On our somatic architecture

by Dorian Minors

March 28, 2021

Analects  |  Newsletter

Excerpt

Our somatic architecture is one organising principle around which to collect tools to focus on any value system if you believe what I believe. We are necessarily capacity-limited by the tools we are afforded, and the most basic of these is our body.

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Our somatic architecture is our mind and body is the most basic of our tools, and we develop those through 'trials': the pushing of boundaries, and celebration of our new limits.

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We are necessarily capacity-limited by the tools we are afforded, and the most basic of these is our body. As Juvenal, mens sana in corpore sano: we should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body.

There is no doubt that both mental and physical resilience are necessary for wellbeing, but these remain moving targets for academics, specialists, and individuals.

There are, however, some basic principles we can apply. Perhaps each of us may struggle to reach the pinnacle of health, but there is no reason so many of us should be struggling at the bottom.

In sum, our focus should be on functional fitness—mind and body. A baseline of understanding and a baseline of resilience in the face of the changing fortunes of time.

Less obviously, perhaps, this fitness necessitates ‘trials’ of one form of another—a development through perspective. Without an understanding of the facets of the world we live in—the physical, emotional, and social challenges they pose—we can never quite be prepared to seize opportunities when they come. Instead we are merely poised to survive the challenges as they arise. The question that leaves us, of course, is how we might cultivate these trials artificially—in the absence of the high stakes these trials pose to us when we encounter them in the world.

So, we ask and we answer.


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