What is the relationship between mental and physical health?  

Posted by Plato Greybeard

     If we were searching for a subject to generate healthy controversy and differences of opinion, this would not have been the topic to pick. All were in agreement that our state of mind has a tremendous influence on the health of the body, and vice versa. Several, if not all, participants related instances where this was the case.

     What was missing, of course, was any concept of how this phenomenon comes about. That it does so was without question in our minds, but the mechanism remains unknown. We heard examples of where an understanding of the pain's cause led to its disappearance. Likewise, a severe and prolonged depression lead to cancer, which in turn led to a spiritual journey resulting in current physical and mental health. It was suggested that almost every disease has an emotional component, although some few come about regardless.

     Parts of our discussion led into considering nature versus nurture, the stigma of mental illness, the meaning of pain and how physical and mental outlooks affect relationships. All of these may be good topics for future discussions.

Wisdom of Quotations - by Gita Bellin  

Posted by Plato Greybeard

     Beliefs are like keys to a prison cell: they lock or unlock our access to the outside world. We live in our own veritable prison of experience, and escape only by careful consideration and examination of what we have come to believe. They do indeed , as Gita Bellin says, stand between us and our relationship to others and to ourselves.

     If we dislike ourselves, it is only because we believe it to be so since we remain worthwhile human beings regardless of our self-perception or the world’s opinion. When our beliefs cause us to remain discouraged, what words could provide greater inspiration to change than the poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley (1849-1903):

1) Out of the night that covers me,                2) In the fell clutch of circumstance
     Black as the pit from pole to pole,                I have not winced nor cried aloud.
     I thank whatever gods may be                      Under the bludgeonings of chance
     For my unconquerable soul.                         My head is bloody, but unbowed.

3) Beyond this place of wrath and tears        4) It matters not how strait the gate,
    Looms but the horror of the shade,               How charged with punishments the scroll,
    And yet the menace of the years                    I am the master of my fate:
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.                    I am the captain of my soul.

     If you want to change for the better, begin by looking at your beliefs.