“When we are unhappy, depressed, or bored we have an easy remedy at hand: to use the body for all it is worth.
Few learn to move with the grace of an acrobat, see with the fresh eye of an artist, feel the joy of an athlete who breaks his own record, taste with the subtlety of a connoisseur, or love with a skill that lifts sex into a form of art. Because these opportunities are easily within reach, the easiest step toward improving the quality of life consists in simply learning to control the body and its senses.” (94)
There has been an everlasting debate on the worth of the human body. Many scientists have attempted to value the body based on its parts, its chemical ingredients, the capacity of the mind, and it’s neural wiring. Yet none of these consider how priceless the body truly is: “without it there would be no experiences, and therefore no record of life as we know it. Trying to attach a market value to the body and its processes is the same as attempting to put a price tag on life: By what scale can we establish its worth?
Everything the body can do is potentially enjoyable. Yet many people ignore this capacity, and use their physical equipment as little as possible, leaving its ability to provide flow unexploited. When left undeveloped, the senses give us chaotic information: an untrained body moves in random and clumsy ways, an insensitive eye presents ugly or uninteresting sights, the unmusical ear mainly hears jarring noises, the coarse palate knows only insipid tastes. If the functions of the body are left to atrophy, the quality of life becomes merely adequate, and for some even dismal. But if one takes control of what the body can do, and learns to impose order on physical sensations, entropy yields to a sense of enjoyable harmony in consciousness. . . .
Before exploring further how physical activity contributes to optimal experience, It should be stressed that the body does not produce flow merely by its movements. The mind is always involved as well. . . . Flow cannot be a purely physical process: muscles and brain must be equally involved.” (95-96)
The senses offer an almost unlimited amount of enjoyment, but only to those who work hard to develop the skills they require. “To those who do not, the body remains indeed a lump of rather inexpensive flesh.” (96)
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