Mind and body

 

A few very basic things about mind and body:

Life is one whole. And sometimes, for practical reasons, we divide it into (a) individual and the wider world, and (b) the individual into mind and body. These boundaries are created through overlays of thought, – of words and images – and are not inherent in reality.

That means that when it comes to any aspect of our health, what we call mind and body both are at play, as is the wider (social and ecological) whole.

For instance, with physical pain, there is the physical pain (body)  and there is our response to it (mind), both influence each other, and our cultural expectations and norms, social support (wider world) and more also play into it. If there are fearful beliefs about the pain, the pain may intensify. If we see the words and images, and feel the sensations, making up the pain and our responses to it, there may be more ease and ability to experience the sensations as sensations. There may still be “pain” but less suffering.

More in general, the processes of the mind influences the body – weakening or strengthening it which in turn influences health, illness and recovery. (We are so far just scratching the surface of this in terms of research.)

Also,  from the view of physical science, mind appears connected with the body and is a mystery. (“What is it? What is it’s relationship to the body?”.) From our own immediate experience, all is mind. The body – and the wider world, and any other content of the mind – happens within and as mind. And both views are valid in their own way. Each have their value and function. They are two facets of how we can perceive the world.

P.S. These are things that seem very basic and obvious, but I still notice some confusion about this in the media and other places.

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– mind and body – two aspects of one whole (as individual-wider world are two aspects of same whole)
– always both + influence each other (if seen through the filter of seeing them as two)
– e.g. pain – physical + response of fear may increase the experience of pain (less/no fear + inquiry, more sense of ease with it)
– also, from physical science, mind appears connected with body and a mystery, from own immediate experience all is mind + body happens within/as mind – and both are valid in their own way, complementary, a facet of how the world appears to us

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Life is one whole and we (sometimes) divide it into individual and the wider world, and the individual into mind and body. These boundaries are created through overlays of thought (words and images), and not inherent in reality.

That also means that (what we call) mind and body both are at play when it comes to any aspect of health, as is the wider whole.

For instance, for physical pain, there is the physical pain (body)  and there is our response to it (mind), and both influence each other, as do our cultural expectations and norms, social support (wider world) and more. If there is fearful beliefs about the pain, the pain may intensify. If we see the words, images and sensations making up the pain and our responses to it, there may be more ease and ability to experience the sensations as sensations. There may still be “pain” but less suffering.

Also,  from the view of physical science, mind appears connected with the body and is a mystery (at least for now). From our own immediate experience, all is mind. The body happens within and as mind. And both are valid in their own way. The are complementing each other. They are two facets of how the world can appear to us.

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