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.

22 Comments

  1. While I agree with you on the connection between mind and body and I think that to be strong in one necessitates being string in the other I can’t help but get the impression that a large portion of this piece is wishful thinking on your part.
    It would make us feel better if there were some kind of “divine retribution” (and this from an atheist) that we could rely on to punish those amongst us who lie, cheat and deceive. I’d very much like to believe this is the case but I can’t help but think this is an instance of finding the data to back up your theory rather than extrapolating the theory from the data. What about all the innocents who suffer. What about the undeserving who undergo miraculous recoveries? There are certainly plenty of cases of both.

  2. I think this is an interesting premise and I can quite believe that there are circumstances where a poisoned mind can poison the body.
    I can also see and have experienced to some extent the reverse – where a poisoned body can affect the mind.
    An interesting area for research I think.

  3. Hi Nicola!
    Thank you for going along with the premise of my article today. 😀
    Provocative articles can lead to provocative research. There are certainly all sorts of causes for disease — but I do believe, as I argued today — that lies adversely affect the body.
    If lies do not infect and affect the body in palpable and evident ways — then do they just dissipate into nothingness?
    We know lies can wound others deeply on both psychic and physical planes — but what of the deliverer of the lie?
    Does the liar get of scot-free?
    I think many people believe lies hold no punishment for the liar. Today I argued the opposite of that commonly held meme.
    I think we more ordinarily think in the reverse: A tricky body kills a mind. I also think the opposite is true and much more interesting in its exposure.

  4. What you are describing is a psychic equivalent of Newtons third law, The third law states that for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction. Interestingly, if you hold the premise to be true then the first two laws also fall into place in that context.

  5. Welcome to Urban Semiotic, davidseven!
    Now that’s a genius comment! I love how you made a differential argument by using tangential science mixed with good common sense to make a whole new angle on the matter of today. Your argument is pertinent and intriguing and I thank you for sharing your truth!
    For the record, here are Newton’s first two laws:

    I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.
    II. The relationship between an object’s mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma. Acceleration and force are vectors (as indicated by their symbols being displayed in slant bold font); in this law the direction of the force vector is the same as the direction of the acceleration vector.

    http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/history/newton3laws.html

  6. Welcome to Urban Semiotic, davidseven!
    Now that’s a genius comment! I love how you made a differential argument by using tangential science mixed with good common sense to make a whole new angle on the matter of today. Your argument is pertinent and intriguing and I thank you for sharing your truth!
    For the record, here are Newton’s first two laws:

    I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.
    II. The relationship between an object’s mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma. Acceleration and force are vectors (as indicated by their symbols being displayed in slant bold font); in this law the direction of the force vector is the same as the direction of the acceleration vector.

    http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/history/newton3laws.html

  7. I think also the *stress* of maintaining a lie after is has been told can be a killer.
    In psychic/karmic terms I believe in the threefold law – ie you get back three times what you put out (good or bad).
    davidseven – amazing comment – I like the way you think.

  8. Yes, that’s exactly it, Nicola! Lies are powerful — sometimes they gain more power than the truth when they are wielded to punish.
    The truth may not move as swiftly as a lie or gain revenge as cruelly as a lie — but the truth always slowly, with time, finds a balance and the truth, in the end, outweighs the lie.
    I also agree when you send out a lie that you know is a lie, it comes back and hits you harder on the inside. It reverberates inside you and then becomes black tar and stays there.
    I’m with you on davidseven! What great connections!

  9. Hi David,
    I wrote up a long comment, but somehow my fingers hit the wrong combination of keys and it disappeared into the ether.
    We have to be careful when making connections between someone’s perceived “sins” and their diseases because doing so often causes innocents to suffer.
    AIDS immediately comes to mind because newborn infants can come down with the illness, even though they have no culpability.
    Thousands of women have come down with breast cancer — many famous women are on lists of cancer survivors. Could it be said they did something to bring on their illness because of their political affiliations?
    What about prostate cancer? Isn’t it inevitable that every male will get it at some point if he lives long enough? What did every male do to deserve such a fate?
    Connecting the dots like this makes it easy to dismiss patients and neglect treating their illnesses because it is obvious that cancer or AIDS or malaria or whatever else someone contracts is because of the sinfulness of the victim.

  10. Thanks for the comment, Chris!
    I think there is a strong relationship between the mind and body and I clearly argue –- quite specifically and narrowly today — it is the cogent, knowing, and willing lie of the mind that forces the body’s betrayal.
    There are many causes of death. Some of them genetic. Some manmade. Some created solely by deception of the self against other innocents.

  11. Hello,
    I see this discussion started some time ago, but I still felt like commenting… x)
    It’s an interesting issue really, not so much whether there is a direct correlation between physical illness and prevarication or any kind of wrong-doing (that discussion largely transcends the philosophical as in “who” decides the degree of such relative concepts and more importantly, who writes the formula that determines/triggers that whole precise mechanism) but what really lies behind that idea.
    The thought that the body may decay as a sort of retribution for a wrongful mind or conduct is in itself disturbing. Personally, I don’t think they are necessarily related especially because, as has been pointed out, such predicaments befall the righteous as well as the bad. However, I must agree that in our collective imaginary we tend to perhaps find comfort in believing that idea, because it forces us to do, at least to some extent, what we see/know to be right. It acts
    as a moral restraint. I think it also provides us some comfort whenever doing the right thing or doing good took a toll on us [when doing wrong would have been much easier and tempting but we chose otherwise] – someone above commented “wishful thinking”. I think – and yet this may seem selfish, but I believe, admitting it or not, we all have a measure of selfishness,not matter how small(*) – the fact that we cannot know for sure that if we do wrong our body will certainly pay also makes our acts of good faith more genuine:
    I spoke of the idea [of a direct relation] being disconcerting: if it were so, we would be obsessed with doing good and we would do far more good than we naturally intended. And would it still count as “good”, if our motivation was so selfish [to preserve our physical body]? Does moral hedonism buy us good health and a place in heaven? Perhaps it is best that nothing can prove that relation exists. :] What damage it would do to our humanity!
    I find it curious though that we are inadvertently led to believe that idea from an early age. In children’s tales, folklore, in every story with the element good vs. evil, we may find that the physically healthy and/or aesthetically good-looking are most of the times associated with the good [heroes] unlike the bad [villains]. In fact, I can say that it is present in children lore in my country [Portugal] and parents usually say to their young ones that if they are bad they are ugly and of course there is the classic example of the witch in children’s tales – she’s evil and usually old, ugly, deformed and ill. And curiously parents don’t tell kids that they won’t become like the witch by having healthy habits, but that they can avoid it simply by doing good.
    [(*)Regarding our inherent selfishness and still related to the topic in discussion, there are many common sayings advising us not to do evil because there will be retribution [whether in loss of health or just ultimately facing Judgement Day and burning in Hell – very illustrative x) the body pays for the crimes of the soul, sooner or later, as Christian tradition has it], usually the retribution surpasses greatly the initial evil (I see that above someone spoke of the threefold law) – I find it amusing though that we are specifically advised not to do evil instead of entreated to do good. It’s as though we need a selfish reason to do good, as if doing good for the sake of good doesn’t pay, isn’t tempting. That’s why I said we (un?)consciously allow ourselves some selfishness, through
    actions or mere thoughts, however brief, nobody can be completely pure or noble.]
    So in our minds the idea, real or fancied, has taken root: mens sana in corpore sano.

  12. Thanks!! (^^D)
    I’ve been reading your blog for some time now (I found it while doing some research when me and my twin sister found we were INTJ) and I think it’s just brilliant.
    But I must confess I felt a bit apprehensive to post after I read the comment policy and I thought… so many rules, I hope I don’t break any of them heheh (all the same, I did think they’re exactly the kind of rules I would set myself); but the main reason was the language barrier: I think in Portuguese, then in my mind turn those concepts into Portuguese terms, translate those terms into English terms, and somehow a lot seems lost in translation, so when finally I read it it just sounds a bit dull in comparison to the other posts, and that’s why I hesitated to do it.
    So thanks for the encouragement!!
    Sorry for this useless post :-s I probably broke the rules by saying all of this, so unrelated… so please feel free to delete this entry, it’s just a thanking note (^^,)

  13. iris!
    Come back! 😀 Don’t sweat the translation thing. Just say it as best you can and we’ll go from there and I’ll ask you if I get lost and you’ll do the same.
    The comments rules are there to block troublemakers and to encourage good, smart, thoughtful people like you to comment without fear of getting reprimanded by anonymous commenters or cursed out or flame-heated.
    It can take some time to get people to register and participate here, but once they do, they quickly realize that sort of strict comments policy is the only way to have a quiet and sane conversation on the net without all the noise.
    I sure hope you’ll stick around and have some conversations with us and your comment is just the sort of thing we love to read, talk about, and celebrate!

  14. Heya natgal!
    Thanks for the support on this article!
    You would not believe the vicious comments submitted on this article that were not published.
    People with Diabetes were wishing me ill and trying to curse me with cancer and other horrible things in order to justify their acquisition of disease and decay — totally missing the point of the entire article.