Re: SOCIO: Friends

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Fri, 7 Mar 1997 11:45:45 -0800 (PST)

>> Kathryn Aegis:
>> I have concluded that it is very difficult to discuss something this
>> personal on a listserve, because one doesn't know the frame of
>> reference out of which someone interprets what one says.

> Gregory Houston:
> So in order to express and understand things this personal with another
> person, we must understand where the other person is coming from ... we
> must have an empathy for their framework of perception. And in order to
> have such an empathy we must draw from similar personal experiences.
> ...
> I cannot share with someone, something they cannot recieve. If I were to
> meet an alien, an entity who I have relatively little in common with,
> our differences will make it nearly impossible for us to communicate.
> Our encounter cannot be intimate and personal ... until we make a joint
> effort to attune to each other, to by some degree become more like the
> other. We must find common ground, and then expand that ground of
> similarity until we can communicate freely and personally...

With any person on the planet, you have 1000 times more in common than
different. Even with an alien, the whole of objective reality--the
entire universe--is common ground. If you find it difficult to have
meaningful conversations with others, then perhaps it is because you
have failed to tie your thoughts to some objective reality that we all
share. This should be even easier with humans, because we share not
only the external reality but also the physical and psychological
nature of a single species among billions. What minor differences of
circumstance, attitude, culture, or state could possibly overwhelm
common ground of that magnitude?

If you choose to focus most of your attention on those minor differences,
then your failure to communicate is not because of those differences--
it is because you choose to focus on them. What better way to expand
your relationships with others than by dedicating your mind to the task
of discovering what everyone shares--i.e., objective reality?

Lee Daniel Crocker <>