“Let Him Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone”

Alain de Botton’s School of Life addresses the subject of Jesus as a philosopher of kindness in this short video.

Alain de Botton’s School of Life addresses the subject of Jesus as a philosopher of kindness in this short video.

Jesus’s point is that the surest way to be kind is not to take pride in never having done a particular species of wrong. It lies in seeing that, inevitably, we too have been foolish and cruel at other moments, and in using that knowledge to foster compassion towards those whom it lies in our powers to ‘stone’. A world in which we keep our own wrongs firmly in mind becomes, paradoxically, a properly virtuous and humane place.

In other words, we see the other as our self, who has committed errors like our self, and therefore we show compassion towards them in their mistakes as we would want others to show compassion towards us in ours.

Such a stance goes much deeper than simply seeing the other as our self; in the mystical perspective we come to recognize that the other is the same as our self, of the same substance, of the same essence. We are one. There is no separation; they are us, a reflection of our own self, our own humanity. This may be why Jesus also said, “that which you do to these people, you do that to me” (Matthew 25:40, 46).

A transcript of this video can be read here.


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