How does physical movement inform consciousness?

Have you ever wondered how we got to this point in our evolutionary history? How did we become so much less physical than our ancestors? How did we become so much more intellectually advanced? We’ve been through more than a few changes throughout our evolutionary history as human beings. Not the least of which have been physical changes. For millennia our physicality has been informing our consciousness, and our consciousness has been informing our physicality. Some people think we’ve gone too far away from “normal” human activities and are experiencing the consequences in our health. Others view technology as a godsend that will ultimately find a solution for the health issues we’re experiencing. I fall somewhere in between, and love asking questions about where we’ve been, where we are, and where we should be headed as highly conscious physical beings.

I’m sure many of you have seen this meme, and most of you probably found it a little disturbing. It definitely highlights some troubling aspects of our evolution, but more than anything it makes me wonder what it must have been like having such a highly physical human experience like our ancestors. I believe a lot of that physicality is rooted in survival, and as we became more clever and more evolved we found ways to do more than survive. Yet in some ways we are still very much in survival mode. Today survival looks dramatically different than it did 10,000 years ago. I would guess that 10,000 years ago, the level of collective/communal thought occurred on a level that we can’t really comprehend today. Their struggles were dramatically different than ours, and so was their orientation to pain and physicality. And as easy as it is for us to romanticize times of the past, I believe that we ended up here for a reason.

In some sense we’re all participating in and evolving this human experience, so I believe it’s important to find a way to learn from our past (not romanticize it) in order to properly engage in the present and build a better future.

I say all this, and I know I’m a hypocrite and don’t live up to that vision sometimes. It’s a complex world and it’s not so easy to simply navigate your way to a better future. I do think, however, that one of the first steps we can take towards a better future is discussing what that future looks like. It’s obvious to most of us (especially in the Western world) that we’re dealing with a vast array of modern ailments that arose out of our dramatic changes in lifestyle over the past few hundred years. We haven’t evolved to handle our modern diets and movement habits, and every day we feel the consequences of our new lifestyles through pain, injury, and diseases that our ancestors mostly didn’t experience.

I believe adversity is a fundamental part of the human experience. It’s what gives our freedom meaning.

And because we’re not experiencing adversity naturally through our environment, it’s showing up in other places. In fact some people are aware of this phenomenon and actually choose to engage in immense struggle voluntarily. Think about the rise in popularity of endurance races, obstacle races, and other insanely challenging activities we can choose to engage in. To me this awareness and searching is a positive and well-intentioned response to our current evolutionary path, although it can lead to obsessive or addictive behavior sometimes. At the end of the day, I believe there is an solution, that allows us to interface with reality where we’re at, so that we can build a better future, but it might not look identical for everyone.

My vision of how to appropriately participate in positively evolving is through engaging in activities that challenge us physically and mentally while providing us health and fulfillment.

What that means for each person should vary depending upon what that person enjoys. Simple as that. So maybe you don’t enjoy running that half marathon or eating that salmon salad for lunch, but ultimately, I bet you appreciate the long-term health, joy, and fulfillment that you can’t get through less challenging alternatives.

What Elisha does with her work (Kinetix) is give people a tool to allow them to experience more health, fulfillment, and freedom. Another example of a great tool, is Ido Portal’s work. Very few people will ever reach the level of movement proficiency that Ido has, but if someone can use that tool to find better movement and more fulfillment, then it’s a great tool. Even certain types technology can be an extremely beneficial tools. Anything from this blog to heart rate monitors can be a positive use of technology as a tool.

I believe the tools and activities that can help us experience more freedom and fulfillment are what we should engage in now as we evolve a better future.

There are so many different places we could go with this topic, and I love hearing different perspectives on this issue. What are your thoughts on physical movement and consciousness? What’s your unique perspective on where we’ve been? What are we evolving into? And what direction should we be headed? I’d love to hear your thoughts, stories and perspectives!

Please share this post if you’re interested in the relationship between movement and evolution and want to contribute to the conversation. If you have comments or questions drop them below! And if you enjoyed this Mobility Mastery Q&A and have a question that you’d like us to feature, please send your questions to stefancox@mobilitymastery.com so I can surprise Elisha with them :).

 

See ya next time,

Stefan

About Stefan Cox

I want to share my tools and experiences with you so we can learn, play, evolve, and find freedom and fulfillment in the process.

1 comment to " How does physical movement inform consciousness? "
  • Katherine Beaven

    It seems to me that the question is what is our relationship to our body. Mostly it is seen as useful and functional. My impulse is to change that and rediscover how the body can be a pure expression of the soul and spirit. This stimulates the self-healing forces and is uplifting as a source of meaningfulness. I find this is possible through eurythmy.

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