Introduction (Continued) (From previous blog)

in my most recent blog, I made specific reference to the well-documented triune relationship that we are all daily aware of, of body, mind and spirit. It is, of course, perfectly apparent that of the three, only body is open to direct observation, as witnessed in anatomical, physical/physiological, neural, biological and biochemical phenomena.. Both of the other two, i.e. mind and spirit are debarred from direct observation in this way and require to be inferred. Let me explain what I mean. There is a strong likelihood that prior to reading this (or indeed my earlier contributions already referred to) you did not know me or in fact, anything about me. For others, whose paths I have in some way or another crossed in days past, knowledge of and about me will be decidedly limited to what I look like, how I speak, what manner of individual I am adjudgedged to be etc. But my mind can only be apparent to another, indirectly and by inference. To those who were/are present at – say – a lecture or workshop which I happen to have given/be giving, my physical appearance as a man, i.e. approximate age, height, weight, skin, hair colour etc. is directly apparent; and a brain though unseen literally, is plainly in evidence (and, in case of persisting doubt, may be verified by a scan). However, my mind can only be known indirectly and by inference alone.
Such conclusions as may be reached concerning me will initially require to be abstracted and thereafter assessed by all present, before a consensus can be achieved. Moreover, my spirit – in the form of an animated presence – is equally directly apparent to all. However, conclusions reached to a point whereby I might be described as a spiritual being – with all that the term “spiritual” in that special sense entails – can also only be inferred. Thus on the basis of sound empirical evidence and knowledge of what it is to be a human being, the evidence is unassailable. But my mind and spiritual identity nevertheless remain private, internal, wholly and unequivocally a subjective entity. Furthermore, even I am consciously aware of self, solely on the basis of consciousness, selective awareness, perception etc. about which I shall write more anon.
In fact come to think of it, very few things are really as simple as they may appear at first sight. Needing a place to ‘lay one’s head’, clothes for one’s back, a means of conveyance for mobility and travel, all seem fairly simple and straightforward enough in terms of just the basic requirements of life. But are they? What other complex but nevertheless valid forms of communication is being conveyed by – say – the leery (or on the other hand Saville Row) suite of clothing; the cosy “bed sit” or ‘up-market’ mansion; the Ford Ka or Aston Martin parked in the driveway? Those of you who have already read my earlier blogs, will have further witnessed this complexity and need for inference, in that whilst much in illness is behaviourally manifest and readily apparent to the observing eye and listening ear, other aspects not in evidence in this way require to be inferred on the basis of skilled assessment of the evidence to hand, i.e. differential diagnosis on the basis of symptomatology just for starters!
And so in these writings, we are going to look more closely and in greater detail at a very great deal that was, perhaps, rather taken for granted hitherto. To put the aim of these letters at their simplest, their purpose is to amplify, expand and seek, where possible, to interpret the functions and complexities of this “triune man” i.e. body mind and spirit, all in one ‘skin’. Whenever we seek knowledge in order to develop and expand the mind and nourish the spirit, we turn – in some part at least to the body and the senses. And this we do because in this mortal life it is through the body and brain that all knowledge flows, although interestingly enough, man’s first concern – to a point of fascination with bodily health and well-being – found expression in legend and myth. And this is equally true, whether of the basic and mundane or the inspired and visionary (more of this in my next blog). (c)SB.

This entry was posted in adaptation, coping, Elements of Coping, perspective on illness: healthcare professional, perspective on illness: personal. Bookmark the permalink.

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