Life as Continuity
What are the things that connect us?
I’m currently contributing to a project aimed to prepare students who are considering chiropractic college. Working on the Philosophy section has given me another opportunity to review the tools and terms, but more importantly, the Big Picture. What is the WHY that informs the practitioner? How does the body work? How does directing focus on promoting and advancing health (instead of prevention and treatment of disease) impact how someone experiences their body and the world?
As one of the things that connect us, language is so important. I used to think of myself as a student of the Anatomy of Wellbeing, until I made the connection that the word “anatomy” (to cut up) itself implies an orientation to separating things into pieces. This can be a useful process and often helps us understand things with more detail. However, without an appreciation for the context of the whole and the recognition that in life things are not separate, the process of reducing can lead to division in mind and heart.
Within the realm of the human body, everything is connected. Traditionally, we have been taught that muscles attach to bones via tendons. We can “dissect” these “pieces” out, see the nerves and blood vessels that feed them, and describe what actions they perform. This is what tradition has passed down - a tradition informed by reductionism. What if we approached the body from the perspective of continuity? There is a seamless continuity within and through the entire body. I mean this literally. There are no seams, stitches, or pins in healthy tissue. The connective tissue of fascia wraps, folds, and weaves together all tissue in the body. The nervous system coordinates and communicates directly or indirectly with all parts of the body. The second a knife - a surgical one or a mental one - is applied it introduces a break in this continuity. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as it acknowledges and honors the natural whole state of the body.
How can this sense of continuity inform other aspects of life? If we begin with the perspective that everything is connected - and in some way or another continuous - we realize the tremendous responsibility we have to ourselves, each other and the planet. Nothing and no one exists in isolation. Your wellbeing is my wellbeing. How we treat the environment reflects how we treat our own bodies. We’re in this together. This is the Big Picture.