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Sacred Otherness Of The Stranger, Which Is God


glintofpewter
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And sometimes it's the very otherness of a stranger, someone who doesn't belong to our ethnic or ideological or religious group, . . . that can repel us initially, but which can jerk us out of our habitual selfishness, . . .and give us intonations of that sacred otherness, which is God.

Karen Armstrong quoted in "Photo Gallery: That Sacred Otherness" Sept 2012 Sun Magazine.

 

What does this mean?

You could probably list the strangers that are pictured: four foreign cultures (one perhaps an immigrant), a poor African-American woman, a black girl who seems to be learning English as a second language looking shyly up to the camera, a biker guy, and a homeless person. What is missing is a religious fundamentalist and a stereotypical politician, among others

 

What intonations of that sacred otherness would a relationship with any these give us?

 

Dutch

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Dutch,

 

I'm not sure if this is answering your question, but I think anytime I am confronted with someone who is represents something outside my experience, I try hard to understand, find common ground, and dialogue. Other than that, when I meet with someone who behaves in a way that is makes me uncomfortable I have to ask myself "Why?." What is it about this person that makes me uncomfortable? Can I learn something about myself? Does this person represent my anima or shadow?

 

I agree completely with Armstrong's statement. I have tremendous respect for her.

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Maybe mine is a question best answered with mystery. My first reaction was an affirmation. But I wonder, in light of other conversations here how this still holds true. For instance, is it silly to test this by inserting into the following:

 

What is it about God that makes me uncomfortable? Can I learn something about myself? Does God represent my anima or shadow?

 

Dutch

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