Friday, October 5, 2012

Some thoughts on kindness

I was thinking about the word "kindness" today. When most people hear this word, myself included, they tend to think about "being nice" or some such thing. This is no doubt basically true, but as I break down the word today it also appears to me as meaning "like-ness". As in something of the "same kind". To be kind is to recognise a kinship between yourself and the object of your kindness.

Looked at this way kindness becomes a much bigger word for me. With definite "spiritual" ramifications. I recall a favorite quote of mine from the Dalai Lama: "There is no need for need for temples, no need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is temple, the philosophy is kindness". Can you imagine what the world would look like if we all internalized that lesson?

In a very real way then this simple quote points to the secret of life in fullness: Kindness. If you are looking for "the big answer", I think a life dedicated to growth in "kindness" is about as close as it gets. But, getting back to what I said earlier, it seems we could then also say that "sameness is the answer". The "other" is no different from "me"(insert Golden Rule here). Quantum physics of course tells the same thing: we are all connected, all "one stuff".

One of the logical conclusions that we can then draw is that there is, in the ultimate dimension, no difference between "enemy" and "friend". This is deep and also difficult teaching. Is it saying, to use a current example, that the suicide bomber is my friend? Ponder that one for while.... And if your answer is "No, the suicide bomber is not my friend". Then consider this quote: "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you" (Matt. 5:44).

Did Jesus get it wrong?