John Perry Barlow: It seems to me that what we’re here to do is to learn about love in the presence of fear.
bell hooks: I have been thinking about the notion of perfect love as being without fear, and what that means for us in a world that’s becoming increasingly xenophobic, tortured by fundamentalism and nationalism. Even about meeting you—the idea of being able to let fear go so you can move towards another person who’s not like you. I’ve never met anyone from Wyoming before.
John Perry Barlow: Much less a Republican cattle rancher.
bell hooks: When we drop fear, we can draw nearer to people, we can draw nearer to the earth, we can draw nearer to all the heavenly creatures that surround us.
John Perry Barlow: I was just describing you to someone in terms of the externalities that would end up on your curriculum vitae, and the person said, she sounds like your polar opposite. On paper, you are my polar opposite and yet I feel none of that in your presence.
bell hooks: I actually feel that my heart was calling me to you. The first time we were in the same room for a prolonged period of time together, I sought you out. I wanted to hear your story.
John Perry Barlow: I felt the same way.
bell hooks: And what I see in a lot of young folks is this desire to be only with people like themselves and only to have any trust in reaching out to people like themselves. I think, what kind of magic are they going to miss in life? What kind of renewals of their beings will they never have, if they think you can have some computer printout that says this person has the same gender as you, the same race as you, the same class, and therefore they’re safe? I feel that intuition is so crucial to getting beyond race and class and gender, so that we can allow ourselves to feel for and with another person.
bell hooks: I feel that especially when it’s chores I don’t want to do, like taking out the garbage or doing my laundry. It’s in the act of having to do things that you don’t want to that you learn something about moving past the self. Past the ego.
bell hooks: One of the guiding issues of my life right now is thinking about the difference between being fear-based and faith-based. When we think about the history of science, so much of it is rooted in this quest to find answers that will silence fear.
Visit link →