This breathing body, as it experiences and inhabits the world, is very different from that objectified body diagrammed in physiology textbooks, with its separable ‘systems’ laid bare on each page. The body I speak of is very different from the body we have been taught to see and even to feel, very different, finally, from that complex machine whose broken parts or stuck systems are diagnosed by our medical doctors and ‘repaired’ by our technologies. Underneath the anatomized and mechanical body that we have learned to conceive, prior indeed to all our conceptions, dwells the body as it actually experiences things, this poised and animate power that initiates all our projects and suffers all our passions. To acknowledge that ‘I am this body’ is not to reduce the mystery of my yearnings and fluid thoughts to a set of mechanisms, or my ‘self’ to a determinate robot. Rather it is to affirm the uncanniness of this physical form. It is not to lock up awareness within the density of a closed and bounded object, for as we shall see, the boundaries of a living body are open and indeterminate; more like membranes than barriers, they define a surface of metamorphosis and exchange. Considered phenomenologically- that is, as we actually experience and live it- the body is a creative, shape-sifting entity. The possibility of a truly authentic phenomenology, a philosophy which would strive, not to explain the world as if from outside, but to give voice to the world from our experienced situation within it, recalls us to our participation in the here and now, rejuvenating our sense of wonder at the fathomless things, events and powers that surround us on every hand……David Abram
a critique of forgetfulness and lassitude and the bland washing away of all that is wild may lead us deep down……to contemplate the vanishing vision discovery wiped clean in a swirl of destruction is to encounter humility in its purest form…..may you know that being human does not mean to forget……
All my knowledge of the world, even my scientific knowledge, is gained from my own particular point of view, or from some experience of the world without which the symbols of science would be meaningless. The whole universe of science is built upon the world as directly experienced, and if we want to subject science itself to rigorous scrutiny and arrive at a precise assessment of its meaning and scope, we must begin by reawakening the basic experience of the world, of which science is the second-order expression. To return to things themselves is to return to that world which precedes knowledge, of which knowledge always speaks, and in relation to which every scientific schematization is an abstract and derivative sign-language, as is geography in relation to the countryside in which we have learnt beforehand what a forest, a prairie or a river is…..Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Hokusai says look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.
He says everything is alive-
Shells, buildings, people, fish
Mountains, trees. Wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.
It matters that you care.
It matters that you feel.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives through you.
Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.