Life happens in a body. Well defined and motive we draw breath to explore and move the world around us. We live within our vessels of flesh and bone. The world moves through and changes the components of our form yet all we are pressed to worry about is breathing, finding our next meals, handling hygiene, and resting. Everything seems to happen within the well set borders between the world and what we can move.
Much is a mystery about childhood, the time we get to bumble and fumble to find our footing. The question of whether it would be harder to program a genius or a baby is fitting here too. How would a genius adapt were they given only the last year of knowledge to grow from? It would be incredibly taxing to be placed in a full grown body with everything to relearn. The bodily systems our brains allow us to ignore are all new subject areas for babies; the boundaries even within the body are still being worked through and understood. When we think of babies they are all distinct and tangible and with needs, they are the earliest of growing people.
The possibility of singular identity can shift how we understand the bodies within which we function. When we get a name we work to fill it as it seems to mold us. Do babies hold the world around them the same as adults is important to consider. How would the world change action were it shown babies were connected with a larger mass helping them into and through the unfolding experience? When we think of groups they are often collectives of bodies that have gone through the maturation process or a mix of individuals scattered throughout the stages of growth. The possible might not excite because of how the lived experience through which we all crawl daily holds us.
Let us propose a unified self known only to children. No borders of self, function, or purpose. Filling us with possibilities we play out once we become old enough to hold our first moments of the present in our long term minds along the constant journey we witness. Our bodies pushed pulled and trailed in ways we can not and need not understand. Babies are open and let it all flow as they feel it. A group of babies are unburdened by any additional considerations to which adults are accustomed. A crowd of adults, thus, would emote differently. When seeing groups of people we often impose the sum of the emotions of individuals within on the overall understanding of the larger body. How crowds move is not a simple consideration either. Some are explicitly organized months ahead of a known date with people coming from many states or countries away. Others erupt out of frustration or joy following victories or defeat.
What would a group emotion feel, move, and be like? From where would it arise and linger? Would it be felt by the group or distributed?
In individual conversation we often feel what is moving our other by how their body moves with the exchange of words and gestures. The unspoken pieces hold the great majority of sway in the direction of conversations. Picking up on the individual small signals is a prized skill in conversations regardless of setting.
In crowds all of those small motives are still there yet there is a larger body of motion taking precedence, especially in such close physical proximity. When we see a flood of people filling, staying, and flowing through city streets we often still think of the body as a collection of individuals expressing a common desire. We do not often have the need to be conscious of how our bodies are moving when in the crowd. Moving as a mass would speak to belonging and expression in the general sense. Yet what if in crowd was our natural and only state; all our time alone building up to the moments in crowd. When we see people we connect. When we see a crowd there is no one place to look to understand how it is feeling. Just as in our earliest moments, we are likely unaware the breadth of expression going through us when we express as individuals much less as members of larger bodies.
Spreading life across the moments in crowd would say or express what about our journeys? If life was a collection of moments with others and feelings we did not partake in actively for a larger body the reasons for knowing we are social creatures would move us to gather much differently. The unity in a mass of people in an expressive moment can be deep. If an evacuating city had the same as one in full blown riot would we reflect on our days differently or continue unaffected? We could think of the feelings of the crowd as the breakdown of the real feelings of those within when they consciously join those crowds. In that case a riot could be 40% fear, 30% confusion, 20% rage, and 10% everything else. If we view our life as a collection of the crowds we unknowingly choose as babies the moments together would hold us together in yet seen ways. None recall what filled our minds in those early moments but a baby riot would be much different than the ones we see made up of adults. A crowd could become a time to reconnect in frenzied action to times that have been waiting for us. It would be a wonder how the emotions throughout would be composed; if they would be any different or understandable to an adult at all.