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 (no translation) ‘The intention of the builder of this microcosm [the human body] is that it should provide shelter for the soul – which he had placed there as a guest – and that it should support life. Life consists of blood: blood is the locus for the soul, therefore, there is only one task in this world, and that is continuously to forge blood. At this forge their hierarchy is such that one is always borrowing from another, one puts another in debt. The material and metals suitable for transmutation into blood are provided by Nature: it is bread and wine. All forms of nourishment are contained in these two ... To find, to prepare, to cook this nourishment, hands work, feet move and transport the whole mechanism, eyes act as guides ... The tongue tastes, the teeth chew, the stomach receives, digests and evacuates [this food]. The nutritive portion goes to the liver, which again transmutes it and turns it into blood ... Then the blood is transported for further refinement to another workshop – to the heart itself, which by its diastolic and systolic movements refines and enflames it, so that it is perfected in the right ventricle and sent through the veins of all members. Each organ – feet, hands, eyes and all the rest – draws the blood to itself and each in its own way takes nourishment from it. Thus they become debtors who were previously creditors.’ (François Rabelais, 'Gargantua & Pantagruel', Book 3 Chapter 3)

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