The strange is no stranger to us. It lies within the bosom of each of us. The strange is found in the heartbeat of every one of us: “. . .[we] are always already everywhere inhabited by the Other in the context of the fully real“ (Smith, 2006, p. xxiv). The strange is that which has been denied in us, and becomes the shadow material (Hollis, 2007), to use the Jungian terminology. If, for example, a young boy is strictly told not to cry when he is sad and hurting because--his father insists--he will grow up to be a ‘sissy’, the soft and the sensitive in him could become a stranger to him in his inner world, and also he may see others who are soft and sensitive to be sissies and despise them. Not understanding this psychological construction of the strange can have horrific consequences, as human history amply attests: seeing others as savage, subhuman, vermin, criminal, evil, and the like. Ryszard Kapuścińsk (2006), the great Polish writer whose lifetime travels to foreign cultures and meditations upon Otherness are well-known to us through his journalism, observes: “Conquer, colonise, master, make dependent – this reaction to Others recurs constantly throughout the history of the world” (p. 23). Our present paper focuses on understanding the psychological construction of the Other, and seeks ways to deconstruct this construction, not just theoretically but through practices of embodiment.
Bai, H., Cohen, A., & Park, S. (2020). From fear and hostility to awakening and hospitality: Learning to encounter the strange with an open heart. In B. Zizek & H. Piepenbring (Eds.), Formen der Aneignung des Fremden (pp. 59-70). Heidelberg, GmbH: Universitatsverlag Winter GmbH Heidelberg.
Formen der Aneignung des Fremden
From fear and hostility to awakening and hospitality: Learning to encounter the strange with an open heart
B. Zizek & H. Piepenbring
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