“On the highest throne in the world man sits on his arse” – Montaigne
Picked out of the book “The Denial of Death” from Ernest Becker. The quote is not only humbling for our ego as the dominant and unchallenged species on Earth, but it nicely juxtaposes the dual nature of man, as a self-conscious and reflective mind looking out to the world from inside a sack of flesh. However, it is also dangerous to perceive ourselves as a mind in a body, as they are essentially the same thing; there is no mind without a body and no body without a mind, or as Spinoza put it ever so clearly “the mind is the idea of the body”.
Seeing the nature of man as a duality eases its contemplation and can reveal certain mechanisms, but in the end one has to return to the whole body as the centre of experience.