The personal issue of telling stories about illness is to give voice to the body, so that the changed body can become once again familiar in these stories. But as the language of the story seeks to make the body familiar, the body eludes language. To paraphrase Martin Buber, the body ‘does not use speech, yet begets it.’ The ill body is certainly not mute — it speaks eloquently in pains and symptoms — but it is inarticulate. We must speak for the body, and such speech is quickly frustrated. . .”
— Arthur Frank, “The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics,” 1995, pp. 2-3.
“First, we need to differentiate between sensing and perceiving. Sensing is the more mechanical aspect, involving the stimulation of the sensory receptors and the sensory nerves. Perceiving is about one’s personal relationship to the incoming information. We all have sense organs which are similar, but our perceptions are totally unique. Perception is about how we relate to what we are sensing. Perception is about relationship to ourselves, others, the Earth and the universe. And it contains the interweaving of both sensory and motor components.”
— Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, in “Bone, Breath, & Gesture: Practices of Embodiment”, Don Hanlon Johnson, ed. 1995, p. 195.
“I suggest, and I believe that I am right, that sensory stimuli are closer to our unconscious, subconscious, or autonomous functioning than to any of our conscious understanding. On the sensory level communication is more direct with the unconscious, and is therefore more effective and less distorted than at the verbal level. Words, as somebody said, are more to hide our intentions than to express them. But, I have never met anybody, man or animal, who cannot tell a friendly touch from an evil one.”
— Moshe Feldendkrais, in “Bone, Breath, & Gesture: Practices of Embodiment“, Don Hanlon Johnson, ed. 1995, p. 139.
Return to the Experiential Ways of Knowing page.