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Re: [existlist] 'two way mirror'  is a misnomer

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  • eupraxis@aol.com
    Alterity is both a trap and a door. The Other is both my projection -- sometimes a disappointment because a mapping-onto-another of my own fears, hopes or
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2006
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      Alterity is both a trap and a door. The Other is both my projection --
      sometimes a disappointment because a mapping-onto-another of my own fears, hopes or
      desires -- and my real world, insofar as I have to live a real life as a
      social being here and now alongside others. It is thus a potential dilemma.

      Alterity-as-doorway, if I can use the term, is a way towards the world of
      others-as-hope or as-goal. It is the existential underpinning of language and
      art, of open-ended analysis and discovery, and of the that "realm of ends" where
      good cheer and optimism, or dogged determination and struggle can bring about
      relative 'progress' and 'self-overcoming' (to cite Hegel and Nietzsche,
      respectively).

      But, as you say, it is sometimes prudent to just get out of the other's way,
      to ignore him/her altogether if possible, maybe even to flip him/her the bird,
      as they say, even if just under one's own breath, if the alternative is just
      too damned tiresome or futile.

      WS


      In a message dated 9/3/06 10:03:49 AM, two_owl_night@... writes:


      > Sartre reasonably presented the problems of alterity. Others and
      > selves refuse to define each other according to desired reflections.
      > Part of this difficulty exists because there are chunks of
      > information missing. In his play, No Exit, it appeared that argument,
      > discussion, and confession didn't remedy this either. In fact, they
      > made things worse. When the characters confessed and rationalized,
      > all it accomplished was a reinforcement of their initial, unrational
      > dislikes for each other. The characters became more entrenched in
      > their refusal to reflect back to one another what they wanted to see.
      >
      > It might actually be a healthier, more ethical behavior, to walk away
      > or disregard the gaze of others. (This is very difficult with more
      > intimate relationships, such as family, friends, and lovers, in which
      > there isn't much to guess about.) After leaving or disregarding, the
      > only image you have to fool is in the mirror.
      >
      > You can make it real interesting. Take a hammer to it; pick up only
      > one shard; look into each piece at a different time and set it aside.
      > When you're finished (it might take awhile), reassemble all the
      > pieces and attempt to objectively define yourself. Then if everyone
      > had the courage, they could compare and discover that some pieces
      > closely match someone else's or are nearly interchangeable. There are
      > extremely rare moments, when we substantially reflect another's glass
      > mosaic and wonder why it can't always be this way. But it won't; so
      > what remains of our staring contest is either to slice at each other
      > or find the glue. (Some are known to do both.) More glue, less glue.
      > It's always our prerogative how to deal with the disparity.
      >
      > "Me, I'm waiting so patiently
      > Lying on the floor
      > I'm just trying to do this jig-saw puzzle
      > Before it rains anymore"
      >
      > Mary
      >
      >
      >



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