Compassion is the active desire to separate others from suffering.  It is an emotion which seeks action for its expression.

Compassion is the basis, the process, and the goal of vajryana buddhism, the form studied in Tibet for centuries after being brought there from the Indian universities.

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There is increasing scientific evidence that compassion is an innate emotion, which would be consistent with evolutionary theory.  Evidence also demonstrate that It is possible to use specific methods to enhance compassion in oneself.

If compassion is intrinsic, there would appear to be a significant inadequacy in psychoanalytic thinking if it has no mention of it, nor an accounting of it.

In Tibetan literature compasson is commonly described as observable between the mother and her child.  This is where it will also appear in psychoanalytic thinking.  It has not previously been separated out from the broader discussions of mothering.  It might look like compassion is an alien concept for psychoanalysis, but in actuality it has been there all along.

This is now a necessary  adjustment to psychoanalytic thought.  The characteristics of compassion's existence within the maternal requires its delineation as a separable mental feature in development, pathology, and treatment.

© Richard Toft 2013