entire structure of a human organism
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Body is term referring to a material entity; it is most commonly used regarding the physical structure of a human being or other living creature.

Aristotle:We must no more ask whether the soul and body are one than ask whether the wax and the figure impressed on it are one.

Quotes edit

Kurt Cobain: My body is damaged from music in two ways. I have a red irritation in my stomach. It's psychosomatic, caused by all the anger and the screaming. I have scoliosis, where the curvature of your spine is bent, and the weight of my guitar has made it worse. I'm always in pain, and that adds to the anger in our music.
  • Your body is like a bar of soap. It gradually wears down from repeated use.
    • Dick Allen, as quoted in "Devine agrees 'Douglass can do it'" by Cooper Rollow, in The Chicago Tribune (30 March 1975), p. B3
  • Antony, however, according to his custom, returned alone to his own cell, increased his discipline, and sighed daily as he thought of the mansions in Heaven, having his desire fixed on them, and pondering over the shortness of man's life. And he used to eat and sleep, and go about all other bodily necessities with shame when he thought of the spiritual faculties of the soul. So often, when about to eat with any other hermits, recollecting the spiritual food, he begged to be excused, and departed far off from them, deeming it a matter for shame if he should be seen eating by others.
  • Antony ... used to say that it behooved a man to give all his time to his soul rather than his body, yet to grant a short space to the body through its necessities; but all the more earnestly to give up the whole remainder to the soul and seek its profit, that it might not be dragged down by the pleasures of the body, but, on the contrary, the body might be in subjection to the soul.
  • When you see the donkey (Hebrew: chamor) of your enemy lying under its burden, you might refrain from helping it; you must aid it" - When you carefully examine your "chomer" (English: materiality), your body, you will see "your enemy", that it restricts your Divine soul that longs for Godliness and the spiritual. You will see that it "lies under its burden" placed upon it by God, that it should become refined through Torah and Jewish observance, as the body is reluctant and materialistic. It may occur to you that "you will refrain from helping it", to enable it to fulfill its mission, and instead you will follow the path of asceticism, to break down the body's resistance to spirituality. However, not in this approach will the light of Torah reside, rather "you must aid it" by purifying and refining the body, rather than breaking it. This superior elevation transforms the body into a vehicle for the essential Divine purpose in physical Creation.
  • Flesh is our indisputable commonality. Whatever our race, our religion, our politics we are faced every morning with the fact of our bodies. Their frailties, their demands, their desires. And yet the erotic appetites that spring from - and are expressed through - those bodies, are so often a source of bitter dissension and division. Acts that offer a glimpse of transcendence to one group are condemned by another. We are pressured from every side - by peers, by church, by state - to accept the consensual definition of taboo; though so often what excites our imaginations most is the violation of taboo.
    • Clive Barker introduction to "One Flesh" exhibition, April 4-27, 1997
  • Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour ... If at my convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?
  • Joined together with bones and sinews, having a plastering of skin and flesh, covered with hide, the body is not seen as it really is—full of intestines, full of stomach, of the lump of the liver, of bladder, of heart, of lungs, of kidneys and of spleen, of mucus, of saliva, and of sweat, and of lymph, of blood, of synovial fluid, of bile, and of fat, ... and its hollow head is filled with brain. A fool, overwhelmed by ignorance, thinks of it as beautiful, but when it lies dead, swollen up and discoloured, cast away in a cemetery, relatives have no regard for it. Dogs devour it, and jackals, and wolves and worms. Crows and vultures devour it, and whatever other living creatures there are. The bhikkhu possessing knowledge here, having heard the Buddha's word, indeed understands it, for he sees the body as it really is.
  • No one in this earthly prison of the body has sufficient strength of his own to press forward with a due degree of watchfulness, and the great majority [of Christians] are kept down with such great weakness that they stagger and halt and even creep on the ground, and so make very slight advances.
    • John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life Page 22
  • There is also an old proverb, that they who pay much attention to the body generally neglect the soul.
    • John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life Page 90
  • mi corazón, lugar de las hogueras,/y mi cuerpo que siempre me acompaña.
  • Emotions are shown primarily in the face, not in the body. The body instead shows how people are coping with emotion. There is no specific body movement pattern that always signals anger or fear, but there are facial patterns specific to each emotion. If someone is angry, his body may show how he is coping with the anger. He may be tense and constrained (tight muscular tension in arms and legs, stiff posture). He may be withdrawing (a particular retreated position). There may be verbal attack (certain types of hand movements with his words), or the likelihood of physical attack (posture, orientation, hand movements). However, any of these movements can occur just as well when a person is afraid as when he is angry. Body movement reveals, of course, not just how someone copes with emotion, but also what a person’s attitudes, interpersonal orientations, etc. might be.
    • Paul Ekman, Wallace V. Friesen, ‘’Unmasking the Face’’, Cambridge MA, (2003), p. 7.
Robert Frost:A person will sometimes devote all his life to the development of one part of his body - the wishbone.
Mahatma Gandhi:A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Victor Hugo:Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.
  • It is a great thing to take a human body. Whoever comes to the earth must do work.
John F. Kennedy:Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.
  • A person must take care to exercise moderate discipline over the body and subject it to the Spirit by means of fasting, vigils, and labor. The goal is to have the body obey and conform—and not hinder—the inner person and faith. Unless it is held in check, we know it is the nature of the body to undermine faith and the inner person.
    • Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian (1520), M. Tranvik, trans. (Minneapolis: 2008), pp. 71-72
Marilyn Monroe:The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up.
  • “.... Don’t you dare take one look at my body and try to re-write my story. This body is strong, capable, and worthy. This fat body has endured abuse, survived trauma, healed itself, and continues to carry me through my journey,...Fat people can’t run? Oh honey, running is the least interesting ability this fat body has! But for the record I can run! I can dance, love, explore, create, fight. I can do absolutely whatever I want to! Don’t you dare put me in a box. Or her. Or him. Or any of us!"
    • Lexi Nimmo [1]>
  • Every morning
    I wake up with the news
    of bloodshed.
    I feel my body,
    desperate to know whether
    I’m still alive.
  • If you are not the body
    why should I enrich scenes
    before your eyes?
    why should I sweep away thorns
    from the path where you walk?
    why should I always make things,
    which you touch, tender?
    why should I block raucous sounds coming to assail your ears?
  • Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own
  • Yea, much more those that seem to be the more feeble members of the body, are more necessary. And such as we think to be the less honourable members of the body, about these we put more abundant honour; and those that are our uncomely parts, have more abundant comeliness. But our comely parts have no need [...]
  • Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor— not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.
What you perceive as a dense physical structure called the body, which is subject to disease, old age, and death, is not ultimately real - is not you... But do not turn away from the body, for within that symbol of impermanence, limitation, and death that you perceive as the illusory creation of your mind is concealed the splendor of your essential and immortal reality. ~ Eckhart Tolle
  • Being can be felt as the ever-present I am that is beyond name and form. To feel and thus to know that you are and to abide in that deeply rooted state is enlightenment, is the truth that Jesus says will make you free. Free from what? Free from the illusion that you are nothing more than your physical body and your mind. This "illusion of the self," as the Buddha calls it, is the core error. Free from fear in its countless disguises as the inevitable consequence of that illusion - the fear that is your constant tormentor as long as you derive your sense of self only from this ephemeral and vulnerable form. p. 70
  • Sermon On The Body. What you perceive as a dense physical structure called the body, which is subject to disease, old age, and death, is not ultimately real - is not you. It is a misperception of your essential reality that is beyond birth and death, and is due to the limitations of your mind, which, having lost touch with Being, creates the body as evidence of its illusory belief in separation and to justify its state of fear. But do not turn away from the body, for within that symbol of impermanence, limitation, and death that you perceive as the illusory creation of your mind is concealed the splendor of your essential and immortal reality. Do not turn your attention elsewhere in your search for the Truth, for it is nowhere else to be found but within your body.
    Do not fight against the body, for in doing so you are fighting against your own reality. You are your body. The body that you can see and touch is only a thin illusory veil. Underneath it lies the invisible inner body, the doorway into Being, into Life Unmanifested. Through the inner body, you are inseparably connected to this unmanifested One Life - birthless, deathless, eternally present. Through the inner body, you are forever one with God. p. 75
  • The key is to be in a state of permanent connectedness with your inner body - to feel it at all times. This will rapidly deepen and transform your life. The more consciousness you direct into the inner body, the higher its vibrational frequency becomes, much like a light that grows brighter as you turn up the dimmer switch and so increase the flow of electricity. At this higher energy level, negativity cannot affect you anymore, and you tend to attract new circumstances that reflect this higher frequency. p. 75
  • Do not give all your attention away to the mind and the external world. By all means focus on what you are doing, but feel the inner body at the same time whenever possible. Stay rooted within. Then observe how this changes your state of consciousness and the quality of what you are doing. Whenever you are waiting, wherever it may be, use that time to feel the inner body. In this way, traffic jams and line-ups become very enjoyable. Instead of mentally projecting yourself away from the Now, go more deeply into the Now by going more deeply into the body. The art of inner-body awareness will develop into a completely new way of living, a state of permanent connectedness with Being, and will add a depth to your life that you have never known before. It is easy to stay present as the observer of your mind when you are deeply rooted within your body. No matter what happens on the outside, nothing can shake you anymore. p. 76
  • When such challenges come, as they always do, make it a habit to go within at once and focus as much as you can on the inner energy field of your body. This need not take long, just a few seconds. But you need to do it the moment that the challenge presents itself. Any delay will allow a conditioned mental-emotional reaction to arise and take you over. When you focus within and feel the inner body, you immediately become still and present as you are withdrawing consciousness from the mind. If a response is required in that situation, it will come up from this deeper level. Just as the sun is infinitely brighter than a candle flame, there is infinitely more intelligence in Being than in your mind. As long as you are in conscious contact with your inner body, you are like a tree that is deeply rooted in the earth, or a building with a deep and solid foundation. p. 77
  • Slowing Down The Aging Process. In the meantime, awareness of the inner body has other benefits in the physical realm. One of them is a significant slowing down of the aging of the physical body. Whereas the outer body normally appears to grow old and wither fairly quickly, the inner body does not change with time, except that you may feel it more deeply and become it more fully. p. 79
  • (...) the body is a temple with ten senses, and we must install God in our hearts within this temple. This body is a moving temple of the Lord. He (Haidakhan Babaji) wants us to make this temple so beautiful that wherever it goes, people would like to worship, have great reverence for it, and try to gain knowledge from it.
    • Shri Shastriji, The Teachings of Babaji, 25 March 1982.
  • I drink to separate my body from my soul.”
  • QI comes into existence in ZHONG JIAO and concentrates in the region of lungs. QI moves on the surface of the entire body and inside of it, day and night without stopping for an instant. QI is also motive power of blood circulation. XUE, blood, is the quintessence of water and cereals diluted in the spleen and the stomach. Blood concentrates in the heart and from there is supplied to the kidneys and the lung from a signal sent by the liver. Blood circulates throughout the whole body, it includes red and white components. The eyes, having received blood, can see. The ears, having received blood, can hear. The hands, having received blood, can take. The feet, having received blood, can walk. It means one should accumulate QI and feed the body with blood XUE.
  • To practise Gong Fu means to train QI. During training time QI sets into motion XUE and it circulates throughout the entire body. In such a way, step by step, you become strong and firm. You will be protected against epidemics of dangerous diseases, you will not be afraid of cold and heat, you will get out of any mess with confidence and overcome any difficulties. But for it you must strain every effort. QI should be trained to such a level that it could concentrate in any part of your body by an order or your will - from axillary ribs to finger tips. At the same time breathing volume (the volume of the chest) increases, appetite becomes better. From day to day your health, mind and will are improved. A well-trained man has a good health and strong will, therefore he can control his destiny.

"Unbearable Weight” (2003) edit

Susan Bordo, “Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture and the Body”, Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 2003

  • The body as animal, as appetite, as deceiver, as prison of the soul and confounder of its projects: these are common images within western philosophy. This is not to say that a negative construction of the body has ruled without historical challenge, or that it has taken only one form, but the imaginal shape of the body has been historically variable. For example, although Schwartz employs Platonic imagery in evoking the distortions of the body, his complaint about the body is quite different from Plato’s. Plato imagines the body as an “epistemological” deceiver, its unreliable senses and volatile passions continually tricking us into mistaking the transient and illusory for the permanent and the real. For Schwartz, the body and its passions are obstacles to expression of the “inner” life; his characteristically modern frustration over the isolation of the self and longing for “authenticity would seem very foreign to Plato.
    • p.3
  • Plato, arguably (and as another example of the historical range of Western images of the body), had a mixed and complicated attitude toward the sexual aspect of bodily life. In the Phaedo passion distracts the philosopher from the pursuit of knowledge, but in the “Symposium” it motivates that pursuit: love of the body is the essential first step on the spiritual ladder that culminates in recognition of the eternal form of beauty. For Christian thought, on the other hand, the sexual body becomes much more unequivocally the gross, instinctual “bear” imagined by Schwartz, the animal, appetitive side of our nature. But even within the “same” dominating metaphor of the body as animal, “animality” can mean very different things. For Augustine, the animal side of human nature-symbolized for him by the rebelliously tumescent penis, insisting on its “law of lust” against the attempts of the spiritual will to gain control-inclines us toward sin and needs to be tamed. For the mechanistic science and philosophy of the seventeenth century, on the other hand, the body as animal is still a site of instinct but not primarily a site of “sin”. Rather, the instinctual nature of the body means that it is a purely mechanical, biologically programmed system that can be fully quantified and (in theory) controlled.
    • pp.3-4
  • At different historical moments, out of the pressure of cultural, social, and material change new images and associations emerge. In the sixteenth century the epistemological body begins to be imagined not only as deceiving the philosopher through the untrustworthy senses (a Platonic theme) but also as the site of our “locatedness” in space and time, and thus an impediment to objectivity. Because we are embodied, our thought is perspectival; the only way for the mind to comprehend things as “they really are” is by attainment of a disembodied view from nowhere. In our own time (as another example of the emergence of new meanings), the “heaviness” of the bear has assumed a concrete meaning which it probably did not have for Shwartz, who uses it as a metaphor for the burdensome drag the body exerts on “the self”; my students, interpreting the poem, understood it as describing the sufferings of an overweight man. For Schwartz, the hunger for good is just one of the body’s appetites; for my female students, it is “the” most insistent craving and the preeminent source of their anger and frustration with the body, indeed, of their “terror” of it.
    • p.4
  • Not all historical conceptions view the body as equally “inescapable.” The Greeks viewed soul and body as inseparable except through death. Descartes, however, believed that with the right philosophical method we can transcend the epistemological limitations of the body. And contemporary culture, technologically armed, seems bent on defying aging, our various biological “clocks,” and even death itself. But what remains the constant element throughout historical variation is the “construction” of body as something apart from the true self (whether conceived as soul, mind, spirit, will, creativity, freedom …) and as undermining the best efforts of that self. That which is not-body is the highest, the best, the noblest, the closest to God; that which is body is the albatross, the heavy drag on self-realization.
    • pp.4-5
  • What is the relation of gender to this dualism? As feminists have shown, the scheme is frequently gendered, with woman cast in the role of the body, “weighed down,” in Beauvoir’s words, “by everything peculiar to it.” It contrast, man casts himself as the “inevitable, like a pure idea, like the One, the Al, the Absolute Spirit.”(3) According to Dinnerstein, as a consequence of our infantile experience of woman as caretaker of our bodies, “the mucky, humbling limitations of the flesh” become the province of the female; on the other side stands “an innocent and dignified ‘he’ . . . to represent the part of the person that wants to stand clear of the flesh, to maintain perspective on it: ‘I’ness wholly free of the chaotic, carnal atmosphere of infancy, uncontaminated humanness, is reserved for man.” The cost of such projections to women is obvious. For if, whatever the specific historical content of the duality, “the body” is the negative term, and if woman “is” the body, then women “are” that negativity, whatever it may be: distraction from knowledge, seduction away from God, capitulation to sexual desire, violence or aggression, failure of will, even death.
    • p.5
  • The gendered nature of mind/body dualism, and its wide ranging institutional cultural expression, is a recurring theme of many of the essays in this volume. In “Are Mothers Persons?” I explore how-despite an official rhetoric that insists on the embodied subjectivity of all persons-Western legal and medical practice concerning reproduction in fact divides the world into human subjects (fetus and father) and “mere” bodies (pregnant women). In “Hunger as Ideology” I consider how representations of men and women eating (for example, in contemporary advertisements) exhibit a dualistic pedagogy instructing women and men in very different attitudes toward the “heavy bear” and its hungers: women’s appetites require containment and control, whereas male indulgence is legitimated and encouraged. In this essay, in “Anorexia Nervosa,” and in “reading the Slender Body,” “the devouring woman” is seen to be as potent an image of dangerous female desire (particularly in contemporary culture) as the sexual temptress. I explore, as well, the social contexts that have encouraged the flourishing of this imagery.
    • p.14
  • In the latter two essays dualism is explore not only via gendered representations but as a more general contemporary construction of self that shapes male experience as well as female. Dualism, of course, was not invented in the twentieth century. But there are distinctive ways in which it is “embodied” in contemporary culture, giving the lie to the social mythology that ours is a body-loving, derepressive era. We may be obsessed” with our bodies, but we are hardly accepting of them. In “Anorexia Nervosa” I consider the way in which anoretic’s sense of embodiment, as well as other obsessive body practices of contemporary culture. My aim, however, is not to portray these obsessions as bizarre or anomalous, but, rather, as the logical (if extreme) manifestations of anxieties and fantasies fostered by our culture. I develop this theme further in “Reading the Slender Body,” where I decode the meanings of “fat” and “thin” in our culture to expose the moral significances attached to them, revealing the slender, fit body as a symbol of “virile” mastery over bodily desires that are continually experienced as threatening to overtake the self. This construction of self is then located within consumer culture and its contradictory requirement that we embody both the spiritual discipline of the work ethic and the capacity for continual, mindless consumption of goods.
    • pp.14-15
  • Feminists first began to develop critique of the “politics of the body,” however, not in terms of the body as represented (in medical, religious, and philosophical discourse, artworks, and other cultural “texts”), but in terms of the material body as a site of political struggle. When I use the term material”, I do not mean it in the Aristotelian sense of “brute” matter, nor do I mean it in the sense of “natural” or “unmediated” (for our bodies are necessarily cultural forms; whatever roles anatomy and biology play, they always interact with culture._ I mean what Marx and, later, Foucault had in mind in focusing on the “direct grip” (as opposed to representational influence) that culture has on our bodies, through the practices and bodily habits of everyday life. Through routine, habitual activity our bodies learn what it “inner” and what is “outer,” which gestures are forbidden and which required, how violable or inviolable are the boundaries of our bodies, how much space around the body may be claimed, and so on. These are often far more powerful lessons than those we learn consciously, through explicit instruction concerning the appropriate behavior for our gender, race, and social class.
    • p.16
  • The role of American feminism in developing a “political” understanding of body practice is rarely acknowledged. In describing the historical emergence of such an understanding, Don Hanlon Johnson leaps straight from Marx to Foucault, effacing the intellectual role played by the social movements of the sixties (both black power and women’s liberation) in awakening consciousness of the body as “an instrument of power”:
    Another major deconstruction [of the old notion of “the body”] is in the area of sociopolitical thought. Although Karl Marx initiated this movement in the middle of the 19th century, it did not gain momentum until the last 20 years due to the work of the late Michel Foucault. Marx argued that a person’s economic class affected his or her experience and definition of “the body.” . . . Foucault carried on these seminal arguments in his analysis of the body as the focal point for struggles over the shape of power. Population size, gender formation, the control of children and of those thought to be deviant from the society’s ethics are major concerns of political organization-and all concentrate on the definition and shaping of the body. Moreover, the cultivation of the body is essential to the establishment of one’s social role.
    Not a few feminists, too, appear to accept this view of things. While honoring French feminists Irigaray, Wittin, Cixious, and Kristeva for their work on the body “as the site of the production of new modes of subjectivity” and Beauvoir for the “understanding of the body as a situation,” Linda Zirelli credits Foucault with having “showed us how the body has been historically disciplined”; to Anglo-American feminism is simply attributed the “essentialist” view of the body as an “archaic natural.
    • pp.16-17

See also edit

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