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Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Sense and Sense-Ability -3.1: Homeostasis

Homeostasis: The Wisdom of the Body
(Continued from the previous Part 2)

Body houses our senses, perceptions, memory, mind, intellect, intelligence… and soul.

Unfortunately in the modern times, “body” is yet another four-letter word like Self, Soul, Love, Life, Work etc. that are much abused in our fast pace of hedonic lifestyle.

We take our body too much for granted: Mind has become the colonial master that colonises the body like a bonded labour and exploits it without restraint, until it is exhausted, in part or full. Just check our work pattern/s. certainly we decorate it, beautify it; it is rather to satisfy demands of our egoistic mind than to elevate.

We take even our senses for granted. While eating/ drinking, for example, most of the time, we rarely pay attention to the action of eating. We simultaneously are involved with something else: daily news, TV shows, talk over the matters of business or gossip, think over the “urgent” matters on mind, or flatter our taste buds forgetting the need of the body: We at times call it a passion.

It is almost the same situation, more or less according to our passions, with other senses (except perhaps sex impulses: We shall come to that later).

Quite often we ignore or forget, if we know, that body too has intelligence just as we have. At least, we as Indic people have recognised the body-mind connection for a considerable time.

Body, however, continues to work, whether we are awake or asleep, till the end like a “Nishkam” – without desire for fruit – Karma Yogi. And whenever necessary, when something goes wrong with the system, sends us the signal – hunger or starvation for example. But we are too busy with our mental flights, passions or addictions: We tend to ignore it.

A Case of My Ailment of Heart

My own experiences are not very different from what I just mentioned above. However I have also been aware of the “Presence of Body” on several occasions. One of them was my ailment of heart, some fifteen years ago.

I started getting palpitations. In the beginning it remained for a second of two and recurred at interval of a couple of weeks. There was no apparent cause: fear, or worry of any kind. It would appear any time. Later it was for 2-3 minutes at a few days’ interval. I had started taking medicines, including exercises in self-hypnosis under a guidance of psycho-therapy specialist. I stopped the medicines and exercises.
One day the palpitations remained from noon to midnight. That was an opportunity for check up while it was on. With a note from family doctor I met a heart specialist at a neighbourhood hospital.

After the necessary check-up he diagnosed and told me in simple words, that my heart is sound, that it is a case of “electrical short circuit” in the heart, and the present rate of palpitation is at 250 per minute. He added, if the rate increases to 400-450 per minute it would be fatal – an instant death. That was music to my ears.

For me the diagnosis was enough. The specialist, however, did not tell me why it happens. He advised me to get admitted there and then in the ICU for observation and prescribed some medicines. Of course I flatly refused both. He was furious. I returned home, remained on fruit diet, gave rest to my mind and body.

After two days, I left for Delhi to attend a workshop on “People, Law and Environment” organised by Centre for Science and Environment. It was very romantic episode though I report it in brief.

I, then started dialogues with my body, and observations – or call it meditations as I am inside my body – without judging, my likes-dislikes, prejudices etc. leaving the information baggage.

I am aware of the “Presence of Body”, and this awareness is constant like breathing, even during my pet indulgences and petty vices. There has been no palpitation for last fifteen years.

A decade or so after this episode, while reading “The Ages of Gaia” by James Lovelock, I came across the word “Homeostasis”, which now has a meaning.

Links to MINI-TEXT :1. Solemn Celebration and 2. Body Dharma

© Remigius de Souza., all rights reserved.

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