Perhaps in other cultures, different civilizations, foreign philosophical foundations, the distinction was never made.
In the West, the “Cartesian model” — of Descartes’ alleged search for truth and the bifurcation between the “physical” universe and the “cognitive”, subjective phenomena; and, of course, the Freudian focus upon that inner consciousness and subconsciousness which further divides the objective from the subjective.
In the East (generally speaking, and of no geographical or geopolitical ascriptions of borders or boundaries), there never was a separation of the mind from the body, as the two were intimately and inseparably connected. Tai Chi is based upon this concept, as are the martial arts (Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Karate, etc.). The mind is considered as an extension of the body, and in reverse conceptual order, the body is merely part of the mind.
Whether the Mind/Body distinction itself is the culprit for so many ills in Western societies (of treating psychiatric conditions, as an example, as something separate from a physical manifestation of a condition), is a question left for science.
For Federal Government and Postal Service employees, however, who are contemplating the need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under the FERS system, the important thing to note is that applicable Federal law does not make a distinction between “mental” conditions as opposed to “physical” conditions.
Both are valid reasons to file for a Federal Disability Pension under FERS code, and this attorney always reminds OPM that under the case-law, there is no discrimination of validity between one or the other.
Contact a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer who specializes in OPM Disability Law, and let not the Mind/Body distinction so prevalent in the West defeat a valid basis for an OPM Disability Retirement application under the FERS retirement system.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.