Friday, June 03, 2011

Sir Charles Bell

The following is from The hand, its mechanism and vital endowments as evincing designSir Charles Bell:
The property in the hand of ascertaining the distance, the size, the weight, the form, the hardness and softness, the roughness or smoothness of objects results from the combined perception--through the sensibility of the proper organ of touch and the motion of the arm, hand and fingers. But the motion of the fingers is especially necessary to the sense of touch; they bend, extend, or expand, moving in all directions like palpa, with the advantage of embracing the object, and feeling it on all its surfaces; sensible to its solidity and to its resistance when gasped; moving round it and gliding over its surface, and therefore, feeling every asperity, provided that vigorous circulation, and therefore, the healthful condition both of the mind and the body, shall result from muscular exertion and the alternation of activity and repose.

The pleasure which arises from the activity of the body is also attended by gratification from the exercise of a species of power--as in mere dexterity, successful pursuit in the field, or the accomplishment of some work of art. This activity is followed by weariness and a desire for rest, and although unattended with any describable pleasure or local sensation, there is diffused through every part of the frame, after fatigue and whilst the active powers are sinking into repose, a feeling almost voluptuous. To this succeeds the impatience of rest, and thus we are urged to the alternations which are necessary to health, and invited on from stage to stage of our existence.

We owe other enjoyments to the muscular sense. It would appear that in modern times we know comparatively little of the pleasures arising from motion.
Use your hands and mind their effects. They are cause for marvel. Make, fix and create.

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