He who feels compassion towards friends or companions
neglects his aim, his mind being bound.
Considering this dread which lies in intimacy,
one should live alone, like the horn of a rhinoceros.
Compassion is a much used and abused term in our day and age. Once connoted to imply a bending over backwards to help one’s neighbor in need has been twisted and hijacked into a warped political agenda of helping people only if it’s in the best interest of the purported caretakers, enabling them to keep said helpless ones in a condition of perpetual helplessness for the sole purpose of remaining lords and masters over their lives. Pseudo-compassion at its worst. Also the main import of being compassionate has nothing really to do with looking after people’s material needs to begin with; the real import consists of awakening one’s mind to their higher spiritual good which will, in turn, empower them to seek out and maintain a healthy holistic lifestyle. The best sutras to read and study considering this apparent conundrum are the Diamond and Lankavatara Sutras used in conjunction on this issue.
The Diamond Sutra states, “And yet, after I have thus delivered immeasurable beings, not one single being has been liberated. And why? Because, O Subhuti, no one is to be called a Bodhisattva, for whom there should exist the idea of a being or non-being, the idea of any form of living entity, or the idea of a person.” This is perhaps the most pivotal lines written in all sutra-literature, because if a Bodhisattva (preeminent awakened and compassionate one) should even begin to “conceive” of any material notion of a sentient being existing of its own accord (innate and perfect in itself alone) is in stark error from the get-go. The Lankavatara sutra as well highlights this pertinent discrepancy. In a true vein and ultimate sense, there are no beings or any non-beings comprised of any form or formlessness—no actualized skandhic “person” that bears any separate innate selfhood. In themselves they are devoid of Substance, or the Real Mind Stuff THAT ALONE constitutes the Element of Truth (Dharmadhatu). The faculty of perception, therefore, is really clouded when it perceives these phantasmagorical shapes as somehow being real in themselves alone; in truth, they are Mind Projections. So, in a higher-comprehension, both the Diamond and Lankavatara Sutras puts to bed this false-perception of comforting and saving some form of sentient beingness—for there is no beingness apart from the Unborn and Absolute. Ergo, there is really no-one to save since there isn’t anybody there to begin with, just highly metastasized misconceptions of personhood. This also goes greatly to the “root problem” of Self as misconstrued in today’s Material Buddhism.
The Buddha also never insisted that some form of salvation was needed for this skandhic-thing, which is really just a coming-together of fluids (form, sensation, thought, volition, mortal consciousness). In this Truest sense, then, True and Actual Compassion has never been about this person-thing, but rather about a Mind-thing—empowering Mind to awaken from the mad pluralized-dream of its own creation and forever pull-back the curtain of Mara’s nightmare and reveal the Real looking at the Real and no-thing else. Light from Light. Pure Mind from Pure Mind. True Liberation, then, is not about mulling-around in the quagmire of sensate stuff, but about focusing one’s attention on that higher-aim of freeing Mind from those projections. True Compassion, then, consists in being True to Your Highest and Best Self, in doing so all the rest will flow quite naturally.