Compassionate way of thinking


We like to believe that our existence should serve some purpose (at least for most of us) but eventually due to our crazy conditioning, there is division happening inside and between us. To be frank, our relations with others over a period of time will reflect who we are, as time progresses. What is the problem with the present way of conditioning? Why do some authors(Thupten, Jiddu, etc) are saying compassionate thinking is very important for living a healthy life?

I personally, am neither a psychologist nor a spiritual expert on this topic but I thought of working on it and felt it is important for spending some time on it. Friends, please put some questions or opinions on these aspects of life, I will try to pay some attention and respond to them (a part from having a busy schedule in life :grinning:)

Compassionate way of thinking,

There is no such thing as “compassionate thinking”. K never used that expression, nor did he use the expression “compassionate way of thinking”.

Where there is thinking, there is no compassion.

Where there is negative thinking, the highest form of thinking, it is clear to see that such expressions are inventions of thought, born of conditioning, and born of accepting authorities that have nothing to do with K, and all these ideas must be negated.

Where there is negative thinking, it is also clear to see that even the idea of a “healthy life” cannot be met by thought.

In a video Dalai Lama, said that child by nature is a very compassionate human being and always wants to connect to his/her mother. As you said when there is thinking there is no compassion, it sounded reasonable to me, as the nature of our conditioning is divisive in nature. Mam, but I have to say that some mothers are very compassionate towards their children(even the spoiled ones) and stay connected emotionally together.

comparing what has been said…

So, You have accepted the authority of some biggie as to what compassion is, you haven’t thought that this person could be dead wrong, and perhaps the child wants to connect with the mother because of attachment and not compassion? Do you realize that you haven’t even discovered whether or not anything is true by actually looking within yourself, you are just drawing conclusions from your own thoughts, of how you would like things to be? Have you actually done any investigations within, because it seems you have never investigated anything to find out, to discover whether or not something is true or not, isn’t that so?

Besides which, you have gotten caught up in this symptom of comparison which plagues this site, just so that people like you and you feel part of the gang? Is that why you compare?

I think this is a good question. No mam, it is proven by a German scientist (Even Dalai Lama referred the scientist name, he even did not claimed that it was his findings) who has done some years of research and then proposed that by nature we are compassionate beings.

I think this is also a very good question. Yes, mam, I believe in science as I am a very limited individual by nature and I cannot pay attention to many different things which are surrounding me. :slightly_smiling_face:


That isn’t true, Siv, it’s a conclusion by someone else. Charley was not born with compassion. Had to fill one’s heart with it @age 40. Putin has no compassion. Probably never had any. The soldiers who kill and rape have no compassion. So even though you say you are limited, you assert false statements just because someone (some scientist) makes a statement on the psychological nature of a human being, so you aren’t really even bothering to check inside your self whether or not something is true or false. So, you are saying that your excuse for not doubting everything, even what Charley says, even what K says, even what anyone who says anything at all, is that you are hiding behind some excuse, “I am a very limited individual”… What does that mean? Are you interested in actually discovering what that means, by looking within your self? Or do you just throw words around just to waste everyone’s time and energy? Some part-time hobby you are doing online?

Mam, please give me less number of questions,

This was a good point, I have to say I haven’t seen a single person who always doubted (Just for the fact of being completely scientific) things in his/her life.

Q How did Charley know that she is not compassionate when she was born?
A) I do not believe that statement, even Charley said.

Q How different both Charley and Sivaram are?
A) Inside the self is the same (emotions and intellect) but the content is different.

Q Am I throwing statements just to waste everyone’s energy or time?
A) My answer is no to that question, as I felt that compassion is very important for me and everyone.

Q Am I doing this Kinfonet discussion as a part-time hobby online?|
A) I am participating in this forum because I get pleasure in talking to people who are involved in this kind of discussion. (I think, I can say t is a hobby of mine to get connected with such people)

Then, it must be good for your heart for having a natural life.

Okay mam, I will chat with you later bye. :slightly_smiling_face:

Sivaram, I don’t know if you are aware of it, but Krishnamurti had a different approach to love and compassion.

The Dalai Lama (and other Buddhists) often talks about the need to cultivate compassion and warm-heartedness, through visualising people in need and other meditation practices (which involve mental effort, will).

However, Krishnamurti often taught that love is not cultivable, and that love is not born of thinking. So, for instance, he says

Look, affection can’t be cultivated, can it? To say, “I love you” that feeling must come naturally, not be forced or stimulated. One can’t say, “It is necessary therefore I must love you.” How do you have this affection? … It may be that you must come to it obliquely - you understand what I mean? … You can cultivate chrysanthemums or other things, but you cannot cultivate affection - cunningly, unconsciously or deliberately, you can’t produce this. (School Dialogue, Brockwood Park, 1973)

Compassion goes further than affection, it seems to me; but you get a sense of the difference between K’s approach and the Buddhist approach here.

When Krishnamurti talked about affection in his letters to the schools, he sometimes paired together the word “affection” with the word “attention” - meaning that affection and attention maybe interconnected, and that one cannot have the one without the other. This may be a clue:

Affection implies care, a diligent care in whatever you are doing—care in your speech, in your dress, in the manner of your eating, how you look after your body; care in your behaviour without distinctions of superior or inferior, how you consider people. Politeness is consideration for others, and this consideration is care, whether it is for your younger brother or oldest sister. When you care, violence in every form disappears from you—your anger, your antagonism and your pride. This care implies attention. Attention is to watch, observe, listen, learn. (The Whole Movement of Life is Learning: J. Krishnamurti’s Letters to His Schools, Chapter 34)

So affection and love are perhaps more related to awareness and attention, than to thought and thinking.

Do you see what I mean?


Compassion arises when we see that my suffering is in all of us (and that our existence and experience is shared and inter-dependant) ~ so to inquire into the workings of the self would be a different way (from visualisation or self-hypnosis) to cultivate compassion

Yes. I think this is true. But one has to remember that for Krishnamurti real compassion only arises when sorrow has come to an end.

This subject probably requires a little more discussion to get clear on.

I’m sorry that some participants here may have chased you away with their rather hostile comments (while apparently claiming to know what compassion is!).

I think most ordinary people who are thinking very generally about these matters would completely agree with you that compassion and warm-heartedness are an essential part of what makes human society bearable. Look at the consequences of a lack of compassion in the world: extremist fundamentalism of all different kinds, war crimes, gun violence (which is in the news right now), the great divisions of the rich and the poor, the despoilment of the planet, etc. The absence of mercy in the world is literally killing us.

And - on the level of individual mental health - a compassionate outlook is clearly something to be valued.

So, despite what other people might say, I agree with you that the bedrock of human relationship is affection and care. At this level what people like the Dalai Lama are saying is obviously true.

However, the question comes when we begin to look at what we mean by compassion - and what it involves - more closely. This is where we start to see that there might be important differences in approach.

So, for instance, the difference between an approach that actively seeks to cultivate the quality of compassion (through will, through virtuous action, through mental cultivation), and an approach that says one cannot consciously cultivate compassion.

Do you see what I mean?

As I said, it’s a shame that some people are apparently so dogmatic on these matters that it freezes all discussion. I hope it has not put you off participating.

This works for me because in my head understanding sorrow necessarily implies understanding the “I” process - they seem to be synonyms. (nb. with the idea that understanding a problem ends the problem)

Yes. The tricky question is whether we must wait until we are entirely free from self to be compassionate at all? Some people - including K perhaps - suggest that any feeling of sympathy, pity, or concern we might have while in our self-centred state, is actually worthless. There is only total compassion or the total absence of compassion.

I think the real picture is somewhat different to this, and that Krishnamurti is also more nuanced on these matters than certain isolated remarks suggest. But nuance is not easy to discuss on a forum like this. Some people have already taken very firm stances one way or the other, and it is difficult to move beyond that.

Probably we need to back up a bit and ask ourselves what we mean by this word “compassion”?

I think, this an very good point you have raised. In the moment, I said to myself that if our society is consciously dividing us then why don’t we take an initiative to consciously get connected?

I completely resonated with you on this aspect, as I observed in some women this quality while dealing complicated situations. :slight_smile:

Thanks for valuing opposite persons feelings, James. :slight_smile:

Some Buddhist scholars say that we have to cultivate compassion by ourselves. As you said that K’s approach is different but I do not know which I have to choose.

I felt that without compassion, we go through a lot of agony, misery, and all sorts of psychological problems.

I heard a similar kind of statement from Buddhist scholars saying that in the state of compassion we completely forget ourselves.

Now, I am seeing that our sufferings are also not an unique thing, it is very similar to most groups of people. :slight_smile:

What would compassion from this center of fear (the self) look like?
Wouldn’t it be a question of form? As in personality, character - either through upbringing or genes?
Caring about babies, cats, puppies and the suffering of animals and people etc does arise instinctively it seems (in humans and other social animals).
The self has integrated a form of caring for others as a useful trait.

But compassion is the understanding of what suffering is(?) which would necessarily imply an aptitude for compassion due to freedom from fear.

Thinking about this a bit more : compassion being a relationship with another, it arises with attention ~ attention being the dropping of self-centered occupation

Yes. (It’s too late for me to go into this now, but) compassion seems to have something to do with others - that is one of its essential ingredients - which necessarily involves an awareness that is not completely dominated by self-centredness.

This is also why for me the ‘You are the world’ part of the teaching is connected to compassion.

Maybe if one sees what prevents compassion then one can negate or remove them. Comparison denies compassion which is passion for all. Comparison divides therefore creates conflict. And where there is conflict there is no love, obviously.