Mens sana in corpore sano (A sound mind in a sound body).
“A sound mind in a sound body, is a short but full description of a happy state in this World: he that has these two, has little more to wish for; and he that wants either of them, will be little the better for anything else.”
— John Locke
Nearly everything I encounter about health and fitness today includes taking care of the physical body (including exercise, nutrition, breathing, and sleep), as well as mental processes including meditation, mental imagery and the ability to focus your mind — overall wellness, personal vitality and engagement with what we have learned to call “flow”.
Some use the term “integral” and some use the term “wholistic” (holistic) to describe the mind, body, spirit connection that is prevalent today in the areas of health, overall fitness and the feeling of being alive; that leads into that metanormal state called “flow” that is a hallmark or introduction to spirituality
This is not a recent development in thinking. It goes back to the ancients and probably further back into earlier human history. Rituals, rites and altered states were part of life, and physical fitness was a given if one wanted to survive. Ancient Greeks considered the physical state with as much, if not more reverence than education. The mind body connection has always been a part of Eastern medical and spiritual philosophies. Western thought leaders of the late 19th and early 20th century rejuvenated the concept of the mind body connection, and of course it has played a large role in Western medicine in the late 20th and continues into the early 21st century.
Today, W/Holistic medicine is the norm in many places and the traditional Western medical community is beginning to accept it in part, as part of sensible medical diagnosis and treatment. That’s partly why exercise and nutrition have come to play such an important part in today’s wellness thinking. It’s been said that exercising and caring for the body are the foundations for finding mind and spirit and can be a catalyst in finding long term “flow”.
Maybe all the above is why there is such a focus today on the connection between physical movement, meditation and mental imagery — why w/holistic or integral thinking is now in the forefront of the mind-body world.
So, in these blog articles, I will continue to emphasize and explore the connection that so clearly exists.
Here is the full text of the original ancient Roman quote: “Mens sana in corpore sano “(A sound mind in a sound body):
From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mens_sana_in_corpore_sano
The phrase comes from Satire X of the Roman poet Juvenal (10.356). It is the first in a list of what is desirable in life:
You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body.
Ask for a stout heart that has no fear of death,
and deems length of days the least of Nature’s gifts
that can endure any kind of toil,
that knows neither wrath nor desire and thinks
the woes and hard labors of Hercules better than
the loves and banquets and downy cushions of Sardanapalus.
What I commend to you, you can give to yourself;
For assuredly, the only road to a life of peace is virtue.
Thank you for reading.