I think people would be happier if they admitted things more often. In a sense we are all prisoners of some memory, or fear, or disappointment—we are all defined by something we can’t change.
— Simon Van Booy, The Illusion of Separateness (Oneworld Publications, 2013)
Are we losing our senses? In our increasingly virtual world, are we losing touch with the sense of touch itself? And if so, so what? […]
Is today’s virtual dater and mater something like an updated version of Plato’s Gyges, who could see everything at a distance but was touched by nothing? Are we perhaps entering an age of “excarnation,” where we obsess about the body in increasingly disembodied ways? For if incarnation is the image become flesh, excarnation is flesh become image. Incarnation invests flesh; excarnation divests it.
In perhaps the first great works of human psychology, the “De Anima,” Aristotle pronounced touch the most universal of the senses. Even when we are asleep we are susceptible to changes in temperature and noise. Our bodies are always “on.” And touch is the most intelligent sense, Aristotle explained, because it is the most sensitive. When we touch someone or something we are exposed to what we touch. We are responsive to others because we are constantly in touch with them.
~ Richard Kearney, Losing our Touch
Jim Harrison & Ted Kooser, Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry (Copper Canyon Press)