For empathy, I see an oval and a square.

When I see words like “demarcation” / “definition” / “outline” / “circumscribe” – they’re all very visual terms for me.

I mentally *see* a pencil line drawn around a ‘something’.

So for me, it’s only an abstraction in that it’s not drawn on paper (which is also an abstraction but you ‘get’ what I mean) but it’s written very much the same internally.

So, In my “mind’s eye” [use your favorite metaphor for imagination whatever works]:

For sympathy, I see an oval and a square. The oval is sympathizing with the square. You can tell this is sympathy because you can see a mini form of the square inside of the oval.

For empathy, I see an oval and a square. The oval is empathizing with the square. You can tell this is empathy because a ghostly form of the square is superimposed upon the oval, without the oval losing its original shape.

However, it is possible for the oval to forget it is an oval and believe it has become the square. Such is the danger of empathy and what happens when we watch movies and feel what the character feels.

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