Field of Sunflowers, in the Burgenland, Austria
The link below is a stunning modestly long post regarding conversion to the Amish faith/way of life that is perhaps the best piece of evidence I’ve read about how Authoritarian Legalism limits empathetic connection. The Amish, or Plain Folk, live in a highly prescriptive world that denounces modernity, to different levels. The current perception in the modern zeitgeist is that group cultures must, by definition, be more empathetic. This extremely accurate piece shows the real trade-offs that happen with low-empathetic group dynamics. Not surprisingly, some of it is not very pretty.
Can an Outsider Ever Truly Become Amish?
I do realize that this is a long read (it’s even listed as such!) but worth it for those attempting to understand how temporal, spatial and energetic scales are truly calibrated by levels of empathy and social structure. The bottom line in this piece? Don’t go to church, or break an edict — even those with lifelong attachments get thrown out of the church. When structures limit empathetic development, the in-group/out-group dynamics are tremendous.
Further Watching: The movie ‘Witness’ with Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis, about investigating a murder in Amish Country captures some of the conflicts and beauties in an extremely entertaining and watchable movie. The movie won Academy Awards for Original Screenplay and Film Editing. Highly entertaining, and believable.