Compassion as a form of Intelligence
The most compassionate people I know tend to be the most open minded, the most willing to learn something new and the most versatile. Their ability to understand differences and take time to learn about them, show an acceptance of knowledge and a level of intelligence.
Below I present some powerful quotes by famous people on the subject.
You may be very clever in your studies, in your job, in being able to argue very cleverly, reasonably, but that is not intelligence. Intelligence goes with love and compassion, and you cannot come upon that intelligence as an individual.
Compassion is not yours or mine like thought is not yours or mine. When there is intelligence, there is no me and you. And intelligence does not abide in your heart or your mind.
That intelligence which is supreme is everywhere. It is that intelligence that moves the earth and the heavens and the stars, because that is compassion.
— J Krishnamurthy
What I like about Krishnamurthy is that he gives me hope. He says that there is compassion and intelligence always around us. If we tune in, we can feel it and we can decide to tune into it more and more.
This idea is mind brightening. Sometimes, we can instinctively feel the vibe of people, a place, a family and know whether they are kind, generous, open minded or not, without probing deeper. The more I use this instinctive facility to tune in, the more I am able to be present and aware of my own internal movements and of those around me.
Everybody’s name is “I”. Other people exist in the same sense as you do. So there will always be “I”‘s in the world. Every “I” is, in a way, the same “I.” We all might be anyone else. And there is no escape. It goes on and on and on. So long as there is consciousness anywhere, there is “I.”
You, then, look out for all the “I”‘s. And that, perhaps, is the secret of the great virtue of compassion.
— Alan Watts
This quote reminds me of oneness. Whether it’s the feeling of oneness with other human beings or animals, insects, plants and so on. We are all the center of our own universe.
The understanding of this opens us up to empathy and kindness towards those that aren’t us. In our progress as a society we have focused on our groups — religious, national, language, belief and strived to be compassionate towards those like us.
What we may have missed out on is the universality of I. It is all inclusive and cannot be chopped up in pieces.
The topic of compassion is not at all religious business; it is important to know it is human business, it is a question of human survival.Now there are many, many people in the world, but relatively few with whom we interact, and even fewer who cause us problems.
So when you come across such a chance for practicing patience and tolerance, you should treat it with gratitude. It is rare. Just as having unexpectedly found a treasure in your own house, you should be happy and grateful toward your enemy for providing you that precious opportunity.
Because if you are ever to be successful in your practice of patience and tolerance, which are critical factors in counteracting negative emotions, it is due to your own efforts and also the opportunity provided by your enemy.
— 14th Dalai Lama
Until I read this quote, I was not sure if I believed in the gifts of unpleasantness. The way we live in the first world, we really don’t encounter grave injustices and unfairness. We are blessed to practice good virtues with bite-size experiences.
And yet, we are easily irritated by the person who stalls the whole bus by being late, or the student who constantly interrupts the class, or the loud person in the cafe who cannot seem to care how they are disturbing others.
I will try and be present to these little opportunities and report on how it goes for me.
If you have favorite quotes on the topic or anything to add, please comment below. I would be delighted!