I was inside, I was outside.

Who was this ‘I’?

It is something everyone knows, unemotionally and as a matter of fact. You only have to pass through a small opening, a blocked corridor, swing over a handrail or on a balcony high enough to provoke vertigo for the body to become alert. The body knows by itself how to say I. It knows to what extent I am on this side of the bar, and when I am outside. It judges deviations from normal balance, immediately regulates them and knows just how far to go, or not go. Coenesthesia says I by itself. It knows that I am inside, it knows when I am freeing myself. This internal self proclaims, calls, announces, sometimes howls the I like a wounded animal. This common sense apportions the body better than anything else in the whole world.

From The Five Senses, a Philosophy of Mingled Bodies (I) by Michel Serres.

Translated by Margaret Sankey and Peter Cowley. (Continuum publishing, London and New York, 2008, p 19.)

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