At 06:47 PM Tuesday 8/13/2002, you wrote:
>I don't know that you if you can describe all human relationships as
>symmetical, but are the Mandai human?   Hmmmm.
>If you allow for asymmetrical relationships, sentient & inanimate may be as
>easy as sentient & sentient, e.g.
>Carl with Harl becomes Harl with Death.
>Carl with toaster becomes Carl with toast.
Hey, Jim, now you're in the mood!  :)

Seriously, though, I had some insights about this yesterday afternoon. Lots
of relationships that appear on the surface to be asymmetrical really do
have symmetries, if you look for them. For example, eating seems to be
dramatically asymmetrical. What the eater is doing and what the eaten is
doing are very different things. But that's really a function of how we
choose to view the act. One could say that there is a joining of the
substance of the eaten with the substance of the eater. I think this is how
the Mandai would see it -- a physical incorporation of two bodies into one.
They would be conscious of the asymmetry, too, of course, but that would be
understood in terms of the effect on the other relationships of the eater
and eaten.

BTW, I'm still thinking about your comments regarding free will vs. fate
for the Mandai - very stimulating.

Regards, Tom

Tom Little                   [log in to unmask]
Santa Fe, New Mexico (USA)
Telperion Productions