A peak inside: Excerpts by Larry Dossey, MD; Deepak Chopra, MD; Bernie Siegel, MD; Blair Justice, PhD; Jeanne Segal, PhD; and Scott Miners, ed, from the book Thoughts, Attitudes & Your Health.
“Healing the Quantum Heart”
Deepak Chopra, MD
Where can you stand objectively to watch an emotion turn into a molecule? Nowhere—you cannot see or touch an emotion; you can barely pin it down in time, and it has no home in space whatever; you cannot store it for future study, even though all emotions obviously reside in a mysterious storehouse called memory. Yet molecules can be objectively seen, stored and manipulated. They are easier to deal with than emotions, and therefore scientists always assume that the reality of molecules should be the benchmark, while the reality of emotions is somehow inferior.
Only in the quantum world does this situation change. A quantum event is also invisible, fleeting and unpredictable, just like our thoughts. Before the sun throws out light, where is it? Photons come out of nowhere and cannot be stored, except in the mysterious realm called the quantum field. They can barely be pinned down in time and have no home in space whatever, in that light occupies no volume and has no mass.
At bottom, the quantum field is simply a creative source. It is empty of gross objects like hydrogen atoms and electrons, and yet without the quantum field as their background, these objects could not exist.
Similarly, without a quantum mechanical body, our physical bodies cannot exist. A physical body is not a lump of gross material—proteins, sugars, aminos, peptides, etc.—that stands still in time and space. It is a constant flow of changing events. Its life and breath depend on transformations that can never cease. Seen in that light, the mind-body connection is not mysterious or unusual—it is the primary reality, compared to which all those lumps of protein and enzymes, even DNA itself, are secondary.
Emotions, molecules and quantum fluctuations are not merely linked; they are the same. It is just our objective bias that calls them different. DNA is a fluctuation in the infinite, unbounded quantum field, and so is the thought, “I am happy.” Fear and adrenaline are both identical quantum fluctuations. The reason you can put adrenaline into a bottle but not fear is simply due to our perceiving organs. Our eyes and fingers register quantum fluctuations as sight and touch; our minds register quantum fluctuations as emotions. But in the final analysis, “feeling” fear with your mind and “feeling” a drop of adrenaline with our heart are the same event viewed through different windows…. Thoughts, Attitudes & Your Health
“Heart-Brain Focus & Immune Response”
There are over 40,000 specialized cells in the heart: sensory neurites. This according to the research of JA Armour. The brain and other parts of the body also contain neurons and neurotransmitters, just not as many or as specialized as those in the heart; until Armour’s findings scientists in the field thought that only the brain had the capacity for memory or could interpret sensory stimuli and feelings. Armour’s research shows there is a heart-brain network of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins, and support cells similar to those found in the brain itself, and indeed that the heart can act independently of the brain to learn, sense, and feel.
A recent doctoral project, based on findings by the HeartMath Institute, explored whether heart-focused meditation could contribute to personal and communal healing. Researchers at and affiliated with the HeartMath Institute have developed tools that monitor heart-rate variability and show evidence that heart-centered focus along with slow breathing begins a process of coherence, or harmonization of the heart-brain network. Once one is focused after the one-minute eyes-closed contemplative breathing in and out exercise, one then intentionally feels gratitude, care, compassion, and appreciation for others or things in one’s life by focusing on them for another three minutes.
This simple exercise brings the heart-brain into coherence. The HeartMath emwave devices measure the success of the coherence, but practitioners can also feel the state without the device by the amount of peace and well-being that permeates the mind and body. That state of coherence is a trigger for over 1300 biochemical reactions that play roles in dramatically increasing immune response, cardiovascular health, hormones that are associated with youth, and extraordinary states of intuition and clarity for learning…. Thoughts, Attitudes & Your Health
“The Hidden Dimensions of Health”
Larry Dossey, MD
…Era III medicine recognizes an inner divinity of all persons because of the nonlocal qualities possessed by all minds. For to be nonlocal or unbounded in space is to be omnipresent, and to be nonlocal or unbounded in time is to be infinite, eternal and immortal. Omnipresence and eternality are attributes of God, we have always maintained; but with the recognition of our nonlocal nature they become our qualities as well. This inner divinity has been described by the mystics of all the great traditions. Examples include the Hindu aphorism from the Upanishads, “tat tvam asi” (thou art that), and the words of Jesus in John 10:34, “… you are gods.”
Perhaps the most paradoxical aspect of Era III healing is that, ultimately, there is nothing that needs healing. How could there be? How could something eternal, infinite, and immortal be improved upon? How could something unified, whole and complete be made more complete? The great mystics know this and state it unequivocally—even visionaries such as Ramana Maharshi who die of horrible illnesses, as we saw above.
The nonlocal consciousness recognized in Era III medicine is not a fantasy; it is the way our consciousness actually behaves. Empirical evidence amply demonstrates this. Nonlocal effects of consciousness have surfaced in experiments dealing with effects of prayer in coronary care units of modern hospitals. Doctor Randolph Byrd at San Francisco General Hospital has demonstrated, in a prospective, controlled, double-blind study of almost four hundred patients, that prayer results in powerful therapeutic effects at a great distance. Similar effects are seen in the experiments of Professor Robert G Jahn and Brenda J Dunne at Princeton University’s Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory, which deal with the ability of minds to share information even when separated by up to six thousand miles…. Thoughts, Attitudes & Your Health
“Can You Decide When To Get Sick—And When Not To”
Blair Justice, PhD
When the hypothalamus triggers the stress response and activates neurotransmitters, hormones and other messenger molecules in the brain and body, these substances in turn act on the receptors of the heart, blood vessels, muscles and—as recently established—immune cells, which protect us from bacteria and viruses. When too many “keys” are finding their way into too many “locks,” the heart races, blood pressure increases, muscles tighten, and immunity can be suppressed if the stress continues. If we keep evoking our stress response and ignore it, or do nothing about it, the consequence may be that we get sick or find ourselves in pain.
But how does talking to the body help—and what do people actually say to hurting parts?
“You can ask the pain to leave now,” said Sheikh. “You can tell it to come back in two hours, or two days, when you can listen to it and see what it is telling you.”
A nurse at the imagery conference who said she uses this technique to defer symptoms commented: “I get headaches under stress. I acknowledge the pain and say, ‘Please leave, I’m busy now. I’ll tend to you later.’ When I do this three times, it goes away.”
A psychologist remarked: “I say to my stomach: ‘Hi, stomach. What’s the matter? Let’s talk.’” The hypothalamus, which takes orders from the thoughts, words and images we put in higher centers of the brain, can turn on a relaxation response in the body as well as a stress reaction. This may be one way that soothing talk to the body helps…. Thoughts, Attitudes & Your Health
“Spiritual Aspects of the Healing Arts”
Bernie Siegel, MD with Barbara Siegel
To learn about the kind of person I was dealing with, I began to ask four simple questions. (1) Do you want to live to be 100? (A simple question about feeling in control and looking forward to life.) (2) What does your disease mean to you? (Is it a challenge or a death sentence?) (3) Why did you need the illness? (What is it providing you with? Nurturing and love, as do our sick days at work?) (4) What happened in the year or two before you became sick? (This lets the patients know how they participate in an illness by not meeting their own needs. It makes them responsible for change if they wish to accept the responsibility.)
The mechanic would treat the illness and not look at who was sick. The healer/teacher says, “Who are you? Who were you? And what brings you to this point?” We have the opportunity to lead people on new pathways to assist them all with their rebirth.
Illness or pain is a message to change. In an all-inclusive way, I used the phrase, “Everyone has his cancer, either emotional or physical.” From thisground we have the option to either promote change and healing, or see it as a catastrophe or death sentence. I choose the former, and I offer it to my patients.
Since the medical profession is failure-oriented, it tends to say to people, “Don’t ask why you became ill; it will make you feel that it is your fault, that you are a failure.” I say the illness must be seen as a message to redirect your life, and, within this transformation, healing occurs.
I know the power of this transformation and the knowledge our inner voices, intuition, or unconscious minds can provide. For years I ignored it, but I kept getting a powerful personal message to uncover something. As a mechanic, therefore, I went to the barber and had my head shaved. Of course, having a bare head didn’t solve the problem…
I have long felt the absence of God from our hospitals. Notice the absence of signs of spirituality in a hospital not run by a religious order. One of my associates, Richard Selzer, a surgeon and writer, shares my feeling eloquently in his short story “Absence of Windows.” He states, “I very much fear that, having bricked up our windows, we have lost more than the breeze; we have severed a celestial connection.” In this article he was discussing the removal of the windows from the operating room.
How do we reestablish this connection? Obviously not by bringing windows back, but by creating a healing, spiritual environment. I personally use music as a way of reestablishing this connection. Since biblical times this quality of music has been known. It creates a mental state conductive to healing, as well as a greater awareness of the true nature of healing and our common source.
It is my belief that music creates a healing rhythm within the body, a harmony of all parts. I believe dreams and drawings reveal the symbolism of this rhythm. Healthy organs have their natural vibration based upon their molecular structure.
Disease changes this rhythm; disharmony occurs, and it registers in the mind. To convert this to mental awareness, symbols are used. If we pay attention to these symbolic messages we can diagnose disease at an earlier stage and hopefully, learn to send healing messages or symbols back to the body. Historically, Carl Jung diagnosed physical illness based upon patients’ dreams. And I have been able to do so with dreams or drawings. Frequently the patients are already aware of the dream contents and meaning, and are simply sharing it with me. My patients’ dreams and drawings reveal our common or collective unconscious, our common origin, our shared beginning with all men, and so the source of healing is of the same origin for us all…. Thoughts, Attitudes & Your Health
“Surviving Life-Threatening Illness”
An Interview with Jeanne Segal, PhD
Feelings are mostly in the body below the bridge of the nose. The only feeling you have in your head is a headache. So those in crises learn to let go of their thought process for at least a little while. It isn’t that they stop thinking or become anti-intellectual, but they become more than just thinkers. They focus on all feelings, including physical sensations and all emotions—sadness and fear, but also joy and love.
Feeling our feelings is something that we all did at one time. If we had a little stomach pain we knew it. If we sensed danger we were aware; and if we felt happy or sad we were intensely conscious of what we felt. Infants and young children do this naturally and intuitively. Every time we breathe deeply we intensify our feelings, but as we “mature” we begin to distance ourselves from them. We go to school where we’re told to sit still at desks all day long. In order not to cry and scream out we learn to hold our breath and squeeze our bodies.
The maturing process often takes us further and further away from our feelings as we get better at hiding our vulnerability—even from ourselves! So much in our culture unfortunately encourages this kind of behavior. We are taught that emotions are childish and that thinking is superior to feeling. Unfortunately when we shut out the vulnerable feelings we also shut out positive feeling. This is the source of the apathy and depression that so many experience…. Thoughts, Attitudes & Your Health