"The body is an instrument for calculating the astronomy of the Soul" ~ Jalaludin Rumi

From Body Thoughts by Andrew Strathern

This is in reference to an article called "Bodily images in Melanesia: cultural substances and natural metaphors." by Bruce Knauft. Whats interesting is that it accurate if we compare this work with Peter Hershock's Buddhism in the public sphere. (See below)

"The ideal body thus created is also one that is "defined fundamentally through social and spiritual relationships," he writes. He therefore begins by negating individualistic concepts of the body and the self that are part of western culture. in this he is right: myriad examples show that the thoughts and attitudes and actions of kinsfolk, living and dead, are held to influence the health of the person, and therefore the body as the site of health or sickness also the site of socially defined and constrained morality. It is important to stress that this is exactly what is negated in principle by bio medicine, which treats sickness as a physical and therefore morally neutral. Such a proposition can work only in a tradition that has inherited a Cartesian separation between body and mind. In Melanesian cultural thinking conditions are certainly physical, but the physical is intimately tied the mental and social. Physical conditions are considered to be the results of mental and social factors, and the curing of sickness therefore depends on tracking down such factors and dealing with them. These factors, however, are an outcome of people's choices to think and do certain things. Therefore, agency, if not individuality, must be taken into account if we wish to understand how the cycle of events is conceived of by people." pg 64 from "Body Thoughts"


“At the very least, it urges affirmation that health arises through open and properly aligned and balanced reciprocal interactions among physical, biological, cognitive, social, and cultural dimensions of human being. Health is not a state to be achieved and maintained-the model of homeostasis; it is a distinctly creative quality of interrelatedness.” P. 42