In between all of the band time, I have been taking a course in Contemplative Psychotherapy. My version of fun. This year, we study Compassion. One of my favorite subjects. Lately we’ve been learning about the difference between what Buddhists call relative and ultimate compassion.
Relative compassion is a creation of the mind and of the false self. Therefore, it is subject to all of the confusion and danger that comes from attachment, craving and aversion. We want to help and that want, that desire, immediately clouds our vision in the way that desire clouds our vision whether we are desiring an object or desiring a feeling. We want not just to help, but to see ourselves helping. Desire carries with it aversion, and relative compassion puts our conditioned and biased experiences onto another’s situation. The ego can never truly be compassionate, because the ego is only ever looking to solidify itself.