152 of 170 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2005
Bruce Lipton is an entertaining author and is not afraid to espouse his iconoclastic beliefs, so I awarded him an extra couple of stars for courage. However, often he just goes too far, and strays perilously outside of the boundaries of scientific evidence, tending to blur objective reality and fantasy. The biology of belief is essentially a lay-person's guide to a biology that is based on his systems theory and a thesis of holistic function. Dr Lipton's emphasis that DNA provides templates for reproduction of proteins but is not necessarily the "mind" behind the selection process is an interesting proposal, and his been posited by very credible scientists(e.g. The Music of Life: Biology beyond genes, by Denis Noble). His emphasis on membrane function, communication and cooperation between cells, and the potential "self-sabotage" by a maladapted subconscious nervous system, are all points well taken, but require much more scientific exploration to establish a clear model.
I was very disappointed by the limited scientific detail. I encourage him to develop an additional academic version. In addition, he was very quick in disparaging our so-called conventional system of medicine, but he did not clearly suggest any realistic improvement based on evidence. Biomedicine, with all of its deficiencies, is not only the best system that we have developed, but has an exciting future in that it is open to scientific exploration that will improve it even further. Having said that, I agree that in some situations, there is an over-emphasis on pharmaceutical intervention, and that biomedicine can be complemented by other systems, especially for prevention, symptom control, mind/body wellness, and rehabilitation.
I look forward to a more scholarly book.
76 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2005
Having had the pleasure of hearing Bruce Lipton speak about these topics, I knew pretty much what I was in for with the book. But having all of this information in book form is invalueable, as it will reach so much further. I loved being reintroduced to the idea that belief has much (if not all) to do with our wellbeing in this world. This is something I have believed for a long time and it is certainly nice to have some scientific proof to validate it. Anyone who is ready to consider stepping away from the medical/pharmaceutical model of healthcare should absolutely read this book.
I do however have one complaint. There was not enough covered on how to reprogram the subconscious, especially if most hinderances to change are entwined with subconscious beliefs not matching conscious beliefs. I did find a very brief reference at the very back of the book that mentioned Psych-K and suggested it as the way to achieve the lacking balance which would allow belief to shift. I must surmise that Psych-K is the only thing Bruce Lipton finds effective, because nothing else was offered. I happen to disagree and wish that Dr. Lipton had covered more extensively, other ways to affect change in the subconscious mind. I feel like this would have been a much better book if as much time had been given to offering solutions as was given presenting problems. I was left feeling like I had watched a movie that climaxed minutes before the movie ended, leaving little time for an appropriate resolution.
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
This is the long-awaited compilation of ideas and research by Bruce Lipton, cell biologist and lecturer in the field of mind/body interaction. Has it been worth the wait? I think so. The book is a wonderful condensation of cutting-edge biological research delivered in simple, readable form. Once I picked it up, I could not put it down until I finished it. Lipton is engaging and interesting.
The book begins with a short overview of how Lipton became interested in science and biology in particular. We glimpse his voyage through academia and the changes in his career. We are treated to a clear discussion of DNA and cell biology that reveals the high quality of Lipton's teaching ability.
Lipton details how he came to the realizations that spawned the book. He reveals his current thinking about how cells operate, and how the mind interacts with cells. His vision is based on research and he includes citations and references. His revelations are also influenced by his incorporation of quantum mechanics into cell biology. We now know that DNA is not the kingpin of biology that it has been assumed to be. It turns out that the membrane is far more important. His discussion of the membrane's function is not only enlightening, it is engaging. (And no, I am not a biology geek.) The book is worth reading for his description of cellular functioning alone.
He discusses problems with allopathic medicine, the pharmaceutical industrial complex (love that term), and science in general. His experiences trying to approach mainstream scientists with his revelations mirror the experiences of those in the new energy field. Regardless of the evidence, many people simply will not accept the death of a paradigm which has outlived its usefulness.
Lipton also touches briefly on the perils of genetic engineering and its emergent problems foreshadowing possible disaster. He discusses the Human Genome Project which has foundered in the wake of conceptual failure and the success of the emerging field of epigenetics. The lesson is that clinging to an outmoded worldview is self-defeating and possibly even fatal. "Grow or die," seems to be a fact of life, and is a "natural law" of greater strength than any postulated by ivory tower scholars.
Fortunately, as Lipton points out, our cells have incredible capacity for life, and hence, so do we. We can "reprogram" life patterns and unleash the immense capabilites in us all. In doing that we are cooperating with the flow of life and evolution, not fighting or trying to dominate it.
Lipton provides us with a concise set of scientific data explaining how therapies such as accupunture and even placebos might work. Unfortunately, more detail on how to use this knowledge on a daily basis is beyond the scope of this book.
I do find the analogy on page 198 of cancer to homeless and jobless people to be ill-conceived. I think the analogy would be more accurate if one compared cancer to corporations and damaged cells to homeless and jobless people.
If you want an understanding of the ongoing breakthroughs in cellular biology, this is a very good place to start.
30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2007
The biology of Belief: unleashing the power of consciousness, matter, and miracles
By Bruce Lipton
It's an odd book, hard to classify, even harder to grasp the big picture for which the author argues passionately and rather well. The genre is akin to such books as: The Tao of Physics, Dancing Wu-Li Masters, except the science being rewritten is biology rather than physics.The author uses the words: "new biology" consciously to refer to a new paradigm, a system that is more holistic, much less reductionist, more consciousness, less matter in motion. The author is best described, i think, as a teacher that learns his first and most important lessons from looking at himself, much of the book is prompted by inner turmoil, cognitive dissonance and his attempts to reconcile his experience and his scientific education. As such it makes the book not really about biology, although there is lots of it, but rather about how this man looks out from inside his head and sees the reflection of his consciousness in the world. And from there tries to explain what he has found in terms of modern molecular biochemistry but finds that this is just the beginning and so much more is left unexplored because modern science is blinded by a materialist paradigm that depreciates consciousness.
I think that the book is best read like a detective novel, from the 1st page to the last, with an occasional glance at the end of the chapter to see who-dun-it. The personal nature of the writing makes it difficult just to take a chapter out of context and read it for informational content, although one might be tempted to because of the extensiveness of the science. This would be a mistake because the science is not self contained but rather is being used by the author as an explantory way to unify what often appear to be spiritual issues and questions and finding their potential answer in biology.
For example, chapter 3: the magical membrane. The first paragraph is: "Now that we've looked at the protein assembly machinery of the cell, debunked the notion that the necleus is the brain of the cellular operation, and recognized that crucial role the environment plays in the operation of the cell, we're on to the good stuff-the stuff that can make sense of your life and give your insight into ways of changing it." pg75 This is one of the major themes of the book, the cell is not controlled and run exclusively by the nucleus and it's DNA but rather is a complex interaction of the environment and the cell, mediated by receptors in the membrane. Which is a microcosm of the theme of the book, which appears in the last paragraph of this chapter: "which put the control of our lives not in the genetic roll of the dice at conception, but in our own hands" pg 94 This is consistent with the book's theme that the mind-body division is fundamentally wrong, reflected in the division of physics into Newtonian and Quantum, and biology as fixing machinery versus straightening out mental or even spiritual issues, this is where the idea that the quantum revolution in physics needs to be carried out in modern biology and seeing the importance of energy vs matter.
I've stumbled trying to write this review for weeks. I finished the book the day after i checked it out of the library(it is a good read, the analogy to a mystery is true), but here it sits, the review unfinished weeks later. Why is it so hard to review? What makes it such an odd book?
It is my difficulty in separating the garbage of the new age movement from it's treasure. My problem of differentiating what is good in the book, what is worth pursuing and learning more about, from the general spiritualist, god is in everything pantheism that the author is heading towards (apparently).
I like the science he presents, i appreciate the goals of reducing the reductionism, dematerializing the gross materialism, and spiritualizing the sciences, but i am concerned that the content of his spirituality is very different and in competition with my orthodox conservative Christianity. It is this loggerheads that makes an analysis of the ideas in the book so hard. I am not a pan or a panentheist, God is not part of His creation but wholely other. And to deify creation, to find our consciousness, our imago dei in the physical universe is not the right way to go. But it is a useful thing to see how someone with this author's spiritual sensitivity walk us through his adventures and share with us his journey. This is a good thing and makes the book a high recommendation for me. I'm just afraid that anything i say about what the book is about will really be more about me and my reaction than that of the author, rats.
Biology has missed the crucial contribution of the environment. This is chapter 2, "It's the environment, stupid". As no man is an island, no cell in an organism, no organism in it's lifetime, no community, is an island, separated from the rest of life. The next chapter,"the magical membrane" is his scientific analysis of why DNA is not the king of the cell controlling everything and responsible for all, but he looks at the membrane as the communication center from the cell to it's environment. Here he is probably not only right but a good antidote to the nucleus-centric thinking that dominates cell and molecular biology. The 4th chapter, "the new physics" is a quick analysis of energy and quantum mechanics as a new physics paradigm that basically says something like: energy is all, matter is but energy in a different form. This chapter is the one most like the Tao of Physics and that genre. The next chapter, "biology and belief" makes the analogy of energy to spirit and matter to physical world and tries to drawn a new biology akin to the new physics. IF you can only read a few pages, pick this chapter, it is the key ideas of the book.
Is it true, does our mind control the physics around us? is it true that god is energy and spirit and accessible to the mind of man? how much of the new biology is the old pagan spirituality, the worship of mother earth and the forces of nature? i don't know. but i'm interesting in reading more.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2011
I have recently been researching consciousness and thought creation books and every time I read a book, I like to keep a journal where I can take notes on what I think is valuable. After reading this book, I realized that I had taken about 8 pages of notes from miscellaneous facts to extensive paragraphs about the inner workings of the cell. Growing up, I never really had any interest in Biology or cells, but this book taught me a lot of valuable information in a interesting way that no teacher in high school could ever do. Bruce Lipton even dips his subject into quantum physics and for those who may have an interest in that, will find this book very entertaining. There is also some startling information when it comes to pharmaceutical drugs. For example: Iatrogenic illness (illness caused by your doctor) is actually the leading cause of death in the USA and the adverse reactions to prescription drugs are responsible for more than 300,000 deaths a year. Not a good sign for us as we have become the population, probably more Western than Eastern people, that need a "quick fix" for every illness. Even though Bruce Lipton explains so much of why cells act a certain way and how our minds work, I would of appreciated a little more discussion or help on how to harness my beliefs into more suitable thoughts. I guess I was hoping for a solution on how to think that could be explained in a self-help format. Nonetheless, this book taught me so much and at times I had to take breaks from it because I was taking in so much information. If you have any interest in how thought affects our bodies or how cells work, pick up this book. You will not be disappointed. Quite frankly, if you have any interest for this book, BUY IT!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2012
I read Lipton's book after finding EFT through Dr. Mercola. I had already used the techniques in the Emotion Codes and the Healing Codes. Both had been helpful for me. I have found EFT to be the most powerful of those techniques. However, I had a problem with all of the "energy psychology" techniques because they required my agnostic scientist mind to suspend disbelief in favor of "woo-woo." This book has resolved that conflict. I gave it 4 stars, though, for the reasons some other reviewers did, which is that the book's promise of showing someone how to reprogram the subconscious is not fulfilled. I have not used Pysch K and can not speak to its efficacy. I have used the Emotion Codes, which is essentially free other than the small cost of the book, and I have used the Healing Codes, also essentially free other than the small cost of the book. The Healing Codes is a very good value as there is a website to which any purchaser of the book is given access on which there is a substantial amount of support material, and there are weekly phone calls that are free that people can participate in as well. Both were very helpful to me, but after reading this book, I am able to use EFT in a much more intentional and directed way than I was able to use either one of the other two techniques, because now I understand exactly what it is that I am working to get at and change. Lipton's book gave me the pieces of the puzzle I was missing to make the energy psychology techniques work even more powerfully than they had worked for me up to that point. There are several books on EFT that come up on Amazon, including one in the For Dummies series. I have not read any of them and can not speak to them, but I see very high reviews for many of them. If you run a search the EFTFree website will come up, and there is free material on the website. You may also be fortunate enough to be close to one of the EFT Masters to get a couple of private sessions or take one of the classes, or at least one of them I am aware of offers monthly teleconferences for the cost of $7. Lipton's book will support and enhance the efficacy of any of the energy psychology techiques you choose. His website also lists several different modalities, not just Psych K. If one doesn't work, try another one until you find what works for you to heal mind and body. This book is an excellent explanation of the biological basis of why any of those techniques work, which in turn strengthens the likelihood that something will in fact work for you.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2011
This book was required reading when I was working with a life coach ... not sure I would have read it otherwise. The message is sound and I had no problem buying into it. My belief has always been that the mind/brain is a computer and what goes in is what come out. If you believe it - it will happen. Text book style as it lacks story telling, however the message is sound. Definately worth reading.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2010
This is an exciting book that reveals a scientific basis for the demolition of the theory of genetic determinism.
In his work as a cell biologist Lipton discovered that the cell membrane and not the gene-containing nucleus is responsible for what happens in the cell. He thereby concludes that we are not controlled by our genes but that it is our interactions with the environment that are significant. His book thus provides a weighty contribution to the nature-nurture debate.
He also refutes the old Darwinian beliefs that evolution occurs through combat and struggle, and confirms the validity of the work of the much maligned biologist Lamarck.
I freely admit that many of the scientific details contained in this book are beyond my understanding. Nevertheless, Lipton's description of his enthusiasm when experiencing his big insight, and of the effect his revelation had on his beliefs, development and life as a whole make this book far from dry, and in fact fascinating.
We learn from the book that regardless of our genes and our circumstances we can change our lives through our thoughts and feelings, though the author emphasizes that our subconscious programmes are a force to be reckoned with, re-programming thus being essential.
I highly recommend this book!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2011
I love a good road trip. I live in Washington state and my musician son had an audition down in LA. He plays the upright bass, which costs a fortune to ship. We found it cheaper if I just drive the bass to his audiitons. One of my favorite things to do during a road trip is to listen to audiobooks. I like scientific ones, for I usually stick with fiction when I read for enjoyment. I got "The Biology of Belief" from the library, along with others, and set out on my journey.
I cannot begin to tell you- I was so blown away by this book!! He takes you on a short journey through the history of science and philosophy and then starts building his case, citing experiments he himself has conducted, along with other experiments and the findings from those. For those people who said it was boring, well, bless your hearts!! I had to remind myself to shut my mouth, for my jaw kept dropping as he pointed out more facts and findings. I found myself trying to take notes as I drove, for cryin' out loud!!
I returned the audiobook to the library when I got home but have come online to purchase one for my collection. This is good stuff, folks. I urge you to either listen to or read this wonderful book. If I had any complaint it came at the end, the final CD. I got the impression he was almost dismissive with Buddhist mindfulness training. He cited it as one way to go about altering your perception of things- I think it deserved a brighter light being shone on it, personally.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I really enjoyed this book, especially the first few chapters. The author does a good job of explaining cell biology and makes a compelling argument that the cell membrane is the functional equivalent to the brain in multi-cellular entities. He cites fascinating evidence to demonstrate the importance of belief in our health and psychological well-being. However, I expected some practical advice on how to apply this knowledge to my own personal experience and I was somewhat disappointed. There is a very good chapter regarding the ways parents can have a positive impact on the development of their children, starting as early as conception, but that is essentially the final chapter and I was left wondering how to apply this information outside the parenting arena. This complaint aside, the book is well documented and has some very interesting things to say about the pharmaceutical industry and health care in general. I consider it a very good investment of my reading time, but I hoped for more.