Chapter 6: How the Mind Can Make the Body Ill

Medical history is full of examples of patients whose physical problems seem to have no apparent physical cause. In fact, it’s estimated that 70% of all body ills fall into this category known as “psychosomatic illness.”

So what exactly is psychosomatic illness? Well, “psycho” refers to the mind and “somatic” refers to the body. So the term “psychosomatic” means the mind making the body ill, or illnesses which have been created physically within the body by the mind. And Dianetics has proven that engrams are the cause of all psychosomatic ills.

Here’s why:

This is an engram containing physical pain – an injury to your arm. The pain in your arm is recorded in your reactive mind along with all the other perceptions in the incident.

Now, when that engram is later restimulated by similar perceptions in your enviroment, your reactive mind plays back the recording, and the physical pain it contains may appear. In Dianetics we say the SOMATIC has turned on.

mind-over-matterThe word “somatic” refers to any pain, sensation, or body condition you experience as a result of engrams.

When a somatic turns on, the part of your body which was injured or ill when the engram was received becomes painful or ill again, to some degree.

Just how many different kinds of psychosomtic illnesses could you have? Well, that depends in part upon all your previous illnesses and injuries and in part upon how many conditions your body can generate out of words and phrases contained in your engrams.

You see, the language contained in an engram can have a very damaging effect on your body as well as on your mind.

As an example, a little girl falls into a pool. In the commotion, someone near her shouts, “She can’t breathe!” This phrase is now stored in her reactive mind. Now, the reactive mind interprets the word in its command quite literally, regardless of what their meaning might have been when they were spoken. So even after she is grown up, this girl suffers from asthma, because her reactive mind is literally telling her body that she “can’t breathe.”

This is the reactive mind making the body ill.

Consider how many combinations of words there are, and you can imagine how much damage these commands can cause. They can alter your senses, make you feel sick in general, or even keep you from healing. That’s why many common physical problems such as allergies, ulcers, arthritis, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, chronic skin conditons, and bizarre aches and pains can be traced back to the harmful effects of engrams.

Now, if you’ve lived a relatively accident-free existence, you may think you don’t have many engrams. But the fact is, the greatest source of engrams – and the most damaging – comes from a period of your life that you probably don’t remember as you will see in a moment.

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