25 February 2011

Indifference and insulation

Caring and contentment cannot be measured in terms only of pleasure and welfare. To care is to be open to suffering and pain, if not for one's own circumstances, then for the circumstances of those about whom we care. 
"Intrinsically caring for another essentially involves a certain disposition, the disposition to experience sorrow at the other's serious misfortune ... To be just is to be disturbed by injustice. Pain, suffering, and the loss of pleasure, then, sometimes constitute who we are and what we value. They are essentially woven into our deepest commitments. As reasons flow from our deepest commitments, we will sometimes have non-instrumental reason to suffer." (The Master and His Emissary, Iain McGilchrist, 2009; page 85). 
When Pharaoh becomes indifferent to the circumstances of his people, Pharaoh is moving away from his position as a caring leader. Indifference and insulation are mechanical postures; they are left-hemispheric ways of being in the world. 

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