Where does the mind end and the body begin?
I know, such strange thoughts. They have plagued me for a while now, this post has been a long time coming. Now really, where does the mind end and the body begin?
Let me explain where and how this all began. I have been running. You read my blog, so you know this, right? Sometimes I will be religiously disciplined and run up to five times a week. Other times, I will absolutely suck and barely manage to do one run in a week. When it has been a while since my last run, my time will be considerably slower once I finally get back to it. I am also more likely to take one or two short speed walking breaks during the run.
But how much of this is a function of my body actually not being able to handle the physical activity and how much of it is a function of my mind rationalizing that because it has been a while since I ran, my body is naturally slower, and thus a slower pace and short bursts of walking as opposed to running are acceptable?
Is it possible to explicitly tell where the influence of one stops and the influence of the other begins?
Mind vs Body.
Physically tasking tasks aside, what about mentally tasking ones. Even here, I find that the distinction between the mind and the body is hazy.
One of my goals this year, having set out to read 50 books(I am not doing too well), has been to read more technical books. Books with more serious content, content beyond fictional witchcraft and wizardry schools that house 3-headed dogs and that neighbour forests which harbour flesh eating Aractomantulas with a taste for human meat.
*Undermining my absolute favourite book series in the preceding paragraph is purely for the purpose of throwing off muggles.
**The presence of both these creatures, the 3–headed dog and the Aractomantulas, at Hogwarts can directly be attributed to Reubus Hagrid! Thank you Hagrid, for making Harry Potter 10 times more exciting.
Enough of the detours. Yes, reading more technical content. About the world, politics, art, history, science…artificial intelligence. Naturally, I find it harder to make it through these books. One could argue that this is only natural, that the content is initially difficult for my mind to digest as it is used to consuming literature of a completely different nature, but…how much of this is my mind giving up and rationalizing this with the excuse that the content is too much to digest given that I am not used to it and how much of it is the physiology of my brain(my body) actually being incapable of sequencing and storing the content? Again, where does my mind end and my body begin? Or is it where does my body end and my mind begin?
I am penning this at 1.12am in the morning. I did not intentionally set out to be up late tonight but after tossing and turning in bed for over an hour with not a hint of sleep, I was forced to accept that I still had some hours of wakefulness ahead of me and decided to use them to write.
Now, I am awake because I had two large mugs of coffee at about 2pm. Imagine that! 11 hours later and the effects of caffeine are still in my system.
This is something I know about myself, that I am very sensitive to caffeine, so typically I try to avoid coffee. Yet as the universe would have it, I love coffee, a lot! I mostly avoid it because I like sleep more but occasionally I will be having a long day at work and will decide that given how hard I work, I deserve some coffee, with two heaped spoonfuls of sugar in fact! Which is what happened today, now I cannot sleep and will likely not be able to until 3am.
But I am wondering, how much of my predicament is a function of my body(unable to power down because of caffeine in my system) and how much of it is a function of my mind (easily giving up on trying to silence itself because it can rationally attribute the noise/activity to the fact that I had coffee and therefore there must be caffeine in my system making me unable to sleep)? Is it simply that my mind is abuzz, active, and I have chosen to fail at silencing it because I can claim it is the effect of the coffee I had earlier? Or is it really that the coffee I had earlier has me physically unable to sleep?
This is quickly becoming quite like the case of the chicken and the egg.
I would genuinely like to hear someone else’s thoughts on this. Where does the mind end and the body begin? Where does the body end and the mind begin? How much do you push yourself before determining it is enough? Whether it be at something physical like running or cycling or walking or doing push ups or something mental like attempting to read a long article/book of a technical nature or trying to decipher notes from a unit at school. How do you know your limit? Is it your body or is it your mind that determines your limits?
Perhaps we are limitless beings who impose limits on ourselves.