[This article appeared in the October 2022 issue of The Theosophical Movement. For more articles published in this excellent magazine follow this link: https://www.ultindia.org/current_issues.html]
If it is the teaching that Kama is hard like iron it is not difficult for you to see where the hardness of the streak comes from. It is a well-known fact that feelings, i.e., Kamic expressions, are very changeable; but throughout the changes the hardness remains. It is the separative quality of Kama, the begetter and sustainer of the “I” notion or Ahankara. It is the “I” of Kama which separates—itself from others, as also one thing from another. It is the hardening quality that is separative, the maker of heavenly bodies and the rest. All feelings are separative; therefore Compassion cannot be placed in the hierarchy of Kama. If it is not a “feeling” what is it? It is a Power, a Shakti born of Buddhi, which, when active, uses Manas: it is Buddhi using Knowledge, which means understanding expressing itself as helpfulness. When a mother loves her child, or a friend his friend, often there is no true Compassion, but the instinct of Kama, very often beautiful and even noble, on the way to Compassion, but not Compassion.
Knowledge and good works are called purifiers, and they are truly so, for these soften Kama and the feeling-Kama seeks its mate, the feeling-Buddhi, and thus love transforms itself into Compassion. The personal “I” notion is not annihilated but transmuted; it remains, but it is different.
That is the principle: now to application. In our line of work and in our life of occultism, solidarity among fellow students is the greatest of essentials. That fellowship, please note, has to rest on Wisdom and the Service of Wisdom. That is why, in this connection, we have to practice “an exemption from self-identifying attachment for children, wife, and household,” and “a want of pleasure in congregations of men.” False attachments not only are injurious in themselves but, further, vitiate our efforts towards true fellowship. Herein you will find the rationale of “Come out from among them, and be ye separate”; it also explains why the Buddha left his palace and his wife, and why Jesus is said to have spoken what he did about his mother.
This is a silent and inner process. It will be evident to you that real adjustment between true Fellows is dual: (1) a casting-out process and (2) assimilation. Both should be on the basis of Compassion, i.e., not of feelings. Understanding-feeling grows as feeling-feeling decreases. Get knowledge, do works, begin to assimilate the right people, reject the wrong ones and in doing the last two encounter a further test—viz, when those whom we thought right go wrong and vice versa, i.e., weak people come up to rightness.
Develop Compassion then, i.e., understanding helpfulness. Do not rush to render help before you understand; do not try to explain before you understand; do not try to sacrifice before you understand; do not attach yourself before you understand or repel before you understand. Do not be guided by feelings, however noble they may appear, but try to understand them. Repose and Bliss are conjoint and born of true understanding. Wherever and whenever restlessness, inner or outer, of body or mind, exists, there Compassion cannot be, because understanding is absent. Equipoise of mind, non-agitation of brain and senses, are a reflection of the Quiet within which is Compassion, understanding and helping all. Don’t think this is beyond you, slowly and gradually it will come.
[Extracts From Unpublished Letters]