toiling pilgrim, and 
seek out him who knows still less than thou; who in his wretched desolation sits 
starving for the bread of Wisdom and the bread which feeds the shadow, 
without a Teacher, hope or consolation, and—let him hear the Law.

Permalink Reply by Tamiko Yamada on February 4, 2014 at 10:07pm

All of these statements point in the direction of altruism.

Permalink Reply by Jeffrey Smart on March 1, 2014 at 4:34pm

Compassion is action...If you see one in a desperate situation, in pain, suffering, but do nothing, even though you feel for them, this is only feeling sorry for them.  Compassion forces one to act, to help, to show his or her love for their fellow man.   Life is not a movie that we can immerse ourselves in for a few hours and perhaps feel sorry for the characters.  Life demands action, life demands compassion.  In fact it was probably compassion that lead Divinity (however we conceive it) to create, to give of Self, to spark life into being.  Compassion is the LAW and the fundamental ground of life.  It is Love.

Permalink Reply by Joseph Miller on March 3, 2014 at 9:10am
What strikes me today is that line "the more thy soul unites with that which is." In other words, conscious union with reality. This wouldn't mean anything, except that in my unenlightened state, my soul is united with that which isn't. What isn't? My illusions; they have no reality in fact, mental curtains hiding 'that which is.'

Of course, I can't really be disunited from that which is; but I can manufacture blocks to my awareness of the truth. Wishing to unite again consciously with reality shouldn't require any special plea or reason. The value is self-evident:I wish to be true, sound, whole, real.

The Buddhists tell me that I can discover and release the inherent Will to universal enlightenment. I think this must be another way to refer to Compassion Absolute. To move in that direction I must also become conscious of how I have cherished a will to separate. And still do. Involvement, relation, openness, sharing--all these make me vulnerable and acknowledge my dependence, and responsibility. This is why Love is the enemy for the illusory separative self.