How Dogmatic Is the Back-to-the-Body Perspective?

tree_fruitsIt isn’t. The Back-to-the-Body perspective does not utter dogmas. Every affirmation from the Back-to-the-Body perspective follows the Biblical principle that you can know a tree by its fruits (Matthew Chapter 7). The effort is to stay in contact with reality, to check the “fruits,” to stay humble in face of the immense wisdom contained in body, to learn always, to make adjustments as new insights surface.

humanTake, for example, the Back-to-the-Body tenet that the three areas comprising the human being (namely, the areas indicated by the metonymies of “stomach,” “brain,” and “heart”) are independent and sovereign.  Here, stomach is associated with will; brain is associated with intellect; and heart is associated with emotion. The tenet of independence and sovereignty means that one area must not, and in fact cannot, interfere with another. One area must not impose itself upon another.

What does the evidence of common sense show us? Common sense tells us that those who attempt to force the will, the intellect, or the emotion of people end up in utter failure. Even if temporarily they may appear to succeed, the backlash surely comes as people regain their freedom. This is true even if a person attempts to do violence to him/herself. It will not work.

For example, a person cannot “will” a change of the laws of logic, as an attempt to impose the will on the intellect. A person cannot use logical arguments to force someone to feel one way or another. Neither can a person use emotions to force someone to act in a certain way or to think in a certain way. There is no denying that these three areas influence one another, but this is done through gentle persuasion rather than force or control.


In fact, it is precisely this kind of understanding that can bring about a solid ground for mental health, in which the three areas are tended to and cared for according to their own needs. Understanding the characteristics of the three sovereign areas of the human being (stomach, brain, and heart) leads to a balanced life of doing (stomach), thinking (brain), and feeling (heart). This is the core of mental health.

The Back-to-the-Body Perspective and Dogmatic Spirituality

The Back-to-the-Body perspective can show a way out of the impasse in which the various types of dogmatic spirituality find themselves today. A spirituality–unless consciously pursuing a balanced approach–will tend to focus in one of the three areas of the human being: the stomach (will), the brain (intellect), and the heart (emotion).

monotheismJudaism, for instance, is biased toward the will (or the stomach), in its emphasis on obedience to God’s law. Christianity is biased toward the intellect (the brain), in its emphasis on faith, especially through the doctrine of “Sola Fide,” or justification by faith alone. Islam, in its emphasis on purity of heart and submission to Allah, emphasizes the heart, or the emotional aspect of the human being.

The Back-to-the-Body perspective is an invitation to members of all faiths to root out elements of exclusivism, extremism, and religionism (see my blog for a definition of ‘religionism’) in order to focus on balanced spirituality based on the wisdom of the body.

holy_bookIf you are a believer of God–and you believe that God has revealed truths through the sacred texts–you will agree that any truth revealed by God through the narrowness of human language and intellect will pale in comparison to the infinite truth revealed by God in his ultimate creation, which is the human body. The body is the true Holy Book, a fountain of infinite wisdom.

I conclude my blog with a quote from Hyperion and a question:

How I hate, on the other hand, all the barbarians who imagine that they are wise because they no longer have a heart, all the coarse monsters who kill and destroy youthful beauty a thousand times over with their narrow, irrational discipline. (Friedrich Hölderlin. Hyperion. iBooks.)

My question: Who are these hated barbarians and why don’t they have a heart?

Paulo-Juarez Pereira
Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
June 20, 2014 (During World Cup 2014)


  1. What Is Different about a War of Ideologies | Paulo-Juarez Pereira - June 22, 2014

    […] of ideology as an infestation or a contamination. The stomach, the brain, and the heart (see the meaning of these metonymies here) cease to function as independent, sovereign areas—where the brain seeks liberty and follows […]

  2. Depression: One of the Scourges Our 21st Century | Paulo-Juarez Pereira - June 26, 2014

    […] From the perspective of spirituality, depression can be defined as the dampening of the hope for love. Looking at it from the Back-to-the-Body perspective, depression is related to the heart. Here we consider that the human being has three major areas, namely, the stomach, the brain, and the heart. (See the meaning of these metonymies here.) […]

  3. Why Argentina Defaults? A Consideration from the Back-to-the-Body Perspective | Paulo-Juarez Pereira - July 7, 2014

    […] the body, creation of nutrition comes from the work of the “stomach” (see here for the meaning of the metonymies “stomach,” “brain,” and “he…). The nutrients created by the stomach are then distributed to the rest of the body through the […]

  4. Victory or Defeat: Each Brings Its Own Challenges | Paulo-Juarez Pereira - July 13, 2014

    […] we consider the metonymies “stomach,” “brain,” and “heart” (see here for the meaning of these terms), it would seem that the assessment of whether a certain deed represents a “victory” or a […]

  5. Marcus Aurelius and the Education of the Brain | Paulo-Juarez Pereira - August 1, 2014

    […] King stresses the three elements of human personality, namely, stomach, brain, and heart (click here for an explanation of the meaning of these metonymies), as […]

  6. What the Body Says About the Federal Government | Paulo-Juarez Pereira - August 3, 2014

    […] to clarify the functions of the stomach, brain, and heart and the areas in which each is sovereign (click here for further clarification). The stomach is a metonymy for the living vitality of the human being. It is through the stomach […]

  7. Ferguson, USA: A New Opportunity for Racial Integration | Paulo-Juarez Pereira - August 21, 2014

    […] Today, forty plus years later, we can work with clarity for racial integration. The pattern I offer is the human body, and the ideas I offer are contained in the Back-to-the-Body Perspective. (Click here for an explanation of the Back-to-the-Body Perspective.) […]

  8. Obesity: An Affliction of the Stomach | Paulo-Juarez Pereira - September 4, 2014

    […] and depression has to do with the “heart.”  (For further information about these metonymies, please click here.) In this post, I will deal with […]

  9. Considering Scotland: A Back-to-the-Body Perspective | Paulo-Juarez Pereira - September 10, 2014

    […] And here is where the Back-to-the-Body Perspective can be helpful and can provide some guidance as to the way forward. As we have been arguing in other articles in this blog, the body is divided in three major areas, which are expressed by the metonymies “stomach,” “brain,” and “heart.” These areas are independent and sovereign in their own domain, but there has been a bias toward the brain. In other words, humankind has been valuing the brain more so than the stomach and the heart. For further information about these metonymies, please click here. […]

  10. How to Distinguish False from True in Spirituality? — The “Show-Me” Method | Paulo-Juarez Pereira - September 13, 2014

    […] Spirituality is a set of principles, practices, and habits to nurture and enhance the life of the heart, which is the life of the spirit. In the Back-to-the-Body Perspective, we consider three realms, represented by the metonymies “stomach,” “brain,” and “heart” (Click here for more information about these metonymies.) […]

  11. Scotland Stays in the UK: A Back-to-the-Body Perspective | Paulo-Juarez Pereira - September 20, 2014

    […] Instead of the dualistic opposition of “dominating and dominated,” a more effective pattern for a relationship is the paradigm of the body. The pattern displayed by the body shows three parts in harmony instead of two parts of traditional dualism. In the Back-to-the-Body Perspective I have been using the terms “stomach,” “brain,” and “heart” to designate the three parts (click here for further clarification). […]

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