Dissolving mind and body

Differentiating between mind (thought) and body (physical action) can often be misleading. Consider collapsing both of these into the concept of movement. Small movements tend to happen within the mind — mere thought. Larger movements begin to have a more immediate impact on the surrounding environment — displacement of our body in space and the imprint of our language onto surfaces. It seems larger movements tend to dominate smaller ones — our thoughts are derailed far more easily when we move through, and interact with, the world than when we sit quietly with our eyes closed. Dissolving the distinction between thought and action can be useful for understanding habit — the familiar paths that we default to moving along. The domination of larger movements over smaller ones is quite evident when I try to change a habit. Strategizing about how to do it and thinking about my desire to do so seems to have little immediate effect. The surest way to perform habit change is to repeat the physical movement of the body associated with it, in the appropriate context, over and over. Even with a rebellious or wandering mind, it seems the creation of the path with the repetition of the larger movements wins out and the smaller movements begin to follow along over time.

Also published on Medium.

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