No lunch break? No time to breathe? No time take care of yourself?
I find it so easy to slip into rushing around. Believing it's all about thinking. Not about eating or resting or having time to do things that make laugh out loud. And then I read Guy Claxton's book "Intelligence in the flesh. Why your mind needs your body more than it thinks". Wow! I am nothing without my body. I need to look after it.
His overarching questions is
"How can we give back to emotion and intuition their proper roles as constituents of human intelligence, without tipping over into a kind off New-Agey denial of rationality"
and I think Guy achieves this in his book. As he says
"we neglect our bodies because we underestimate their intelligence".
He takes us on a journey through the history of the Western theory of intelligence. From the common belief of today that the mind is a command and control system that manages the body. To the growing understanding of the body and neuroscience. My mind arises from my body. I don't own or inhabit it.
He follows this with a fascinating and page turning description of how our bodies work. He describes the body as
"a massive, seething, streaming collection of interconnected communication systems that bind the muscles, the stomach, the heart, the senses and the brain so tightly together that no part - especially the brain - can be seen as functionally separate from, or senior to, any other part".
and goes on to talk about emotions, language and consciousness. Our use of tools and our desire to make things. I learnt so many things about how I work that I don't know where to start or what to share with you. I can only recommend you read it too!
"The heart is an inveterate tweeter"
As the book draws to a close Guy investigates how we lose touch with our bodies and what we can do to reverse this. And he ends with looking at how our schools, workplaces and law courts are designed for the concept of an intelligent mind rather than an intelligent mind/body. What if it were different?
"The condition of my body, and of my awareness of its humming, shimmering activity, constantly modulates my ability to be smart."