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Late Night Insights into Cartesian Philosophy
Bar Harbor
Western thought has a long history of mind-body dualism. I don't believe it's actually *true* in any meaningful sense, but I certainly do see the appeal. Like many of my peers, one of my early role models was Spock, with his (claimed) ability to be "in control of [his] emotions".

When the arm aches start up, I feel a strong desire to deny that pain, to separate it from me. My arm is in pain, but that is not part of the Essential Self, and should be able to be ignored. But then it *twinges*, and *I* *HURT*, in a way impossible to deny.

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The Bene Gesserit would not be impressed :)

One of the signs that you're leading a healthy lifestyle is that the Bene Gesserit would disapprove of you. They're like creepy negative-example life coaches in that regard.

Perhaps. On the other hand, the Kwisatz Haderach does still have to be able to pass the gom jabbar test, so Alexx has some work to do yet :)

But I don't *want* to be the Kumkwat Haagendasz.

Well, that friggin' sucks. I hope it recovers fast or at least stops giving you trouble.

Pain is nature's way of saying "WELL DON'T DO THAT THEN". Ignoring pain (or otherwise banishing it from consciousness) is a great way to make damage worse.

There was a recent discussion at a conference on "Straw Vulcans", and how the "logic" of Spock was actually pretty illogical. It does not seem any hyperlogical being worth its salt would deny reality as the systematic approach to anything.

As to the bene gesserit, and for that matter the mentats, credit where credit is due: neither tell Paul or anyone to ignore fear or pain, but to accept and tolerate them without clinging to them. When Mother Gaias tests Paul for humanity at the point of the gom jabbar, she requires him to experience pain, and put up with it -- not to ignore it or evade it.

Full agreement, on an intellectual level.

Emotionally, part of me still wants to be Spock.

"Pain is nature's way of saying "WELL DON'T DO THAT THEN"."

And, like so much of nature, this particular instance does so in an incredibly inefficient, half-assed fashion. Rare minor twinges for years, then *wham*! Constant pain, pretty much no matter *what* I do or don't do. This is *not* well-structured communication on nature's part.

[Grumpiness due to pain, not directed personally at you.]

Plus there is some essential truth in the idea. If you can ignore the pain, you might be able to relax the muscles, which might _actually_ reduce the pain (if that is part of the problem).

This probably comes partly from the fact that discomfort and minor pain is pretty easy to distract yourself from. It's just that as the pain increases, it will cross a line start distracting you from everything else.

Is it coincidence that you're posting this at the same time the Narbonic reposts are discussing a similar issue?

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