Afraid of the Darkness that the Other and the Unknown represent, we inscribe this upon ourselves, into ourselves. It is as though in seeking to aspirationally define that fear, to label it, to neutralise it by rationally slotting it into our (ever-expanding) taxonomies and lattices of self-control and communication, it is as though by this act of inverse self-definition that we generate the necessity of conflict and inter-personal, inter-tribal and inter-cultural turbulence. We shroud ourselves in the symbols and narratives of difference and fear to such an extent that we become entranced and utterly confused by an illusion of substantive value to this fictional garment we have so intimately embraced.

Like the Emperor’s New Clothes, we should not be so surprised to discover that we are in fact unprotected, insecure, utterly naked in the world and no aspiration to closure through difference can ever, ever make us whole. It is as though in seeking to aspirationally define that fear, to label it, to neutralise it by rationally slotting it into our (ever-expanding) taxonomies and lattices of self-control and communication, it is as though by this act of inverse self-definition that we generate the necessity of conflict and inter-personal, inter-tribal and inter-cultural turbulence. We shroud ourselves in the symbols and narratives of difference and fear to such an extent that we become entranced and utterly confused by an illusion of substantive value to this fictional garment we have so intimately embraced. Like the Emperor’s New Clothes, we should not be so surprised to discover that we are in fact unprotected, insecure, utterly naked in the world and no aspiration to closure through difference can ever, ever make us whole.

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