Sunday, February 01, 2009

empathy



Etymology:
Greek empatheia, literally, passion, from empath─ôs emotional, from em- + pathos feelings, emotion — more at pathos
Date:
1850
1: the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
2: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner ; also : the capacity for this

From http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Empathy

*The pictures are of my mother who I will never stop missing.


I am interested in the importance of imagining. It is impossible to really know an - other. One can only imagine. I imagine the way things are... I imagine a reality. Imagining makes into the future... it creates now.

When we lose empathy... the ability to imagine into the other... we strip ourselves and our object of humanity. This is the door of evil.

We are all narcissists in this way. We can only "know" by imagining through ourselves... the line I think is when we project onto rather than imagining into...

and in other thoughts...
It is difficult now not to believe in some brighter future. Our new president seems to be moving through a series of choices driven by an ethical imagining. I cannot help but be impressed with his courage. I am hopeful. May we do well.