You are more in contact with the world than you think
I’ve long been aware that humans are not fixed, unchanging beings. Taking the physical process of cell reproduction alone, we are continually developing, with cells dying and new ones taking their place. We morph and change according to what we eat, one week a little plumper, another slimming down. These physical processes mirror our psychological process, one of continual evolution and flux.
After meditating a few days ago, I was curious to know about the surface area of the body. Knowing that we are continually breathing and digesting what we eat and drink, while I was sitting still I was aware of the interchange taking place at the surface of my body, through my porous skin. I guess I was sensing that I’m not so separate from what surrounds me, given the interaction is continuous.
I was blown away to discover that while the surface area of an average adult skin is only somewhere around two square metres, the surface area of the digestion is around 40 square metres, and of the lungs is a massive 70 square metres. Combined, that’s not far off the size of a tennis court. Here I am, only 1.6m tall, with a surface area exchanging matter with my surroundings of 112 square metres (ish).
It strikes me bodies are extraordinary. We absorb and release constantly in interaction with our environment. We are far, far more fluid, and inter-connected than we perceive. Next time you feel lonely, take a moment to pause and sense the physical processes that in each moment have you in a continual process of taking things in, and letting things out. ‘You’ are not alone, you are not separate, you are a precious expression of life, and life is all around you.
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