Focusing on ancient Greek and Chinese conceptions of the body, this talk will argue that in order to probe the comparative history of the soul we need to develop comparative histories of the experience of presence. In particular, I will spotlight the strain of Greek philosophical and medical thought that tied being and psychic presence with the imagination of the string stretched taut, and contrast these intuitions of tonic being with the Chinese imagination of the soul as a fluid that easily slipped out of the body. I will discuss how this divergence shaped bodily practices as well as medical theory, and conclude with some remarks on the consequences of the divergence for the subsequent development of Western and Chinese medicine.