What a Brazilian Poet Paulo Leminsk has to teach you about the mind-body?
A few days ago, I was watching a video about Paulo Leminsk, a famous Brazilian poet. The video shows one of his text and touched me profoundly. I wish to share with you the text and what I've learned.
“Slaves and masters.Nobles and peasants.Employers and employees. Technicians and workers. Nothing distinguishes humankind from animals more than the division of labour—our greatest strength and also the source of our weakness.
Because of the division of labour, humankind was able to multiply its power over nature at a remarkable rate. Only 30.000 years ago, all that we had to face the hostility of nature was branches, rocks, and bones. In this biologically brief time, we went from sticks to computers, electricity, genetic engineering, and nuclear power. This only made possible because humankind, in every aspect, specialised some groups into very specific tasks.
Every tiger knows what every tiger knows, and nothing more. Every tiger is a whole. On the other hand, we are fragmented; some seed, others harvests, some orders other ones obey, some celebrate ceremony to gods, others carry rocks to rise temples. The dichotomy of mind-body is a result of the division of labour. The mind is a metaphor of the ruling class, served by the body. The division of work is the real original sin, that expels us from paradise and throw us into the great adventure of life.
The mind-body's unification could bring us back to paradise; we can feel it in some enlightened moments. For fragmented people, heaven is also experienced as pieces.
A remarkable point in the division of labour is the split between manual and intellectual work. This division begins in the religious world with priests and farmers, monks and warriors, clericals and believers, are the first model of the division between workers and theorists. Some religious practices, like starving, abstinence, and pain, push this division between mind and body even further. We could imagine that the soul's concept has born in this practice where the body is seen as a beast that needs to be tamed, to be an obedient mount under the spirit's control.
Last century when the industrial time began, a new role rise: the intellectual. The prime of man-mind, which lives solely in the rarefied atmosphere of ideas.
Between a mind and a body, a thousand light-years of void where monsters and demons are born. They used to be called Lucifer, Belzebub, Asmodeus, now we call them neurosis, paranoia, anxiety.
It's dangerous to split what, by nature, is one and whole.”
(Text from the book “Hora da Lâmina” by Paulo Leminsk)
The text made me think how much of me is living now in the world of ideas. How my projects and experiences I want to share with peoples have been shaped, resized and evaluated but never came closer to existence. After reading this text, my goal has shifted from knowing to doing.
Nowadays, I try not to worry about all the thousand things that are wrong in the world, but in what can I do to make it better—something like materialising my faith.
If I can be honest, sometimes I still struggle with it, it is painful to take your beloved idea out of the realm of ideas. When you do, you are removing the perfection out of it. Unfortunately, ideas that never come to life are like ghosts, they cannot change the material world, but they will haunt you.
To shine all the stars have to burn until the glorious end.
So thank you for reading my idea, which came into life. It's not as brilliant as the one in my mind, but I am sure that it will impact more people.