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Out of mind

Cartesianism, pain and my dog

By Paul Broks   February 2004

It was getting dark by the time the dog and I reached the old mine at the top of the hill, so I took a shortcut back through the gorse, throwing sticks into the gloom along the way. The dog returned with one I hadn’t thrown. It was a rotting log rather than a stick. I took it and tried to lodge it in a bush out of reach but the dog leapt and snapped, catching my finger. The pain struck like an electric shock; no, it burned like a blowtorch; no, it fizzed like acid. I don’t know what…

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