BODY by Don Johnson


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Convoluted, highly personal speculation on repairing the mind-body split to improve physical and mental health. Johnson (The Protean Body) received a strict Catholic upbringing, and then joined a Jesuit order for ten years--all of which taught him, he says, to ""disconnect my philosophy, politics and spirituality from my body."" Such neglect of the physical side of life breeds insensitivity to signs of distress, danger, and disease, says Johnson; and led, in his own case, to a ""weakened state of alienation, lacking a sense of my own resources for making judgments and decisions."" In that condition, he had to rely on ""publicly recognized authorities"" for help in making daily decisions--a state of being he feels is typical in Western society. (Eastern, un-split religions have protected their societies from such alienation.) To restore the mind-body connection, Johnson advocates both improving physical health through exercise, posture improvement, and realignment (he soon became a Rolf adherent after leaving the Jesuits), and improving mental awareness through meditation, visualization, and similar techniques. Exercise recommendations are accompanied by musings on spirituality, sexuality, and socialization: ""The many sensory and emotional resources we possess for finding our way together through a sensual world are impoverished by the way our physical selves are molded in the culture."" A personal testament, plus practical suggestions, for readers of The Protean Body and others so inclined.

Pub Date: Dec. 5th, 1983
Publisher: Beacon