Intimations of the Ocean


Our boundary-settting rights protect us from the seemingly overwhelming responsibility that would flow from a recognition of unity. This is, I think, a frightening form of the "oceanic feeling", intimations of which have reached us. We fear being "invaded," "taken over," not just by threats but by demands - the overpowering demands of those in pain and hunger all around us. We wall ourselves off from their cries - genuinely do not hear them most of the time, even though we "know" they are there - by telling ourselves that we are "within our rights," that rights define our obligations as well as our entitlements, and that as long as we have violated no one's rights, we are doing nothing wrong in our daily non-responsiveness...

From Law, Boundaries, and the Bounded Self by Jennifer Nedelsky