In ANOTHER WAY OF SEEING, Peter Gabel argues that our most fundamental spiritual need as human beings is the desire for authentic mutual recognition. Because we live in a world in which this desire is systematically denied due to the legacy of fear of the other that has been passed on from generation to generation, we exist as what he calls “withdrawn selves,” perceiving the other as a threat rather than as the source of our completion as social beings. Calling for a new kind of “spiritual activism” that speaks ...
In ANOTHER WAY OF SEEING, Peter Gabel argues that our most fundamental spiritual need as human beings is the desire for authentic mutual recognition. Because we live in a world in which this desire is systematically denied due to the legacy of fear of the other that has been passed on from generation to generation, we exist as what he calls “withdrawn selves,” perceiving the other as a threat rather than as the source of our completion as social beings. Calling for a new kind of “spiritual activism” that speaks to this universal interpersonal longing, Gabel shows how we can transform law, politics, public policy, and culture so as to build a new social movement through which we become more fully present to each other—creating a new “parallel universe” existing alongside our socially separated world and reaffirming the social bond that inherently unites us.
Addressing subjects as diverse as “The Spiritual Dimension of Social Justice,” “Spiritualizing Foreign Policy,” and “Patriotism at the Ballpark,” this book beautifully illuminates how the blockage of social desire creates and reproduces so much of the harm and suffering in the world—and how recovering our capacity to fully see one another will help us to create a more humane, just, and loving future.
“Peter Gabel is one of the grand prophetic voices in our day. He also is a long-distance runner in the struggle for justice. Don’t miss this book!”
—Cornel West, The Class of 1943 Professor, Princeton University, and Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice, Union Theological Seminary
“Peter Gabel has delivered a set of unmatched phenomenological analyses of the profound alienation that pervades everyday life in America in the early 21st century. His insightful descriptions of the way things really are challenge us to open our eyes, minds and hearts to our own and one another’s deepest longings, and together, to bring one another back home.... Like a pick axe thrown ahead to anchor us all, to paraphrase one of his most evocative images, Gabel’s polemic teaches and inspires us to ‘think with our hearts,’ to genuinely and confidently love ourselves and our brothers and sisters on this very planet Earth, to lift ourselves and one another on the strength of our authentic Presence, and to move things forward together. Now.”
—Rhonda V. Magee, Professor of Law, University of San Francisco
“Peter Gabel’s essays on law, politics, and foreign and domestic policy urge us to take a step back from our deeply alienated habits of seeing, living and feeling—habits that threaten the destruction of the planet as well as of our social, national and global communal bonds—and to forge a new politics grounded in a recognition of our longing for a genuinely loving and spiritual connection with each other.... Gabel ultimately describes a place for an engagement with law and legal practice centered on our ability to use law as a way to inscribe and act on our responsibilities to care for each other as well as ourselves, politics as a vehicle through which to express our deepest social and spiritual commitments and foreign and domestic policy both as expressions of a forgotten or suppressed, but still realizable, beloved community.”
—Robin West, Frederick Haas Professor of Law and Philosophy, Georgetown University Law Center
“Replete with wise insights that reward readers with Another Way of Seeing toward their pursuit of compassion, community, and a better world, law professor, activist and philosopher Peter Gabel’s excellent essay collection elaborates upon the meaning of Martin Luther King Jr.’s expression ‘Justice is love correcting that which revolts against love.’ No matter what your expertise, Gabel’s thoughts are pertinent to fulfillment of your human possibilities.”
—Ralph Nader, Washington, DC
PETER GABEL is former president of New College of California and was for thirty years a law professor at New College’s public-interest law school. He is Editor-at-Large of Tikkun magazine, a co-founder of the Critical Legal Studies movement in legal scholarship, and the author of many articles on law, politics, and social change. He lives in San Francisco with his partner Lisa Jaicks, a union organizer with Unite Here, and their son Sam, and he is president of the Arlene Francis Center for Spirit, Art, and Politics in Santa Rosa, California. His last book was “The Bank Teller and Other Essays on the Politics of Meaning.”