This is a short excerpt from my book, “The Myth of Doing.”

In addition to the fact that we have a survival instinct that makes us want to protect ourself from danger, I purport that the illusion that there is a part of us that can act freely in our favor (a soul or a contra-causal will) persists because we feel like we are where our thoughts are instead of where our body is. We are generally distracted into fantasizing that we are not where we are in space and time (in the living room, now, for example), but instead, in the places of which we are dreaming, even if that is just the supermarket. Furthermore, I believe we assume a body and a mind (causal will or soul) separation because of the lack of sensorial feedback we receive from our environment, due to how our muscular tension braces us against that with which we are physically interacting (the floor, the chair, the person next to us, the sofa cushion, our clothes, etc.). Our reactionary muscle tension impedes our awareness of the contact we are making with the surfaces with which we are engaging. Touch receptors, which alert us to the specificity of our immediate surroundings, and which make us know that we cannot be somewhere else (and, therefore, doing something else) because we are exactly where we are, are blocked by our continual fight or flight status.

I suspect it is our mental and physical dissociation, this feeling of non-hereness I am describing, that gives us the false impression of a body-mind divide, i.e., a sense of splitting off from our physical self (or a deluded perception that our head is not attached to the rest of our body all the time). As we are not directly “in touch,” so to speak, with our environs or our physical wholeness, we rather identify with our thought process, which transmits a story about us and our life that does not take place in real time.  Instead, it is based in an imaginary land where we get to be the director of our life’s course, and act in the future and in the past.

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