(not quite) Daily Comic
145 Alien Invader Tam - Hedgehog dilemma

Comic notes

Malène refers to Shopenauer's Hedgehog's Dilemma. Schopenhauer's parable describes a number of hedgehogs who need to huddle together for warmth and who struggle to find the distance where they are warm without hurting one another. Malène proposes that if someone has enough internal warmth, he or she can avoid closeness and the giving and receiving of hurt that results from social interaction. But Mr Artist points out that compassion and loving kindness was an important part of Shopenhauer's philosophy - even someone who doesn't need closeness for his or her own sake might still want to share their surplus of internal warmth for the benefit of others. Mr Artist also suggests that, like hedgehogs who are not pointy when they are relaxed, people who come to know and trust one another are less likely to feel hurt than when they are guarded and paranoid. I speculate that both people who try to get too close, and people who avoid closeness, do so as a result of fear caused by a weak sense of self. The former try to derive an identity through others, while the latter's identity feels too weak to survive the presence of others.

©2006 The True Fork