Coming Home to the Body

It’s a primitive urge, the need to come home, and though we make many homes for ourselves over a lifetime, they’re all secondary reflections of the archetypal home: the body.

Yet, our relationships with our bodies have come to focus almost exclusively on improving them: making them stronger, thinner, younger. We’ve exchanged body as home for body as project. We’ve objectified our physical selves, and in the process, have made ourselves homeless.

Troubles with self-image, self-esteem, weight and health are laced with that homelessness. Without a conscious relationship with body, we drift toward either paralyzing angst or a relentless, multi-tasking drive. With no body, we are indeed, nobody. We live in thin air, in ideas about reality, rather than in reality. Our pleasures are blunted. Advertising, cultural ideals, and medical advertising and intervention prescribe the terms of our interactions with our physical selves. We play hide and seek with death and are left unprepared for its arrival. We believe that the lightening-quick intellect is the model for how life should proceed: fast, linear, rational. And the body…, well the body should just catch up.

The story of how we became homeless straddles philosophic, economic, political, cultural and religious spheres. The more important question is, how do we get home?