I got wondering, idly it's not part of any practice or effort, that everything has something like empathy, but of one thing, empathy for the buddha.

Can that be read into buddhism, or panpsychism at all?

Might the answer to this fall under the terms "empathy" and "response", as drawn from the lotus sutra?

I promise this will be my last question, sorry for starting so many :)

  • 3
    I don't think asking many questions is an issue, provided the questions are detailed, show some effort and you accept answers that satisfy your question. I'll try an answer, but if you could flesh out your question, that would probably help in the quality of your responses.
    – R. Barzell
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 13:28
  • Question not clear, please clarify.
    – Andriy Volkov
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 16:15
  • what isn't clear about t ?
    – user2512
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 22:41
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    It's all pretty unclear I'm afraid. For example: in your first sentence, what do you mean by "...but of one thing, empathy for the buddha"; second sentence, what does "that" refer to, what is meant by "read into", and why are you asking if "that" (whatever it is) can be "read into" (whatever that means) into panpsychism since this is a Buddhism group, not a group about philosophy of consciousness; finally, third sentence, what do you mean by an answer "falling under" terms? I'll take a (very) wild swing at an alternate version, but correct/delete it as you like.
    – tkp
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 2:23
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    (-1) because I don't like such "wild swings" without recognizable relation to serious attempts to penetrate the difficulties of the dharma which occur by practizing - at least here in stack-exchange. Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 14:31

3 Answers 3


All is consciousness and all is not consciousness and neither of the preceding is true. This is the kind of logic that Zen sees the world in ways that at best are uncertain.

In one sense you are asking does a table have Buddha nature?

This has been answered in this post Does a dog have Buddha nature? The Buddha-nature of a dog

I have only found one thing that helps me, when I find empathy and compassion for all beings. What their nature is does not seem to affect me. My own acts in consciousness do affect me directly.




• n : understanding and entering into another's feelings . I don't if i am upto a satisfying answer or not but the empathy that i have got after getting your question is that 'it is within'. If you think that everything about buddha ends up as an empathy than its not wrong. But the empathy (may be very-2 important question to everybody) is just a milestone where one can relax at his doings (karma) , only if that one's practicing it right. Buddha left his body long years ago, but not his will ( a will that can benefit many of us and our inner know it somewhere somehow). That is strange. Thats concern. Thumbs up for you. You are on right path. You are picking up stones but not making yourself or your pocket heavy. It is all within. You are the nearest to it for you, not for becoming a buddha. Regards for coming up.


I agree with the criticism about the lack of polish in the articulation of the question, but I try to see if there is any there there, no matter how inarticulate the questioner may be(could be a second language issue). So...... I will try to keep my answer simple and easy to understand but hopefully of some depth in spite of all that. First, consciousness has a very large amount to do with Buddhism. There are the five skandhas ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skandha )of which consciousness is one of the skandhas.

The subject of consciousness was considered so important that it became the point of a split off from Madhyamika Buddhism into Yogacara Buddhism with the assertion of the existence of alaya consciousness ( What is storehouse consciousness? ). Recently (january 17 to 22, 2013) there was a Mind and Life Conference where a prominent Cal Tech scientist (Christof Koch) had a dialog with the Dalai Lama where both Koch & the Dalai Lama agreed that panpsychism was a virtual sine qua non for forming a foundational understanding of consciousness and Buddhism.

So my answer is that the relation between panpsychism and Buddhism is of absolutely central importance. The question of empathy is more difficult. I can't quote any Buddhist sutras on this subject but if there is empathy as an inherent aspect of consciousness, then it does not seem to manifest until the relevant organism has the ability to have a theory of mind ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind ). It may be possible that there may be some form of subconscious or unconscious drive to include the consequences of one's own actions on other living beings (especially with respect to kinship factors https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kin_selection ).

I suspect that(altruistic behavior) may be evidence for the possibility for empathy being part of basic panpsychic consciousness. For most people, however, there is an assumption of awareness of the emotional impact on the consciousness of the other that becomes an important consideration in karmic choices(volition, one of he five skandhas). I think the question is extremely interesting and wish more people had chosen to weigh in with informed responses.

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