Walking Away from the Body

Many people walk regularly, but we do not all walk for the same reasons. If you walk primarily for your bodily health, or to “get your blood flowing,” then your walking is not similiar to mine. I walk every day, as much as possible, and often for hours. And I do so, in the final analysis and in ultimate effect, for one reason only: to escape from my body’s influence. I walk as a spiritual assertion of being, against the constant, dull hum of the nihil, which ever seeks to distract me from myself.

Walking is the soul’s most tangible — which is to say physical — method of diminishing and subduing the body. Not “power-walking” or race-walking, which, like running, cater to the body’s needs and thus make the soul its obedient servant. No, I speak of walking, just striding along calmly but firmly, steadfastly and without ulterior motives, stopping where a thought or observation seems to demand a pause, but always with the intention of continuing on. Walking not to arrive somewhere or to improve the digestion, but merely as an understated, aloof, almost insouciant act of defiance against the body’s countervailing and essential impulses, namely the impulses to fatigue, stasis, pain, pleasure, weakness, comfort, self-absorption, relativism, subjectivism, materialism, nihilism. 

My walking is a performative, living declaration of the fact that my body is not I, nor I my body. My intellect walks; my desire to traverse the unending circles of the heavens walks; my curiosity and conversation walk. My body is barely a participant in this activity, or at least no more than baggage, no more esssential to the walking as such than the clothes I happen to be wearing while doing it, or the backpack I carry — and like the backpack, it travels behind me, at my behest, rather than alongside me or in partnership with me.

Walking is the quasi-physical activity whereby my soul communicates to the body, in a language the body understands, the latter’s proper place in the hierarchy of being, and its irrelevance to the essence of life.

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