Bodies are Things That We Have
The body is a transfiguration of certain characteristics that make up a person: from the color of one’s eyes, skin, and hair, to the way someone speaks, or the way they walk. No two people are the same: we all have our distinctive traits and qualities that make up our individuality. There are different permutations of humans, and that is what makes each person a unique self in some sense. Yet, a thing even as mundane as a rock is just a permutation of certain characteristics as well. The genetic codes that make up each of our individual selves can be broken down to the same atoms that make up the rest of our physical world, such as a rock.
Many would agree though, that we human beings are much more complex than rocks. So what constitutes us as something beyond a convoluted arrangement of atoms in space? Our bodies are neurologically and physically coded organisms, just like everything else in the world--science has proven that. Yet how we live and interact with our environment is more sophisticated than any other organism, and we have something known as a conscience. Us humans have a sense of being, or awareness of “self”, which makes life worth living. It is this human trait of self-awareness that establishes our being. Therefore, a body is something that we “have”, not “own”.
One should think of our bodies not so much as complex organisms, but more like mechanisms. Our bodies are simply tools or instruments for our real “self”. Our real “self” is something that is still a mystery: it is immeasurable, unquantifiable, and unpredictable. There is a part of each person’s identity that cannot be differentiated by physical transformation or progression; there is no concrete explanation for what a person’s talents or passions are, or how they form. Yet it is these traits that make up our personalities which mark each human especially unique and interesting. John Paul Eakin describes the ““I” existence that feels and...