Leigh, I think the important thing here is the recognition of the other, in the sense that we are interdividual beings with the same desires both good and bad; resentments, rivalries, conflicts effect us all, as do the positive aspects of mimesis. But I think that it is in recognising this as you do in saying ‘it’s those who I admire with whom I have always gotten into rivalry and verbal fights’, we have the beginnings of the process of overcoming it. This is what Freud called the ‘narcissism of small differences’, a subject on which Girard has written extensively. We do not come into conflict because we are different, but because we are similar. Reading Girard on undifferentiated society could be useful. However, once we become aware of that we are resentful, or in rivalry with others etc, this is where our spiritual traditions come into their own. In the Decalogue we learn ‘thou shalt not covert thy neighbours, wife, land, goods, animals etc.etc all written for a far less sophisticated society than our own. We could add metaphysical aspects, ‘thou shalt not covert’ thy neighbours fame, talent, knowledge etc.etc or even holiness. The ancient contemplative traditions teach us that we acknowledge this rivalry, or anger or whatever it should be, then let it go, and in constantly repeating this process we will over time become detached from the desire. This is what modern cognitive therapy is teaching us. With this detachment comes the realisation that ‘the other’ or the person with whom we are in rivalry or conflict is also struggling daily with these desires. Perhaps this is the beginning of compassion?