In a recent article — Medical Fakery and the Intentional Placebo Effect — I argued in the comments stream that our minds and our bodies are failing us faster even as medicine advances quicker than ever while we live our two lifetimes.

As time passes and we age, the mind/body connection begins to decay. Our minds are stronger and better able to dismiss ailments of the body as nothing when they are early indicators of dangers to come. Our mind may not be able to balance and control the body as it wishes and so instead of forcing the body to mind, the mind just gives up and dismisses the task as hopeless.

I know a lot of hardworking people who have sharp minds, but disastrous bodies — and others that have fuzzy minds and hard bodies — and this disconnect is all caused by modern stress and structures.

I think the mind-body disconnect is caused by an intellectual economy instead of one based on hand and back labor.  We no longer need to train our mind not to be bored while doing repetitive labor-intensive tasks, and our hand-eye coordination is no longer as sharp as it was in the fields while we worked with one eye on the crops and another eye on the outskirts for animal predators.

Now we sit all day on the phone or before a computer and the only connection the mind has to the body is through the fingertips.  It’s more of a numbing-down than a total severing, but the effects are the same:  The mind no longer cares about the state of the body and the body is left to rot in place because the mind is pre-engaged. 

We live in two realities at all times:  Our internet life where — we are beautiful and perfect — and then our real life where our minds are disintegrating and our bodies are falling apart.

What do you think of the argument?

Where are the holes in the logic and the conclusions?

28 Comments

  1. David,
    Isn’t the mind-body disconnect just as severe in a pre/non-intellectual economy?
    I think we are helped by the fact that the mind-worker follows the body-worker so we know that just as in the past our minds were numbed by the labours of our body, today a lot of bodies are laid to waste by their busy minds.
    Which probably argues for a balance between the time and effort we devote to tending and caring for our bodies and our minds.
    I agree, that left to its own devices, the mind will keep the body fattened up.

  2. Those are good questions, Dananjay. I don’t think we can go back to a labor economy because the money to be made now and in the future is of the mind and the body follows. There are pockets of nations that rely on hard labor just to survive, but I don’t think that is a society that is able to thrive in the long-term beyond their current state.

  3. This is what fuels the sales of such dvds as ones that proclaim that you can get a workout done in ten or fifteen minutes.
    I think that if a person focuses some time and attention into their own wellbeing they would realize that they can get tuned back into detecting their own well-being or lack of therein.

  4. Getting yourself right, Gordon — in both body and mind — does require an active connection between them even when they do not wish to communicate any longer with each other. If the body allows the mind to fail, activity dies. If the mind allows the body to fail, active thinking dies.

  5. Oh, I love the junk man, Anne, and all of his hanging pieces! SMILE!
    I don’t know if we can divide them as you have or not — I see Mind/Intellect and Body/Labor as being the two factions at war and the body usually wins even when it is the mind’s turn to shine.

  6. “I know a lot of hardworking people who have sharp minds, but disastrous bodies — and others that have fuzzy minds and hard bodies — and this disconnect is all caused by modern stress and structures.”
    I think until fairly recently there have been options and choices made for you at school – if you were bright you were steered down one path – if you were less bright you were steered down a more practical/physical path.
    However as the production industry has become more and more automated and less physical we are getting dull minds and dull bodies together.
    I have noticed with my Super Genius daughter that the more time she spends in the lab working – the less time she spends on rowing – which used to be her passion – with the inevitable results!

  7. Hi Nicola —
    Right! There was a certain winnowing of desire against talent when we were growing up.
    I remember a music teacher telling a 9-year-old that he “had no musical ability” in a general music appreciation class. The kid was devastated because he loved music, but the power icon in his world told him he was not worthy, and that he was wrong to love melody. That sort of feedback is not helpful for the spirit and entirely damaging to the being.
    Yes, SuperGenius tends to live only in the life of the mind — and the body can rot in waiting — that’s the curse of that sort of brain, I think.

  8. How cruel to do that to a nine year old child. I would also argue that you do not need musical ability to appreciate music. I have zero artistic ability and appreciate art a lot.
    I hope that my Super Genius will be balanced out by her partner who is another Super Genius (Physics) – but also a very talented cyclist – he tends to keep her active !

  9. Right, Nicola!
    Why not bang a drum or a piano if “making a joyful noise” makes you feel happy and content? Why destroy the dreams and wishes of a child just because you don’t believe there is enough “talent” there at the moment to sustain a rhythm or to carry a tune? Music teachers should be about teaching how to enjoy music, not just making it — and I argue — the prime job of that teacher should’ve been to learn how music appreciation comes in all different ages and abilities.
    Let’s hold thumbs for the SuperGenii! My reckoning is they will dissolve into each other’s minds as they age and the rest of the world be damned — which is the way it’s supposed to be! SMILE!

  10. I agree whole heartedly that music should be about enjoyment – so should art and dance. I do hope that child grew up and found his own grove and excelled at it – proving that narrow minded destructive teacher wrong.
    I will keep you updated on the SG’s and their journey – they are house hunting at present.

  11. Right, Nicola! Our bodies are music. Our heartbeat is the drum and our hands and feet and throat are the instruments for the singing!
    House hunting can be fun or terrorizing. Is there any sort of bank/mortgage crises happening in the UK that will disallow their easy purchase of a home?

  12. Yes – this ties in with the wonderful beat at the festival Katha went to ….
    There is a very serious bank/housing crisis here at present – which they will be able capitalize on – he has a trust fund which at todays prices will probably give them a 50% deposit as houses have dropped considerably in value in the last year – terrible for many but good for them as they can now afford much more.

  13. Hi David,
    If our body and mind has a god connection they work in tandem – our reflex is sharper, our mind is more alert, our concentration is stronger.
    I read an article about the fitness a chess player needs – it’s no way less than any other athlete.

  14. Hi David,
    The article argued chess should be considred as a “sport” rather than a “game”.
    The Russians introduced a rigorous physical training program which comprised of the following:
    …”gymnastics, four-hundred meter races, high and long jumps, ten and one-hundred meter races, tennis, rowing, etc.”
    because a chess match involves stamina, endurance and mental alertness like just any other sports.