For hundreds of years humanity was proud of the duality of body and spirit. While it is clear how anything you do to the body will affect the spirit, and that the spirit can affect the body, the relationship is still an unsolved mystery. At its core not only are mental activities like philosophic thought and creativity, but also body performance smoothness, also called grace.
When they are trained, they imagine, among many other aides, a cord going from their breast bone up, and their whole body is suspended on it. That’s one of the many ways they get to experience their body as a whole, and unite it with their thinking, translating the thinking into the physical domain of the body.
Dancers project their mind into their body
Two camps fight on this matter: one says, consciousness is the death of grace, and even elegance. Seen like this, a marionette would be the perfectly graceful being? But what about the person who pulls the strings? Don’t the strings forward the consciousness? Or are they working like a filter? The other party says consciousness is key for elegance, and there is no elegance or grace without a mind. What about all those graceful animals? Maybe we should expand the term “mind” to animal minds for this theory to work? But then animals would be credited consciousness, and, as a consequence, even citizen status?
A Being without Consciousness?
Is it consciousness, our greatest gift, the ability that makes us fly high as cultural and intellectual beings, that stays in the way of the unification of body and mind? It’s this separation of body and mind that creates awkwardness, the other side of grace, the dark side of our physical existence.
. Any duality would be gone. Nothing could hold back the body to reach its utmost expression. Would an animal be it? Not really, as even animals have specks of consciousness, because their need of self-preservation causes them to have this feeling of self.
The ideal performer would be a creature without consciousness. Like a marionette. But a marionette is still operated by a human. It only pushes the hindering consciousness away by putting an intermediary – the marionette – in between the conscious, human operator and the mechanical being. The marionette has no life of itself.
The ultimate creature would be the robot. No self-consciousness and no operating human holding it back, it could perform all on its own. But can it do that? Isn’t human consciousness also integrated in its movement by the way the robot has been designed and programmed?
Very likely, yes. Very likely we will never get a truly physical performance except in those moments, when a truly great performer can turn off this control of the mind, and instead let the energy of the mind flow directly into bodily motion. It may be, that we, one day, get robots designed and programmed by artists, that can do similar things. And then we’d see robots as actors and models, always performing perfectly for the photographer and film director. And outdoing any attempts to fake human performance two-dimensionally only by CGI software.