Last night I had a simple but brilliant idea. Everyone who would like to write about philosophy or spirituality, especially to make some kind of grand statement about the nature of the body and the soul, should first experience a really bad tooth infection. I don't just mean a slight toothache, I mean the kind of hardcore infection that happens when several incompetent dentists miss a cavity in one of your back teeth and the thing keeps growing and growing until the nerve itself is really badly infected.

I mean, the pain is *unimaginable*. It comes in waves, and these waves drown out everything else about you. You can't talk, you can't move, you can't think, there's just pain and absolutely nothing else. It's like your brain just gets hijacked by it.

And then? You go to the dentist, and (assuming you get a decent one) they stick some chemicals in you, which make you go numb. Then they drill a hole in you, cut the nerve - snip snip - and it's over. Just like that, like repairing a car or a watch. Your whole existence was crippled by this tiny, tiny nerve sending electrochemical signals into your brain, and this unimaginable pain, which nearly blotted out your very consciousness, can be stopped just by a little cut.

We should call this the Toothos Principle, but that's incredibly stupid.