Communion With the Other

The cartoon today was inspired by some thoughts I've been having about the "other". I've been thinking about this mainly because of the discussions we've been having here about fundamentalism. In spite of some skepticism concerning my sincerity in saying that we all have elements of fundamentalism at some time or another over some issue or another, I still would assert this point. I think we can agree that we are all narcissistic to a greater or lesser degree. The same goes for the fundamentalist mindset. But how can we believe something to be true and still hear the other who's opinion differs? When we look at the other, do we only see how the other is similar to us and is therefore attractive, or how the other differs and is therefore undesirable? Can we even perceive the other beyond these categories of similarity and difference? For only then are they truly other. Can we even recognize the truly other without our categories? Or, as if like a monster in our nightmare, are we afraid of something we do not recognize and reject the other altogether? Are we able to behold the wonder, the terrible beauty, the sacred in the wholly other? Can we love and respect this? Only then might we learn to commune with this other.

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