Wednesday, 17 December 2008


Empathy is a sign of maturity. It is only when you have lived that you can sit with someone and their living.

Happiness flits along on the horizontal plane. Delightful as it is, it has little depth. People who are happy all the time are generally superficial, talking rubbish, drinking and partying all and every day. Which is all very well, but it is not true living.

Anyone with depth is going to encounter the vertical. They are going to experience the great sadness, they are going to question deeply. If they are in search of the truth, they are going to reach the depths of despair. All the constructs are going to betray and forsake them.

In these dark times, they are going to break through to new light. In times of intense grief, they are going to let go of their urge to control, and find themselves. In the extremes they encounter by pushing too far, they are going to realise where their home is.

When they meet someone on the road who is struggling with life, they are going to recognise in the other what they have found in themselves. Not only will this bring resonance and comfort in a place in which they felt they were alone, it will bring presence to the other, too. Empathy will connect them.

This is communion. A person has plunged to their depths and in time sat with someone else in theirs. There is a silent, spiritual union, a healing, a realisation.

To simply sit with someone in empathy is one of the greatest mutual gifts in life.

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