The model of the human suffering is the physical illness.
When someone’s physically suffers, then all his affairs with the world bear the mark of his sickness. All the world is viewed in connection with his suffering: the world may be sad as like as his state or happy by defying his contrary condition. But it is never the world as such or the world as it is objectively investigated by a man of science.
Meanwhile, the observers of the sick people focus their attention on the affected parts of the body or on the entire body when it is totally damaged.
The physician primarily has this kind of observation, but he always has the medical theory in his mind. The ‘laymen’ have not any theory. Furthermore, their attention to the illness stops the current course of random general thoughts we have about others and, at least for a while, make futile the social habits of speaking with the sick persons.
In this state of mind, the observer starts to comprehend the extension of the illness over the world. In current words, we call this comprehension ‘empathy’. And he might see the world as if it would be affected by suffering. Such insight seems worthy of being taken into account, since the observer does not really share the subjective point of view of the sick person.
Thus the compassion takes a universal meaning, instilling in us a kind of detachment from the individual suffering. Though universal, such compassion does not minimize the value of the individual suffering. On the contrary, it is considered as powerful as to give a sense to the world.
The images of the individual suffering are considered as images of the world. They become too great for being expressed otherwise than by contemplation and cannot be chopped for becoming various subject matters of consolatory discourses.