Eckhart Tolle 
Compassion and Reality
from The Power of Now
As long as you are unaware of Being, the reality of other humans will elude you, because you have not found your own.  Your mind will like or dislike their form, which is not just their body but includes their mind as well.  True relationship becomes possible only when there is an awareness of Being.  Coming from Being, you will perceive another person's body and mind as just a screen, as it were, behind which you can feel their true reality, as you feel yours.  So, when confronted with someone else's suffering or unconscious behavior, you stay present and in touch with Being, all suffering is recognized as an illusion.  Suffering is due to identification with form.  Miracles of healing sometimes occur through this realization, by awakening Being-consciousness in others -- if they are ready.
Is that what compassion is?

Yes.  Compassion is the awareness of a deep bond between yourself and all creatures.  But there are two sides to compassion, two sides to this bond.  On the one hand, since you are still here as a physical body, you share the vulnerability and mortality of your physical form with every other human and with every living being.  Next time you say "I have nothing in  common with this person," remember that you have a great deal in common: A few years from now -- two years or seventy years, it doesn't make much difference-- both of you will have become rotting corpses, then piles of dust, then nothing at all.  This is a sobering and humbling realization that leaves little room for pride.  Is this a negative thought? No, it is a fact.  Why close your eyes to it? In that sense, there is total equality between you and every other creature.

  One of the most powerful spiritual practices is to meditate deeply on the mortality of physical forms, including your own.  This is called: Die before you die.  Go into it deeply.  Your physical form is dissolving, is no more.  Then a moment comes when all mind-forms or thoughts also dies.  Yet you are still there-- the divine presence that you are.  Radiant, fully awake.  Nothing that was real ever died, only names, forms, and illusions.
The realizaton of this deathless dimension, your true nature, is the other side of compassion.  On a deep feeling-level, you now recognize not only your own immortality but through your own that of every other creature as well.  On the level of form, you share mortality and the precariousness of existence.  On the level of Being, you share eternal, radiant life.  These are the two aspects  of compassion.  In compassion, the seemingly opposite feelings of sadness and joy merge into one and become transmuted into a deep inner peace.  This is the peace of God.  It is one of the most noble feelings that humans are capable of, and it has great healing and transformative power.  But true compassion, as I have just described it, is as yet rare.  To have deep empathy for the suffering of another being certainly requires a high degree of consciousness but represents only one side of compassion.  It is not complete.  True compassion goes beyond empathy or sympathy.  It does not happen until sadness merges with joy, the joy of Being beyond form, the joy of eternal life.

This excerpt is from The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle.
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