reply to post by AfterInfinity
I guess the directional contradiction eludes you.
Being felt "IN" the body is body oriented. You could use an arrow like this one this way.
To put it another way, since clearly you aren't registering this. Some philosophers, like Soren Kiekegaard, as well as the psychologist Viktor Frankl,
made much of the fact that human beings are only happy when they are "outside" themselves. Kierkagaard famously said "The door to happiness opens
outward". The outward direction is to objects that lie beyond the self. When were thinking about ourselves, happiness typically eludes us. So, when
our attention is oriented to external things, such as another person, a purpose, an external activity, paradoxically, this external orientation puts
us into our closest contact with our actual feelings.
Modern psychologists distinguish between attention that is oriented towards thoughts (conceptual self awareness) and attention which is oriented
towards feelings (embodied self awareness). These are two fundamentally different states. Even the nervous system processes these two functions
differently. If I'm "feeling" my body, such as the pain in my toe, the nociceptor sends its signals up the dorsal horn pathway in the spinal chord.
When it comes to the brain, it's processed by regions in the brain stem, cerebellum, amygdala, etc, and in the PFC(prefrontal cortex), by the
ventromedial and orbitofrontal parts. When your THINKING about the pain in your toe, as opposed to feeling it, the nociceptors send the signals up the
ventral horn of the spinal chord, which goes up to the brain to be processed by the dorsolateral and dorsomedial parts of the PFC.
So again, there is a definite "embodied" component to this mode of being. But simultaneously, the "self" is completely immersed in the object of it's
attention. These are to halves which up the whole of embodied self awareness. There also appears to be a symmetry. Just as embodiment entails
absorption in something else, worrying about some thought ABOUT yourself, such as finances, health, etc, takes you OUT of your body. When the thought
is on yourself, the mind is outside the body. When the thought is on something outside the self, the mind is in the body.
It's a funny state of affairs.
Edit: To just clarify a bit further. These two states don't share the same "real estate" in consciousness. There's clearly a stacking. What the mind
is attending to in an embodied state of awareness is the feeling content. So feeling > Object absorption. Yet, paradoxically, it is the object which
initiates the engagement with the feeling.
On the opposite side, when were worrying, stressed, i.e. involved in a conceptual self awareness state, the thought is in the focus, while the
feeling, the worry, is in the background. Thought > awareness of feeling.
I don't want you to get the idea that I'm a sloppy thinker. There IS a paradox between the fact that it takes something "out there" beyond myself in
order for me to feel IN myself. And this is made more apparent by the fact that when I'm cogitating about myself, I'm no longer aware of my feelings
(although, of course, there feelings beneath the absorption in the thought content; the point is, the mind is attending to its thought, as opposed to
edit on 20-6-2013 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)