The mind-body problem was the obsession of most philosophers before this century’s crop discovered that it is, like all metaphysical questions, either meaningless or trivial. But I’ll never be convinced of that. It’s the essential problem of metaphysics, about both the world out there and the world in here … What is the world? What am I? This is the mind-body problem.
–Rebecca Goldstein, “The Mind-Body Problem”
Expressing the mind-body problem is the work of a writer. Words and stories help us take in, sift through, and then reveal. But what happens when events we perceive doesn’t match what others perceive? The mind-body problem isn’t limited to individual experience, but can grip an entire collective, like the Jewish community.
The Leviathan staff has become incredibly conscious of its own mind-body problem. When two parties share an experience, they will come up with two different viewpoints, blurring the line between perception and interpretation. The problem arises when two bodies fail to sync with two minds, especially concerning issues as delicate as the ones explored in this journal. Opinions can be presented as fact, and facts presented as evidence towards a greater agenda. The power we have as journalists is not to be taken lightly.
While our staff is comprised of several minds, we only have one body in which to collect our thoughts. We’ve said that our goal is to give equal expression to all voices, but talking about it isn’t enough. When someone feels they have been wronged, it’s our responsibility to serve as a bipartisan forum invested in equal representation as well as the truth. In the following pages, you will find the results of our struggle to truly craft a space for all perspectives.
To keep the mind and body aligned is no easy task. Yet when the mind and body finally meet and tension subsides, powerful things can happen. So if the words in this journal provoke you, enrage you, confuse you, or inspire you– anachnu be’yachad, we are together. Put mind with body and join our conversation.
Leviathan Editorial Board
Published on page 7 of the Winter 2012 issue of Leviathan.