Doubtful this will ever be outsourced.
Being known by someone. Gold. On both ends.
I have been in rooms with incredibly brilliant, wealthy, successful people. A chilling experience. The paucity (scarcity) of empathy filled these rooms, with what I imagine to be the Dementors’ soul-sucking force. Their stated mission “to change the world” was never fulfilled, because of this missing ingredient. Without empathy, nothing will be transformed.
“You can be the most disciplined, brilliant, and even wealthy individual in the world, but if you don’t care for or empathize with other people, then you are basically nothing but a sociopath,”
which i read right after i learned the lesson well
thinking alzheimers begs to teach us something about ourselves.. ie: who we do things for.. and that subliminal indebtedness/privilege ness we hold/perpetuate. are we willing to dive into – the whatever ness of empathy – everyday..? we’re so used to figuring things out .. to labeling things/people.. then holding them/us to that. so we can quit listening.. to the uncertainty.. to the next story.. to the person.
july 2015 – shared on twitter by Tony:
words.. we find/create them.. then use/misuse/misunderstand them.. assume they are complete..
in a time we’re bantering about empathy (good and bad) .. loving this.. from Maria:
The Invention of Empathy: Rilke, Rodin, and the Art of “Inseeing”
this conception of empathy is a little more than a century old and originated in art: It only entered the modern lexicon in the early twentieth century, when it was used to describe the imaginative act of projecting oneself into a work of art in an effort to understand why art moves us.
That improbable origin and its wide ripples across the popular imagination are what Rachel Corbett explores in You Must Change Your Life: The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin (public library) — a layered and lyrical inquiry into the personal, interpersonal, and cultural forces behind and around Rainer Maria Rilke’s iconic Letters to a Young Poet, a book so beloved and widely quoted in the century since its publication that it has taken on the qualities of a sacred text for secular culture. Out of its origin story Corbett wrests a larger story of “how the will to create drives young artists to overcome even the most heart-hollowing of childhoods and make their work at any cost.”
corbett: all the youthful affirmations I had been yearning to hear. Loneliness is just space expanding around you. Trust uncertainty. Sadness is life holding you in its hands and changing you. Make solitude your home.
The moment a viewer recognizes a painting as beautiful, it transforms from an object into a work of art. The act of looking, then, becomes a creative process, and the viewer becomes the artist.
a process that Vischer called einfühlung, literally “feeling into.” The British psychologist Edward Titchener translated the word into English as “empathy” in 1909, deriving it from the Greek empatheia, or “in pathos.” For Vischer, einfühlung revealed why a work of art caused an observer to unconsciously
“move in and with the forms.”
When a work of art is effective, it draws the observer out into the world, while the observer draws the work back into his or her body.
In Vienna, the young professor Sigmund Freud wrote to a friend in 1896 that he had “immersed” himself in the teachings of Lipps, “who I suspect has the clearest mind among present-day philosophical writers.”
when i read this.. thought of devijver assume good law et al.. and all the bad rap freud gets.. ie: what he’s remembered for.. and then.. all the other people we peg for this or that.. when that wasn’t their original intention.. not their full embodiment/potential
He (frued) urged his students to observe their patients not from a place of judgment, but of empathy. They ought
to recede into the background like a “receptive organ” and strive toward the “putting of oneself in the other person’s place,” he said
I once told time by the moon.
Now I listen to it.
Central to Lipps’s invention of empathy was his notion of einsehen, or “inseeing” — a kind of conscious observation which Corbett so poetically describes as “the wondrous voyage from the surface of a thing to its heart, wherein perception leads to an emotional connection.” She writes:
It is a kind of perception that takes place within the body, and it requires the observer to be both the seer and the seen. To observe with empathy, one sees not only with the eyes but with the skin.
The concept struck Rilke as a particularly revelatory way of looking at not only art but life itself. He wrote in a letter to a friend:
Though you may laugh if I tell you where my very greatest feeling, my world-feeling, my earthly bliss was, I must confess to you: it was, again and again, here and there, in such in-seeing in the indescribably swift, deep, timeless moments of this godlike in-seeing.
Corbett captures the crux of Rilke’s insight:
In describing his joy at experiencing the world this way, Rilke echoed Lipps’s belief that,
through empathy, a person could free himself from the solitude of his mind.
He (lipps) had reasoned that if einfühlung explained the way people see themselves in objects, then the act of observation was not one of passive absorption, but of lived recognition.
It was the self existing in another place. And if we see ourselves in art, perhaps we could also see ourselves in other people.
Empathy was the gateway into the minds of others.