Muscle Messages

This is a speculation set up by Alphonso Linguis (“Orchids and Muscle” in Exceedingly Nietzsche) through the thought of Leroi-Gourhan. See how it all pivots on the placement of the expressive function.

In the human primate, a distinctive reflexive circuit was set up with the evolution of the hand. The human species began by putting the cutter, chopper and grinder functions of the jaws into its hands. The front legs no longer serve to drive the jaws to make contact with the world; they rise from the ground and conduct samplings of the world to the head. The human animal now acquires a face. Its muscular configurations no longer react immediately to the front-line of contact with external nature, but turns to its own hands. A smile and an apprehensive grimace now become possible — movements that are expressive, that is, that address a sample, a representative of the independent exterior held in the hand — and soon, held with a mental grasp before an inner eye. An animal that faces considers representations it has apprehended. Its manual musculature comes not only prehensile but also expressive; the hands position their take for an appraising eye. They address themselves also to the eyes of another animal that has acquired a face; they speak. Little by little our whole musculature has learned to speak. The throat muscles designed for devouring and for expelling substances and the body’s own biles and rages now learns from the hands how to shape the samples and representatives of the outside, how to exteriorize the comprehensive expressions the hands first learned to make. The whole torso becomes organs-to-be-seen, the abdomen struts and cowers, the legs and thighs acquire humility and pride, the shoulders and back, turned from the face-to-face circuit, sway with resentment and defiance.
This is a rather poetic take on human evolution. One that I would like to have known when I turned my attention to the senses and their communicative potential
The human senses, whatever their number and relations, produce events. Events can be connected. This production of events can be experienced, can be induced, can be guided. Memory plays a major role in this process. Attention can be alternatively devoted to percept and to the act of perception. The possibilities for metacommentary are connected to the possibilities for memory. Cognitively this allows humans to preserve the trace of something happening at a certain time. Events connected in a series of episodes lead to narratives. The transformation of discrete somatic signals into sequences begins to explain cross-modal encoding.
If simply put we early on learnt that how we perceive is communicated to others then the dynamo of self-reflexivity and metacognition could not be far behind.

And so for day 1394