Recovering our senses
"As we relate to the body, so we relate to the world."
This morning I start reading “New Self, New World,” Philip Shepard's inquiry into a what it means to take a whole-bodied approach to living and perceiving. A few notable tidbits:
Knowledge is just a photocopy:
"Once we acquire knowledge of something, our knowledge remains fixed and independent of the thing it represents until we choose to amend it. In other words, it exists as a duplicate. The energy of the world is in process, moving forever onwards; the duplicate is a static scheme. Such schemes are never neutral. We construct and return to our duplicates because they are meaningful to us - and in their static abstraction they preserve that meaning, the way a photograph freezes a moment."
Quoting Alan Alda on a beautiful definition of listening:
"The difference between listening and pretending to listen, I discovered, is enormous. One is fluid, the other is rigid. One is alive, the other is stuffed. Eventually, I found a radical way of thinking about listening. Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you. When I’m willing to let them change, me something happens between us that’s more interesting than a pair of dueling monologues."
Doing vs Being:
“Willful doing is created by knowledge. Being, on the other hand, massively connects and communicates. This does not happen through the agency of objective knowledge; it relies instead on a sensitivity that received ‘what is’ and processes it and integrates it continuously. Those capabilities are all made possible by the agency of sensation [whose Latinate root] means both ‘to feel’ and ‘to think.’ The sensations that enable us to ‘be’ constitute what we might call the thinking of being. Our sense of being is created by feeling."