Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Insides & Outsides

We speak of the inside and outside of bodies only in relation to another onlooking body. The outside is everything that can be perceived, sensed in some way, or known definitively about the first body. The inside is everything else that defines that body that remains hidden.
A critique is performed using the outside, and only the outside of the body. An exegesis is an attempt to understand the inside, but assumptions have to be made.
We can always speak of a body of work, like an ouerve. This too has an inside and an outside. To think how much of a writer’s works never makes it to the light of day. But then there are also his inner thoughts that never even had a hope of coming to light. The unheard writing at least stands a chance. So we can speak of the inside of a body from the perspective of another body, but can we speak of it from the perspective of that body itself? To be sure, there are parts of our bodies we will never know. The ever-minute space between. But what is it to know except to know oneself? Once before, we remarked how those on the outside looking in have, in a way, a better sense of our bodies than even we do. They see us and come to define us in a way that we never could hope for.
To know something is to be exposed to it. But once we have become exposed to it we can be sure that we have only ever experienced the outside. For if it were the inside, then it never would have presented itself to us. Thus the inside and outside are never innate aspects or portions of the body, but always projected onto it. Even the body itself comes to define its own inner and outer selves. The important difference is that the body itself can project certain attributes, bring them to the fore, so to speak.
And what of the words that are spoken? The words themselves, the sounds, must come to be a part of the outside, for they are heard by others. But their meaning…
Meaning is always an inner characteristic. Thus the words without meaning are the outside and the meaning of the words form the inside. It is by a trick of the mind that we come to think we know anything at all about the inside of a person. Their private desires and thoughts. Their goals and aspirations. Their fetishes. Nevertheless, it is a worthy pursuit to try and find the inner essence of a thing.
When we speak of exposure to bodies, we imagine a two-fold process. One in which the other body makes itself known to the first. But also a means by which the first body opens itself up to the second. We never really lose our awareness of ourselves when we venture forth from the first realm to the second realm. But we become intermingled with the second body. We become aware of the second body as a thinking body and one which is also receiving us. Finally, the third realm would be the departure from our own body and the realization of the second body as one among many.

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