Okay. But the word embodiment feels a little problematic to me, because it suggests that the psyche is first of another dimension, and then it becomes “embodied.” It seems to me that this flesh is a psyche, that the body is already psyche. That, in some sense, matter is already spirit. The word matter, when we listen with our animal ears, sounds pretty much the same as mater (or mother) yes? It’s largely the same word. Both mater and matter are related to matrix, the ancient Greek word for womb. There is a sense in which matter is the womb of all things. The more conventional notion that matter is inert until it’s animated by spirit seems a fairly flawed notion (and a vaguely sexist one, akin to the idea that “mater,” or mothers generally, are inert or inanimate). Similarly with the body and the psyche. I’m unable to think of the body as an inert or empty vessel, nor of the psyche as some insubstantial fluff that at some moment decides to enter a body and become embodied. Isn’t psyche already bodily, doesn’t psyche have sensuous qualities from the get go?
Yet our language, today, doesn’t offer many clear ways to speak of these matters. What’s your sense of it?
∆ David Abram | DAMERY, PATRICIA, and David Abram. “The Environmental Crisis and the Psyche: A Conversation with David Abram and Patricia Damery.” Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche, vol. 7, no. 1, [Taylor & Francis, Ltd., C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco], 2013, pp. 104–19, https://www.jstor.org/stable/26596525.
If the child if held, what is the nature of the holding?…Experiences of being moved or of moving?…Comparative exploration of the cultural experiences of movement – especially in cultures in which movement is crucial, as it is in Bali as plastic rhythmic adaptation, as it is in America as control and autonomy, should give us much greater understanding of what is happening to our children. A hastily out-flung arm, throwing the whole being out of kilter, may be the beginning of a new phase of development, may be the sign of severe emotional disturbance; it is necessary to know.…These [photographic plates] should give a new awareness of what the relationship between one finger and another may and can mean. (Mead and Macgregor, 1951: 33–5)
This is the third project that I’ve made on Instagram. I haven’t really been engaging with intimate relationships online lately at all, but I’m still interested in the Internet as a platform where it seems more okay to talk about feelings. When we’re not in front of each other in our bodies, it’s more okay to talk about our feelings. I’m thinking about feelings as internal landscapes. If you don’t see your beloved for five years, where is the relationship? It’s inside you. Maybe that’s partially fiction, but all of our love is partially fiction. We do invent the people we love, at least to some extent, and that’s okay as long as we acknowledge that we’re doing it. It’s heartbreaking when we don’t or can’t acknowledge it. Then what you’re saying is, I’m allowing my own borders, my boundaries, to be breached by the carrying of this person inside of me eternally, or for five years, or for thirteen years, or until the next interesting person comes along. That carrying becomes a combination of you and the other person that shifts who you are, and in a reciprocal relationship, shifts who you both are, such that you have new boundaries and find new ways of caring.