Da Ortosociale.

The theory of the thinking body

by Angela Giuffrida e-mail: frida.43@libero.it

The theory of the thinking body proposes a conceptual system which can compose all that is real in one unit, starting from the indivisibility of body and mind. It offers a new cognitive paradigm which assimilates knowledge to the whole organism, making the body the real thinking subject, able, through its form and experience, to give form to the thought. A critical approach to philosophical thought enabled the typical mechanisms of the mind which produces it to be identified, while the elaboration of a different concept of “living material”, whose intrinsic intelligence and autonomy is recognised, was able consistently to attribute to the masculine part of humanity that mind which was considered “the mind of the species”.

Every living organism is self-organizing and self-regulating, so it must be before all and above all a cognitive system. The mind is a process of the biological body which can transform experience into thought, as it transforms material into energy. What gives thought its form is reproductive experience, by far the most important because it guarantees the conservation and evolution of life on the planet. Thus the masculine and feminine organisms, having different roles in reproduction, have developed different ways of intending the world and followed different lines of evolution.

From her maternal experience a woman gains a containing mental form, suited to grasping the complexity and richness of reality, ready to build, connect and achieve, therefore making favourable choices for life and growth. The creative power of ther organism and undisputed centrality allow her to be in the world with her whole self, to perceive it with all her senses and reproduce it fully. The feminine weltanschauung includes the masculine point of view of which it is not a complement as is often thought; viceversa the woman is the bearer of another knowledge, greater and more inclusive, of a completely different way of being in the world, of interpreting and managing it.

Men, on the other hand, neither containing nor building the other in their body and being part of the mother, develop a partial view both of the world and of themselves, reinforced by their limited function in reproduction, so they concentrate on a single element, detaching it from its situation. Separated from its context, each element is made absolute and looks for its opposite. The polarization radicalizes the conflict, making head-on collision inevitable, resulting necessarily in the elimination of one of the two elements. Between the opposite poles, however, there are numerous other elements, situations and possibilities which permit understanding in a complexity of relationships, without necessarily eliminating one. But men do not presume a global reality as women do, and moreover they not only shatter reality into a myriad of disconnected atoms permanently in conflict with each other, but see themselves as isolated individuals at odds with the whole world and split into opposing parts: the soul and the body, logic and emotions and so on.

The mind being crowded with single separate units, the male categorizing system is structured around the quantity. Thus “ having” wins by far over “being” in the social androcentric organizations and calculating thoughts finish by taking the place of open reason, operating all over, confirming the male predilection for the part compared with the whole. This thinking is suited to understanding closed systems, while open systems do not come into the sphere of his competence. The living organism, the most complex of all concepts, does not lodge in the mind of the human male, as is shown in the philosophy he does not know, when he substitutes it with an inexistant, immaterial being, soul, reason or spirit, as he wishes. Science considers the biological body a composition of things, the organs, and places the mind in the brain, seen as something other. Transformed into a mixture of things, distorted and debased, the human being can certainly not expect attention and respect.

This insufficiency should be compensated for by that self knowledge a living person acquires from experience. But the human male, since he procreates outside himself, is focused on the external, so is inclined to live “outside his own body”. Not developing sufficient interiority he expects everything to arrive from outside and tends to attribute to others his own difficulties and the reasons for his negative choices. Projective as he is, the basic psychic mechanism does not permit taking on responsibility, thus blocking the rational and civil evolution of the mind and sets off the construction of an enemy which exasperates the endemic conflictuality in the masculine cognitive system. Another spur is supplied by a search for a power which enables him to overcome the condition of “ being second” and dependance on a woman. The male mind being so structured is an outright weapon of war.

Seeing one is a source of blindness because, inopportunely reduced to the simple, the complex becomes obscure. The further division of the simple into decontextualized and disconnected parts complicates the situation even more, making it definitively unexplainable and unmanageable. Like the organism, any object disappears if, reduced to its constituent parts, it loses its unity. Seen one at a time, the parts make for single representations which, united subsequently, generate a false object which does not correspond to the original, being an aggregation whose connections are artificially imposed by the knowing subject.

Men bring about the loss of integrity and the possibility of an existence independent of the things and people in the world, considering them simply means to achieve their ends, also because they have no “knowledge of themselves”. As stated above, unlike the woman who lives in the world with her whole body, they stand at the window preferring the view. Reduced to a simple glance, reality is flattened onto a imaginary screen on which appear objects which can be manipulated as chosen. Those who know consider themselves a thing among things, the object, not source, of knowledge, as it really is. Moreover this reinforces the disappearance of the entirety and autonomy of reality, evaporating with it, because it reduces to a unique motivation, usually the pursuit of personal power, the numerous instances they have as bearers, being alive. This is why they make irrational and self-harming choices which they drag, directly or indirectly, into the ruins they create.

Its knowledge of reality restricted within strict limits which prevent it being taken as it is, the male coceptual system excludes the possibility of learning, it just repeats. But the survival of the species depends on learning, which guides the living in their choice of the most suitable means to achieve it: blocking the ability to learn, life itself is blocked.

Staying at the window and projecting oneself forward, following a single element leads to that idea of progress which is linear, accumulative and infinite and is steering the planet towards collapse. But attention turned exclusively to the outside, to a quantitive world, also leads to the tendency to expansion, to occupying land and taking goods, making conflicts irreducible to the point of turning into war. On the other hand the male mind is dangerously attracted by destruction and death due to its singular analytical approach, inclined systematically to deconstruct the objects of knowledge.1

Also to be remembered are two more aspects peculiar to the dominant conceptual apparatus: the inclination to exclude which begins with the one-eyed vision and easily degenerates into racism when mixed with other characteristics typical of masculinity, and the confusion of hardness and force which is responsible among other things for the sympathy and support that androcratic societies assure to criminals of every kind and for the extravagant idea which sees human progress come from violent and destructive actions.

The theory of the thinking body receives continuous and spectacular confirmation from research conducted all over the world by competent scientists. Some – like the discovery by Candace Pert and other neuroscientists of the so-called “chemical brain” which have given to my philosophical intuition a sure physiological base2, and the verification through the use of new techniquesof an actual cerebral dimorphism between men and women – have been included in The body thinks. Humanity or Feminity?3,others in the second study Female reasoning the only antidote to war.4 But every day new studies convalidate the central hypotheses of the theory. Thanks to epigenetics, for example, the whole organism is beginning to emerge from the fatal determinism which has so far put it to one side and to recover the insoluble link between the ability to accomplish and think which makes it the protagonist of the wonderful adventure of life on earth. Laboratory experiments on animals and experimental studies of genetics regarding genomic imprinting then confirm the relationship between maternity and care for life on one side and mental evolution on the other.

However, despite the inadequacy of the male thinking system being tangible and its contradictions exploding continuously causing irreparable harm, despite scientific research and daily recurrence confirming increasing value in female reasoning, women do not yet authorize themselves to recognize their centrlity within the species. The strategy in which they propose themselves as partners fails everywhere as the male cognitive system is not inclusive because of its internal constitution and because its main problem is oblivion of reality which is substituted by an illusory world. Placing themselves together with men means precluding every possible exit as nothing can be built on illusions and lies. Knowledge of reality is the law of the living which cannot be done without, or life on earth would end.

All over the world female and feminist thought is involved in overcoming the lacerating dichotomies which constellate the dominant conceptual apparatus, criticizing single aspects and oscillating from one pole to another, without daring to recognize the intimate, complex senselessness. The way out for women's reflections, however, has to be the reconstruction of their view of the world which makes use of flexible categories, able to reflect reality in its complexity, concreteness, variety and variability. The theory of the thinking body, having described the mental mechanisms of the single thought and revealed their origin and harmful effects on the world of the living, shows the way to go to overcome them, favouring the definition of a different interpretative paradigm which international culture at its highest level aspires to.

In order, however, for a rationality which is functional for life to see the light and prevail, women must come to forward: the success of such a hard and difficult undertaking needs open recognition and choral effort. Women must consciously act on the basis that they are not daughters or wives of men but mothers, creators and guardians of the life of the species in all its multiple aspects. After all, the males of their offspring can go on the move only in a community with a new style of thought, centred on the recovery of the prerogatives developed by the mothers of the species and become the substance of civilization, and substituting the thousand-year-old, partial, intellectual tradition, so reductive and counter to life.

by Angela Giuffrida e-mail: frida.43@libero.it

Strumenti personali