even more things

Selection from Self and Other, collaboration with Leslie Diuguid and Sigrid Lauren, 2015.

Self and other are equivocal concepts. The concept of the self requires the existence of the other, as the counterpart who defines the self. We cannot know ourselves completely except through others. We constitute each other and are vulnerable to each other. We are enmeshed rather than separate; responsible for others, not just for ourselves. Not only do we need each other and carry a responsibility for each other, but our learning is dependent upon our openness to the difference of others. The other, like the self, must be recognized as a diverse and complex entity—an object of love and desire, a model for emulation and identification, an object of care and hospitality, a subject of their own destiny.

We cannot take in new knowledge without temporarily suspending what we already know. We cannot learn without some degree of openness to the unknown. The multi-sensory gift of producing similarities is also the gift of recognizing them; mimesis dissolves the dichotomy between self/other, a forgotten relationship: the yielding and mirroring of the knower in the unknown.