Book Review: The Healing Self
Why do some people exposed to cold viruses easily fend off illness? How do monks in a deep state of meditation control their body temperature even in freezing weather? “Mind over matter” is usually the knee-jerk response to such questions, but a more accurate phrase might be “mind in matter.”
In The Healing Self, coauthors Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Rudolph Tanzi present an alternative paradigm for understanding the relationship between mind and body. The two aren’t just connected, but rather a single unit, integrated at the cellular level.
This knowledge is crucial to our immunity, suggest Chopra and Tanzi, and understanding that awareness begins in the body can help us to lead healthier, more conscious lives: “You now have an opportunity to evolve consciously, making choices that will radically upgrade your immunity to disease, slow down and reverse the aging process, and boost the healing response.”
The authors weave together threads on Jungian archetypes, “time machine” studies, cellular biology, and the power of love to trigger healing: all variations on the theme of oneness. This makes The Healing Self a rich read, and one that implies that strengthening immunity is a continual work in progress (though if you’re feeling overwhelmed, the book includes a simple seven-day plan for jump-starting the process).
Certainly, the idea that thoughts play a crucial role in regulating the body is not new. What’s different about The Healing Self is just how much it ups the ante on the importance of self-care, healthy eating, and consciousness awareness. It’s not just that these things are good for us. Our very lives depend on them.