Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Thinking Versus Feeling

One of the biggest misunderstandings is that the mind is split from the body. Although it doesn’t feel like an error.

Direct experience tells us that there are certain actions that are controllable and uncontrollable. And in time we naturally learn to identify with the controller—the mind.

What makes matters complicated is that both our conscious will and autonomous nervous system are trying to control the same thing—the body. The jockeying for control over the body gives us a feeling of conflict between ourselves and our instincts.

After all, if will and instinct are part of the same thing, why would they fight?

That’s why for most of recorded history, intellectuals have treated themselves as otherworldy beings living inside a fleshy vehicle.

It wasn’t until modern psychology showed us that we’re not as independent as we feel ourselves to be, that we could confidently drop the belief of ourselves as autonomous spiritual beings. And replace it with the idea that we have been evolved by the body as a source of action and reason to inform and guide itself.

But to see ourselves as a mere function of the body isn’t very appealing. That would mean a serious downgrade. From free being to a supporting system.

And, if we choose to life up to our new identity, it means a change in lifestyle. A culture in service of the body rather than the mind.

But because the mind is (influenced by) the body, it’s difficult to draw a distinct line between the two, let alone live in harmony with one.

Which brings us to one of the most ancient problems of man:

How do you unify that which opposes itself?

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach