Body Mind Dichotomy

The story of the diversity of life on our planet is written in the DNA of living things. Using this language we are learning to read how all species converge at a single event in our distant past, which was the emergence of life itself. Underneath the complexity of projection and protection is the most primary directive of life, which is to live. If there is divine intelligence it’s expression in the physical world is in the blinding intensity of the intent of this directive. From the perspective of this author this intent is both mysterious and miraculous, and like physics, most likely beyond our capacity to fully grasp. The gap between things that live and those that do not is infinite, and makes the distance between the most primitive slime mould and our greatest minds disappear.

Understanding how our thinking and behavior is defined by the parameters of the development of our species may blur the artificial boundary we have established between our minds and bodies, the Mind / Body dichotomy. Our childhoods are spent learning how to guide our native impulses into socially functional habits. We teach our children’s minds how to distill complex environmental cues into socially rewarded behavior. The reward validates the response, creating synthetic stimulus response loops which reinforce the impression that mind exists separately from our bodies, almost as if in a vacuum. The impressive cultural and scientific artifacts to emerge from the human Neo-Cortex further reinforce the assumption that we are our minds. The perception of the body as essentially a habitat for the mind has become so deeply entrenched in western culture for so many centuries that it is nearly impossible to shake free of it.

The minds ability to influence the body is limited. When choices are made that generate dissonance in the natural rhythms of the body the body will express this dissonance to the mind as stress. We may feel this as anxiety or uncontrolable emotion, or if we continue to ignore what our bodies are telling us, as disease. This is one of the dangers in  centering our sense of self in our minds. If we utilize our bodies for the purposes of our minds, we treat the body as a resource to be used and depleted, in much the same way our minds utilize the resources of our planet. Another danger in centering our sense of self in the mind is that the miracle of life which we are manifestations of, in other words, our souls, feels remote and inaccessible. To touch our souls, all we have to do is reach down and connect with our bodies innate impulse to live. In doing so we find that we have never been isolated individuals, rather an individual expression of the vast matrix of life on our planet.