The Question (ID Number 666)...
I have experienced more peace, more integrity, more mental health, in the year since I read Ishmael, than in the previous 41 years of my life. Anyone who asks "what to do?" might pursue this path. To save the world "out there" is it not just as important to preserve our own diversity and dignity "in here"? Are we intellectual Takers, striving to dominate our emotional, spiritual, and physical Leavers?
...and the response:It is, of course, delightful to hear that Ishmael had such a beneficent effect on you. Seldom have I heard its impact described in such terms. I can understand your seeing the polarity between Leavers and Takers as a metaphor for the polarity in our psyches between conformity and spontaneity, but I personally can't take it as more than a metaphor. There are, after all, plenty of Takers who are capable of "spontaneous emotional expression, sexual passion, empathy for 'abnormal' people, and childish joy." I just can't think that these things are somehow exclusive to Leaver peoples, though I agree that they're probably more readily found among them.
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