Thursday, January 9, 2014

Notes on Aida (7)

Two types of aida – the natural and the social – might be understood continuously.

For a living organism in general, the surrounding environment always contains other organisms as well. For animals or human beings, the environment involves other individuals of the same species, and thus potentially has a social aspect from the start. If we acknowledge the implicit self in the subjectivity of living organism, we can also say that the environment contains the implicit others, which corresponds to the implicit self.

The first aida (a gap in the nature) bring forth the biological subjectivity and the implicit self, and the implicit self keeps its coherence through coping with the environmental changes. But there might be a critical moment for the implicit self to differentiate itself from the implicit others, after which both the self and the other become explicit. In this manner, the second aida (the social gap) arises from the first.

As Kimura writes, transposing the idea of Gestaltkreis into the second type of aida (between the self and the other), it is possible to say that the self keeps its coherence through coping with the variable others. Originally, living organisms adapt to the environmental changes through movement, and maintains its subjectivity by that. As an example, consider a person who is running on a machine that gradually increases the speed. She will adapt to the machine by changing her running form. Living organism knows how to deal with the first type of aida through perception and movement.

Probably a similar thing happens when we deal with another individual. As we have already seen, an encounter with another individual brings forth the explicit self and the explicit other, involving the sense of difference. The self tries to cope with the other, by making approaches to the second type of aida, through communication ranging from verbal to nonverbal (music ensemble would be a suitable example for this). If the self manages to regulate the aida, it will keep the coherence as the self even though it changes its character a little.

However, if it fails to regulate the aida, the self faces a serious disorder. According to Kimura, this disorder is the essential feature of schizophrenia. He writes,

The patient narrates her experience relating it with the failure of “aida” or “ma”– “I cannot express myself, I am not myself” – this hits the essence of schizophrenia. In case that the “aida” is not actualized as “aida”, or “ma” is not actualized as “ma”, neither the self is actualized as the self – “Another person rapidly enters and occupies in me, and it becomes impossible for me to recognize another as another human being or another person in a separated manner.”
[Kimura, B. (2005). Aida. Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, p.165 (translation by ST)]