Every action, human or not, is brought about through movement. Even though colonialism tried to create a mind that didn’t need the body, the vernacular dance, all the mobile genius of Africa, they ignored that the mind was created by movement in order to help it.
The distinctive feature that made animals have a nervous system and plants don’t, was the need for movement. In his book I of the Vortex, the colombian neuroscientist Rodolfo Llinás explains how the animal in the picture, when born develops a nervous system that helps him find a place to establish himself. Once it is comfortable, the first thing it does is eating its own brain. Nature doesn’t like luxuries.
Hence, thought is internal movement, a pre-motor function that predicts and guides external movement. The senses recognize characteristics of the environment and orient us in space. How convenient would it be for a plant, that cannot displace itself, to feel pain during a nearby fire? On the other hand, a goalkeeper during a penalty uses its senses, memory, intuition and awareness of himself and others to predict where the ball is going to. Intentionality, the last element of the brain related to movement, means that freedom is, literally, the capacity of choosing the road.
Considering this, what caused humans to have the most complex brain in the animal world? An intelligent movement that combines perception, foresight and intentionality. It may be that plants perform many movements on a cellular level or even chasing the sun, but they lack these three elements that are the mark of a nervous system.
Thus, humans are the most complex animals in their movement. We can hold our breath underwater when swimming, imitate a tiger, run, hang, push, jump and dance. We are the greatest generalists, but are also able of the greatest specialization, as our characteristic is versatility. We are not meant to displace machines from point A to point B, nor to walk like hamsters on treadmills. Any movement in which you don’t use the gift of consciousness or that you can do while watching television, is not worthy of the complexity of your humanity.
If you’d like to know more about these topics, I recommend the work of Rodolfo Llinás and Ido Portal
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