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Translated teachings of Master Patana

When Compassion and Kindness Cause More Sufferings

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Throughout our lives, we see compassion as a bright light, it emerges as a shining beacon, a quality we attribute to saints and sages, and rightfully so. Compassion, the ability to feel and alleviate another’s suffering, is one of the most noble of human traits. Yet, in its very nobility lies a subtle trap – when it is applied without wisdom, discernment, and understanding, our compassionate actions might hinder someone more than help.

Consider someone who has grown accustomed to the comforting words of those around him. Every time he stumbles, there are hands to catch him, voices to soothe him. This comfort is intoxicating, a balm for the soul that masks the underlying ailment. Over time, this continuous support can feel like an addictive drug, pushing them to seek it more and more. And like all intoxicants, it can become addictive. The more he hears words of comfort, the more he craves them, making it their defense against life’s challenges.

Seriously, compassion isn’t about turning people into weaklings who constantly seek validation and comfort. It’s about understanding and alleviating pain, not handing out crutches to those who simply refuse to walk.

Such an individual, trapped in this cycle of dependency, is not helped by continuous compassion. In fact, this very compassion, when showered without discernment, keeps him tethered to his current state, preventing him from soaring to higher levels of consciousness. His pain, his suffering, and his poverty – they remain entrenched, for he is shielded from the raw truth of his situation.

Bluntly put, blind compassion just keeps you tied to your mediocrity, denying you the growth and breakthroughs you could achieve. You’re trapped in your self-made bubble, blind to the reality around you.

The real concern isn’t just about the existence of life after death, it’s about whether we’re making the most of our lives before that final moment. And it is here that the crux of the matter lies. The constant comforting, the perennial compassion – it might make one feel alive momentarily, but it often numbs the spirit, making genuine aliveness a distant dream.

As the ancient saying goes, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” But who’s got the patience for that when there’s a quick fix? If people are so wrapped up in being pampered and pitied, maybe they aren’t really worth the effort to teach. If the individual remains ensconced in the cocoon of comforting words and actions, he might never feel the urge to learn, to grow, to evolve. Compassion alone cannot alleviate the depths of suffering. True relief and transformation arise from awakening the mind and spirit through education and teachings. However, this journey of enlightenment isn’t automatic; it demands a conscious effort. The individual must harbor a genuine willingness to learn and evolve. Without this proactive desire, even the most profound teachings may fall on deaf ears, leaving the core suffering untouched and unchanged.

When people get hooked on constant validation and comfort, it’s no better than an addict desperate for their next fix. Deny them their dose of pity and watch the tantrums unfold. They’re addicts, just of a different kind, and their withdrawal? Outbursts of irrational anger and indignation.

What then, is the solution? Should we abandon compassion? Certainly not. Instead, we should strive for a higher form of compassion – one that is intertwined with wisdom. Compassion that understands the needs of the individual, that discerns when to comfort and when to challenge. True compassion isn’t about playing to someone’s weaknesses; it’s about inspiring or challenging them to rise, change, and learn. Sometimes, the best response is a firm “no,” pushing them out of their comfort zone and encouraging them to walk on their own.

It’s vital to remember, however, that even as we advocate for a discerning compassion, we must not fall into the trap of judgment. For every soul is on its own journey, with its own lessons and timelines. Our role is not to judge, but to offer a hand – sometimes holding, sometimes guiding, and sometimes, letting go.

True compassion is not about merely alleviating immediate suffering. It’s about seeing the potential in another and aiding them in realizing it. It’s about understanding that while some may need comforting words, others might need teachings that lead them to a higher consciousness. When applied with wisdom, compassion becomes a force that awakens, empowers, and uplifts. Anything less, and we risk turning it into a toxic balm that perpetuates suffering.

Patana Org