An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Now, let us consider how somebody entirely without empathy would appear to somebody with empathy? Although most sociopaths and psychopaths learn very quickly to simulate some of the social etiquette that normally flows from empathy they are very more often than not detected on any close contact with truly empathic beings. And how do they come across? "Cold fish", "Snake like", "Reptilian" are all phrases used most often when asked to describe such beings after the event. Alien, in fact, not quite human. Maybe a bit like a vampire? Or a creature from another planet? Like humans but not. No sense of guilt. No conscience. No real regard for the feelings of others. "Other".

How could such a creature avoid detection? By keeping a very remote existence from normal empathic beings. Like Count Dracula up in his castle. Where could such a being pass, most easily, as human if the remote, aristocratic, castle were not available? Why, in a modern city, of course, where close social contact is rare and frowned upon. Where aloof is fine. Where each man's home can reasonably be his castle. And so they are nowadays represented as city dwellers, these "other". These "other" who walk among us. And so it is.

Villagers sniff them out very quickly if they have nowhere to hide. The closeness of village life hones the empathic side of people in a way that city living dulls it. Living cheek by jowl with others and having to rely on their empathy, sharpens the "other" detector in humans. And, as in the early Frankenstein and Dracula movies, these "other" are usually driven out of the community: even in this day and age. This kind of treatment may be difficult to understand from outside, from a city perspective, but, from the perspective of any villager it is both understandable and justifiable. Apart from death, it is the only answer that protects the community.

(to be continued)

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