It is an ordinary day.
I have been doing some manual chores. The kind that usually requires no special attention other than exercising well wrought patterns of activity.
The kind that allows for a certain leave of absence, entwined with a certain sense of satisfaction.
It is an ordinary day, yet I am stopped for a moment. Having been cruising with body at activity, thought at large, I am considering this quiet, basic identity of having a body.
Having a body is a condition we are so accustomed with, it seems to have become almost a transparent factor of our being.
At the same time, I am well aware of a critical difference between ‘me’ and ‘my body’. It is a difference as ubiquitous a factor in the dynamic description we apply to ourselves, as having a body.
Having a body, identity and a state of mind, all seemingly experienced from and by the same reflective agency, incites in me a thought about the intricate mesh of the coherency body-identity-state.
But how loosely or tightly knit, is this trinity?
Identity, I think of not only in the narrow sense of one’s specific identity but in the sense of being of physical existence. That identity is so closely entwined with the very fact of being fed by sense impressions, of being confined to and of perceiving through a story conveyed and consolidated by information pertaining to sensory impressions.
The very location and dimensions of body in space is such a huge influence on perception and self-description. So many content rich comprehensions are derived of the mere proportions of our existence in body of a certain general size.
Similarly, the scope of our senses, discerning that which is visible or not, audible or not, etc., along with the very conception of accessibility and participation bred and borne by these factors; The inherent vulnerability that stems of the particularity of conditions supporting our existence; and the strong-hold idea of being finite (as well as its counterpart of eternality and expansion) that seem to be bred and fed by the reality of a body confined in time-space and given size.
All of these seem to have ‘conspired’ to deliver and nourish an overlapping hardly challenged in the immediacy of the reflective procedure between us and body-reality by which and through which we know ourselves to be alive, or simply know ourselves.
And then, the particular sense of 'being me', is so closely weaved with the particulars of one's sense-content; the ‘map’ of coming to contact with information, the feel of it - familiar or new - becoming known via clusters of memories and comprehensions. The intimacy of it... the ease of pattern recognition as the reflective play writes and re-writes itself...
So many of our ideas, our best and our worst, are closely related to the reality of existence in body (and a fixed one at that).
Freedom and liberty, breaking given confines, taking flight beyond locality, connecting, interacting, exchanging experiences, collaborating, giving pleasure and having pleasure, extending availabilities, as well as all thoughts of eradicating, violating – be it a human, a collective, or ideas by means of violence.
We are so used to calling it our human nature. But in fact, isn’t it merely the identity of our bodily existence? Isn’t it but a temporary condition? A changeable one at that?
I wonder the independence of my cognitive aspect, its conceptual space. Tasting its freedom of partaking, the playful game it engages in, within and upon the shimmering borders of being a ‘something’ associated to location, to being but a game. An intricate reflective happening, a recursive complex dynamic of patterns and loops, upon which the habit of body-identity forces the image of a command center.
And what about state? How much freedom is there for states of mind to emerge, to evolve, to create and impact reality independent of the pillars of identity held in place by a reality of living in body?
I'm thinking of the expanses of new experiences enabled via technology, and how it affects these aspects of being me, being human.
From speeding to mere seconds the time it takes for information to be conveyed across geographic distances, to blogs, life-casts, augmented reality, and the myriad of new applications that do and will more so, change the ‘feed’. That do and will replace or enhance the impressions that shape our perceptive fields of interaction. That do and will impact our knowing, understanding, comprehension and overall sense of being us.
My thought is excited by the possibilities, and in particular I am seeing great relevancy in the change of balance between sense-fed impressions and thought as such (the virtual, the abstract, the “un-bodied”).
For the first time in our known history these two aspects are not necessarily competing for primacy.
We are getting accustomed to intakes of information that sometimes arise of sensory feeds and sometimes skip, alter or exchange these bodily means. And more importantly, we are getting used to removing the tag of prime reality that used to reign our evaluative system where source of information was concerned. Which means, to my understanding, that information conveyed by senses, information that stems of bodily reality isn’t overcoming any other reality as a rule.
Via this change I see something new emerging. The borders are already disturbed; it becomes for a moment possible to imagine, to feel, being something else.
And the longing it brings!... for this short moment, it does feel like the vast concept of being human is bursting upon itself. It feels as though that illusive pointer – the human spirit, that has longed for the stars on a desert shores thousands of years ago, that struck fire out of stone, wrote itself as poetry and pushed its inquisitive edge into the bowels of physics, chemistry, astronomy and such, while dipping its imagination in the shape-shifting mastery of arts, is vibrating anew.
Through its challenged confines, through the beauty of being unbound, the yet un-named moments of sheer otherness and pleasure, through interaction and the thirst for it; it is reaching new states, new liberties, new dimensions upon which to pursue the playful complex event of being human.
I am pondering the pattern and habit of being me, a bundle of so many muscles and organs, embedded with a reflective faculty… and I end up, as is the case in an intelligent universe, taking wing into un-chartered thought pastures.
I enjoy the thought that it is a genuine instance of what being human is about.
In homage to those great enough to tell it as a story