Somatic Modes of Attention Author(s): Thomas J. Csordas Source: Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 8, No. 2 (May, ), pp. Published by: Wiley on behalf of. Somatic Modes of Attention Author(s): Thomas J. Csordas Reviewed work(s): Source: Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 8, No. 2 (May, ), pp. Somatic Modes of Attention Thomas J. Csordas DepartmentofAnthropology Case WesternReserve University. Embodimentas a paradigmor methodological.

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Remember me on this computer. Attenhion are performedonly as horizons,they constitutein realitynew regions in the total world If, as Merleau-Pontysays, attentionconstitutesobjects out of an indeterminatehori- zon, the experienceof ourown bodies andthose of othersmustlie somewherealong thathorizon.

First,consideranointings,words of knowledge, videncias,andplasmaciones as kinds of intuition.

Otherwise,the principleof indeterminacybecomes a disguise for lack of analyticspecificity, and habitusloses its value as an analytic construct. Language and Lived Space Among the Maya. The semiotic analysis is atrention value in allowing Daniel to compareSiddhaand similar traditionalhealing systems with Western biomedicine in terms of the relative power of indexicality or iconicity institutionalizedwithin them cf.

I restrictthe discussion in this section to the Charismaticand espiritistarevelatory phenomenadescribedabove. In this article, Thomas Csordas contributes to the development of embodiment as a methodological field. The categoriesof trance and altered states of consciousness remain virtual blackboxes, andone colleague’s suggestionof”proprioceptivedelusion”is no help at all.

Althoughthe habitusbears some of the schematismof afixed text,it can be transcendedin mods. Why did Csordas choose to explore an embodiment framework through healing? Thanksas well to thetwoanonymous reviewersfor CulturalAnthropology. ,odes

First was the sense of certaintythat what he would say was actuallyhappening. Towardan Ethnographyof Expe- rience. All of these wouldbe interestingdeterminations, but would not suit the aims of a culturalphenomenology.


Most important,he argues that such experiences are communicationfrom patients,and againsttraditionaltheoriesof countertrans- ference thatimpugnthem as pathologicalreactionsof the therapist. If, as Schutz says, attentionis a conscious turningtoward an object,this”turningtoward”would seem to implymorebodilyandmultisensory engagementthanwe usually allow for in psychological definitionsof attention.

Indiana University Press, Finally, at the same time he would feel a finger pressing softly on the partof his body correspondingto the afflictedpartof the personbeing healed.

Then why not conceive of revelatoryphenomena as sensoryintuition? The indeterminacyin our analytic categories is revealedwhen we encounter phenomenaas essentially ambiguousas somatic modes of attention. He suggests conceiving of an interactivefield between two people thatis “capableof manifestingenergywith its own dynamicsandphenomenology.

The ability to see spirits from in back of the eyes ojo oculto may be associatedwith the interpersonalsalience of the eyes and the glance also found in the evil eye ojo malo. To a certainextent it must be both.

Somatic Modes of Attention | Thomas Csordas –

The problem,requiredby the uncollapsedor uncollapsible duality of the “in itself” being and”foritself’ existenceis having to distinguishgenuine, transcendentexpression from reiteration. Only after experiencing the sharedpulsationsof cama nilai does the Siddha physician truly know the patient’s humoral disorder. Munn, Nancy The Fame of Gawa: Paths Toward a Clearing: In the context of ongoing therapeuticattentionto the theme of overdisciplineandexcessive needfor control,it was not surprisingthathe observed thathis modee wereclenchedandhis knees locked.

Although glimpsesof thebodyhave appearedregularlythroughoutthehistoryof ethnography e. For example, Becker in press has observed that in Fijian culture the body is not a function of the individual “self” as in Euro-America,but of the community.

I will now briefly examine relatedphenomenain two healing systems that lack such overtly religious character. He has conducted ethnographic research with Charismatic Xomatic, Navajo Indians, and adolescents in the American Southwest on topics including therapeutic process in religious healing, ritual language and creativity, sensory imagery, self transformation, techniques of the body, causal reasoning about illness, and the experience of psychiatric inpatients.


Somatic Modes of Attention

Because attentionimplies both sensory engagementand an object, we must emphasizethatourworkingdefinitionrefersbothto attending”with”andattending “to”the body. Thus, we could say thathuman action is transcendentin takingup situationsand endowing them with meaning thatis open-endedand inexhaustiblewithoutever outrunning those situations; and situations cannot be outrun because they are structured accordingto an cordas of dispositionsthatregulatepracticesby adjusting them to other practices, thereby creating the condition of possibility for the open-endedness of action.

Foucault,Michel The Birthof the Clinic: She begins with known facts, tying together events, complaints, and actions of the patient,while makingherself an actorin the story from the patient’spoint of view.

First,whereasfor CatholicCharismaticsanointingsaredirect experiences of divine power and words of knowledge are divinely empowered direct experiencesof the supplicant’sdistress, for espiritistas, the corresponding experiencesarethe workof spiritsthatenteror possess the healer.

Preciselybecauseit is transcendence, existenceneverutterlyoutrunsanything,for in thatcase the tension which is essentialto it [betweenobjectiveworldand existentialmeaning]would disappear. Thomas Modess is an anthropologist whose principal interests are in medical and psychological anthropology, comparative religion, anthropological theory, cultural phenomenology and embodiment, globalization and social change, language and culture.

However, the spiritsthemselves are more often seen and heardamong spiritiststhan among Charismatics,and spiritist healers can distinguish between good guias and bad causas.