BRAIN OR BODY?

BRAIN OR BODY?

 

I sometimes wonder just who’s in charge here – is it the brain, or the body?

Mostly of course you feel it’s the brain.   The thinking capacity (in my case anyway) takes charge in times of crisis and talks to the body in low, clear tones, as if to a child or animal.   For example when some distressing event happens and the system is about to collapse, the brain will flood the senses with the order, Hold tight.   We can’t lose it here.   Hang on until I get us to a safe place.

Of course frequently the brain gets too big for the body (I’d have said boots, but the vision of the brain stomping about in its boots put me off my train of thought.)   When we were recently in Japan we were looking at a fruit, a little bigger, more squashy, and more orange than a tomato.

Elisabeth said to me, ‘Do you know what that is?’

‘I’ve no idea,’ I replied.

 Brain said to me, ‘It’s a persimmon.’   

‘What?’ I said.

‘A persimmon.’ said the brain firmly.

‘How do you know that?’ I asked irritably.    ‘I don’t know that.   I’ve never seen it before.    And whose brain are you anyway?’

‘It’s a persimmon,’ said the  brain, with dignity.

When we get back home, we look it up.   Yes, there it is in a picture.    Yes, it is a persimmon.   Brain remains smugly silent.

But sometimes the body dictates the pace.  I once lay on my sofa for two whole days, doing nothing at all except watching crap TV, even although there was nothing wrong with me.   I just felt like lying on my sofa.   Then I got up and went on what turned out to be a  most difficult weekend of which I had no prior (conscious) knowledge.   Does the body have its own awareness of which the brain knows nothing, and vice versa?

I woke the other morning in a state of total instant alertness.  Brain said, What’s happening?   Body said, Be quiet.   I’m listening.   Brain obliged.   Body listened to various minor noises.   Then body announces: Danger over.   Nothing’s out there.   Go back to sleep.

Brain thinks (but doesn’t complain to body), if only it were that easy!

Memo to self:   Brain, listen to body.   Body, do what brain tells you.   

Am I the brain or the body?   Both, I suppose.

PS   Brain, who can be the most irritating know-all, has pointed out to me that I must have seen a persimmon before now, because though it was true to admit I had no recollection of this, I know exactly what one tastes like and what is more, I do not like it.

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