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Compassion and Moral Guidance$
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Steve Bein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836412

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836412.001.0001

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What is the Com- of Compassion?

What is the Com- of Compassion?

Chapter:
(p.50) Chapter Two What is the Com- of Compassion?
Source:
Compassion and Moral Guidance
Author(s):

Steve Bein

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824836412.003.0002

This chapter deals with the com- of compassion. It explores the nature of this com-, or being-with, in the process of seeking suitable foundations for a theory of compassion that meets all eight conditions presented in Chapter 1. It first takes up Śāntideva, whose Bodhicaryāvātāra serves as “done of the principal sources of Mahāyāna philosophy,” and whose meditations there on the nature of the self—or better said, the insubstantiality of it—serve as an ideal starting point. It then moves on to Dōgen Kigen, whose ideas, though removed from Śāntideva by some five centuries and three thousand miles, expand upon Śāntideva's thought and set forth a method by which one may realize the insubstantiality of the self and thereby become compassionate. Much as Buddhism links no-self with compassion, Confucianism can be seen to link its version of compassion with its conception of the human self. Next, the chapter analyzes Confucius and Mencius to provide a different perspective on the self and on compassion. Lastly, it takes up the Daodejing and the Zhuangzi, both of which provide a critique of the Confucian account and therefore another perspective on the same issue.

Keywords:   compassion, Confucianism, Dōgen Kigen, Confucius, Mencius, Daodejing, Zhuangzi

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