Compassion and Forgiveness

Do you sympathize with others?  Or when you see someone struggling do you look away, trying to ignore their difficulties, attempting perhaps to maintain your focus on your own affairs?

The extent to which we can sympathize with our fellow beings depends greatly upon our own experience.  It is the one who has been seriously ill that can, without any effort, feel the suffering of someone tormented by sickness.  It is one who has known loneliness that can recognize the sadness of somebody who is isolated.  It is someone who has endured the pain of unrequited love that knows the burning fever of a true Majnun.  It is the one who has known the passing of someone close that can understand another’s wordless grieving. Whatever our experience, though, our sympathy is always limited by the horizon of our own individuality.  Only the Divine Presence has no limits; the Divine Consciousness is all pervading, and therefore knows all the suffering, all the difficulty, all the sorrow and pain and sadness that human beings experience.

It is a short step, then, to say that in this awareness is the origin of Divine compassion.  Through the millennia illuminated souls have spoken eloquently of God’s compassion, urging us to believe in it and trust, but it is a message which has often been received more as a theory than as a reality.  Many assume that God takes little notice of our difficulties, that He is far removed from our path of thorns.  Perhaps what makes us doubtful is our lack of recognition that when we suffer, God also suffers – every pain, every sorrow is written on the infinite consciousness even more clearly than on our own limited portion.  Our awareness is dulled by our lack of clear perception, but Truth is not insulated by this blurred focus.

In addition, there is an aspect to Divine compassion that is difficult for the human to fathom, and that lies in God’s role as Creator.  We have been told that God was a hidden treasure wanting to be known, and from that wish arose the impulse of Creation. All sprang into being so that the One might be discovered in an infinitely joyful moment of homecoming.  The unlimited power of love produced the ever-unfolding kaleidoscope of forms through which individualized consciousness may evolve to the realization of Unity, but that manifestation inherently bears the burden of limitation and suffering.  Human parents know how painful it is when their care causes their children pain.  Childhood is filled with physical situations in which the solution requires an additional pain – think of jerking loose a milk tooth or setting a broken bone. We can imagine then, the depth of the compassion of the Creator, Who, through love, has made a creation in which the opposites of joy and sorrow are evenly balanced and light is unavoidably marked with shadows.  We try to fly around the rain clouds and seek the shafts of sunlight, but both are inevitable. It is only when we surrender to the arms of the Divine Creator that we find solace and rest in the heart of compassion.

And as we know from our own human relationships, it is compassion that allows the easy flow of forgiveness.  We are all imperfect; perfection is only possible when we forget ourselves in the One.  Therefore, we have all fallen short of the mark to which Divine Perfection calls us.  But in Vadan Boulas we find, Perfection forgives and limitation judges.  When we know that someone has had a difficult path to tread, if they make the least apology, or show the slightest sign of contrition, our compassion for their situation will respond with pardon. In the Divine Presence, this form reaches its perfection. In Vadan Chalas we find : The most beautiful form of the love of God is His compassion, His divine forgiveness. Forgiveness awaits us, if only we sincerely seek it.

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