He lived at a little distance from his body
– ‘Dubliners’ by James Joyce

Just a wonderful phrase for what I see as a struggle for us in this highly cerebral age – our engagement with the corpreal is reduced as we head more and more towards a virtual existence.  I remember debates I had back in university, where there was the hypothetic that a virtual existence is the same as an embodied existence.  This is currently being raged over on kurzweil.net where Mitch Kapor and Kurzweil are betting whether the Turing Test will be passed by 2029.   (its a great read)
I argued on the side that our conciousness is inherently embodied, it is messy, liquid and chemical and to seperate from that would be result in something quite different.  Kapor also argues this as to why a computer will not be able to beat the Turing Test.  After reading Kurzweil’s response I have to say I’m back at the drawing board.  It’s a serious conceit of my ego, that I want to be unique, that there is something irreproducible in human conciousness.

The reason I came to this, was that a friend is doing a Yoga course currently, and was telling me of the large emphasis of that is on body, mind, spirit engagement – each is incomplete without the others.  We can’t be fully present or living to our full potential until we achieve that.
However, increasingly we need less and less of the corpreal to exist – there are people living almost exclusively on virtual worlds like second life.  Perhaps its my inner luddite, but that makes me sad.  I like to think, and I do believe, that a cartwheel is a very important part of existence.  Much like snow angels, hot chocolate, hugs, the peculiar exhileration of falling, and all those sensations of life.

More on this to come…