The neuro-analytical vocabulary Watzke employs at times isn’t completely agreeable with me but he underlines the symbiotic relation between nature and culture in a beautiful way, inviting the audience to think culture a bit more naturally and nature a tad culturally. Homo coctivor is the animal that plays with fire. Why so perplexed when it comes to evaluation of life and becoming what we are?
When I found this video I had long been following some quasi-scientific and full-on 'health-aware' debates on dietary choices, and thinking (or sub-consciously paraphrasing some Sufic discussion in my head) that the human is the only animal at contempt with what he is and that he is. This has become more evident than ever in the age of self-invention; mind, body and soul each is a battlefield for floating signifiers of ‘good living’ ‘proper eating’ ‘positive thinking’ ‘fresh looking’. Diversity of viewpoints and teachings is something to celebrate though entirely different than decadence— the latter pushes for extremities, asceticism and pseudo-transgressions to compensate for the physiological exhaustion of the vital forces on individual and collective level. We get dumb with woes and worries and worry even some more as we get dumber. How else to explain new-age courses on ‘how to breathe’, the innovation madness in recreational sports industry and equipment and tens of different sets of dieting principles each (self-)acclaimed to be more natural, more right and more credible than all the others. Yes, dragon breathing can make a positive difference in the middle of a panic attack and yes, meditation schools of the East all consider breathing an essential part of the life-long practice of mindful presence—but is that the real reason why breathing conferences held in fancy hotels cost $300 a person? Is our industrious engagement with research and practice of the mind- body- soul alignment an indicator of the need for a universal expansion of perspectives? Or is it another totalizing gesture of post-colonial post-industrial kind and symptomatic only of our contemporary nihilism? Not a rhetorical question: Can sickness be the cure?