Proprio inception

Here’s a curious thing you didn’t think about once.

Then, when you learn it, you can’t help but be aware of it:


The fancy word for your awareness of your body… and how it exists in space.

If you look up at a tennis ball, you can catch it – even when your hands are out of sight.

It’s pretty neat, if you think about it.

And what’s great is how clean an example it is of something that’s conscious and unconscious.

At any time, you can become aware of your body and how it fills the space.

But most of the time, it’s instinct.

You can walk through the woods, mostly dodging branches and roots. Even when you focus on other things.

It’s not perfect, of course.

And it’s not equal among everyone – ninjas will have better proprioception than someone glued to social media.

But still, it works.

And it’s quite sophisticated, if you think about it. It doesn’t take much environmental weirdness to confuse a robot, but humans could navigate a cobblestone street on a rolling cruise ship.

Here’s my complaint with this delightful awareness you rarely become conscious of:

It’s incredibly biocentric.

According to your proprioception, your arm is part of you and the air isn’t. Yet you could lose an arm without changing who are you (it might change what you can do, sure, but not who you are). Lose the air, though? You’ll realise just how much that changes you.

You might wonder how serious I’m being there.

I wonder that, too.

But I bring it up for a reason, though.

Deep mind training – whether it’s hypnosis, meditation or something else – both breaks down and enhances this sense.

It creates that feeling of ‘oneness with everything’ you hear so much about.

And you can become fully aware of your own body.

Sometimes, though not usually, at the same time.

It’s a curious side effect.

Or is it the entire point of the training?

Something you’ll have to puzzle out as you take the next step here:

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