the Paradigm and phenomenology of body



T he paradigm of Christ which assumes the totality of life has a strong affinity with Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology which also tries to integrate life from the stand point of what he calls 'body scheme'. Husserl's phenomenological reduction is still a reduction on the conscious level. What Merleau-Ponty aimed to attain by the reduction was to reach pre-conscious intention, which he called the operative intention. This is actually the primordial form of life's movement in the Paradigm.

What is important for the Paradigm's relation to the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty is that this phenomenological philosophy gives an epistemological ground for the Paradigm in explaining the formation of the pictorial scheme mediated by the body. The phenomenal body, on the one hand, keeps in touch with life's impulses within the body. The phenomenal body can distinguish the difference of impulses by placing them in order taking advantage of the spatial sense (of up and down, right and left, and front and back) already acquired by the objective body that twines itself around the phenomenal body. This orders the ontological feelings of pleasure or displeasure, active or passive in life's impulses corresponding to the spatial sense that belongs to the objective body. So the phenomenal body, on the other, tries to externalize and clarify the invisible impulses in the ordered form. The process in which the phenomenal body gradually reveals the principle of life's impulses contacting life as such is the transference of tacit logos to explicit logos.

Merleau-Ponty distinguished 'objective space' and 'existential space' as well as objective body and phenomenal body. If we follow this style, the Paradigm of Christ is, by forming 'up and down', 'right and left', a translation of the 'gestalt' of life's impulses on a conceptual plane made up by the 'existential space' of the body. The scheme of the Paradigm of Christ is based on the 'gestalt' structured by the inner movement of life's impulses sensed in 'existential space'. The way the scheme is constructed is based on the phenomenal body's natural arrangement to the qualitative difference among the impulses. The phenomenal body arranges different impulses in respective locations corresponding to our natural feeling that, we sense something unstable in the upward area of the body, something stable in the downward area, something active in the right, and something passive in the left.

The phenomenal body is a flexible mediator where our consciousness can form all kinds of gestalts by the body image. It is a system that can also imitate other's gestalts just as a musical instrument can adjust itself infinitely to any kind of compositions played by another instrument. It is through this capacity that we can transform our spirit to the integrated point after our finding the model gestalt to imitate through the conversion experience. The transformation of personality will be gradually actualized by imitating the integrated intention indicated by the words of revelation. The stable gestalt can be acquired only through following the metaphorical language and making the will towards integration habitual sedimenting it to our body.

If there is a ground that the body is based on the nature of light and the spectrum, then analogously the body can produce all kinds of gestalts infinitely. The life intends to actualize the integration at each occasion and tries to clarify meaning through the gestalt. The various possibilities of the integration under such infinite changes are analogous to the fact that, out of the three primary colors, all the colors and accompanied shapes emerge, and then any kind of reality can be described from the combination of the colors and the shapes. The phenomenal body is, therefore, also an archetypal region determined by light and the spectrum, and light and darkness.

In the case of the body image, once the integration is acquired, it works forever as an infant child has the skill of walking. But in the case of spiritual integration, in contrast to the body image, it is easily damaged by external causes. Unless the motivation of all of life's impulses is balanced at each occasion, it does not work well.@Therefore we call this variable integration 'spirit image' distinguishing it from the body image. Being an extension of the body image, it is isomorphic, yet not so stable as the body image. It is the words of God that trains the spirit image and brings it into the dimension of the body image. Making it an habitual phenomena (called the sedimentation to the body by Merleau-Ponty) allows the alienated spirit to return to the right place and recover the sense of innocence.

The concept of 'flesh', late Merleau-Ponty's central idea, has, as the principle of life participated in the phenomenal body, the same configuration as the Paradigm of Christ. The 'flesh' forms the gestalt through its dialectical movement. The 'flesh' divides itself and self-returns to itself. It is a 'wild principle' in its archetypal movement and, at the same time, the universal entity that the body participates in as the Idea. Such a flesh is indeed the principle of the Paradigm of Christ that has the movement from the division of the spectrum to the unity to light. Therefore, the 'flesh' is virtually the logos. All things participate in the logos. So out of logos everything was created as written in the beginning of John. The redemption or the kingdom of God is for a spirit, to externalize and identify with the logos, the principle of the integration.

The Paradigm of Christ is the 'flesh' itself extracted from the phenomenal body. It is the fixation of life's impulses that contact with our phenomenal body in terms of the polarity between being and nothing, life and death, the good and the evil. In doing so, the movement of life is grasped at the most basic point.

Merleau-Ponty does not want to depend on the accepted terms (such as Ideas) that describe philosophical truths. He tried to grasp the 'wild being' of life as it can be seen through the phenomenal body, avoiding idealistic processing using the acknowledged concepts. He made an effort to excavate directly the 'wild being' with all its depth. He thinks such conventional concepts are easy to be transferred by our conventional thinking to flat and horizontal meanings. In other words, it is life as such that holds depth.(quote) But the Paradigm of Christ, on the contrary, takes advantage of such acknowledged truths and analyzes effectively the paradigm's metaphorical configuration through them. Although the Paradigm of Christ transforms the 'wild being' to a spectrum plane, yet it is a devices that gives itself a depth showing different dimensions with sets of terms and that tries to preserve the depth by leaving them in a pictorial form. Surrounding the basic movement of light and the spectrum, it gives an overlapping perspective from the visible attitudes to the invisible impulses.

What is the most primordial form of life? It is the primordial movement of life. This is nothing but the basic movement of the division and the unity of the spectrum and light.

The Paradigm of Christ classifies the life's impulses in accordance with the sensational necessity of our phenomenal body. It translates the feeling of instability to upward direction of consciousness, stability to downward, active feeling to right, passive feeling to left. Corresponding to our physical sensation, it externalizes the invisible impulses and gives an order.