Who is My Neighbour?

Žižek contrasts Judeo-Christian views of the Other with New Age ones:

“What is arguably the ultimate scene of religious-ideological interpellation – the pronouncement of the Decalogue on Mount Sinai – is the very opposite of something that emerges ‘organically’ as the outcome of the path of self-knowing and self-realization. The Judaeo-Christian tradition is thuse to be strictly opposed to the New Age Gnostic problematic of self-realization or self-fulfilment: when the Old Testament enjoins you to love and respect your neighbour, this refers not to your imaginary semblable/double, but to the neighbour qua traumatic Thing. In contrast to the New Age attitude which ultimately reduces my Other/Neighbour to my mirror-image, or to a step along the path to my own self-realization (…), Judaism opens up a tradition in which an alien traumatic kernel forever persists in my Neighbour – the Neighbour remains an inert, impenetrable, enigmatic presence that hystericizes me.”

What amazes me about New Age stuff – from what I’ve seen at least – is how self-indulgent most of it really is. Spiritual masturbation is probably an adept – if somewhat crude – characterization.

Edit: In the interest of fairness I suppose I should say that I’ve had the misfortune of being to some churches where the same characterization would apply.