I strongly believe in the mind/body dyad. Your brain affects your body. Your body affects your brain. You cannot disconnect that dyad and you cannot prefer one against the other without creating catastrophic consequences for longevity and prescience.
The mind/body dyad requires the health of the truth to survive into longevity. When lies are purposefully perpetuated, when mistruths are cogently offered to fool and persuade the people from reality, when facts are hidden-by-design to skew the past for selfish gain, death is the wages of that sin against the core moral values of humanity.
When White House Press Secretary Tony Snow announced yesterday that his cancer was back — now with a vicious vengeance in his abdomen and a liver malignancy — after previously losing his colon to the same disease, I could not help but be taken back to other historical examples of the deadly consequences between a rotting mind/body dyad.
White House Press Secretary Tony Snow told the White House Tuesday that a growth discovered in his lower abdomen is cancerous. Snow reported that the cancer has spread to the liver, according to deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino. He is consulting with doctors on chemotherapy, Perino said, adding that Snow spoke with the president. Perino said Snow is feeling “pretty good.”Perino said Snow told her, “I’m gonna beat it again.” Snow underwent surgery Monday to remove a small growth in his lower abdomen, a procedure he said last Friday was being done “out of an aggressive sense of caution” because he had colon cancer two years ago. Doctors determined that the growth was cancerous, and found during the surgery, which was exploratory, that his cancer had metastasized, or spread, to his liver, Perino said.
There are those who will pity Tony Snow and wonder in sorrow what happened, what went wrong in his life that led to return to a previously vanquished killer disease. Our minds and bodies are can never sustain being disconnected from the ramifications of crushing truth and the disparity of duplicity.
I ask you to wonder with me for a moment what the effect would be on the body when the mind — Tony Snow’s mind — is forced into a public role of defending lies he knows in the sinew of his body are wrong and hurtful and chaotic to the public welfare and a nation’s inherent prosperity and goodness. What happens to a body when the mind perpetuates lies that lead to bloodshed and death? When evil incarnate finds protection and solace in your lies, what does that do to your body?
The only protection from that necessary, cooperative, dyad is to become a sociopath. I argue the healthy body is genetically required to revolt away from the mind in the midst of lies. The body prefers death over living with betrayal by the mind. The mind can also disassociate from a body that craves and demands the wrong things — but that’s a different discussion for another day. The body disconnects from its dyad with the mind to sacrifice its life in order to preserve truth and genetic morality. The body seeps away, tattered with cancerous tumors or corpuscle demise that forces the mind to either reconnect with the realities of the lies or to lose its future cognition forever.
We know Tony Snow was stuck in the midst of a dishonest disconnect between his mind and body by being Bush’s right-hand-man-storyteller and the evidence of that conflict between man and mission is in the return of his cancer. Tony Snow’s covering for the Bush administration’s policies rotted him to the very core of who he is and what he used to be. For Snow to previously publicly disparage Bill Clinton for claiming executive privilege to cover a marital sin, and then to turn around now and publicly defend Bush’s similar executive claim for far worse national sins is how people are eaten alive by their own duplicity.
Caught again and again in having to defend administration lies and disconnects, Snow’s body quickly gave up on him, relenting to the truth, excusing him from the firing line of lies. The only way for Snow to survive this attack of the truth-of-the-body is to recant — to ask forgiveness for his role in perpetuating lies for private selfish gain. We wish him all the best in that battle and we hope he has not yet reached the point of no return.
We have many other historic examples of the deadly consequences of disconnecting the mind/body dyad. Johnnie Cochran used his immeasurable gifts and immense legal talents to cover the tracks of a murderer.
There is no way Cochran did not know O.J. Simpson killed Ron and Nicole. His prevarication between the hiding the truth and protecting a killer was a denial his body could not abide. Cochran’s mind perverted the legal system to win a truly pyrrhic victory that cost a life. His life. Not O.J.’s. A murderer was set free.
Cochran’s punishment for the covering of lies with false truths was his body disconnecting from his mind and punishing the very organ that allowed the lies life.
His brain was tortured for its sublime, rare, and precious ability to polish the truth away from reality and Cochran paid for that traitorous betrayal of his body by losing his mind. Peter Jennings is another victim of the body revolting against the mind.
Jennings quit smoking for many years. Then, because of 9/11, Jennings’ mind lied to his body that, because of the stress and pressure of terrorism, it was “okay” to start smoking again.
Jennings’ body revolted from the lie and removed the body from the mind with lung cancer that put an ultimate death to the lie. Unlike Cochran — and Snow so far — Jennings in his nearing death confessed his mind betrayed his body.
Jennings died knowing he willfully disconnected his life and his punishment was a removal of future cognition and participation in the joys of life. The most brutal example of the mind/body disconnect in history is that of Oedipus The King:
Unknowingly, Oedipus kills his father, King Laius of Thebes, and marries his mother, Jocasta. When he learns the truth, he blinds himself in despair.
I argue Oedipus knew the truth all along in his bones. His mind pretended not to know his history and his illegitimate progeny.
The ultimate punishment for those repressed truths of the body by the mind was not only his undoing — but the repossessed destruction of everything he loved and held precious. Oedipus was nagged and nudged by a guilty subconscious that refused to rise to the truth of the occasion until it was too late and all was lost.
Oedipus’ lies were so pernicious that they found a second genetic life in his daughter Antigone to seal her doom as well.
The gifts of Oedipus’ realization of his lies were blindness, death and maiming and the loss of a kind and fruitful future.
The rest of us — unlike Jennings and Cochran and Snow and Oedipus The King — must realize the body craves the truth and if the mind doesn’t deliver honesty, without pause, in every cogent moment there will be, and must only be, death in the demise of a diseased mind.