The Archive speaks
by Arran James
What fighting has proved to me – beyond any sort of linguistic demonstration of logical construction – is that entities external to my perception and control have direct access to my substantial being. The plane of action is immanent. Not only did I experience my opponent’s powers cognitively but a felt them structurally, in the way he was able to intervene on my existence and disable (temporarily) certain aspects of my characteristic functionality. Never had I felt so affected. So I know that objects and entities can and do have direct and highly consequential contacts with each other. Realism is THE default position for anyone who experiences the world as a whole/embodied being. After five minutes in a locked cage with a trained opponent, I believe anyone would become a realist. Ontologically speaking, we are open and vulnerable systems.
This sense of embodied realism is something that my partner is never slow to express to me, from her experience as a contemporary dancer, whenever I have a tendency to fly into abstractions in conversation. It is also something that I witness and partake in throughout my day in my professional role as a psychiatric nurse. I have administered medication or utilised a Snoezelen suite and seen someone in the grips of a manic episode calm down rapidly. I have also seen aggressive patients being ‘rapidly tranquilised’ (a nice little euphemism for injected involuntarily with benzodiazapenes) and seen them drop into unconscious pretty quickly. I also play squash. I have no doubt that when that ball hits me at speed it has really hit me. As Michael puts it, the plane of action is immanent.