Empathy and Sympathy

In Japanese, even with the aid of English-Japanese dictionaly, the difference between empathy and sympathy is quite small at a glance.

But "simpathy" tends to be used as pity in general, while "empathy" is often used to describe the state of sharing the same emotion derived from something external. The difference between those two words, which are used similary in Japan, has the key element to understand the relationship between our mind and the outside of our mind. In a sense, the most important key to carry out everything.


In sympathy, the emotioanl state is a passive and automatic reactiono toward the "mirror image" remotely imprinted to our mind by accepting the external matters and existence. On the other hand, empathy is a voluntary action toward the external matter, to internalize and realize in our mind through the process of abstraction, recognition, understanding, reconstruction and articulation. The emotional state here is not the automatically generated mirrored image and its the reactions, but the process of internallized, voluntary, individual series of actions.


Either in architecture or photography, or any kind of things and matters, it is the key to step forward with "empathetic" attitude to recognize the world arround us. Existence---ex-i-stance, external step. Everything will begin from that.


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