“This view of human embodiment put forward by Husserl and developed by Merleau-Ponty sees the body as an intelligent, planning, and goal-oriented entity.  The body is not a passive material structure waiting for mental commands, but is actively engaged in meaningful intelligent interaction with the environment.  Through its directedness the body executes actions that are not merely physical movements but goal-directed movements that can only be understood as such.  ‘For us the body is much more than an instrument or a means; it is our expression in the world, the visible form of our intentions'(Merleau-Ponty 1964, p. 5).  Thus the body is the core of our existence and the basis for any interaction with the world; it is our general medium for having a world (Merleau-Ponty 2012, p. 147).

-Havi Carel, Phenomenology of Illness, p. 34