The Rambling Taoists: Empathy

“Whatever you do not want done to you, do not do to others.” — Confucius (6th cen. BC)
“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” — Jesus (1st cen.)


A great deal of sectarian hay has been made comparing and contrasting these two essentially identical statements. This is understandable since it is much easier to argue them than to live them. Yes, one is passive while the other is active. Yet, should we understand the heart and root of both, I think we will find it to be the same — empathy.


Empathy is the experience of “feeling with” another person. It is the ability to see oneself in another. And that defines our relationship to the world.


These statements have been called The Golden Rule, which is fine if we understand that any ‘rule’, to be authentically realized, must in some way be rooted in who we organically are. We do not apply it; we are it.


by Scott Bradley