By Miran Bozovic, Slavoj Zizek
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Additional resources for An utterly dark spot : gaze and body in early modern philosophy
4 However, even if we were familiar with the anatomy of our bodies to the extent that we knew the very nerve ducts through which to direct the animal spirits in order to contract the biceps, we would still be incapable of moving our arm by ourselves. This is simply because, as these animal spirits are themselves nothing other than bodies, that is to say, the smallest particles of the blood and humors, they can be moved only by God. 5 Thus, it is God who moves our bodily members by "successively conserving" the animal spirits on every point of their path from brain to nerves, and from nerves to muscles.
She is being seen by everyone without seeing anyone; in the eyes of others, in their gaze, she can see only herself, that is, a confirmation of her own amour-propre, selflove. It could even be said that she exists only as the object of the gaze, that is to say; only insofar as she is being seen, only through others' eyes-the moment they turned their gaze away from her she would cease to exist. In her ontological status, Marianne resembles Nicholas of Cusa, who-when placed in front of an icon of God, so craftily painted that wherever he placed himself it always gazed back at him-pronounced: "I am because Thou dost look at me, and if Thou didst turn Thy glance from me I should cease to be.
The soul being finite and limited, sensations can quickly exhaust its capacity for thought, so that it cannot sense pain or pleasure and Simultaneously think freely about God. As minds, we were created "to know and love God,,,26 and in order to carry out this task we do not need the body. Since, strictly speaking, "we are not our body,,,27 we could exist without it. However, we do not know that "we are not our body," because God deliberately keeps us ignorant of our true nature. There is, then, in universal Reason an idea-the idea of our mind-that God is not willing to reveal to us despite all of our mind's attention.