“I think, therefore I am” is perhaps the most familiar one-liner in western philosophy. Even if the stoners, philosophers and quantum mechanically-inclined skeptics who believe we’re living an illusion are right, few existential quips hit with such profound, approachable simplicity. The only catch is that in Descartes’ opinion, “we” – our thoughts, our personalities, our “minds” – are mostly divorced from our bodies.
The polymathic Frenchman and other dualist philosophers proposed that while the mind exerts control over our physical interaction with the world, there is a clear delineation between body and mind; that our material forms are simply temporary housing for our immaterial souls. But centuries of science argue against a corporeal crash pad. The body and mind appear inextricably linked. And findings from a new study published in Cancer by a Canadian group suggest that our mental state has measurable physical influence on us – more specifically on our DNA.
Lead investigator Dr. Linda E. Carlson and her colleagues found that in breast cancer patients, support group involvement and mindfulness meditation – an adapted form of Buddhist meditation in which practitioners focus on present thoughts and actions in a non-judgmental way, ignoring past grudges and future concerns — are associated with preserved telomere length. (1)
We exist because we think.
Flesh cannot be without the mind.
Matter is subject to decay.
The spirit is not.
We have lost faith in the latter.
And like big bufalos, we try to save our flesh.
Now, in the wake of our failure, we go back to the immaterial in order to save the material. But should we do that? Should we strive so hard to save our flesh and bones?
Do you remember Christ because of his body?
Or because of the beauty of his soul?
The soul transcends time and all dimensions.
The spirit just Is despite all senses.
Can you love a piece of meat?
Let your body die.
The greatest spirits do not need one…