The Interrelated Nature of the Four Aspects of Whole Health
We live in a physical world. Each morning, we wake up in a mortal body that interacts within the constraints of a particular environment and range of activities. In this day to day existence, our physical reality includes things that we can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. In fact, it is this sense information that our conscious mind perceives and interacts with on a daily basis.
As we go about our day, our senses collect unfathomable amounts of data. Although we tune out much of the detail, in each moment we are seeing, hearing, feeling, touching, and tasting a wide range of stimuli. This data, collected as electronic impulses, is then sent to the brain for processing.
We experience data processing as an immediate thing. We touch something hot and our hand pulls away. We smell something good in the kitchen and our stomach starts to rumble. Someone says something that hurts our feelings and we feel sad or angry.
Filters of the Subconscious Mind
In actuality though, this raw data goes through a number of filters within the unconscious mind before these reactions occur. At each step, judgements and decisions are made based upon previous experience and accepted norms. Thus, if we put our hand in water our senses will send the raw data about the temperature to our brain. From here that water will be judged as cold, hot, or warm and a decision will be made whether this is a pleasant experience or not.
Once judgement has been made about a particular stimulus (or set of stimuli), we automatically react accordingly. Much of the time, we probably don’t even recognize our reactions. For instance, our breathing might become more shallow or our muscles tense. This includes those little inklings we call intuition or feelings that are easily ignored. Usually, we don’t pay much attention unless these reactions are uncomfortable or inappropriate. Thus, we may not notice our muscles tensing until the strain becomes such that it causes physical dysfunction or we may not recognize that we are having a fear reaction until we experience an anxiety attack.
The Four Aspects of Whole Health
In this way, our physical, mental, and spiritual aspects are part of a well-oiled machine. Our physical body is essentially the collector of the sense data that the mental aspects (our intellectual mind) will process. Processing occurs as this raw information is sent through various filters (our spiritual aspects). In turn, we will react emotionally or physically (symptoms) that we may or may not consciously perceive at the time.