Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Detective In My Own Body

In-Shape Health Club Outdoor Spa, Napa, California, USA

January 19, 2021

This essay, Detective In My Own Body, is the companion piece to It's A Body Not A Disposal.

I am indebted to Joan "Joani" Culver who inspired this conversation.

Transformation continues to manifest in my life unabated. And just when I think it's finally run its course and that there can't possibly be any more to come, I notice there's more, that it's ongoing, that it just keeps coming. With transformation comes responsibility for my life. And with responsibility for my life (ie with responsibility for all aspects of my life) comes a new way of being responsible for my body. And my body, like everyone's body, from time to time manifests some unwanted physical symptoms. Without basis, I've begun considering that I maybe I'm causing those unwanted physical symptoms to develop in my body, whereas before I would have ascribed the cause of any unwanted physical symptoms to something else: illness, aging, viruses and germs, and / or unhealthy eating habits for example.

As I proceed with and mature into this inquiry, I've started noticing where there are messes (read: inautheticities, dishonesties, withholds) to clean up in my mental / emotional state, there are corresponding messes to clean up in my physical state / my body. And as I explore and experience the messes in my physical state, my body urges me to consider that in a very real sense, my mind and emotions are manifesting in (and even "as") physical symptoms in my body. My body is urging me to consider that for each mental / emotional mess, there's a corresponding physical symptom, and that they're indeed inseparable.

I recently visited a doctor, a warm, attentive man, to discuss a new symptom I'm experiencing in my body. Look: now that I'm seventy, there are occasionally new symptoms which appear in my body. It happens. Most of them are benign and clear up by themselves. Even so, I keep a close eye on them, not taking them lightly. The doctor prescribed a medication which he said was the antidote for the symptom. I asked him if we could first explore the likelihood that I was creating the symptom myself as I manifested some mental / emotional mess in my body. He said there was no such thing, and that there was only a physical cause, and a prescribed medication cure. I thanked him, left, and looked for a another doctor (as nice a man as he was) who would be receptive to the mind / body connection, and to my idea that physical symptoms could be manifestations of mis-managed mental / emotional messes.

I did find another doctor who is clearly specialized in the area of mental / emotional causes of physical conditions. When I proposed my theory that I was causing my own physical symptom by mis-managing stress for example, she said "Of course  you are", which prompted a long discussion not only about how this idea is often dimissed out of hand, but also what mental / emotional actions I could pro-actively take which would alleviate the physical symptom. I would have to develop a new relationship with my body, one I had not had before. I would have to listen  my body in ways I had not listened it before. I would have to become a detective in my own body  (if you will), explore its symptoms, relating them to where I wasn't handling the messes in my mind / emotions, and then get those mental / emotional issues handled, and all without the need for prescriptions or medications.

Putting my theory to the test soon afterwards, I began noticing (it's becoming ever more and more unavoidable) that when I pay attention to those mental / emotional messes and clean up whatever I've got going on there, my body experiences new waves of vitality and wellness in the corresponding areas in which they manifested - not to mention there are also improvements which spontaneously show up in my posture. Mental / emotional issues in which I've played small, have manifested in stooped, unassertive postures. Cleaning up those messes have spontaneously resulted in upright, bold postures. It would appear that transformation leaves physical clues in the body. But that's a subject for another conversation on another occasion.

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