In touching a hot surface the hand suddenly pulls away. Such is the intelligence of the hand it perceives the surface is too hot to touch and acts accordingly. If perception were absent, and the hand unable to perceive the surface as too hot, it would surely burn. Perception is a vital fact of what we are, its activity throughout the body enables the subtle intelligence that maintains an orderly self.
The ‘thought’ material in the body isn’t fundamentally different from the rest of the bodily material, the brain organ and spinal cord play a role in generating this activity, though it has tremendous sophistication, it is materially limited. There is a tendency in the collective consciousness to prioritise thought over perception, we seem to see thought as almost less limited than the rest of the body, not subject to the same truth that affects the body. The average psyche is rich in thought but not in perception. Interestingly perception is more fundamental than thought, without it we wouldn’t be able to see, move, or even sit upright. A plant doesn’t have thought activity but through perception it’s able to detect sunlight and move toward the sun. The earth is full of organisms that don’t have thought the way people do but function creatively because of the fundamental role perception plays in them. Even in the human body so much of the activity is possible because of the role perception plays throughout it, thought on the other hand is a relatively minor feature of the body. When the hand is cut, thought might put a plaster on it but it doesn’t heal the wound. The action of the body that heals the wound doesn’t necessarily require the use of thought. It’s through perception the body detects the contradiction, in this case the wound, and takes appropriate action of its own accord.
The wound heals without thought however while thought is irrelevant to the fundamental action that heals the wound it does play a legitimate role in improving the capacity of the body to heal, for example it might apply a disinfectant to clean the wound and a cover to protect it. Certainly thought has an important role in the body but it isn’t separate from the body, it’s a participant in its action though we tend to experience it as an overriding entity that almost runs the body. Even thought ought to be subject to the bodily perception. As the body through perception detects and resolves the contradiction in the wounded hand, and as it through perception detects and resolves the contradictions of daily life, whether that’s crossing a road safely or holding a cup and drinking it without spilling, through perception the body is also able to detect and resolve the contradictions in thought thus bringing order to its operation. There is a problem though, perception in thought is inadequate, thought therefore tends to operate without adequate sight of itself, it doesn’t see clearly what’s taking place in its movement and so it’s not able to be put right where it goes wrong. And while it is a relatively minor feature of the body it does exert a major influence over it. When it doesn’t properly perceive its operation, there is a serious danger to life. The hand has an adequate perception thus when an incoherence arises such as touching a hot surface or sustaining a wound, the body is able to immediately act to resolve it and return itself to order but thought in the absence of perception is unable to see its disorder, therefore it is unable to resolve the natural contradictions that arise within itself, and so it is caught in a dangerous situation where it’s affected by all sorts of consequences from its unintended activity that cause the body unnecessary suffering and difficulty.
Without the natural self perception there in the rest of the body thought is without the awareness the rest of the body has. Inevitably then thought will produce unintended consequences again and again wrecking the situation it’s otherwise playing a major role in architecting. The hand has the self awareness to see the surface is too hot for it to touch, thought with the same awareness would come to see its own operation and therefore the contradictions in its operation, it would creatively affect itself in a way that brings to it what it wants, it would be in good order the way the rest of the body is.
The actual perception which is infinitely greater than the thought activity that dominates consciousness lies in the wholeness of the body. Whether you’re able to distinguish it and remain in it is entirely different from these words.