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(1): Otherness

The other is our neighbor. The stranger. Our enemy. Whoever or whatever is not me. The wholly Other is whatever notion of God you feel comfortable ascribing to.

What defines, distinguishes, and creates otherness are the boundaries between things. In the case of human persons, otherness comes from the boundaries between bodies. [Wendell Berry has a ton of awesome writing about this. Definitely worth looking into his stuff.]

If the boundaries between bodies is what creates our sense of the other, what we fill these boundaries with creates the kind of otherness we imagine and subsequently interact with; whether friend or foe, foreign or familiar.

For the sake of the story I’m attempting to unpack –

otherness becoming us-ness so we can live a new and radical kind of one-another-ness

– we must remember that otherness is created based on what we imagine to fill the spaces between our bodies. In other words, otherness is a construct. An important one that we rely on for interaction and survival, but a construct, creation, and imagined reality, nonetheless.


About Samantha Curley

Hi! My name is Samantha Curley. I live in Pasadena, California where I run a non-profit organization called Level Ground (onlevelground.org). I like to ponder, ask questions, and share stories about life, art, and faith.



  1. Pingback: Us-ness « Sam's Storybook - November 7, 2012

  2. Pingback: One-another-ness « Sam's Storybook - November 13, 2012

  3. Pingback: Difficult Business « Sam's Storybook - November 15, 2012

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