Can the mind acutely play a role in the timeframe between getting a sufficient quantity of the virus inside your body and COVID: either showing symptoms or becoming asymptomatically infectious?
Answers depend on how you pose questions.
Without changing reality by simply posing some questions, one can change a line of research. For seven COVID-related months, I have been thinking that the title’s question wasn’t worth bothering.
Now, I do.
Warning and disclaimer
From March 2020 onwards, I deemed a mind-influence on COVID to be so evident that it’s silly not to research it. Bringing scientific elements together, as in MINDING CORONA, any clear-thinking researcher would acknowledge. The problem is that, as far as I know, none cares or dares to look into this direction.
The title’s question is new. I didn’t care or dare to pose it myself until now. My failure. Science is not only about experiments. It’s also about daring to keep thinking. Still, this is somewhat hypothetical. Please make up your mind on the evidence.
Viral load, viral shedding
One gets sick or infectious when having many viruses in the body, not just a few. However, one can get infected by a relatively low amount. The viruses replicate and keep on replicating exponentially. Then they inundate a person who gets sick either by the sheer amount of viruses destroying cells or by an overreaction of the defense system. In principle, one can get very ill or die from both.
Meanwhile, viral load (the amount of viruses in the body) is one factor in viral shedding (the amount of viruses that one spreads around). Thus, viral load is essential in infectiousness even from before symptoms appear. But first:
The mind quite heavily influences the immune system. Actually, it has become apparent – science, you know – that the immune system and the central nervous system work together in forming the mind. This is:
You think – up to some degree – with your immune system.
Makes you think, no?
Then the question is:
Can the immune system, influenced by the mind, affect viral load from early on, say, a few days after the arrival of our little guests? Thus: can the mind enhance or prevent illness and reduce infectiousness from early on?
Can the mind act so quickly on immunology? That would be impressive. On the other hand, with still relatively little viral load, a small influence might be enough.
Let us pause for a coffee.
Right. If the mind can be harnessed profoundly within the specified timeframe, then as a procedure combined with rapid mass testing and a few days of quarantine, the COVID problem can melt like snow on a warm and sunny day. Hurray!
Even if the effect is relatively small, it’s already substantial ― and interestingly far-reaching.
Possibly relevant to COVID?
Most people do not get sick after infestation with corona. In many cases, we don’t know why. Even where we have part of an explanation, a large gap exists where the mind can be an important factor. If this explanatory gap would be totally filled with mind, then we should better see the virus as no more than a key to the door.
“We don’t know if the mind plays a central role” should not get translated into “We know that the mind does not play a central role.” Yet this kind of reasoning is what we see in many other health-related domains.
To be possible, there should be the possibility of a rapid influence of mind on our defense systems. For this, our defense systems themselves need to be able to respond quickly. Of course, they do. The quickest response is innate and nonspecific. There are two lines in this:
- enzymes in epithelia (such as the walls of the upper and lower respiratory system), mucus consistency, cough reflex
- many precursor immune cells are available from early on in life. These are slightly or not specific but fast. We know much about their existence.
Do you sometimes get a dry mouth from being emotional? That’s part of 1). Also, lots of mind-immune influences are known in many ways. It would be surprising if there would not be a substantial influence on 2). One indication is the effect of stress on the efficiency of vaccination.
About complexity: The immune system is immensely complex, and so is the mind. [see= “Complex is not Complicated“] In complexity, relevant reactions can be spontaneous and quick. There is no need for a lot of mathematics in the brain. Elements of a complex system work in parallel to give almost immediate results. Think of the letter ‘A.’ All right. How long did it take you? Now think, “Hm, this may be interesting, after all.” See? The latter assertion is quite complex. Did it take much time and effort? No.
Another example: A straight guy sees an attractive woman → His pupils dilate within 300 msecs. This is before a conscious reaction is even possible. Note that this is emotionally meaning-driven and quite a complex feat by that guy’s brain. Also noteworthy is the absent role of consciousness. The non-conscious mind is very complex and meaning-driven. That is the point I want to make.
As an example of direct immune influence, look at allergies. Immune reactions in the domain of allergy are immediate. Being allergic to a flower, the smell of the flower can quickly lead to the start of immune responses, even an asthma attack.
Indeed, even if it is a plastic flower, as studies show. This is mental: the idea that a specific flower-allergen is present. This would seem weird, where it not that we already know that the mind and immune system work closely together. The brain-immune-system recognizes the pattern ‘flower.’ Flower-allergens (physical) are part of this pattern. Apparently, the mental side is also enough to kindle the same pattern into action. [see: “So plastic flowers are real after all… are they?“]
It is possible and even probable that the mind acutely influences our defenses against the virus. Indeed, why would nature NOT do this? It is perfectly capable, and this makes sense.
What about nocebo?
Nocebo is a negative effect stemming from the idea that a negative effect will be. It is a reverse placebo. So, may we be imbuing people with nocebo in the field of COVID?
We put people in quarantine, an acute stress situation, with the message that “bad things may come.” Some people are more susceptible than others, especially after a history of chronic stress (such as months of anxiety). The result: A stress-shock on an already chronically stressed organism may give the virus its chance to replicate. That is nocebo.
This does not mean that we can and must prevent all nocebo. We have to put it in the balance. And maybe we can do something to diminish this nocebo. Just wait for a few paragraphs.
Nocebo into whirlpool at this stage?
Another crucially important question about the nocebo-effect: Can it be present within the COVID-whirlpool in an asymptomatic patient? Remember that this whirlpool is a self-enhancing pattern of mutually reinforcing elements. [see: “COVID-Whirlpool – In Which Virus AND Mind Play Substantial Roles“] Can this play a role without symptoms?
I guess the question will be answered entirely in the future. For now, note that an asymptomatic patient does not consciously show symptoms. Of course, body-mind does not only react to what is conscious. Much research indicates that what happens at the conscious level is only the tip of the iceberg. Physiological things of which there is non-conscious awareness in the brain are happening in the body before the patient reports symptoms. Note also that placebo/nocebo is a non-consciously caused phenomenon. [see: “Power of Placebo < Autosuggestion“] With all effort in the world, one cannot ‘merely consciously will’ a placebo-effect into existence. One also cannot ‘merely consciously will’ to oneself an allergic reaction.
Thus, in principle, non-conscious elements can be part of the whirlpool also in asymptomatic patients. Moreover, there is a gradual transition from symptoms being non-consciously present towards more conscious awareness. Can the brain make an association between what is happening in the body at this early stage and ‘danger ahead’? Well, can the brain-immune-system do so? Yes, this is how new body-alien elements are detected in a whole range of immunology. It is business as usual.
All elements are present for a whirlpool starting at the asymptomatic stage. It must be a little whirlpool, but little is needed at this stage to make a huge difference in the outcome.
Moreover, in my view, the whole COVID-whirlpool is driven by non-conscious elements, even if several are also consciously present. This abords to the philosophical question of consciousness as an epiphenomenon.
Why is all this not already scientifically investigated, apparent, known?
It is implicit, covert, subconceptual, complex. This is not being taught in medical school. I say ‘not,’ indeed, meaning absolutely nothing.
Why is the mind not present in the whole COVID story? [see: “COVID: Why Hiding the Mind?“] The modern medical view on the human being – in body and mind – is a mechanical one. That way, it’s hardly possible to see the acute influence of the mind. Mind has no influence as a mechanical thing. It has influence as a complex thing. There is an immense difference between both.
Ask any random virologist about ‘deeply meaningful mental (subconceptual) processing’ and behold the blank stare. More broadly, merely-conceptual medical specialists are simply the wrong specialists in this subdomain. If only these guided us, we would get where, unfortunately, we are. The issue is not a viral one. It is a virus-mind-body one.
Without wining about the past, we should take action towards the future.
AURELIS mental exercises to prevent COVID
I have made some relevant exercises and will put them on the app in due time. Please, read again the warning and disclaimer above. Scientific experimental research is possible. If you want to help the AURELIS project and yourself, enabling things such as this research, please subscribe.
These mental exercises are in the genre of what is already available on the free app. [see: “Free App to Relieve COVID“] Who would want to do these exercises? Anybody who wants to reduce (not necessarily obliterate) his risk of getting ill, some risk of dying, and being infectious to others. Many people might say ‘no’ to this. Many others might say ‘yes.’
Note that these exercises are not in any way positive thinking. Here, the ‘locus of control’ lies in conscious processing while the non-conscious is regarded as some mechanism to be used by the one in control, being the ‘ego.’ [see: “The Story of Ego“] AURELIS reaches far beyond. It gets going where positive thinking ends. In respect for the total person (conscious, non-conscious), logically, it is more effective to work with the totality. Otherwise, you risk an inner battle of opposing motivations. Given human complexity, I don’t think that one can manipulate oneself into beating the virus. Mr. tough-guy may even have a contrary effect.
It’s better to strive for alignment. AURELIS mental exercises are available to support you, not to do it for you. You can see these new exercises as a diminishment of nocebo and a garnering of your non-conscious mental processing in a healthy way, at a time when you need it.