What Does Your Matter Matter?

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What Does Your Matter Matter?

Postby ThePermster » Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:35 pm

I'm interested as to what importance people set upon the flesh they've been born into and what people would change about it if given the chance so here's a hypothetic just for fun:

So the scientists make a leap forward and suddenly man rejoices in a new era of perfect surgery. Transgenders can now have a full gender switch, no complications and amazingly they can even gain full reproductive properties of their new sex. The internal organs can all be grown for transplants whenever required, nobody dies of organ failure any more. Cosmetic surgery is now without drawbacks, it's quick, painless and easy and no more dodgy face lifts or wonky boob jobs, instead they look indistinguishable from the natural alternative and people can perpetually maintain their youth if they wish.

If this were the case, what would the people here do with their fleshy trappings?
If you could step into a cubicle and walk out again in 5 minutes with suddenly the youth you had as an 18 year old, would you?
If you had nothing to fear of liver failure would you drink every day that you could?
Or how about some weight loss? If you could drop that extra half a stone in a moment's notice would you?
What would you get done?
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Re: What Does Your Matter Matter?

Postby Sabina » Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:31 pm

The synchronicity is creepy and great at the same time... I came here in order to start a new topic, called Healthy Body Image, and it is closely related to what you are asking here.
I still posted it as a separate topic (in the Utopia forum), because it is not exactly the same, just very similar, and I like the questions you asked here and the scenario you propose.

ThePermster wrote:So the scientists make a leap forward and suddenly man rejoices in a new era of perfect surgery. Transgenders can now have a full gender switch, no complications and amazingly they can even gain full reproductive properties of their new sex. The internal organs can all be grown for transplants whenever required, nobody dies of organ failure any more. Cosmetic surgery is now without drawbacks, it's quick, painless and easy and no more dodgy face lifts or wonky boob jobs, instead they look indistinguishable from the natural alternative and people can perpetually maintain their youth if they wish.


Your questions and my answers...
If this were the case, what would the people here do with their fleshy trappings?

If you could step into a cubicle and walk out again in 5 minutes with suddenly the youth you had as an 18 year old, would you?
    Spontaneously speaking, no. I have elaborated below.
If you had nothing to fear of liver failure would you drink every day that you could?
    My not drinking much has nothing to do with a fear of liver failure or any health implications, so that wouldn't be affected for sure.
Or how about some weight loss? If you could drop that extra half a stone in a moment's notice would you?
    No. I don't know.
What would you get done?
    I am inclined to answer that I wouldn't get anything done, but I am trying to make sure that I have really put myself into that situation. You see, the alcohol question is easy, and in that case, I am 100% sure of my answer. With plastic surgery the reason why I wouldn't do anything is, again, not because I am afraid that they would mess me up. It is simply because every inch and cm of me rebels at the thought of the fakeness that is behind it.

    The 5 minute cubicle leading to the 18 years old version of me, so me as I was, may be slightly more challenging as a question. So, I'll think about it some more...
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Re: What Does Your Matter Matter?

Postby Daywhite » Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:16 am

My first thoughts on this focused not so much on what people may change about themselves, but why they would change whatever it may be. ThePermster mentions transgendered individuals and it being easy and safe for them to have the needed operations. I think this, being under a topic titled What Does Your Matter Matter, is a nice match for the topic. I say this because transgendered individuals don't feel there is something wrong with them, but they were simply born in the wrong physical bodies. I realize the "Matter" you speak of in the title is the physical matter, the physical body we each possess. But true matter would seem to depend on each individual. Who am I to determine what should or shouldn't matter most to another?

One could say if one's physical matter, the body, isn't how one is defined, then why should it matter what form this may be. I say, rather than as one might that the physical body isn't important, doesn't matter, so don't change it, whatever form it may be, but since the physical body says little in determining the individual, why shouldn't one change it as much or as often as he likes. If the body is the soul's play-thing, then let the soul play. This would, of course, go back to my initial point, not what the individual may change about himself, but why he wants to change it. If one is doing it for himself, for fun, whatever, not looking for other's approval, feeling inferior in some way, then, hell, go for it. Someone said we are not a body with a soul, but a soul with a body. Greek philosopher Epictetus said, "You are a little soul carrying around a corpse." I post that to point out that if indeed we each do have a soul, then the body itself, something that ages and dies while the core of who we each are, our soul, remains intact through our lives, would seem to matter little if at all.


Your questions and my answers...
If this were the case, what would the people here do with their fleshy trappings?

If you could step into a cubicle and walk out again in 5 minutes with suddenly the youth you had as an 18 year old, would you?
Often, you will hear someone say, "I wish I knew then what I know now." Everyone seems to want a return to physical youthfulness, but most will say only if they can keep their knowledge. So, sure, get rid of some of the aches and pains of not so old but not young age, but maintain what little knowledge I may have, sure; count me in.

If you had nothing to fear of liver failure would you drink every day that you could?

I don't drink that much, anyway, so not so much for that. But, to say I could eat all I want and never be overweight or unhealthy...pass the chocolate ice cream.

Or how about some weight loss? If you could drop that extra half a stone in a moment's notice would you?
See previous answer.

What would you get done?

Not really for any plastic surgery or whatever. I pretty much like what I have, what I see when I look in the mirror. I'm actually pretty comfortable with myself physically; anything that I want changed, I know I can when I try, so no surgeries. Nothing against surgery, no fears or anything, simply nothing I would want to use it to change. Well, unless Brooke Shields could be surgically implanted in my bedroom. Other than that, I'm good.
"Sometimes you do it to save your own life, not anybody else's. That's mostly why I write. I'm not trying to change anybody else's life or the world; I'm trying to keep from blowing my own brains out. That's the real point." -- Guy Clark
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Re: What Does Your Matter Matter?

Postby Agate » Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:39 am

A real-world example of this conundrum is the cochlear implant. My friend Daisy is an interpreter for the deaf, and she says there's a rift in the deaf community over the question of "if you could hear, would you?" because now it can be a reality. Some of the deaf are all in favor, others are violently opposed.

To grossly oversimplify, those in favor tend to lean heavily on the "Um, DUH! Who wouldn't want to have a disability repaired??" viewpoint. They talk about how hard it is to be deaf, while living in a world of the hearing. Those opposed generally point out that they do not feel "broken" so there is nothing to "fix". I see this question as an extension of that basic conflict. On the surface, who wouldn't want to upgrade their body, repair any flaws, etc.

Well, me, for one.

I firmly believe that one of the reasons we are put on this earth is to learn. A great many of those lessons are physical. Learning to cope with being a shape/size/color/whatever that is not the societal norm, how to handle yourself when at a physical disadvantage...even simple stubbornness can often be learned from having a less-than-perfect body. Granted, many people choose to not-learn. How much easier would this hypothetical technology make it for them to not-learn?

And what about those of us who embrace our flaws?

I have a non-standard body type, and yes, for years I fantasized about being able to change everything in the blink of an eye. I don't really anymore...mostly because I chose to embrace my imperfections. I see the physical scars I bear as badges of honor. Seriously, if I could live through the first 20 years of my life, I can survive anything! But the scars are a reminder of where I've been, how far I've come. I am a better, wiser person than I would have been without the physical challenges I faced. Has it been hard? Hell yes. Do I regret it? Not really, because the challenges made me strong.

Now, for the questions themselves...

If you could step into a cubicle and walk out again in 5 minutes with suddenly the youth you had as an 18 year old, would you?

That kind of depends upon how one defines "youth". If you're asking if I want my 18-year-old body back, then NO! I was incredibly unhealthy at that age, and would not replay those dramas for all the tea in China. Now if by "youth" you mean regaining the body's quicker responses, greater elasticity of muscle and overall speed of bouncing back after illness or injury, I'd think about it.

If you had nothing to fear of liver failure would you drink every day that you could?

I seldom drink as it is, so this is kind of irrelevant.

Or how about some weight loss? If you could drop that extra half a stone in a moment's notice would you?

That one used to be an automatic yes...now I don't think so. My weight, my size, are badges of courage. Do I need to loose some? Yes. Quite a bit, actually. But for me the joy, the learning, is in the journey. And it will be with a huge sense of achievement that I finally reach my goals. You can't get that kind of sensation with any sort of quick fix.

What would you get done?

There are only two physical aspect of myself that I'd like to repair/modify. I'd love to trade in my lungs for a new set (MINUS the asthma, if you please!) and I'd regain full flexibility in my hands. Everything else that's off-center in my body can be resolved with work...those are the only two I'm not really sure of.
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Re: What Does Your Matter Matter?

Postby IsonaliAki » Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:08 am

First and foremost let me just say that this post is just entirely unfair. I won't go into a lot of the reasons why, but, well, more for Agate than anybody else, I had to put on my "native" youtube playlist and zone out to be able to respond. As an added note, though it's of no particular interest to any, I used to be a message board-aholic... haven't been in a LONG time because I was very VERY burned by some... so I'm going to post my reply to this and go smoke half a pack of cigs and chant "I can't believe I just posted that" for a few hours........... that said...........

When I read the post as a whole the very first thing that came to mind was a book that's sitting in my "medicine box" (a fire-proof safe sitting under my bed). The title isn't particularly important, but it was given to me when I was 12 just after my Grandpa died by my Great-Grandma with the words "someday you'll understand." The writing within is fascinating material. It covers a range of genres and thoughts and emotions that still leaves me sitting in awe, wonder, amazement and confusion to this day. It is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the best thing I have ever read. The cover is the hard part. It's an old book, hardback, and has seen better days (though probably a long, long time ago). It's torn in places, taped up with masking tape that's shredding itself, nearly falling apart in several spots, it looks and smells of smoke from being through 2 fires, and, well, all in all is just in bad shape. It took me a long, long time to understand that "you'll understand" but a few years ago I was sitting there holding it one day, had a spasm in my ankle, and realized... my god... I'm the book. And, well, pretty much like now... Dave wept.

It has taken me a long time to embrace the "who I am" internally. I could even say that has truly only cemented within the last few months. I cannot say the same thing about my "cover" though... This may come as some surprise to the individual, but I greatly envy Agate because of her ability to embrace who/what she is physically, including the imperfections. There is a large part of me that wants nothing more to reply to your questions with all of the "Oh I wouldn't change a thing! I love me!" answers that I can think of... but I'm at a place right now I can't do so and be honest. So, I'm going to answer your questions as honestly as I humanly can...

If you could step into a cubicle and walk out again in 5 minutes with suddenly the youth you had as an 18 year old, would you?

No. Simply because I wasn't THAT much better off at 18 than I am now.

If you had nothing to fear of liver failure would you drink every day that you could?

Drink? Not so much. But other consequences due to actions? Absolutely. Maybe not every day because cake every day would get boring, but, well, you get the idea.

Or how about some weight loss? If you could drop that extra half a stone in a moment's notice would you?

Where's the booth???????? Half a stone? I don't know how much a stone is in pounds but I'm sure I could drop a couple of them...

What would you get done?

There are days I would say I would say everything, from the top down... today? Drop those stones and a new everything from the thighs down please. Hold the mayo...

*picks up a few dribbles of soul that dropped on the ground and goes on to the next post*
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Re: What Does Your Matter Matter?

Postby mirjana » Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:16 am

My thoughts have always gone more in the direction, not what would I change, but what would I do I love, as there have never been enough time for everything I wanted to do.
There were some critical thoughts about some details (which look completely crazy now) and I had a little intervention, taking off one mole. But, I have mostly loved my body and me and this feeling was empowered after I have entered a stable state of consciousness about myself, with Gnostic Intensive and working on koans Who/what am I?; Who/what is another?;What is life?;Who/what is God? It happened 9 years ago, and from then on it is a stable state of acceptance and love. There are periods of some changes (few kilos up, and then down), but is not an issue for this topic. Now I try to teach people with who I work about acceptance of self. If you do not like something, change it, the way Agate has been doing, consciously, not physically. Easy come, easy go.
But most of all, it is important to be grateful for what you have.
When we wake up in our beds, walk with our legs to the toilette, see our face in the mirror(have healthy eyes), eat with our month, and breath with nose normally, walk, laugh, have family, have friends, wow...it is so much. What is in our power to change and we want change, we can do it. When it is not in our power, we have a power of acceptance and gratitude for that what we have. When we are grateful for what we have, somehow, I think, we shall get more of the same as we are aware of that. Who always complains, brings more reasons for complaining in the life. Like attracts like.
ThePermster wrote:If you could step into a cubicle and walk out again in 5 minutes with suddenly the youth you had as an 18 year old, would you?

I loved myself when I was 18, but I love me more now.
ThePermster wrote:If you had nothing to fear of liver failure would you drink every day that you could?

It has never been my problem. I occasionally drink a glass of good wine after a good meal and I do not need more, not because of fear, but the pleasure is fulfilled like that.
ThePermster wrote:Or how about some weight loss? If you could drop that extra half a stone in a moment's notice would you?What would you get done?

I love cooking, I enjoy this ritual as well table rituals and therefore lately in this mature age there are few kilos more. But, it is not problematic gain, it doesn't disturb me. Maybe I became even more aware of my body and the relationship between my body and my inner observer who, by decision, can do whatever wants. If I would like it I know the way to solve it easy and quickly whenever I want. I think that everything that comes easy and without conscious goes easy too. It will never be my choice.

What changes I would like though, would be that I could be in a moment on another place, drink coffee and share some hours with my kids and then be here again, the same where my mother is, my brother, some friends, like in Star Trek. But, as said, because it is not possible, the whole pleasure of preparing for going there and be with dear ones is therefore more precious and the joy is longer.
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