Songs as an Informal University

We have already seen in “Songs as Another Kind of Parallel University” that trying to revive or rescue enchantment in a “disenchanted world” (Max Weber, “Entzauberung”) is a kind of philosophical “move” in love songs which has much to do with the impact on the West of the medieval troubadours.

Take this masterpiece song from the fifties musical My Fair Lady. Notice the explicit introduction of “enchantment” into the lyrics:

“On the Street Where You Live”

I have often walked
Down the street before,
But the pavement always stayed
Beneath my feet before
All at once am I
Several stories high,
Knowing I’m on the street where you live

Are there lilac trees
In the heart of town?
Can you hear a lark in any other part of town?
Does enchantment pour
Out of every door?
No, it’s just on the street where you live

And oh, the towering feeling
Just to know somehow you are near
The overpowering feeling
That any second you may suddenly appear

People stop and stare
They don’t bother me,
For there’s no where else on earth
That I would rather be

Let the time go by,
I won’t care if I
Can be here on the street where you live

People stop and stare
They don’t bother me,
For there’s no where else on earth
That I would rather be
Let the time go by
I won’t care if I
Can be here on the street where you live,
Can be here on the street where you live,
Can be here on the street where you live

The enchantment of love is also at the center of the song by Seals & Crofts, “We May Never Pass This Way (Again)” from decades ago. In the same way that Jim Morrison and the Doors capture life’s basic randomized “thrownness” (Heidegger, “Geworfenheit”), Seals & Crofts capture life’s one-time ephemerality, as the title signals immediately:

“We May Never Pass This Way (Again)”

So they say
Is but a game and they’d let it slip away
Like the autumn sun
Should be dyin’
But it’s only just begun

Like the twilight in the road up ahead
They don’t see just where we’re goin’
And all the secrets in the universe
Whisper in our ears
All the years will come and go
Take us up
Always up

We may never pass this way again
We may never pass this way again
We may never pass this way again

So they say
Are for the fools and they let ’em drift away
Like the silent dove
Should be flyin’
But it’s only just begun

Like Columbus in the olden days
We must gather all our courage
Sail our ships out on the open seas
Cast away our fears
And all the years will come and go
Take us up
Always up

We may never pass this way again
We may never pass this way again
We may never pass this way again

I wanna laugh while the laughin’ is easy
I wanna cry if makes it worthwhile
I may never pass this way again
That’s why I want it with you

You make me feel like I’m more than a friend
Like I’m the journey and you’re the journey’s end
I may never pass this way again
That’s why I want it with you

We may never pass this way again
We may never pass this way again
We may never pass this way again
We may never pass this way again

After deeply drinking in this and other songs, you could become more “attuned” to academic philosophy which would become less of an abstract and insipid blur. Pre-awareness and pre-understanding give you the receptivity you need and you get these from movies and songs and private life. The trick is to use meta-intelligence to straddle the campus and the off-campus worlds.

Education and the Kinds of Wholeness

We have stated several times that we seek more educational holism in particular, the tentative kind made by students themselves after they study these “exercises in holism.” Let’s explore this.

There’s a short story by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (29 January 1860 – 15 July 1904), a Russian playwright and short-story writer, who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. In his classic “A Boring Story,” he tells the reader about his inner yearning for some wholeness in his life:

“In my predilection for science, in my wish to live, in this siting on a strange bed and trying to know myself, in all the thoughts, feelings and conceptions I form about everything, something general is lacking that would unite it all into a single whole.

Each feeling and thought lives separately in me, and in all my opinions about science, the theater, literature, students, and in all the pictures drawn by my imagination, even the most skillful analyst would be unable to find what is known as a general idea or the god of the living man.

And if there isn’t that. there’s nothing.”

(Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov, Anton Chekhov, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (translators), Modern Library, 2000, page 104, “A Boring Story”)

The author wants to unite everything (i.e., “something general is lacking that would unite it all into a single whole,” as he puts it).

This is not what we have in mind because there is no “scheme of things” or “unified field theory” that we impart to students. That is for various kinds of “madrasas” (Arabic: مدرسة) including secular ones.

Rather, we encourage students to “walk around” topics, fields, educations, discussions, books, movies, quizzes and exams, lectures, assignments to develop a more “circum-spective” view of knowledge.

Remember “Husserl’s rhomboid.” Edmund Husserl (Heidegger’s teacher, died in 1938) would bring a matchbox to his classes in Germany and get students in his classroom to see that one cannot view the whole matchbox at once nor can rotating it capture all of it. Parts are visible, the whole matchbox is not.

We apply this principle to education and knowledge acquisition and offer the mental habit for students of “homemade” exercises in making more holistic views.

The narrator in Chekhov’s story, yearning to have a god-like view of reality and knowledge and experience (theatre, science, etc.) as a unified “thing” is not our interest since it too elusive.

William James (died in 1910) says several times in his writings that “one mind can’t swallow the whole of reality.” Therefore we avoid such “totalizing” visions in favor of much more modest attempts at connecting things better.

Education: Linguistic and Arithmetic Elusiveness

We wish to sensitize the student to the obvious-but-hard-to-see truth that both language and arithmetic have slippery natures built into them and seeing this clearly is a part of deeper education, our mission here.

Take four simple statements and see that they’re entwined and “confusing.”

  1. You can count (i.e., numeracy).
  2. You can count (depend) on me.
  3. You don’t count (i.e., importance).
  4. Count (include) me in.

When a person says, “you can count on me” do they mean that you will be standing on me and then go, “one apple, two apples, three apples” (i.e., count in the everyday sense). No, obviously not. “On” in this context is not physical or locational, but figurative. Ask yourself: how is it that you know the difference and nuances of all these meanings given that the word count and the preposition “on” seem straightforward but are really “polyvalent.”

Wittgenstein tells us that philosophy and its conundrums are ultimately based on “language games.”

When Gadamer (Heidegger’s student) tells us that “man is a linguistic creature” he means, among other things, that man “swims” in this ambiguity ocean every moment and puns and jokes aside, handles these ambiguities automatically, somehow. How does a child acquiring language get the sense of all this? It’s difficult to understand and explain. Language is both our nature and somehow beyond our grasp.

The same slipperiness, in a different way, holds for arithmetic and numbers. You can immediately see that the square root of 16 is 4 (plus or minus) but if you are asked, “what is the square root of seventeen?” you’d be “at sea” without a calculator. If you’re now asked, what is the square root of -17 (negative seventeen), you would probably be lost.

These would seem to be very basic “operations” and yet are baffling in their way and parallel the “sudden difficulties” in language use and orientation and clarity.

Deep and “meta-intelligent” education, which we promote here, begins by seeing, among other things, that both our ability to function while “swimming” among words and numbers is puzzling if you look at them “freshly.”

It’s also not so easy to define exactly what reading and writing are in the first place or why exactly the smile in Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa painting is enigmatic.

When one glimpses the truth that we are surrounded by obvious things that are never really obvious, one pauses and thinks. This is where (self) “re-education” begins, especially if “enchantment” (genuine magical fascination) accompanies the thinking.

Interesting Intuition from Marx

There’s an intriguing and puzzling quote from Marx which is very informative in a completely unexpected way, when Marx says:

Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life.”
(The German Ideology, International Publishers, 1970, page 47)

This seems to fit Marx’s obsession with practical circumstances as the “driver” and ideas and subjective states of mind as secondary or even derivative. For Marx, culture and consciousness are “epiphenomena” like the foam on a wave.

In a different way, modern philosophers have their own versions of this:

  1. For Wittgenstein, “forms of life” come first before all else.
  2. For Husserl, “the life-world” comes before theory.
  3. For Heidegger, “being-in-the-world” comes before theory.

Marx’s reduction of everything to material circumstances as primary causes of everything would seem to these other philosophers as a kind of extremist monomania on Marx’s part, as when he says:

We do not set out from what men say, imagine, conceive, nor from men as narrated, thought of, imagined, conceived, in order to arrive at men in the flesh. We set out from real, active men, and on the basis of their real life-process we demonstrate the development of the ideological reflexes and echoes of this life-process. Their material life-process dominates.

The phantoms formed in the human brain are also, necessarily, sublimates of their material life-process which is empirically verifiable and bound to material premises. Morality, religion, metaphysics, all the rest of ideology and their corresponding forms of consciousness, thus no longer retain the semblance of independence.

Karl Marx with Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology, page 47

This idea from Marx is both suggestive and obsessive and maniacal at the same time, what the French call an “idée fixe” or fixation.

It is more accurate to say perhaps that life and consciousness are a “double helix.”

Essay 78: Education and the Problem of Pessimism

Karl Jaspers was part of the great trio or triumvirate of German philosophers of the twentieth century, along with Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt.

Jaspers’s basics are (from Wikipedia):

Karl Theodor Jaspers was a German-Swiss psychiatrist and philosopher who had a strong influence on modern theology, psychiatry, and philosophy. After being trained in and practicing psychiatry, Jaspers turned to philosophical inquiry and attempted to discover an innovative philosophical system.

Born: February 23, 1883, Oldenburg, Germany
Died: February 26, 1969, Basel, Switzerland
Education: Heidelberg University
Spouse: Gertrud Mayer (m. 1910–1969)
Awards: Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels, Erasmus Prize, Goethe Prize

Our issue is not the interrelations of these three but the issue of Jaspers’s “pessimism,” given that we plan an education that completely “levels” with freshmen from day one and puts on their “plate” the whole truth without hiding or suppressing any dimensions of the life/knowledge fusion which is one of the backbone elements of this educational remedy. Jaspers argues that a unifying perspective of existence is impossible for man for the same reason that the goldfish is ultimately in the water which is in the goldfish bowl which is in the room none of which can be understood by leaving the water. Jaspers writes, “Existenz kennt keine Rundung als Bild…denn der Mensch muss in der Welt scheitern.”

(Philosophie Vol. II, German original, Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 1948, page 647)

This means: “Existence cannot be completed or rounded off and formed into a clear and final picture…man is forced into a kind of shipwreck in this world.”

Jaspers sees existence or life as a kind of “task” or “drama” that one stumbles through and not an object that one studies like a copper salt in the chem lab. Life is always “on the run” and stronger than the runner. Every life, no matter how seemingly prestigious, is characterized by (to use Prof. Stanley Cavell’s words) “little did I know” and you might add, “even at the end.”

Orthodox educators argue that freshmen in college are not ready to be burdened by such bleak or lugubrious views but we disagree and argue, as the great Polish educator Janusz Korczak (died in the Holocaust, 1942) sensed, students rise to the challenge the teacher places before them. If you treat them as childish they will behave childishly and if you take them seriously, they will be serious.

Thus, Jaspers’s view on human life as always a confused and confusing shipwreck will not be hidden from view but studied unflinchingly.

Essay 46: Novelists As Prophetic?

There are three French novelists who say prophetic things in their writings, predictions that are based on intuition and sensibility and not on any formal forecasting at all, but far-seeing nevertheless. Consider these three:

Jules Verne (died in 1905):

Paris in the Twentieth Century (FrenchParis au XXe siècle) is a science fiction novel by Jules Verne. The book presents Paris in August 1960, 97 years in Verne’s future, where society places value only on business and technology.

Written in 1863 but first published 131 years later (1994), the novel follows a young man who struggles unsuccessfully to live in a technologically advanced, but culturally backwards world.  Often referred to as Verne’s “lost novel,” the work paints a grim, dystopian view of a technological future civilization.

Verne’s predictions for 1960:

The book’s description of the technology of 1960 was in some ways remarkably close to actual 1960s technology.

The book described in detail advances such as cars powered by internal combustion engines (“gas-cabs”) together with the necessary supporting infrastructure such as gas stations and paved asphalt roads, elevated and underground passenger train systems and high-speed trains powered by magnetism and compressed air, skyscrapers, electric lights that illuminate entire cities at night, fax machines (“picture-telegraphs”), elevators, primitive computers which can send messages to each other as part of a network somewhat resembling the Internet (described as sophisticated electrically powered mechanical calculators which can send information to each other across vast distances), the utilization of wind power, automated security systems, the electric chair, and remotely-controlled weapons systems, as well as weapons destructive enough to make war unthinkable.

The book also predicts the growth of suburbs and mass-produced higher education (the opening scene has Dufrénoy attending a mass graduation of 250,000 students), department stores, and massive hotels. A version of feminism has also arisen in society, with women moving into the workplace and a rise in illegitimate births. It also makes accurate predictions of 20th-century music, predicting the rise of electronic music, and describes a musical instrument similar to a synthesizer, and the replacement of classical music performances with a recorded music industry.  It predicts that the entertainment industry would be dominated by lewd stage plays, often involving nudity and sexually explicit scenes.

Flaubert (died in 1880):

In his posthumous novel published in 1881, Bouvard and Pécuchet, a satire on random knowledge-seeking, the two clerks of the book title, conclude that sometime in the future, America will “take over” the world or its hegemonial leadership. To see that America would supplant Europe, in those days, is quite “counterintuitive.”

Bouvard and Pécuchet details the adventures of two Parisian copy-clerks, François Denys Bartholomée Bouvard and Juste Romain Cyrille Pécuchet, of the same age and nearly identical temperament. They meet one hot summer day in 1838 by the canal Saint-Martin and form an instant, symbiotic friendship. When Bouvard inherits a sizable fortune, the two decide to move to the countryside. They find a 94-acre (380,000 m2) property near the town of Chavignolles in Normandy, between Caen and Falaise, and 100 miles (160 km) west of Rouen. Their search for intellectual stimulation leads them, over the course of years, to flounder through almost every branch of knowledge.

Balzac (died in 1850):

In his novel, The Wild Ass’s Skin (La Peau de Chagrin), Balzac describes scenes and conversations which lead one insightful interpreter of his to remark:  “On the level of world history, this incident can be read as an allegorical prefiguration of the contemporary conversion of Asia to the materialistic motivations of the technological societies of the West.”  (Balzac: An Interpretation of La Comédie Humaine, F.J.W. Hemmings, Random House, 1967, page 173)

Hemmings says:  “Europe and then American norms are generally accepted among what we call the advanced societies of the world: a civilization concerned above all to stimulate and then gratify the innumerable private desires of its citizens…In Balzac’s day, this civilization had reached its highest development in Paris.”  (Hemmings’s book, page 173)

These three novelists bring to mind Heidegger’s (died in 1976) more recent sense that science and technology from Europe would take over dominant “planetary thinking” and that would “wring out” any sense of “being” or “being-in-the world.”

These three writers gave us “allegorical prefigurations” (to use the Hemmings’s phrase above) of the present which are startling in their far-seeing sense of things and that raises the question: who might their equivalents be in our time?

Essay 43: Knowledge Puzzles of “Far-Fetched Questions”

Heidegger (died in 1976), the German thinker (and Hannah Arendt‘s lifelong boyfriend) is walking along somewhere in France with Jean Beaufret, the French poet-philosopher, and wants to “delimit” what topics should be admitted and discussed and manage to dismiss other kinds of topics.  Heidegger says, “we do not need to ask what the connection is between Newton’s laws and the French national anthem, ‘La Marseillaise’ or between Carnot’s Principle and the sign on the shop across the street, ‘This Store is Now Shuttered.’”

In Gulliver’s Travels, the satirical masterpiece, we find a scene where the Academy of Projectors (mad scientists profs.) are trying to make cucumbers out of moonbeams and have other crazy projects.  The Academy is described in the Laputa/Lagado “flying islands” section of the satire.  Again, we grin when we read these lines in Jonathan Swift and marvel at his inventive genius. It’s not quite as simple to pin down exactly why Heidegger’s or Swift’s examples of “crazy questions or projects” are so comically nutty.  Clearly, there are experiences we all agree on as being indicative of insanity or are at the outer limits, perhaps, of Quixotism (Don Quixote).  If a person tells you he or she plans to go to the roof and reach up and put the moon in their pocket and then go the county Registrar of Deeds and declare it their property, we see multiple impossibilities and figure the person is joking, drunk or insane.

On the other hand, many questions or projects that would seem silly at one point seem less silly now: an example is, say, bringing “dinosaurs” back via DNA “resurrections.”

Thus the “knowledge quest” and its parameters is evolving in strange ways, on top of all the other uncertainties.

The Heidegger/Beaufret dialogue, mentioned above, occurs in the following book:

Dialogue with Heidegger: Greek Philosophy
Jean Beaufret
Series: Studies in Continental Thought
Publication date: 07/06/2006
ISBN: 978-0-253-34730-5

Essay 37: The Language Phenomenon in Education

Wittgenstein (1889–1951) identifies language as the principal “confusion-machine” within philosophy:

“Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.”

The philosopher’s treatment of a question is like the treatment of an illness.

“What is your aim in philosophy?—To show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle.”

Education if deep and meaningful would put language itself in front of a student to understand the “bewitchment” and to perhaps “escape from the fly-bottle.” The fly-bottle is roughly “the captive mind syndrome” described by Czesław Miłosz, the Polish poet-thinker.

There are various aspects of this language-watching:

Hans-Georg Gadamer (Heidegger’s successor, who died in 2002) writes:

“It is not that scientific methods are mistaken, but ‘this does not mean that people would be able to solve the problems that face us, peaceful coexistence of peoples and the preservation of the balance of nature, with science as such. It is obvious that not mathematics but the linguistic nature of people is the basis of civilization.’”

(German Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2000, pages 122/123)

This is readily seeable. Imagine Einstein and Kurt Gödel walking near the Princeton campus. They speak to each other in German, their native tongue which they both “inhabit.” Gödel communicates the limits to logic and Einstein the limits to modern physics such as quantum mechanics. They bring in Bohr and Heisenberg and the “Copenhagen Interpretation” as a counter-view. They refer to equations and experiments and conjectures and puzzles, current papers and conferences.

They take “communicative action” by use of speech using German as a means.

There are two levels here that are always confused: the ontological (i.e., all the why-questions people ask using language) and the ontic level, all the how-questions people pose using mathematics and laboratory results (e.g., Higgs boson).

Gödel once made the observation that if you look at language as a kind of logical system, it’s absolutely puzzling that people can communicate at all since language is so utterly ambiguous and “polyvalent.”

Take the sentence: “Men now count.” Out of context, does it mean count as in the sense of numeracy, one, two, three apples in front of me or do you mean perhaps that men in a certain country were given the right to vote and now “count” politically. Without the context and the ability to contextualize, no sentence by itself makes certain sense at all.

This is partly why Wittgenstein sees philosophy problems as “language games.”

Heidegger coming from “being-in-the-world” as foundational, and calls language “the house of being.”

You inhabit a native language the way you “inhabit” a family home or a home town. You flow through.

When a child of ten plays marbles (as analyzed by Piaget) and his native language (say French) comes pouring out of him in a spontaneous gusher, how can we really explain it since the child doesn’t look up syntactical rules and grammatical definitions when he speaks. The words flow.

Heidegger retorts that language speaks you in other words, you’re channeling the language in a way a songwriter explains how a song comes to him. In the end, it’s something spontaneous and not propositional like grammar is.

A moment’s reflection shows you how “slippery” language is: 

A man driving to New York says to you, “the car died on me halfway there.”  He does not mean the car was “on” him physically. To die on doesn’t really mean perish forever, it means, on average, stopped to function in a way that usually can be fixed in the garage.  It means this reparable conking out of the car gave him a big headache and aggravation as he waited for the Triple A people to get there and do the paperwork. You visualize all these layers and twists.

Again, without a human context, the sentence “the car died on me” makes little sense. Without a human context, “the sky is blue” makes incomplete sense too. Does a camel or cricket see a blue sky?

A full education would explore these dimensions of language and this has nothing to do with bringing back Latin or Greek or studying a foreign language to meet a Ph.D. requirement.  Formal linguistics à la Chomsky, Fodor, Katz, etc. is not what’s being discussed, as interesting as all that might be.

It also is not about language genes such as FAP-2 or how vocal cords work since these questions are ontic (i.e., how does it work?) and not ontological (i.e., what does something mean or imply?). Thinking about language in an engineering sense with the human mouth as a “buccal cavity” is quite legitimate and a voice coach might do well to do that.  We are talking about something else:  the centrality of language in human self-understanding, functioning and the making of meaning.

Essay 14: Education via Literature: Crafts Versus Craftiness

We have already mentioned the famous “Ode to Man” in the Antigone of Sophocles, a play which serves as a theme in Heidegger’s classic, “What Is Metaphysics?”

One aspect of “man” that Sophocles highlights for us is the troubled link between craftiness (bad skill) and crafts (admirable skills, say carpentry.)

His “Ode to Man” goes like this:

“Wonders are many, yet of all
Things is Man the most wonderful.
He can sail on the stormy sea
Though the tempest rage, and the loud
Waves roar around, as he makes his
Path amid the towering surge.
Backwards and forwards, from season to season, his
Ox-team drives along the ploughshare.

“He can trap the cheerful birds,
Setting a snare, and all the wild
Beasts of the earth he has learned to catch, and
Fish that teem in the deep sea, with
Nets knotted of stout cords; of
Such inventiveness is man
Through his inventions he becomes lord
Even of the beasts of the mountain: the long-haired
Horse he subdues to the yoke on his neck, and the
Hill-bred bull of strength untiring

“And speech he has learned, and thought
So swift, and the temper of mind
To dwell within cities, and not to lie bare
Amid the keen biting frosts
Or cower beneath pelting rain;
Painful sickness he can cure
By his own skill…”

“Surpassing belief, the device and
Cunning that Man has attained…”

(Antigone, Choral Ode 1, Oxford University Press, 1998, page 13)

Sophocles introduces the “strain” between good skillfulness and tricky “cunning” which leads not to comfort and greatness but to woe.

Notice that this Sophocles vision of man as good-craftsman but bad-craftsman of schemes and plots is a deep theme in later culture.

In post-Sophoclean writings (say Roman literature) writing there is the constant tension between “machina” (our machine) and machination.

These writers sense in some implicit way that technology and crafts are benevolent “tricks” based on man’s inventiveness (as you see mentioned in Antigone and the “Ode to Man”) but that man becomes destructively wily and cunning, destroying himself and others.

One classic example of this comes from the great History of the Peloponnesian War of Thucydides. Pericles is the orator of genius while Alcibiades is a “crafty” demagogue and trickster whose words are not uplifting à la Pericles but part of a “deception” game. His sudden manipulative call for an invasion of Sicily in 415 helps to finish Athens.

Essay 13: Can Philosophy Educate Us? Somebody as a Some Body

The German philosopher Husserl (died 1938) educates us by positing two levels of “having a body.”

You can get a slightly strange sense of this when you see that “being somebody” could be written as “being some body.”

Husserl raises this issue of the body and in particular one’s own body. 

In his masterful book Husserl, David Bell writes:

“In one sense my own body is a physical object, a material, spatio-temporal object like any other: it has a weight, a size, a chemical composition, a history, and so forth. Husserl’s term for the human body viewed merely as a physical object is “Der Koerper.” Quite clearly, however, there is also a sense in which my own body is not given to me in that way: it is experienced and known by me in ways quite different from those in which I experience or know other physical objects. I do not, as it were, stumble across my body in the course of experience in anything like the way in which I come across a building, say, or another person. It is not simply that my own body is very familiar to me, nor even that it is ‘always there,’ like some substantial shadow from which I can never ‘escape.’ It is rather that, at a certain level, my ‘relation’ to my body is not strictly speaking a relation at all: it is not, at least, a relation between me and some other object.

“Although my body is certainly a physical object, and is, moreover, the intentional object of many acts of perception, conception, and memory, there is also a sense in which my own body is a subject. And in this sense my body is unique amongst intentional physical objects in that it belongs, also, on the subjective side of the intentional relation.

“My body can feel tired, my legs can feel stiff, my hands can feel the warmth of the fire, and so forth. My own body is an object-subject, or a body-subject.

“Husserl calls the human body viewed in this way ‘der Leib,’ a term which I shall translate as ‘the living body.’ My ‘living body’ is immediately expressive: when I am tired, or amused, or in pain, it is that object which yawns, smiles or cries out.”

(David Bell, Husserl, Routledge, 1991, page 208)

Gabriel Marcel, who taught at Harvard in the 50’s, wrestles with this Husserl point when he (Marcel) writes in his “metaphysical diary” that he has been perplexed for decades over the fact that “I both have a body while I am a body.” Having and being are entwined in a way that I can’t separate.” I have and I am are coiled around each other.

We have an intuitive sense of these entwinings when we say of a person, “he’s a busybody” (busy body/busybody) or “I am somebody” (some body) and not a nobody (no body).

Husserl restates this thesis this way:

“A human being is not a mere combination or aggregation of one thing, called a body, and another called a mind. The human body is through and through a conscious body: every movement of the body is “full of mind”–coming, going, standing still, laughing, dancing, speaking, etc.”

“When I put my hand too close to the fire, it is, when all is said and done, my hand that hurts.”

(David Bell, Husserl, Routledge, 1991, page 209)

In other words, you have a body and your body has you and you have each other. The body you weigh on the scale in the bathroom is one among several “players” and cannot be understood only as a mechanism.

In daily life, we do glimpse this a bit when we use worlds like psychosomatic.

Husserl was Heidegger‘s teacher and mentor.