I’ve been researching Phantom Limb Pain. I’ve been using this image of Beowulf ripping off Grendle’s arm to represent it. For more info, this Ramachandran article is an excellent discussion. Most (80-90%) people feel a phantom of an amputated limb after it is gone. Lord Nelson thought this was evidence of an immaterial soul. It is more likely your neural representation of the limb continuing to exist even after the limb does not. I’m researching it in depth for a Consciousness paper and I’m researching the genetic mediation of phantom limb pain for my Genes and Behaviour class.
They’ve bred strains of mice with extreme and almost non-existent levels of pain (as measured by cutting their leg nerves and counting how many toes the chew off … God bless the little bastards).
I like it because it seems to confirm what the Buddha said about everything being illusion, even your own body.
I also keep a wary eye on the Sri Lanka newsfeed. “Marxists, monks and militants call the shots in Sri Lanka” is my favorite headline. Fuck. The Marxists and monks are racist (anti-Tamil) and the rebels are starting to make noise. You know, I decided to go back to Sri Lanka because Prime Minister Ranil was negotiating for peace and opening the economy to free-trade and investment. Now he’s gone. I just want people in my country to stop fighting long enough to get some work done. Sri Lanka has such a good chance. It still does, and I’m still going home. The Marxists, monks and militants do, however, drive me crazy.