Our ancient philosophers always articulated the intensity of our wholeness in their own unique modes. While some of them labelled the idea as a vision that expressed the sparkle of the celestial spirit within our being, some called, or referred to, the actual principle as a mirror that reflects oneself — not just in our face, but at the core of our being. To cull another exemplar — the eye, in the philosopher’s mind, is not merely an eye. It is a perpetual “prompt” that upholds the view that we are more than individuals and much more than a component of the cosmos. As any sublime poet would verbalise — our eyes do not see what the mind does not know. This is primarily because our eyes are the windows of our soul and vice versa. They do not just convey what we think; they celebrate the divine stimulus, or the vast expanse of the cosmos that is glowing deep within our soul. This is precisely the fundamental element that instills in us our composite wholeness, or the quintessence of our conscious awareness, including the kaleidoscopic synthesis of our being — day-in and day-out.

Mind scientists relate to wholeness in other ways — they connect our inner calm as our harmonious relationship with each and every tissue, or mitochondria, the “powerhouse of the cell.” This also includes our body’s internal balance. This nourishing equilibrium is not only innate to our being, it also corresponds to nature, the universe and balance. It equates, no less, to several scales in our mind —where each part of the whole, or the sum of the parts, strives to sustain balance. The most amazing part is every scale, or pattern, is interrelated — and, what’s more, they also integrate into a seamless whole, in health and illness, the difference being of degree and (im)balance.

This is a simple premise that contextualises the whole framework that exists between psychology and immune function — in health and illness, or vice versa. Where there is harmony of the two, it denotes optimal health and well-being, while any imbalance between them is often the trigger, or cause, of illness — small, or big. You get the point — any disturbance in our immune function is expressed by the body in the form of psychological and emotional symptoms, aside from physical syndromes.

The equation is unpretentious — while viruses and bacteria may cause certain illnesses, singularly or in isolation, it is equally unambiguous to think of changes in our immune function as the source of such illnesses, or disease states. This is simply because illnesses have several causes, not just one, or two. What also tips the scale in favour of any emerging illness, in one individual, may not lead to any ill-effects in the other. What does this signify? That most illnesses tend to have a far greater impact on the health and well-being “weighing scale” of the elderly, children, and the unwell — not so much in healthy, youthful, or actively fit individuals. 

The implication is obvious — a change within our immune system influences not only our psychological and physical states, but our behaviour too.  You name it — right from common cold and allergies to feelings of compromised health, loss of appetite, depression, and gross fatigue. What this means is — we should listen to nature’s warning signals at all times, no matter the status of our health, or illness. It also means consciously rejecting sudden leaps of “brow science” social media- propelled messages that are a smattering of skewed dogma. The inference is apparent. There is a “demon” in our psyche and we need to deal with it — pragmatically.

(The writer is a wellness physician, independent researcher and author)

Rajgopal Nidamboor