On the Body: Using the Body to Access the Mind
Reflecting on how to access the mind using the body, your responsibility for your body, and who has the power to make decisions about our bodies.
Hello, I’m Brandon Stover, founder of Plato University. Welcome to On Life.
On Life is a collection of narrated essays and intellectual interviews that will equip you with practical philosophies, new perspectives, and modern understandings of global issues so that change can start with you.
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On the Body: Using the Body to Access the Mind
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If you want access to the mind, go through the body.
If you want to observe your decisions and actions creating change, start with exercising and giving nutrition to the body.
If you want to build grit and resilience to pain or suffering, put the body under stress and heavy loads.
If you want to build willpower and increase levels of dopamine, the neurochemical responsible for the pursuit of goals, put the body through ice cold water.
If you want stillness, peace, and serenity, focus on the breath of the body.
If you want to express individuality, decorate the body.
If you want energy and motivation, rest and repair the body with sleep.
If you want to stop intrusive, obsessive thoughts, focus on the present and incoming senses of the body.
If you want to feel love, hold another body close to yours.
If you want to experience life, bring two bodies together in union.
Any emotion you wish to feel can be accomplished by pulling the right combination of levers in the body. The body is the only connection the mind has with reality, with the outside world, otherwise it's just trapped in a box. Trapped in a reality of its own making.
Some may have you believe that the body is just a meat sack of flesh and bone, to be decomposed and eaten by bugs one day. That is true. But I also believe the body is a vessel for your will, your action, for physically bringing to reality what you dream in your mind. The body should be treated with respect, in the same way you treat your home. For the body is a home to the mind and soul.
Just as you are responsible for your own home, you are responsible for your body. Learn the ins and outs of your body, how it works, how to repair it, and how to keep it in optimal conditions. Each body has a unique fingerprint and needs different things for its maintenance. Learn what's best for your body. Don’t just listen to what others, doctors, nutritionists, gurus, or charlatans tell you is right for your body. Only you know your body best. Your body is not community property. If you don't take responsibility for it, someone else will, and they will become your landlord.
As long as we do not harm another, are we not allowed to do with our body as we please? If our actions potentially harm another person’s body, then that person must give us informed consent to do so, with understanding of the consequences. No one has control of your body besides you. Nor should they tell you what to do with your body, forcing you to adhere. They should advise, truthfully, outlining the consequences of actions taken towards your body. However, the decision of what to do with your body is still yours. In the event someone else controls your body, don’t confuse the body for the mind. A tyrant can imprison your body, shackled to remain under their control, for your fear of harm to the body keeps you there. However the tyrant can not imprison the mind. Only you have the power to do that. So be wise in the thoughts you let enter your home.
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The Science & Use of Cold Exposure for Health & Performance by Huberman Lab Podcast
Mindfulness - Psychology Today
Toolkit for Sleep by Huberman Lab Podcast
The Neurobiology Shaping Affective Touch: Expectation, Motivation, and Meaning in the Multisensory Context by Ellingsen, D. M., et al.
"Whatever this is that I am, it is a little flesh and breath, and the ruling part." - Marcus Aurelius
Soul and Body in Stoicism by A. A. Long
Tracking the States Where Abortion Is Now Banned by New York Times
Roe v. Wade - Center for Reproductive Rights
State Efforts to Ban or Enforce COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates and Passports - NASHP
(00:00) - Introduction
(01:04) - Beginning of essay On the Body: Using the Body to Access the Mind
(04:15) - Inspiration of essay, my journey with first connecting with the body
(05:49) - How do we access the mind through the body?
(09:49) - What is the connection of the mind with reality?
(10:49) - How did the Stoics perceive the body?
(11:13) - How is the body a tool for your will?
(12:30) - Why you must become the expert and take responsibility for your body
(15:11) - What happens when you outsource responsibility of your body to others?
(15:58) - Who should have ultimate decisions over our bodies?
(18:30) - What can you do if your body is enslaved or controlled by someone else?
(20:52) - Final comments on the body