Mind Body Spirit; who separated them in the first place?
According to Descartes (1596-1650), often described as the Father of Modern Science and/or Medicine; not only were mind and spirit separable from the body, but physical human movement could legitimately be likened to a machine or object of mechanical function; such as a clock.
In order to get permission to do human dissection and “prove” how the body works mechanically, Descartes sought sanction from the Pope to use the bodies of deceased criminals for legal investigation. According to Dr Candace Pert (Molecules of Emotion), he did a “turf deal” with the Pope, by agreeing that all emotional, metaphysical aspects of the [deceased] human belonged to the church and only the body would be treated under the authority of medical science.
This deal signaled an archetypal moment in Western history. It marked the beginning of a huge rift that segregated the experience of the being, from the functionality of the body; treating them separately for centuries to come. Horology (the study of clocks) was one area of study from which Descartes’ particular genius arose. It explained and justified his much revered views, in a time when the established printing press meant such views could be widely publicized. That is around Europe by the gradually increasing number of Anatomical Theatres in Universities and Medical Schools.
This was the essence of what was to be called “Cartesian Reductionist Methodology”. Reductionism meant reducing something down to its component parts and (according to Pert) “extrapolating overarching theories about the whole”. Today, the new context provided by understanding the Fascia arises in a world that no longer relies upon the printing press. We use “word press” as an almost instant communication system – we live in a culture that understands networks.
As the tensional network of connective tissue, throughout the human form, the fascia could be called our Internal Net. It was mostly scraped away and removed. This was in order to see those detailed “component parts” into which the whole body was broken down, to explain function. That view is evolving.
In Yoga we seek to do the opposite: multiply up to wholeness. In an Internet world where “quantum coherence” (Mae-Wan Ho’s scientific term for wholeness) is sought in every field, there is little wonder that we are now able to appreciate the fascia. Once consigned to the cadaveric bins in most anatomy laboratories, this “Cinderella Tissue” as Robert Schleip affectionately refers to it, is changing the context upon which many aspects of our form are considered: Not to mention some of the structural paradigms upon which modern science and medicine are based.