Once again I’m on the prowl, trying to figure out what it is that makes us modders do what we love most. My latest theory involves the complex and intriguing relationship between the body and the mind.
Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly alternating between states of having a body and being a body. In having a body, one is completely aware of the presence of his or her physical body. This state may occur as a result of such daily activities as bathing or examining oneself in a mirror. In being a body, one’s mind seizes control of the lived experience. It is in this state that we tend to dissociate from the body and essentially allow it to run on autopilot.
In undergoing body modifications, the body and mind are reunited in an act that calls for immediate awareness of the physical body. Even after a modification has been performed, there remains physical evidence of a life experience inscribed upon the body. Experiences are typically only imprinted upon one's mind in the form of memories, or captured in the form of photographs. In undergoing body modification, one retains a mental record of a particular event, as well as a physical (and often permanent) record. Although tattoos can fade, memories can spontaneously disappear altogether. An aged and faded tattoo on someone's arm may not appear to be meaningful, or even representative of anything (if it's badly damaged), but it is likely that the wearer is still reminded of its personal significance with every glance. Inspecting one's mods in such a way leads to a spontaneous reunion of the body and the mind.
A woman experiencing a spiritual trance during the Thaipusam Festival.
But what is the advantage of regaining this connection? Since the concept itself is so abstract, there is no factual information I can give as to why an open body/mind relationship is important to one's well-being. I can only give examples of some beneficial body/mind fusions, and note that I personally believe such harmony to be the essence of happiness.
First consider the nature of trances resulting from spiritual journeys or psychoactive drug use. Such occurrences are based around the fusion of the mind and body into what is often an extremely significant life experience. Another advantage of regaining the body/mind connection is the ability to at least partially normalize a distorted body image. Putting one's mind is in tune with one's body may result in a more comfortable bodily experience, and therefore help to lessen body-related anxieties.
The possibility of restoring a body/mind relationship may be just one more reason why many individuals find modding such a pleasurable experience. I’m actually off to stimulate my body/mind connection right now and figure out the placement for my new cutting! Hope the weather is as gorgeous where you are as it is here :o)