I went to a Missouri martial arts competition last weekend. We had hoped the tournament would be large, but there were only a few individuals in my division. Well, actually one individual... Still I had a lot of fun.
The whole experience has started me thinking about the things I've learned since I started Tae Kwon Do. The more interesting thing I didn't exactly learn in the class - and that's the interaction between the spirit and the body. Whether from physicality, or something otherwordly, it is there.
The mind has the power to make the body ill. Think about it enough, and you can give yourself almost any symptom you wanted. In fact, there is even a name for it - psychosomatic illness. It's visible in so many ways - like how the death of a lifetime romantic partner at old age will often see the other decline in health and die shortly after. Or on the positive side, how a cancer patient can recover from tremendous odds.
On the flip side, the neglect of the body can lead to depression, pain, lack of confidence. When are ill, it's easy for depression to creap in. And when the body comes into good physical condition - a lack of pain, capacity for accomplishing things, etc... - it can also impact the spirit.
Now, obviously you can have an illness that no amount of thought will overcome, or a depression that no amount of physical fitness will work through. But - even in the most dire of circumstances (or especially), the relationship is still visible.
So, I come to the conclusion now - the neglect of the body is the neglect of the soul, and the body is uplifted by the soul.