There's a wonderful question Schopenhauer asks: How is it that an individual can so participate in the danger and pain of another that, forgetting his own self-protection, he moves spontaneously to the other's rescue, even at the cost of his own life? Schopenhauer's answer is that a metaphysical realization is showing its force in action; namely, the realization that you and the other are one, and that the sense of separateness is simply a function of the way we experience things in space and time.
All compassion, all sympathy is irrational. That's the point. Love is irrational. The rational is stressing I-thou opposites. The mind is in the world of separateness and angular structures. It's a world put together in a way that can't be calculated. Compassion, love - these jump mathematics.
- Joseph Campbell in conversation with Michael Toms, from the book An Open Life