mandala wrote:I disagree. The "depths of our compassion" should indeed be equal. Otherwise, we're just like everyone else in mainstream society who feels "justified anger" at perpetrators and "idiot compassion" for those seen as victims.
Of course you treat different people, differently, but compassion - if we're talking from a Buddhist view - should not be dependent on whether one is a "victim" or a "perpetrator".
If anything, it makes more sense to have MORE compassion for the perpetrator as their suffering has just begun and will inevitably grow. The 'victim' on the other hand, has karma that's already ripened.
Pointing out to the perpertrator that their action is wrong is compassionate. Going to jail for commiting a crime is quite clearly one way in which karma (the action) ripens. Nobody said one should be angry, but let's not lose sight of the fact that there is a victim. The compassion will be dependent on whether one is a victim or a perpertrator because the antidote will be different.
I'm definitely not saying there shouldn't be punitive action taken for perpetrators. Of course there should be action taken to ensure they don't harm others.
But that's all aside from Anjali's post that i was commenting on - re: our compassion being equal to victim/perpetrator. I'm saying the compassion we feel towards them should be the same because they are both suffering, and one will continue to endure suffering for their actions.
What do antidotes have to do with compassion?
Telling someone their actions are wrong, isn't necessarily compassionate - sometimes it's ego-fuelled, sometimes it's inflammatory. Police don't tell perps they broke the law out of compassion - it's simply the truth!
The thing is, we never "lose sight of the fact there is a victim" as you said - and i think that's a dangerous mentality for a Buddhist to have. It infers that bad things happen to good people for no reason, by inherently bad people. And when we consider karma, we know that's not the case.
Having said that, of course we try to keep others from harm and we comfort those harmed. I suspect we may be talking about the same thing, just in a different way.
Anyways, here's a bit from Ven Robina Courtin:
We realize that we’re all in the same boat: everyone is experiencing the fruits of their past actions and creating the causes for their future experiences. And this includes the people who harm us. Many of the letters in this book are about the suffering that people experience at the hands of others.
It’s almost shocking to think that we can have compassion in response to this harm, but that is what Rinpoche repeatedly advises. As we are suffering now because of our own past actions, so too will they suffer in the future as a result of their present actions. How could we not have compassion? Like a mother for her destructive child, we can see that they are harming themselves.