Profiling the Power of Life
M. Merleau-Ponty (1908–1961) in his work “Phenomenology of perception” raised a concept related to the issue about the body.
“The body is the vehicle of being in the world, and having a body is, for a living creature, to be intervolved in a definite environment, to identify oneself with certain projects, and be continually committed to them.” (Merleau-Ponty, 1962, p.82).
He thought that an individual uses the body to engage in dialogue with this world. “Body is the focal point of living meaning, not the function of a certain number of mutually variable terms.” (Merleau-Ponty, 1962, p.151).
The body becomes the carrier for an individual to seek out the meaning of being in the world. Blind people depend on their ‘challenged’ bodies to face this world. In what way do they use the bodies to sense this world? What is different from the sighted people?
The body has various perceptions. What is the manner in which other perceptions coordinate without sight perception? Those inquiries are exactly what I want to pursuit.
From my working experience, I had the opportunity to come into contact with blind people. Most of the time I was deeply moved by their fighting spirits and optimistic attitudes.
Under such feelings, I had a dream that I wanted to film a documentary or took other art forms to introduce the inner world of blind people. So, I spent many years gathering their life stories. Some parts of the interview were related to blind people’s spatial perception.
In the coming days, I will use their life stories as the theme of my series of articles.
Merleau-Ponty M. (1962) Phenomenology of Perception. Translated from the French by Colin Smith. New York, The Humanities Press.
Originally published at https://poeticmindfulness.wordpress.com on January 3, 2021.