I went to my friend’s gym, which is located in the wealthiest part of Taipei, with exclusive memberships and VIP squat racks, treadmills. I realized that all the women have noticeably nicer asses than all of the other gyms in Taiwan that I’ve been to. These women are wives and daughters of the wealthiest people in Taiwan, perhaps it’s by evolutionary logic that the most fertile women are taken by the most powerful men with the most resources. 

You usually associate strong physiques with primitivism and animalism. But I think in the modern world, it’s more or less a status symbol to have extremely fit bodies due to the amount of leisure, resources, and knowledge one must acquire to obtain a good physique. 

And then I think of movies like Wolf of Wall street where extremely well-off, ‘civilized’ people engage in the most primitive and animalistic activities of sex and drug consumption as ends to all means. The only other people I can think of that can indulge in this type of behavior whenever they want, wherever they want are tribal people of the hunter and gatherer societies who pick up shrooms on the ground to trip on and then have orgies all day. 

Perhaps this type of primitive consciousness is our default mode of existence. But modern society has it that we must go through a whole avalanche of bullshit in order to go back to our more primal, original state of being.

*this image captures the juxtaposition of the civilized and the primitive pretty well. Also the title of the film, ‘WOLF’ and ‘WALLSTREET’ (i haven’t seen it though, too scared to).Image

 

I body build in order to make sure that my body is still there. Here’s what I mean:

The body, when it is healthy, is transparent (and taken for granted).

The body becomes ‘visible’ only through discord – when it malfunctions. It is only when something goes wrong with it that we begin to notice the body’s presence as an alien being, rather than an invisible background for our activities. 

We can think about the body in analogy to an instrument or a tool. Take a pen for example. When we are using a pen to write something, we do not notice it at all. It is unremarkable, opaque, a means to an end. We are only focusing on the end – (the writing) while the means (the pen) seems uninteresting and is demoted to the background as if it doesn’t exist, and that the pen and the body is one continuous field of entity. 

However, it is only when the pen breaks down or fails to write that it suddenly appears in my center of attention as an object independent of my body. Instead of an extension of my body as an end to accomplish my goals, it becomes a stubborn saboteur object of alienation and estrangement.

One way to make your body visible to your subjective experience without illness or malfunctions is through exercise. I think athletes are more likely to feel the presence of their bodies because each time they pound it, it solidifies and emerges from transparency momentarily. It’s almost a subconscious wish to pull your body into the present due to a fear of losing it to oblivion…a will to NOT take it for granted.

 

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