Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Looking at us

A problem we have relating to one another is that we tend to look at one another through the lens of ourselves. By that, I mean we assume that because we are similar, we are the same; that if we do a particular thing, our motivation to do it must be the same; that if we say we feel something, it must feel the same.

We do not well understand that we can be different. An extreme of this inability to put ourselves in others' shoes comes when we look at the truly bad. We try to imagine how we could kill, how we could torture, and of course we cannot picture it at all. So we invent possession by "evil", as though there was an elementary force that could enter and twist another until they could do what we cannot.

Sometimes that force, that impulse, is not "evil". We believe it is religion, or colour, or culture that makes a person do or be what we cannot. Those things do go to make us what we are but I think that we do not understand that were we religionists, or that colour, or brought up in that culture, we might not do the same things, feel the same way. After all, people are not homogenous, even when they seem the same to us. One is cruel; the other kind. One is generous; the other mean. Of course, these things mould the material we are composed of. I believe we are born relatively formless and become what we are. But that does not mean that the same circumstances make us the same.


Anonymous Father Luke said...

Nice reverie.

So, that's what killed the Witches
in Salem; that's what killed
heretics during the Spanish
Inquistion; that's what made those
nice blond-haired, blue-eyed boys
in Germany do things during the
second world war history holds to
be evil; that's what's gang fucked
any of those whom the majority
have deemed Evil. I'm reading
American Gods by Gaiman. Gods
themselves change.

It's a fascinating time line of
any People, by that I mean time
line of culture, group, nation or
religion, i.e. Hippys, Paganism,
Hinduism, Christianity, The 'Old
West', the forty hour work week...
ad nauseum.

Examine fears, and sure there will
be those who want to know:

"Is it true?" Is the fear real?

Picnic at Hanging Rock is a book
by Joan Lindsay from Penguin
Books, published in 1967.

"Is the terror Real, mummy?"

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi
Gras. Surely, a vivid nightmare
for homophobes.

Fears have traditionally been over there,
that is, our fears are exported to
outside of ourselves to place them
at a distance where we may be
safe. Austraila itself is a
perfect example.

And a million Hosannas to all that,
for where would a writer be without
the levers of fear and terror.

Father Luke

December 1, 2006 at 7:24 AM  

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