John Hopkins on Mon, 13 Feb 2012 22:25:54 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Sex Work and Consent at @transmediale

On 2/11/12 10:16, Margaret Morse wrote:

Dear John and Morlock,
You both jump immediately to the mind/body connection.  Does that mean that whether we think or do something, it is the same and has the same consequences on the body or the mind?  are there no distinctions or nuances at any level?  Fiction works, for instance, because there are also checks and limits to action in our brain.  Is a neural pathway forged through corporeal motion exactly the same as one forged through following intellectual pursuits?  Are you ready to equate the consequences of mental and physical labor when it comes to aging and the life course?

Hi Margaret -

Difference lies everywhere, I was just pointing out that, contrary to the dominant Western world-view, that the divisions of physical and mental are artifacts. (Well, they are 'reality' if you follow the assumptions of a materialist Cartesian world-view). I do not follow that world-view, and so, the division makes no sense to me. (And it's not merely a 'connection' that is at issue, it is the underlying assumptions that there is a dis-connect possible).

So, it depends on your world-view -- if you 'believe' in a cosmos with a continuous energized fabric, change and difference take on a whole different character. Physicality and mentality are simply different manifestations of the same phenomena of energy moving through the (open/non-isolate) body-system. Receiving energy through the eyes and thus into the neural system is rather similar to nerve stimulation elsewhere to the body system which is likewise transmitted through the neural system. The 'effect' of the stimulation coming from either takes place both at the point of application (entry) of the stimulus and along the way and in the brain... The brain/mind, whatever you want to call it, is altered by either, though qualitatively differently... The fact that alteration takes place regardless of the sensual input is for me a crucial point which a mechanistic view simply gets bogged down in its physicality...

for example, 'doing' and 'thinking' both are activations of neural flows neither may take place without the other... (personally I think English is a lousy language for dealing with such issues -- Sapir's dictum seems quite applicable!:

"Human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society. It is quite an illusion to imagine that one adjusts to reality essentially without the use of language and that language is merely an incidental means of solving specific problems of communication or reflection. The fact of the matter is that the ‘real world’ is to a large extent unconsciously built up on the language habits of the group . . . . We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation."

It comes down to what you believe to be the nature of reality in how you 'see' and 'experience' these two situations (sexuality and mentality or so)...

wanted to get something back at you ...



John Hopkins
Watching the Tao rather than watching the Dow!

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