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 ongoingly makes itself known as Life itself unabated. Just when I think it's run its course and that there can't possibly be any more coming, I notice there's more, that it's relentless, that it keeps on inexorably. With transformation comes responsibility for my life. 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 I suppose, from time to time develops unwelcome physical symptoms. Without agreement, I've begun considering newly that maybe I'm causing those unwanted physical symptoms to develop in my body (until now, 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 begun noticing where there are messes (read: inauthenticities, dishonesties, withholds) to clean up in my mental / emotional state, there are corresponding symptoms to clear up in my physical state / my body. And as I explore and experience the symptoms in my physical state, my body urges me to consider that in a very real sense, my mental and emotional states 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 the two are causally related / completely inseparable.

I recently consulted with a doctor, a warm, attentive man, to discuss a new symptom I'm experiencing in my body. Look: I'm seventy. At seventy, there are symptoms which occasionally appear in our bodies newly. It happens. Most of them are benign and clear up by themselves. Even so, I keep a close eye on them, not taking any of 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 causing the symptom myself by manifesting some mental / emotional mess in my body. He said there was no such thing, and that there was only a physical cause, and with it, a prescribed medicinal cure. I thanked him, left, and (as nice a man as he was) looked for a another doctor who would be receptive to the mind / body connection, and to my idea that physical symptoms may be manifestations of mis-managed mental / emotional messes, or would at least be open to that possibility.

I did find another doctor who was thoroughly specialized in the area of mental / emotional causes of physical symptoms. When I proposed my theory to her that I cause my own physical symptoms by mis-managing stress and fear for example, she said "Of course  you do" (read: "Well duh!?"), which prompted a long discussion not only about how this idea is often dismissed out of hand, but also what mental / emotional actions I could pro-actively take which would alleviate the manifested 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), exploring its symptoms, relating them to where I wasn't handling the messes in my mental / emotional state, and then get those mental / emotional issues handled - oh, and all without the need for or reliance on prescriptions and / or medication.

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 health, vitality, and wellness in the corresponding areas in which they manifested. And that's 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 / I'm clear that indications of undealt-with and incomplete mental and emotional messes manifest as physical symptoms in the body. They're clues for a good detective to follow.

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