Is there any such thing as an objective object? Let's take a table. No matter how you might take time to appreciate its shape, mindfully contemplate it, view it from different angles, photograph it or sit at it, a table is a table is a table. It's not going to decide against being a table, or do things a table doesn't normally do. And it's not going to interact with you. You and the table might be composed of atoms and molecules, and be held together by mysterious forces, but you aren't going to look at your arms and say, "Oh look, my arms have become table legs and the table is now standing on my arms."
It's much the same with the mind and the body. The argument that mind and body are one, and therefore nothing is purely physical and nothing is purely mental, is only of any use when you're being philosophical or investigating what brain mechanisms might be triggered to assist bodily healing. We have not yet found a course of CBT that will enable your shattered bone to do without any form of plaster cast, or remove the need for an operation to get the bits back in the right position. We don't hear doctors say, "The physical reality of your broken leg doesn't exist, it's a construct between your mental and physical processes." Would you ever return to a clown who did?
We are all being driven slowly crazy, hearing nonsense about Cartesian dualism, and how it's not helpful to think in terms of a purely physical illness. Right. Like, we don't need any antibiotics then. We can just talk to our invading microbes. Actually, at my worst, I did talk to my Coxsackie B virus, to which I have been playing host for many years, and I did explain to it that I didn't mind giving it houseroom if it would just please not give me too much trouble. Who knows if it listened? Maybe that's part of the reason why nature did me a tremendous favour and got me over the worst of those bedridden years. But really, wouldn't we all like the option of some targeted antivirals, and the choice of a vaccination for us or our children?
I'm sure some of you will have noticed that I haven't written anything here for what seems an age. Medically, I've had a year of problems I won't go into (boring) and something had to go. We're all familiar with that concept; I can do this, or this, but not both. My voluntary work for Tymes Trust was the priority, so my writing had to take a back seat. C'est la vie, and other clever European quotes. Ooer, let's not get into stuff about the EU! Well, not here at any rate.
It will be fun - fun? - to see if I can still access the email that was set up for sending group messages to everyone who's filled in a Contact form here. I hope they will all forgive me for the long, long silence!