Philosophy of the Body

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posted on May, 25 2014 @ 05:43 PM
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*I will be using the terms terms “human” and “body” and “person” and "mind" interchangeably to nominalize the concrete occurrence also known as the human organism, for all terms are used to describe the same thing.

The body is like the sphinx of ancient greek mythology. If one cannot answer its riddle, he is devoured by it. Only when one solves the sphinx and its riddle is one free of its grip.

Every philosophy and study is a sort of game the human body plays with itself. All ideas have been produced by human bodies, and all areas of study are performed by human bodies. Epistemology is the philosophy of how and what the body knows; psychology is the study of how the body behaves; physics is the body predicting and explaining the goings on around it; sociology is the study of how bodies interact with each other; linguistics is the study of how the body expresses itself. And so on. Though these definitions are entirely crude, on a fundamental level, every philosophy, science and religion are the attempts of human bodies to explicate certain facets of a facet-less thing—itself, the sphinx, the human body—the axiom from which all axioms arise.

Consciousness & Mind

There are many theories of mind and consciousness that do little more than explain away most of the entirety in favour of an abstract notion of it. There is still a dualist and idealistic methodology running rampant in even the most physicalist of mind theories. As of yet, all theories of mind and consciousness throw out the baby with the bathwater. These theories of mind and consciousness, which are useless in any practical sense, are simply the tendency of idealists to have ideas about ideas, for fear of facing concrete reality.

When we see a body interacting, using language and exhibiting an awareness of the goings on around it, many like to say we are witness to human consciousness, and postulate that there is some substance or immaterial entity called consciousness buried within us. When we see a body without exhibiting these traits, maybe while it is asleep or comatose or deceased, I suppose we must then be witness to human unconsciousness, or our consciousness has somehow managed to escape the body momentarily. But in every form consciousness takes, we are still only ever witnessing the human body engaged or unengaged in its many capacities, whether alive or deceased. Human consciousness, whenever it is supposedly observed in its many manifestations, is determined by, exhibited by, and the exact same as, the human body in every observation we make of it. Our gaze never leaves the body in our study of consciousness to some substance other than the body. Therefor, the mind or consciousness is simply another word to describe the human body, and is neither an emergent property without properties, an immaterial material, or a brain state as philosophers of mind often postulate.

According to dictionary definition, the mind is “the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel”. What enables a person to think is not a substance or property or element called “mind”, but that person himself—a body.

As a thought experiment, if we were dualists in search of the mind, and were to devise a machine that could surgically take apart a person piece by piece until all we had left was the non-physical mind, there would be no element left that still thinks and feels. The element that thought and had feelings would be in pieces next to us—the body. If we were physicalists and neuroscientists, the same would be said once they arrived at their idea of mind: the brain and its state. While the rest of the body lies in pieces beside us, there is no longer any element of thought or feelings to be found. That element disappears where the body does. No matter how efficient we were at surgery, we could never be able to find the element that thinks and feels anywhere within that person, whether physical or non-physical, and put it on display to prove our mind theory.

The idea and observation of consciousness is embodied in the entire body at every single moment, and the study of consciousness or mind is unknowingly the study of the body, an error that is the result of a dualistic or even pluralistic methods of understanding, and the idea that a quality or attribute can somehow be separated from that which embodies it, so that we may study them alone and in a sort of mental vacuum. Such inferences lead only to confusion, and is likely the reason the notions of mind and consciousness are so convoluted.

People have therefor always searched for the element of thought and feelings within the element of thought and feelings itself, the body, never finding anything besides the body they could call the mind. It’s like a fish searching for water; it will never find it despite always swimming in it. The body is the substrate. In that case, when people speak of mind, consciousness, spirit, soul, they speak only of the body, a notion about the body, a notion they themselves, as persons and bodies, consider and express. The mind is only ever a notion held and postulated by the mind, or in more honest terminology, postulated by the body.

When bodies postulate minds, souls and consciousnesses above themselves, their actuality, and the very source from which these notions arise, they are henceforth lost in the riddle, and the sphinx devours them.




posted on May, 25 2014 @ 05:43 PM
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The Corpse

When we die, we become a corpse. The corpse no longer thinks or feels, but it is still a body. To many people, this is proof that something leaves the body upon death. Is it that the mind or consciousness has left it, evoking conceptual chimeras to explain away concrete phenomena? Or is it simply that the body no longer thinks and feels?

In order to be a corpse, one must be deceased, and therefor, one’s body must no longer be working as it should. If the mind is the body itself, and not something possessed or imprisoned by the body to be emancipated upon death, it would go to show that if one’s body is deceased, so is one’s mind. If one’s body does not work, neither does one’s mind, not because the mind has escaped to another plane, but because the mind is the same as the body. Nothing of a mind or soul leaves or disappears from the body upon death, because all that was mindful, and all that was soulful, is now a corpse. All that was there still remains, it simply acts differently, likely because the body no longer works. The body simply no longer thinks where it no longer works or operates, just like it cannot heal, or circulate blood or breathe any longer. Upon death, the body no longer works, and it can no longer feel, think or call itself “I”. The sphinx is no longer able to pose riddles for itself.

The less we are in body, the less we are in mind, soul and consciousness. When a limb is lost, there is nothing felt or thought about where that limb once was. When one loses his legs, he cannot force the body to believe he still has them. He will no longer gain leg experiences and leg memories and leg feelings as if he did when he had legs. The part of his mind that felt, experienced and led him to be aware of his legs, left with his legs. That part of his mind, soul, consciousness etc. was his legs.

The Machine

The negation of mind and soul and consciousness might imply to some that we are biological automatons and machines. Machines are mindless, and therefore, if we do not possess a mind, we too are machines. But it is never that machines are without minds, they are simply without human bodies. Machines can never be human or exhibit human consciousness or minds, because they could never exhibit the human body. Intelligence, wisdom, creativity and mind are only abstract notions of human bodies and their many qualities in action and activity, and it is only ever human bodies that embody these notions, whether the notions are machines, angels or divine spirit. The notions are arbitrary, and can be limitless in its variations, offering us a multitude of conceptions from which we can choose to endow upon our person at any moment.

Identity

Each subjective experience is different because each body is different. No one occupies the same space, the same experiences, the same physicality as anyone else. Minds are different because human bodies are different. Perspectives are different because human bodies are different. Beliefs are different because human bodies are different. Identities are different because human bodies are different.

Every instance of human identity and subjectivity and ego and self-awareness is embodied in human bodies, and no where else.


In summa

The sphinx still stands guard laughing as we fail to solve its riddles. They end up devouring themselves. Only by realizing that we are the sphinx can we end the torture of our own riddles.

A philosophy of the body has never emerged in history of human thought, though human bodies are the source of all human thought. Maybe a philosophy of the body is too holistic, too general, and unpredictable, but the human body is no less that very metaphysical substrate from which all notions of experience, knowledge, consciousness, mind and language arise.



posted on May, 25 2014 @ 09:12 PM
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What is a thought? Is it the human body or is it something else? What are memories? Are they the human body or are they something else? When someone is thinking do you see it happening or can the person thinking that thought only see it?

A thought is formless, there is no way of dissecting it or analyzing it like you can with the human body. How does an electrical impulse create an image of a pink donkey in your mind? What is it that sees that image? It definitely isn't your eyes, it must be something else that sees it, but what? What causes a thought or memory to manifest, or in other words what makes that electrical impulse within your brain fire?

There is obviously something more at play here than a body, otherwise bodies would vanish once someone dies. There's a difference between a dead body and a live body, but what is it? Obviously something leaves the body upon death otherwise we would never die. What makes a corpse a corpse and a person a person? For that matter, what is a personality? Is it something you see or is it something you interpret? What is that thing that interprets it?

We are most definitely more than a body. Yes our body plays a pivotal role in our existence but so does consciousness. Just like every positive number has a negative counterpart, every physical body has a spiritual counterpart.
edit on 5/25/2014 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 26 2014 @ 08:19 AM
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a reply to: NiNjABackflip

A very well constructed post that merely indicates the the true marvels of subjectivity infused with objective interpretations. In my opinion the paradox of trying to figure everything out in a ever expanding universe that may never be truly conceptualized by one individual, let alone a collective understanding due to the nature of individualistic interpretation coupled with ego and limits of the mind.

The sphinx you mention is a great metaphor yet it is a self fulfilling prophecy that one will find themselves confused when trying to explain the non-physical with the physical. Dualism is merely a way to distinguish the facts from the questions and be it as it may one thing is for sure, ultimate enlightenment will never be reached in the physical form as the limitations prevent the expansion of consciousness. The physical body (machine) with its processing unit and transmitter (brain) and the individual mind (program) experiencing its own and shared reality of a bigger program (world) is bound to its process until termination. Whether there is a transition of energy into another form will always be a speculation until proven otherwise although proving such a thing with empirical evidence would seem rather impossible.

I like to think we are ghosts in a machine with a loss of an ultimate identity due to the limits of the machines we inhabit and that it is a way to experience a different and more dense dimension being more physical than mental. When we leave well that cannot be explained in words.

Regards fellow Thinker




posted on May, 26 2014 @ 09:32 AM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1




A thought is formless, there is no way of dissecting it or analyzing it like you can with the human body. - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...


A thought is like a smile, a wink, a breath, or a pulse. We could never capture a wink and put it on display. We could never take a smile and put it in a jar. We could never remove the pulse of someone and take it apart.

Whenever we see smiles, winks and pulses, we are viewing an action performed by the human body. We can see someone breathe, we can feel a pulse on someone, we can witness a smile, we can see someone thinking, but apart from the body, or as separated from the body, they simply do not exist.

There is nothing more than the human body.



posted on May, 26 2014 @ 09:36 AM
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a reply to: FreeThinkerbychoice




Dualism is merely a way to distinguish the facts from the questions and be it as it may one thing is for sure, ultimate enlightenment will never be reached in the physical form as the limitations prevent the expansion of consciousness. The physical body (machine) with its processing unit and transmitter (brain) and the individual mind (program) experiencing its own and shared reality of a bigger program (world) is bound to its process until termination. - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...


Consciousness is the physical body. Without that physical body, there would be no conscious entity, and hence, no consciousness. We cannot remember, think, feel or interact without it.




I like to think we are ghosts in a machine with a loss of an ultimate identity due to the limits of the machines we inhabit and that it is a way to experience a different and more dense dimension being more physical than mental. When we leave well that cannot be explained in words. - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...


It is an age old idea re-expressed and exaggerated ever so slightly. Do the ideas of the ancients articulate or obfuscate? The choice is yours.

We cannot explain the non-existent in words, correct.







edit on 26-5-2014 by NiNjABackflip because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 26 2014 @ 09:52 AM
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What are dreams? What are memories? What are thoughts? What are ideas? What are emotions? Yes, a body and brain are required for those things to exist and to be understood but a human body is not any of those things, they are distinct from one another. That's like saying a USB and the data stored on it are one in the same. You can delete the data but the USB will still be there. Data is not physical, consciousness is not physical.

There is more than just the human body. I respect your opinion but I believe it is wrong.



posted on May, 26 2014 @ 01:40 PM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1




What are dreams? What are memories? What are thoughts? What are ideas? What are emotions? Yes, a body and brain are required for those things to exist and to be understood but a human body is not any of those things, they are distinct from one another. That's like saying a USB and the data stored on it are one in the same. You can delete the data but the USB will still be there. Data is not physical, consciousness is not physical.

There is more than just the human body. I respect your opinion but I believe it is wrong. - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...


You believe it is wrong and you can say it is wrong but cannot prove it to me, yourself, or anyone. I must then ask what dogmas you are relying on to come to your conclusions? All the sphinx can do is pose more riddles for itself.

I think the problem is that you are confusing the language with the things we are talking about. Things and actions and qualities—or nouns, verbs, and adjectives—are not the same, although they are used to describe the same thing. The body is a thing and an agent—a noun. What it does are its actions—verbs. What it appears like are its qualities—adjectives. All words used to describe the same dynamic entity known as the human body. Actions are non-physical, but they are performed by the physical. Take a backflip for example. We cannot put a backflip in a bag or in our pocket, because a body must first perform it. Consciousness, dreams, thinking are like backflips—actions performed by, and qualities to describe, the agent known as the body in its many dynamics.

Data is physical:

data |ˈdatə, ˈdātə|
noun [ treated as sing. or pl. ]
facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis. See also datum.
• Computing the quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer, being stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals and recorded on magnetic, optical, or mechanical recording media.

Once the computer breaks, data is no longer stored or computed. The body works in much the same manner. Once it's broken it no longer operates. Data, like thoughts, minds, consciousness, dreams, is literally nothing without the characters and symbols it is composed of, electrical signals transmitting it, the power required to compute it, and the mediums it is stored upon—all of them physical. Deleting data is simply removing what is stored. This can happen in the body as well. We have amnesiacs to prove this. Thoughts and consciousness is the same.

edit on 26-5-2014 by NiNjABackflip because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 26 2014 @ 02:18 PM
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a reply to: NiNjABackflip

I don't prescribe to any dogma, check my post history if you do not believe me. I post in the religious forums mostly but I am not religious in any sense of the word or idea. There is no dogma in what I say, if you think so then I cannot change that, but believing in something other than what we can see is not dogma. There's something unseen that sees what is seen, call it spirit, soul, consciousness, or what have you, either way it most definitely is there because you are there.

We'll have to agree to disagree brother, but I think you're failing to acknowledge a key part of the concept. Can you touch or feel a thought? If not then it is not physical, if it is not physical then it is not the human body. It is a product of the human body but is not the body itself. The same goes for any abstract concept, they are not physical, they are something else.
edit on 5/26/2014 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 26 2014 @ 03:23 PM
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a reply to: NiNjABackflip

You are over-thinking everything my friend, the mistake you have made is believing there is something to figure out or a puzzle to solve. The Absolute Truth of this reality is nothing needs to be understood, we only need to just be by not clinging to any preconception, any opinion, or anything what so ever in this experience.

Just watch. Don't act. Be freed.



posted on May, 26 2014 @ 08:57 PM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1




We'll have to agree to disagree brother, but I think you're failing to acknowledge a key part of the concept. Can you touch or feel a thought? If not then it is not physical, if it is not physical then it is not the human body. It is a product of the human body but is not the body itself. The same goes for any abstract concept, they are not physical, they are something else. - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...


By dogma, I don’t mean you adhere to any particular religion or ideology, but that we often rely on authoritative explainers to explain things for us where we perhaps refuse to. For all we know, everything that has ever been said about these concepts are false. Sometimes we have to start from the beginning. If we are to philosophize without dogma, we must expel much of what we’ve been told by authorities at least to see if we can arrive at the same conclusions as they have, or something completely different.

But yes of course, we can agree to disagree.

From my view, thoughts, ideas and concepts are literal and physical. You are reading mine right now and I am writing them down. Every idea is an expression of the body, whether it is written down, spoken, or subvocalized to oneself. That is why it takes a sheer act of will to think without the use of an inner language, because the expression is a natural process much like digestion. We have dispel the food we eat, the water we drink, and also the sensual experience. The electrical impulse that starts at the skin with the moment of touch, and courses through the nerves to the brain causing us to become aware of it, cannot simply vanish when it hits its destination. That energy (in a strictly physics sense) must also be released, or outputted, and that’s what thinking is to me: the capture and release of “sensual energy” (not quite sure what that is yet). Impression and expression. All physical. All performed by the body.



posted on May, 26 2014 @ 09:01 PM
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a reply to: EviLCHiMP



You are over-thinking everything my friend, the mistake you have made is believing there is something to figure out or a puzzle to solve. The Absolute Truth of this reality is nothing needs to be understood, we only need to just be by not clinging to any preconception, any opinion, or anything what so ever in this experience.

Just watch. Don't act. Be freed. - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...


That is your opinion and preconception. Perhaps you are not thinking enough.

Don't just watch. Act. Be free.



posted on May, 26 2014 @ 09:13 PM
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a reply to: NiNjABackflip

lol, how is not clinging to anything an opinion? There is nothing to act on therefore no inner turmoil or arrogance can arise. You're absolutely free. To act is to believe that you are apart of what you are acting upon, isn't it so? You're creating unnecessary obstacles for yourself my friend.



posted on May, 26 2014 @ 09:32 PM
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a reply to: NiNjABackflip

That's actually a really great way of describing the physical side of existence, but it also "works" with an invisible side called consciousness, the thing that is seeing the body, YOU.

Yin and Yang, complete balance. How could their be hot without cold or big without small? In the same way, how can there not be a unseen aspect to existence along with what is seen? We are both the seer and the seen, we are both body and spirit. Our unique appearance is physical and you are the unseen seeing your body and the world around you. You are part invisible spirit and you are part visible body.

Without a physical brain you would not be able to operate a computer right now. Intellect is an aspect of the spirit, the part that manipulates (through physical action) the physical aspect. It is interwoven, they are both reliant on one another to exist.

Without an invisible mind (thoughts, dreams, language, etc.) there could be no visible body or physical actions and vice versa.



posted on May, 26 2014 @ 10:04 PM
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a reply to: NiNjABackflip


A thought is like a smile, a wink, a breath, or a pulse. We could never capture a wink and put it on display. We could never take a smile and put it in a jar. We could never remove the pulse of someone and take it apart.

Whenever we see smiles, winks and pulses, we are viewing an action performed by the human body. We can see someone breathe, we can feel a pulse on someone, we can witness a smile, we can see someone thinking, but apart from the body, or as separated from the body, they simply do not exist.


No, thoughts are not at all like those things.
You can see a wink, a smile, a pulse, a breath. These are tangible.
How do you see my thoughts if I do not consciously decide to usher them into physical manifestation?
How do you see me thinking?
When you close your eyes and visualize Cindy Crawford- I'm willing to bet that we won't find her in your body.
So where did that visualization imprint itself?
Was it physically real?
Prove it.



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 02:16 AM
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originally posted by: NiNjABackflip
The Corpse

When a limb is lost, there is nothing felt or thought about where that limb once was. When one loses his legs, he cannot force the body to believe he still has them. He will no longer gain leg experiences and leg memories and leg feelings as if he did when he had legs. The part of his mind that felt, experienced and led him to be aware of his legs, left with his legs. That part of his mind, soul, consciousness etc. was his legs.


Not true.

Phantom Pain



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 02:16 AM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect



No, thoughts are not at all like those things.
You can see a wink, a smile, a pulse, a breath. These are tangible.
How do you see my thoughts if I do not consciously decide to usher them into physical manifestation?
How do you see me thinking?
When you close your eyes and visualize Cindy Crawford- I'm willing to bet that we won't find her in your body.
So where did that visualization imprint itself?
Was it physically real?
Prove it. - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...



We can see you thinking through functional neuroimaging. Brain activity is entirely visible and seen through these techniques. Besides, we can see you thinking by simply looking at you. There’s no point that you are not in some way cognitively operating unless your brain is damaged. There are few moments in the lifetime of a human being that organs simply stop operating, and the brain is no exception. As long as the the body is doing its job, you are thinking. Whether you are focused on it or not, just like we can focus on any other sense, does not stop it from continuing.

We don’t see thoughts, we don’t hear them, we don’t smell them. We think them. It is an improper choice of words to describe a thought as something we see or hear or smell or hear.

In order to think about Cindy Crawford, we must have at some point directly or indirectly seen her. This involves the eyes, the entire body and Cindy Crawford in order to do so. These are entirely physical things. These physical things come into contact with the physical body, through which its physical processes send physical signals throughout the entire physical system. The light that bounces off of her movement, the sounds she makes, and her smell—all physical—leaves an impression on our bodies. However, we cannot imagine her smell if we’ve only experienced her through the pages of a magazine. We cannot visualize her smell because we’ve never smelled her. We do not have that physical impression to refer to, and we are unable to achieve the brain activity as someone who has smelled her. With no impression to metabolize, there is no way to convert that energy into thinking. Thinking is a process of physical human metabolism, the cellular respiration of grey matter, and the constant restructuring of neural pathways. Each time we’ve thought about and considered Cindy Crawford, we’ve formed new brain structure, however minute.

What do you think thoughts are? and what is your proof?



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 02:20 AM
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a reply to: smithjustinb

The body parts that give him this sensation is still a part of the body.



Phantom pain is pain that feels like it's coming from a body part that's no longer there. Doctors once believed this post-amputation phenomenon was a psychological problem, but experts now recognize that these real sensations originate in the spinal cord and brain.


But without the legs once being there, no such sensation would arise.



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 02:44 AM
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the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world


What is closer to the awareness of the world than the world itself?

Thought experiment: If there is nothing to be conscious of, can you say you are conscious or know if you are conscious?

I don't think so. If there is nothing to be aware of, including knowledge of being aware, you can't be aware. This is why I think that consciousness is in the brain, but it isn't part of it. Its just a coalescence of things we are aware of. The stuff we are aware of is the stuff of consciousness.

When we die, that isn't the end, it is only the end of you.



posted on May, 27 2014 @ 02:45 AM
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originally posted by: NiNjABackflip
a reply to: smithjustinb

The body parts that give him this sensation is still a part of the body.



Phantom pain is pain that feels like it's coming from a body part that's no longer there. Doctors once believed this post-amputation phenomenon was a psychological problem, but experts now recognize that these real sensations originate in the spinal cord and brain.


But without the legs once being there, no such sensation would arise.



Okay. But that's contradictory to what you originally said.





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