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To be a human being is to be conscious of embodiment. What that is subjectively like can hardly be what it is like to be a (presumably) unself-conscious creature, such as a bat. But neither can it be what it is like to be a spirit without body, such as an angel or soul. Like the animal’s, our sentience is conditioned by the natural context within which it has co-evolved with the sentience of other creatures. And that context is embodiment in a physical world of competing and cooperating biological organisms. This has never prevented humans from aspiring to a discarnate state, nor from pretending to have a disembodied point of view. The naiveté of the natural realist, in which human sentience unselfconsciously identifies with the body’s programs and views the world as simply there, may be compared and contrasted with an idealism that sees only the self reflected in the mirror of experience, and that consciously denies the power of the world and the body over the self.

RELATED TAGS: [embodied consciousness, what it is like to be a bat, conscious of embodiment, disembodied/discarnate intelligence/soul, animal/human sentience/consciousness, naïve/natural realism(ist)/idealism(ist), denial/subjugation of body, power of nature/instinct]

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