Divine Compassion Versus Empathy

Jesus expressed a continual compassionate love.  That love was expressed in a spiritually higher sense than is the human sense of love most often associated with compassion.  Mrs. Eddy tells us how we must love if we would heal the sick.  It is not just to be nice.  It is to love with spiritually compassionate love, and not with a humanly compassionate love.  Divinely compassionate love must be God’s pure love, directed purposefully at error, exercising our continual contemplation of the presence of an all-encompassing divine Love, indicating thereby the nothingness of error.  Error must be seen as nothing, and not treated as a something called error,  and then to be disposed of.  Divinely compassionate love must contain not a grain of acknowledgement of the presence of a substantial problem to be solved. “Pitiful patience” with the fears of a patient “and the removal of them” (p 336) is the essence of that compassion.  What does Mrs. Eddy mean by “pitiful patience”?  That pitiful patience must not in any way be empathetic, sinking to the level of feeling the pain along with the patient.  Empathy expresses a lower human form of compassion, and tends to enforce belief in the false claim being addressed.  It does so because it views what we call error as something substantial which must be disposed of.   Divine love is the solvent which dissolves such unfounded fears.  We must take care that the nature of the love we are expressing is of a divine nature, uncontaminated by human hypotheses.  Though it may seem beautiful and appropriate, an unwittingly applied empathetic view of another’s supposed suffering actually tends to perpetuate the false belief under treatment and to confirm its false substance.  Thus empathy, as opposed to divinely inspired compassion, can seem to act as a hindrance to the realization of healing.  Often, mortals confuse empathy and human compassion with pure divine healing love.  The mortal mind which is less attuned to Christian Science, accustomed to accepting all of the claims of human sense as reality, sometimes even associates divine love, which elevates the individual consciousness up and out of mortal beliefs, with coldness and uncaring.  General mortal belief is more accustomed to and more comfortable with a pitying, confirming human love than it is with a pure sense of healing, resolving, divine love.

Let us examine and strive to emulate the healing work exemplified by Christ Jesus.  Let us bring God directly to the consciousness of our fellow man.  Empathetic and charitable  human organizations have a virtuous place in human society.  But we must take care that in the process of expressing loving charity that consciousness is really elevated to the level which addresses the root of the seeming problem -  the erroneous belief in its existence.   We must take care that our methods of implementing loving charitable actions do not play the unintended role of encouraging and confirming belief in the very error whose effects are being served by the charity.    Human systems are always contaminated by human hypotheses. Real charity is divinely driven by, and is acted upon through Spirit, and not through mere human motion and activity.  Real charity is healing prayer which sees through and dissolves the mesmerism of lack – the lack of  whatever is claimed by error.  Charity ultimately is expressed through divine love and is activated through the action of prayer.  As Jesus always did, let us take care not to lower consciousness to the level of the problem we wish to rise above, lest we confirm it even more deeply.

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