It Is Not About The Tissues

‘Body systems seem to have reserve capacity to allow for asymmetry and imperfections to exist without failure or symptoms.’

Lederman 2010

‘If pain is itself essentially part of my perception, and my point of view changes, the quality of the pain must also change… What I advocate is an insight into our bodily capacity to change our body’s pain by means of a change of perception.’

Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Our sense of reality is dependant on how our brains connect.

‘I’ve mostly talked about your brain adapting, plastically, to create a model of that Great, Big, Wonderful World that we live in, and about how your brain controls its own plasticity to gradually figure out how to operate successfully within it. It’s time to deliver a little more shocking news to you. First, that world in your brain isn’t exactly real. There is no real “orange” in a sunset, “sweetness” in that cookie, “amusement” in watching that kitten, or “wonder” in contemplating your navel or the cosmos! Your world is a brain world. It made it up. Fortunately for you, your brain calibrated its construct of the “real world” so that this grandest of fictions makes sense. Sort of.

You may already have a sense that the world in your brain isn’t strictly real, but you might be less aware that your brain has created more than one world. Several other universes beyond the one “out there” have also been constructed inside your skull. Because an understanding of these parallel brain worlds is key to your brain health, I’d like to tell you more about their natures.

One of those worlds that it is really important for you to master is a complex neurological construction representing your body. That world extends from the tip of your toes all the way up to the top of your head. I’ll call it your “corporeal world.”’

Merzenich 2013 Chapter 15


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