This is by no means my own thought. Actually, it comes from Neon Genesis Evangelion; a very arty anime about a post-apocalyptic Japan haunted by ‘Angels’, huge mutant alien things which kill people. Its a very disturbing anime and very scary and distressing. I do recommend it.
The thought goes something like this; which is obviously a likening to our own human plight.
The Hedgehog has spikes.
Whoever gets close to it will get hurt.
The Hedgehog is, as a natural disposition, lonely, and seeks the closeness of others.
Whenever the Hedgehog gets close to say, another Hedgehog, they both get hurt.
Does the Hedgehog stay alone, isolated from the closeness of others, to avoid being hurt, and to hurt others?
Or does she take her lot in with all the others of her kind, and make the decision to get close to someone, thus fulfilling her own natural disposition for company and closeness, with the inevitability of hurting another, and getting hurt?
To hurt another by being close to the Hedgehog isn’t necessarily an intentional thing, but it is necessarily going to happen as the sufficient and necessary condition of being close to someone with spikes around their whole body.
The hedgehog is going to be hurt, one way or another.
We may not hurt others if we don’t get close to them, but we can hurt them in other ways too…
Is it worth the pain of being hurt to be close to another?
Is it worth the possibility of hurting another to find closeness and to fulfill the need of the other Hedgehog?
How important is it to obey our natural disposition, over a forced isolation to protect others from possibly being hurt?
This analogy tells us that love, or mutual acts have
Direct self-interestedness in my own ends (I want to be close to another)
Concern for another (the Other Hedgehog has the same need as me, which I want to fulfill)
Concern for our own actions impacting on others
Concern for our own harm
Concern for the harm of another
The deliberation between our own happiness and that of others, against the alternatives
To love another in this hedgehog way, seems, then, to be a very complex (and might I add) rational affair.
To be fully aware of the calculi of the other, and our own concerns, to balance them, and decide knowing the consequences for yourself and the other; that seems to be genuine closeness.
How does the noumenal realm answer to this dilemma?
Antisophie: What beautiful closeness to be aware of this, of the concern over the other, and my own individual longing; to fulfill both ends through one act is truely wonderful
Sinistre: I’m too concerned about the other than my own preferences. I would rather isolate myself than hurt another. Rather deny my own longings for the good of the other
Michael: [refused to answer]
Destre (consulted with Michael)