In this frank and challenging book, Dr. Dossey sets out to understand the "neglected shadow side" of prayer. Having established the benefits of prayer in Prayer is Good Medicine and Healing Words, Dossey flips the coin and asks "Can prayer harm?" The resulting inquiry takes us through the history of negative prayer. Dr. Dossey looks at the various forms that prayer's "shadow" can take, whether it be hexing, the death wish, the evil eye, or merely harboring a bad attitude. Assessing negative prayer from the perspective of evolutionary biology, Dossey considers how we can protect ourselves from the negative thoughts of others. By acknowledging the potential harm of each negative thought, it becomes possible to manifest the positive in its stead. Dr. Dossey's stirring discussion is at once a cautionary tale and a declaration of confidence in our ability to reshape our most private thoughts for the ultimate benefit of humanity.
Prayer research is sparking an unsettling, yet potentially reformative, energy within the medical establishment. Encompassing the data as well as the controversies, Dr. Dossey delves into such questions as why doesn't prayer always work; is it blasphemy to test prayer in the laboratory; does prayer simply create a "false hope"; is a physician's decision not to recommend prayer akin to medical malpractice?
Dossey compares prayer to traditional therapies and observes that, when used in tandem with other orthodox and alternative measures, prayer is indeed powerful medicine. Dr. Dossey further affirms that prayer is remarkably democratic: Research confirms that no particular religion holds a monopoly on prayer's efficacy; and one does not need to be religious, per se, to pray effectively or to benefit medically from prayer.
In this New York Times bestseller, Dr. Dossey restores the spiritual art of healing to the science of medicine. Healing Words points the way toward "a medicine that is both effective and more humane, a medicine that works better and feels better."
Like many who believe they must choose between the intellectual and the emotional, the analytical and the spiritual, Dr. Dossey graduated from medical school with the belief that prayer was little more than superstition. After practicing medicine for many years, he was stunned to come across scientific evidence of prayer's healing power. His "white-coated, scientific" world view undermined, Dr. Dossey embarked on ten years of research into the relationship between prayer and healing.
Citing compelling studies and case histories, Dr. Dossey breaks new ground in our understanding of how prayer complements good medicine. He describes how prayer manifests in laboratory experiments; he examines which methods of prayer show the greatest potential and how one's innate temperament and personality affect prayer style.
As we recognize that the "empirical evidence for prayer's power is indirect evidence for the soul," Dossey believes we will find ourselves praying more prayers of gratitude and fewer prayers of supplication. This, asserts Dossey, is "the proper response on realizing that the world, at heart, is more glorious, benevolent, and friendlier than we have recently supposed."
Physician Larry Dossey investigates the extraordinary power of meaning to affect mind-body interactions. Through fascinating clinical stories, Dossey shows how thought and emotion influence the body -- and can make the difference between life and death. He describes the Black Monday Syndrome, the fact that more heart attacks occur on Monday mornings around 9:00 than at any other time. He shows how the heart can actually break from grief or stop from shame.
Dr. Dossey offers a strong antidote to these negatives: Meaning also has the power to heal and change. He brings us the case of the Fishskin Boy, whose rare genetic skin disorder was healed through hypnosis, and of a fourteen-year-old computer whiz who "programmed" his own visualizations to utilize chemotherapy efficiently. He further explores how music, biofeedback, miracles, prayer, and the inner "controller" can contribute to the healing process. Dr. Dossey then takes us into the world of the hospital and gives specific instructions to help anyone survive a hospital stay.
"A truly luminous book. Exciting, challenging, and ultimately inspiring...bound to become a classic in the convergence of science, medicine, and religion."
What is the soul? Can the soul be scientifically explained? In this thought-provoking book, Dr. Dossey provides an alternative view of human consciousness, one which asserts that an aspect of the human mind--the soul--exists independently of time, space, and matter.
"Why speak of the soul in an age of science?" asks Dr. Dossey. "Why suggest that there is some aspect of the psyche that is not subject to the limitations of space and time, and which might precede the birth of the body and survive its death? The main reason is that something vital has been left out of almost all the modern efforts to understand our mental life-- something that accounts as a first principle, without which everything is bound to be incomplete and off base. This missing element is the mind's nonlocal nature: the soul." In Recovering the Soul, Dr. Dossey interweaves the wisdom of ancient texts with quantum physics, mysticism with scientific research, religion with Western medicine and triumphantly affirms our interconnectedness with the universe, and each other.
Western medicine has long viewed the body as working mechanically, like clockwork: A breakdown of its parts causes illness. But modern physics says something new about the universe; its more holistic view includes the effects of consciousness on matter and the possibility of nonlinear time. Western medicine has not yet embraced these new ideas, and as a result physicians find themselves "with a set of guiding beliefs that are as antiquated as are body humors, leeching, and bleeding."
Dr. Larry Dossey discusses our obsession with time and how the notion of time "flowing" may profoundly act upon our health. Those who are able to alter their concept of time flow, says Dr. Dossey, have been able to positively affect the course of their disease.
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