The Mind Body Problem – What Does It All Mean?

By | March 19, 2014

Regardless of your religious beliefs, the truth is that we are more like the animals than God.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, the truth is that we are more like the animals than like God.

You may justifiably ask what is the purpose of this depressing litany of pain and disability? We have been told since childhood that what sets us apart from the animals is our intellect (and opposable thumbs – they never talk about that one, but this physical trait may have been more important for the emergence of early man than his larger brain). I hope you have begun to suspect that what makes us human and whole is our bodies. The truth is that we are primarily corporal rather than spiritual beings and that we are much more like the animals than like God. While there may be a few among us who live in the rarified world of intellect, for the vast majority most of what passes for intellectual activity is really reflexive and instinctive. The sad truth, which I have observed many times at Schlesinger Pain Centers and in the other parts of my long medical career, is that most of us would near the end of our lives gladly trade a modicum of intellect for a small amount of physical ease and vigor.


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