Touch Is

  • Carol P. Christ


In the process view, the world is a web of changing individuals interacting with and affecting each other, co-creating the world. Relationships are the building blocks of life. In them we grow and develop. In them we experience the joy of living. In them we are traumatized and suffer. Without them, we would not be. Personal relationships are embedded in a web of structural relationships that shape societies and cultures. The world is social through and through. When others are suffering, we suffer. When others are happy, we feel their joy. We are closely related to individuals in our own species, more closely to some than others, as are all animals. Many of us are related to animals we care for and to the plants (or cells of the plants) in our fields or gardens. Consciously or not, we are intimately related to the cells that make up the food we eat. Consciously or not we are related to the constellations of minerals and cells and animals that make up the environment in which we live. Landscapes and places as well as people color and shape our experiences of the world. If the air we breathe is clean, we may breathe more deeply. If it is poisoned, we may gasp for breath, cough, and eventually become ill.


Process View Billiard Ball Black Stork Deep Feeling Divine Love 
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  1. 5.
    Ntozake Shangey, for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf (New York: Macmillian, 1976).Google Scholar
  2. 9.
    Hartshorne attributed this view to Charles Pierce and Henri Bergson; see Charles Hartshorne and Creighton Peden, Whitehead’s View of Reality (New York: Pilgrim Press, 1981), 8.Google Scholar
  3. 14.
    See Paula Gunn Allen, The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions (Boston: Beacon Press, 1989), 141.Google Scholar
  4. 15.
    See David Abrams, The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World (New York: Vintage Books, 1997), 163–172.Google Scholar

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© Carol P. Christ 2003

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  • Carol P. Christ

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