Thoughts on physical consciousness

I was talking with someone about my personal cosmology. And in the course of the discussion the topic shifted, tangentially, to specific methodology in meditation.

I said that in order to truly transcend the physical you need to be aware of it completely. I started by asking, “What do you feel right now?”

His answer was vague and imprecise. Not like someone ignorant of the concept but like someone who’s never thought about it.

So I asked, “Tell me what your foot feels right now.” And he looked at me like I was really far out on a limb.

I said, “I feel the fabric of my socks, the material of my shoe, the skin of my Big toe brushing against the toe next to it. I feel the edges of the nerve dead zone on that toe(caused by a infection in my leg that almost killed me), I feel the muscles of my foot and legs holding position against the pull of gravity. That’s what I feel right this second. That is all information that I am aware of and information that I am subconsciously paying attention to. Imagine that for your whole body. Every scrap of feeling is necessary to understand where you start from, so that you can feel the borders of your skin, so that you can connect outside yourself. If you don’t know where you start, you can’t know where you are going.”

We talked in that vein for awhile.

But it really effected me. In having to teach, I had to consciously think about and conceptualize something I do and take for granted. It’s how I am able to regulate pain, how I can feel physical bliss just by feeling the wind. How a single touch, kiss, look, can move me. In some cases, I can feel the physical connection of a look across the room, because I am aware of my body in that way.

And it really hit me, that this is a smart guy, someone who asks questions and looks for answers, and he has no frame of reference for what I am saying. It’s like trying to describe color to the color blind. They understand sight and seeing but their frame of reference is different.

Is that how most people walk through the world? I don’t know.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on physical consciousness

  1. Practicing mindfulness has had a huge impact on me, greater that I would have thought. I have tried to really stay in my body this last year, more than I think I was in the past, off drifting in the nether more often than not. I’m comfortable there. As I have made it more a more a habit, I’ve utilized an app that goes off throughout the day, ringing a meditation bowl, so that no matter what I’m doing, when I hear it, I remember to take stock of the physical, mental, psychological and spiritual processes I’m experiencing. I remember to be aware of my breath. It pulls me back to the now, and I’ve found it incredibly helpful.

    When I was in therapy during the horrible marriage, I choose the guy because he sounded like a kindred spirit, and it turned out we had a lot of the same books and favorite videos etc. He treated me as though I were abused in that relationship, and I was, so often our sessions consisted of his playing the guitar by candlelight and letting me just have a space to be. He really brought home for me the importance of focusing on breathing, to being it back to now, to be aware. Truly aware of myself. It sounds so simple, but it really is life changing.

    I’m sorry I went off on a tangent on your post, but your words touched me. 💜✌

    Thank you for sharing your perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always like hearing from you Em. So hijack away, but yeah being aware of your body and thoughts is completely important. I think I heard that phrase “The unexamined life is not worth living” when I was really young and I took it to heart. And extended it to all parts of life. It’s really the only that seems to work.

      Liked by 1 person

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