The Body “Knows”: Self, Identity and Body Awareness

The only recurring recollection of my awareness that I was born as a male is a funny story that occurred in kinder garden, and my mother would always remind of this story every time we were in our old village. It was a typical humid day and it was lunch time, which signaled dismissal from our teacher’s house. Normally, i would get picked up by my grandfather because the school was just 3 intersections up from where we lived in the village. It was a very different setup that day, as my mother was there with my ninong, and I did not have to ride the tricycle going home. As I was entering the car, i asked my mom if we bring home this girl whom I had a crush on back then. I cannot recalled if my mother refused or the girl along with her helper were getting a tricycle, but I cried loudly that I made a scene. Eventually, I got my request granted, and we were able to bring her and her helper home. I remember saying to my mother after that I wanted to bring that girl to our home and marry her because she was my crush. I just find this words so hilarious every time I think of it or reminded of it. Where did I get such an idea that early as a child? Is it because that I’m a guy that I should marry a girl or is it because that I see a couple in my mom and dad that a guy should marry a girl and a girl should marry a guy. Where did I even perceive this idea of love, marriage and settling down from? I remember in my other class that the world is made partly out of our perception, and what you experience helps you create that very perception of yours. It isn’t far-fetched that my prior experiences before this certain experience made me realized how a male should feel in that experience.

My belief is that I am just using the body as a vessel for experiences, personality, and reason. The self is defined by what the vessel/body is currently going through at that present state, which is how Damasio deduces that the body will act upon the most appropriately as the situation arises. For example, standing outside of a shaded area in the humid weather. In here, the body will process the information that it is getting from the heat or hotness of the weather, so that the body can act upon in which the self will feel that he/she been aware of what the body has gone through. We are not aware that this is happening inside of us until we start feeling the heat by sweating as consequence. The self continues to grow each day by the things that physical body has gone through, and that allows our experiences to shape how we identify ourselves. I believe also in the sentiments of Pert, where she mentioned that intelligence is not only location in the brain but in the different areas of the body. Clearly, our very own immune system improves itself whenever it comes from a sickness, so that it can keep the body in an optimal condition. This intelligence comes from the experiences that the body is exposed to, with that the body and its parts is capable of dealing such experience positively or negatively when the same instance arises.