15 May 2009
Empathy is a profound way of maintaining continual awareness and understanding of freedom. I am free. The other beings I live with in this world are also free. By understanding freedom, I understand others. Empathy begins the moral and ethical conduct of interacting with the other free beings of this world. It is quite deceptive to think of empathy, and from there perhaps moral conduct, as a reciprocal contract of necessity. It is more like introducing thought and reasoning into the world. Empathy has no affinity with the bargaining and profit scheme of 'the golden rule', or the revenge/reward scenario of 'what comes around, goes around'. I have empathy for the plight of other free beings without assuming or hoping other free beings will reward me for it.