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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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9 Responses to 1103

  1. Pat says:

    Ah..I thought it was about who wears the trousers! :-D

    Seriously though jon, I think you have a powerful point here …..fear of otherness ( whatever its form) and insecurity seem to be two sides of the same coin. So how to overcome that is I think a key question.

    17 years ago (Subo if you read this, it was connected with my first visit to Iona :-) ) something happened to me which I didn’t really understand at the time and still struggle to articulate now. – but let’s just say that for a fleeting moment I had a brief intuition of what it might mean if we tried to live in a more – well undefended for want of a better word – way. I guess that a lot of my journey since then has been trying to make sense of, and understand the implications of shifting along a spectrum from defensive hostility to relational hospitality. Part of that has been explorations of how we respond to otherness – and of trying to understand what the Biblical texts and – above all – the life of Jesus teach us about this. (It’s also become a significant part of my current research project as well as a personal journey! :-D )

    And I do think -for all we try to dress it up in, for example, claimed biblical truth or appeal to social tradition or to national ‘defence’ of one kind or another – that a primitive fear of otherness lies at the bottom of some of the biggest social, political and religious issues we are currently facing. :-(

  2. jonbirch says:

    fear is powerful. we’ve even seen on this blog how debate/relationship breaks down or has no chance of getting going when a person defends their views on the ‘incorrectness’ of others. fear calls itself wisdom, it calls itself moral, it calls itself righteous, it calls itself all kinds of names to justify its existence, but it is really just plain fear.

    i’ve always found a lot to learn from the ‘other’. being brought up in a christian home with muslims as best friend neighbours was pretty rare in my home town of bath. you soon realise that the only real ‘other’ is the one who would do you down…

    i’d rather think of ‘us’ than think of ‘me’ and ‘others’… there will always be those who don’t want to join in though. ultimately their loss, but they will wage war around the globe in the meantime dammit. i say, ‘don’t be a dimwit, put down your guns and join in. :-)

  3. subo says:

    och Pat, of course I’m reading this, and moving to get a little window into your journey

  4. subo says:

    at the mo I’m reading ‘Cave Refectory Road’ by Ian Adams, I found an image in his description of Road I resonated with, that sense of being out of synch with the current church culture, and finding oneself taking the road

  5. Pat says:

    I haven’t read the book Subo but have just taken a quick peek online – looks an interesting read. Will look forward to hearing more in due course :-)

    Making intentional community with the Other…….

  6. theGeatFuzzy says:

    A few months back, I had two Jehovah Witnesses on my doorstep. I had recently been viewing some stuff on YouTube by Peter Boghossian, and decided to try his advice. His advice being: In a debate you often want the other person to see things from your point of view, and maybe for them to change their own view. One of the best ways to achieve that is to mirror that behaviour yourself, that is, be prepared to see, and maybe accept, their point of view. That’s not so easily done. But a good way to ‘get in the mood’ is to ask yourself what evidence would you require in order to change your mind.
    Anyway, I had a good chat with the two JWs, and for the first time came away with some understanding of, at least a part of, what they were trying to say. During the chat I made some effort to assist them in their arguments, in places where I thought it was weak (they were a little surprised). Afterwards, reflecting on the chat, I realised it’s good to try an argue for your “opponent’s” case as best you can – because if you can argue it all the way through then they must be right! I think Socrates says, the best outcome of a debate is to lose it, it means you’ve learned something.

  7. theGreatFuzzy says:

    Oops! Got my name wrong (now trying to reregister)

  8. subo says:

    good point ASBO, when we get Women Bish on board, will they do something about ungainly table cloth & tea cosy attire?

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