Fire and Stones

May 22, 2021 Personal Growth No Comments

The way of the heart and the way of the mind. Compassion and Wisdom.

[see: “Essence of Compassion“]

A Buddhist image

Of course, applicable everywhere.

Imagine a campfire somewhere in a forest. Wood is available plenty so that one can build a decent fire. In a circle around the fire, stones are laid down nicely, one against the other.

The stones serve to protect the forest. In a broader sense, the primary purpose of the circle of rocks is the fire itself. Without them, it would be too dangerous to build a fire. With the stones, the focus within the circle can be entirely on the fire.

The one and the other

Without the stones, the fire can only be less fiery ― for the sake of the forest. Without the fire, the stones are just lying there ―  big deal.

In another sense – and my idea of this – the fire and the stones are the same entity. They’re not like two parts of a bigger whole. They are the same. Hm.

Wisdom and Compassion

Within the Buddhist image, I see the stones as a metaphor for Wisdom, while the fire is a metaphor for Compassion.

Without Wisdom, Compassion can only ‘burn less’ ― for the sake of the forest. Without Compassion, Wisdom is just lying there ―  big deal.

In another sense – and my idea of this – Compassion and Wisdom are the same entity.

In a more modern looking diagram, we have:

The way of the heart is the way of Compassion. The way of the mind is the way of Wisdom. There is nothing wrong in saying so. It is true.


When progressing on the path of personal growth – some call it Enlightenment – the prior Compassion and Wisdom tend to grow towards each other. Eventually, they are the same. From that moment onwards, it seems as if they have always been the same. In a way, that is also true.

Exciting things happen between heaven and earth.

What is not entirely bent on Compassion is not Wisdom.

What is not entirely bent on Wisdom is not Compassion.

Having grown towards each other, they are the same. This means it has been the case from the start. Compassion and Wisdom are synonyms.

Can you imagine the fire and the stones being the same now?

For this, in your imagination, you have to let go of purely conceptual thinking.

It’s an excellent meditative exercise.

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