But in teaching InterPlay, a system that involves accessing the wisdom of the body,
I often run into the power of a 17th century notion - that of the "disembodied mind."
In this view, the mind is all-important as the location for our thoughts, spirits, and some might even say, souls. The expression, "living in our heads" seems relevant here. The body is seen as a high maintenance transportation system to carry our brains from place to place.
Recently I've loved learning about George Lackoff, the cognitive linguist and research in the field of embodied cognition. "Every idea you have is physical because you think with your brain," Lackoff says, but his work goes way beyond this self-evident fact that the brain is a part of the body. Lackoff and his colleague Rafael E. Nunez, UCSD maintain, "the very structure of reason itself comes from the details of our embodiment." [CLICK HERE FOR MORE]
Here are some highlights I found from the field of embodied cognition that
demonstrate the profound importance of the body's affect on the mind:
Metaphors come from our bodily experience and give us ways to think and
communicate about abstract concepts.
In relating to the concept of "love"we use the metaphor of a container - "falling in and out of love." If love is a journey in our minds we might say "we're going our separate ways," or thinking of love as madness - "I'm crazy for her."
Our physical experience affects our perception and judgments of the external
A person holding a warm cup of coffee or sitting in a comfortable chair is more likely to make a positive judgment about a stranger than a person holding a cold cup. People carrying a heavy pack up a steep hill judged the trip longer than people carrying a lighter pack.
Writing down our thoughts changes our relationship to them. And what
we do with the paper afterwards affects its continued influence on us.
In a 2012 study in Spain, participants were asked to write about what they liked
or disliked about their bodies. Then the paper was either trashed, or kept
and checked for spelling and grammar errors. When people discarded the
representation of their thoughts and feelings, they mentally discarded them
as well, and used them less in forming judgments.
Here are some suggestions for ways to use this information for our own well-being:
If you wish to get rid of negative attitudes and thoughts, write them down,which, in itself will change your relationship to the ideas, feelings and thoughts. Next trash or burn the paper or if you used your computer, place the document in the trash on your desk top and then empty it.
If you wish to adopt or enhance positive attitudes, write about that and this time, save the writing, preferably on your person. That will increase the
changes of your continuing to be influenced by what you wrote.[For More Information]
Idea Framing, Metaphors, and Your Brain