RESPONDENT: There is a sensitivity that is without cause, without motive. It is effortless.

RICHARD: Physical sensitivity as in tactile sensation … yes. Sensitivity as in consideration for the other simply because the other is a fellow human being … yes. Sensitivity as in pity, sympathy, empathy, compassion and love … no. Such sensitivity is born out of mutual sorrow (etymologically the word ‘compassion’ means ‘suffer with’; ‘passio’ is Latin for the Greek ‘pathos’). Thus it has a cause … it is not without motive and is thus not as effortless as it may seem to be.

I cannot relate to a person in sorrow for I do not have the faculties – or the capacity – for pathos. Just consider the fact that where one has the ability to be able to feel pity, sympathy, empathy, compassion and love, then it is a case of the blind leading the blind. One must be totally free of sorrow – and malice – in order to be of substantive assistance to those who are trapped within the Human Condition. Life is wonderful where one is bereft of both sorrow and malice. All the terror, all the horror and all the dread are expunged when ‘I’ and ‘me’ become extinct. The slate is wiped clean, as if nothing untoward has happened. A faint intellectual memory, like a distant dream, is all that remains of distress and destructiveness. In this time and place where one is genuine, no mental or emotional or psychic scars are carried. Stress, so vividly experienced in reality, has no substance here in actuality. One has to be completely free from the grip of reality – the Land of Lament – to actually be of benefit to the one who is suffering. A person who is actually free does not offer a palliative. Such a person extends the possibility of ultimate release.