Body Modification, Self-Fashioning

My ceramics class had its first midterm-like event today. This involved showing our work in progress and discussing it, both technically and thematically. Conversation turned to body modification and its relationship to self-fashioning.

My own body modifies itself automatically. Right now it is traveling backwards in time due to all the lifting, jumping, and throwing of heavy objects in which we engage at the studio. My work on modification and self-fashioning takes place in that much-maligned locus I rebelliously like, the mind. The Shadow may have lifted, but I am still boiling down the erroneous principles I learned in Reeducation, so that I can banish them when they flash up.

Reeducation is designed to modify its subjects, and its objects. That is, after all, why one goes. But one of the most interesting sentences I read when I did some research on the nature of abuse, was that one of its principal effects was to modify, and not merely coerce its victims. I ought to have known this, since it is common knowledge that modification is a principal objective of torture, but when I read that sentence, it seemed new. In Reeducation, I expected to be modified. It was fashionable at the time to say that this modification would be uncomfortable. So despite a certain unease, I allowed a negative modification to continue unidentified.

Reeducation had many principles and sentences, which I have tried at various points in these pages to decode. I now discern that the most basic sentence was Doubt yourself and mistrust your environment. This sentence is the One Ring which rules them all, and binds them together in the land of shadows.

If you mistrust your environment in a global way, you have fear. But if you trust yourself, you will know whom, or what to mistrust. That, of course, is why the ancients emphasized self-knowledge. This weblog is a great spell I have cast to get mine back.



~ by Z on February 12, 2007.

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