Chapter 7: Paralyzed by Parallaxis

The argument for chapter 7 looks something like this: we are trapped in the tension of cognitive dissonance, because what we see and what we believe do not match one another. We are trapped in this less than idyllic world, and our position of beliefs and experiences leave us with these factors: There is an unnavigable gap between what we believe and what others believe, because of this gap I am isolated to an opinion all my own, and I often become enslaved to the issues I engage – whether I appreciate and agree with those issues, or despise and reject them.

Where do you fall in the categories highlighted by Naked Pastor David Hayward’s cartoon? Are you excited by your political or religious position? Traumatized by it? Confused? Or, have you traveled through all of these feelings in your lifetime?

Have you seen this struggle happening around you? How do you respond to the person who says to you, “I just have to say something here!”

2 thoughts on “Chapter 7: Paralyzed by Parallaxis

  1. I’ve got to chew on the parallaxis idea some more, it clearly has the potential to explain a lot of the separation we experience, but can it also be a tool to bring us together. One thought on how it might serve to bring us together is that depth perception is a function of binocular vision. It takes the input of both eyes to allow our brains to perceive distance from where we are located to where the object is. With only one eye, the trick is to move your head (consider how a pigeon or chicken does that). This way things that are close seem to move more quickly than things that are far (like telephone poles next to a highway vs. the mountains in the distance). I’m not sure how this metaphor works out in our practice of social perspective, but I have a hunch that it might help.

    1. I love your thoughts here Ian! Although I have not considered it in the manner you are processing it here. Yet, you will find that these dynamics come into play in crises, which are discussed later in the book as you come to the section on “othering” and the references to exile. Exile is a crisis experience of displacement, and forces us out of our monoscopic perspectives.

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