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210 of 218 people found the following review helpful
In The Spontaneous Healing of Belief Gregg Braden tackles the great questions of life: who are we, and what are we capable of creating? He draws the analogy of an all-encompassing computer program to explain how the universe works and what our part in its working may be. And he says that, like a computer programmer, people must understand the code that causes the computer to produce the results they choose. Without the correct codes, results are likely to be something other than the individual wants.

For example, discussing fractals, Braden offers the code: "If the universe is made of repeating patterns, then to understand something on a small scale provides a powerful window into similar forms on a grand scale." Following that, he offers "belief is the `program' that creates patterns in reality." Thus, he leads the readers into the central thesis of this book: To heal your life and recreate your life, heal your beliefs.

It is his premise that humans are capable of creating miracles. We become less than capable only when we accept the limits that we ourselves have created. To identify and restructure those beliefs that underlie our self-imposed limits, he includes a series of exercises that make change of belief almost inevitable.

What I enjoyed most about this book is Braden's synthesis of the findings of scientific studies and the teachings of philosophers and medicine workers throughout history. He masterfully creates coherent linkages between the teachings of the masters, such as Jesus, the Buddha, and Rumi, and what scientists are telling us about the structure and function of the universe. While this could be a dry, dull recitation, Braden's gift with words creates a stunning, compelling vision of human potential in a highly readable and enjoyable format.

There is so much to ponder in The Spontaneous Healing of Belief that it deserves several readings. It rests on my bedside table for rereading and rethinking my own self-imposed limits.

Highly recommended!
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429 of 495 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2008
The first half of this book offers little to distinguish itself from other metaphysical literature on mind-body healing or the power of positive thinking and healthy beliefs. It covers David Bohm's theory that the universe is a holographic computer (although Bohm is only mentioned in one brief paragraph at the very end of the book--p.190), the relationship between the conscious and subconscious minds, and the maleability of reality as described by quantum mechanics. These summaries are tedious and offer few insights that can't be found in dozens of other books.

THE SPONTANEOUS HEALING OF BELIEF does contain a solid chapter on how our minds are unconsciously programmed at an early age and how such negative programming produces the frustration, fear, anger, depression, and pain that can sabatoge our beliefs and the ability to lead healthy lives. Braden's examples are relevant and specific, and this is the strongest part of the book.

The middle of the book is muddled, however, and veers radically off course. According to the author, the prerequisite for healing our beliefs is that light and darkness, good and evil must not be judged but rather accepted as equal and necessary forces by the subconscious mind (pp. 116-124). A battle is allegedly raging within our bodily cells because we were taught as young children that evil and darkness are bad. This conclusion, Braden tells us, was the result of recurring dreams through which he learned to embrace darkness and light as equals. (Okay, Luke, the dark side isn't so bad after all.) Following the description of these dreams, we learn in a poorly explained section that the author, as a result of his dream revelations, lost all friendships, both positive and negative, as he experienced a rather zen-like "nothingness." There is no real clarification as to what he means by this other than that a kind of metaphysical "glue" had "dissolved" in his life (p. 126), a glue formed by mistakenly judging relationships in terms of light and darkness (whatever that might mean) and by evaluating people in terms of their "honesty, integrity, and trust" (p. 125). He concludes that when our own relationships, difficult or not, begin to fade, then the "glue" has been healed. But wait--does the glue "dissolve" or become "healed"? Braden's terminology and prose are hopelessly vague. Is seeking honesty, integrity, and trust in people wrong? And why would we want to risk losing perfectly normal, healthy relationships?

This would be all well and good if the reader can accept a few tenets of Taoism--the "yin and yang"--but the entire principle of polar opposites and its Taoist origins is never explained even though Braden's entire argument rests on this single concept. It is a glaring omission of staggering proportions. The paradigm shift the book seeks to precipitate, therefore, is simply not possible in the Western tradition, a posture that is naive and limiting since it excludes so many other spiritual approaches to the laws of attraction and manifestation. Although Braden takes no doctrinal position, his beliefs are implicit, as when he says that the battle between good and evil, a battle that must NOT be won by either side, is "at least 2000 years old." This is a clear reference to the Common Era (A.D.) since good and evil are spoken of as irreconcilable opposites by the Christian gospels. The truth is that the metaphysics of belief and manifestation can be found in numerous traditions, both east and west, nor is it necessarily confined to any organized tradition at all.

Mr. Braden's fuzzy dream epiphany that yokes together good and evil ignores the considerable metaphysical, philosophical, and religious literature that draws heavily upon Western tradition, calling for a repudiation of evil, darkness, and negativity before one may manifest a desired reality. The most notable example is Dr. Joseph Murphy's landmark THE POWER OF THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND, as well as studies and books by Dr. Larry Dossey, Dr. Melvin Morse, Dr. Bernie Segal, and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, all of whom maintain a belief in the power of positive thinking within Jewish, Christian, and non-denominational traditions in order to manifest miracles and strengthen belief.

Braden uses the brief discussion of opposites to bolster the premise that the universe is a computer simulation. Computers use a binary language: 1 and 0, yes and no, on and off. Ay, there's the rub! The only necessary discussion of an "opposite" in this context is the on-off nature of the atom, which can exist as a wave or a particle (determined by the observer according to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle), and yet this is oddly given short shrift in the book. Wave-particle duality (or any part of quantum mechanics) does not dictate that we accept good and evil as a single unified force to choose between what Braden terms "love chemistry" or "fear chemistry." Most metaphysical writers, in fact, believe that it is precisely our decision to choose light over darkness (that which is positive and loving) that allows us to embrace a new paradigm capable of breaking toxic habits and relationships--the old programming.

The book's final chapters seek to implement the actual healing of beliefs with mental "software patches" consisting of 1) the use of irrefutable logic to convince the mind of its false programming, and 2) miracles themsleves. If the first method was an easy fix, we could dispense with psychotherapy or books like this one and simply give ourselves a good talking to, for as the author himself reiterates numerous times, old internal tapes are extremely hard to destroy. Method one is therefore anything but "spontaneous." The second method is a classic Catch-22. To experience a miracle, one must actually first experience a miracle in order to get beyond classic scientific thinking. (Huh?) The ways to "heal belief" according to Braden, therefore, are as follows: 1) embrace good and evil as one force; 2) use logic; or 3) experience a miracle. It's worth noting that in the entire book, only four examples are used to demonstrate Braden's thesis. As for Braden's "31 Belief Codes," they are merely paragraph summaries scattered throughout the book. They are "factoids" that can be found in almost any book on mind-body healing or metaphysics and do not represent any kind of organized "system" of healing.

While the book makes some valid scientific points, its central thesis hinges on a biased and egocentric view of reality resulting from Braden's dreams. His conclusions about healing are likely to turn off readers who cannot accept evil and darkness as necessary creative forces in their lives. Perhaps he merely means, as Jung stated, that we must accept our limitations and darker sides--our humanity--but this bit of solid psychology does not tally with what Braden is suggesting. Nowhere in the book does Braden tell us how our "relationship with polarity" (p. 128) heals our beliefs. Chapter five promises to apply this all-important concept, but polarity is never mentioned again as Braden resumes his discussion of life as computer simulation.

Competent editing of this book might have gone a long way in clarifying some of the author's more esoteric, ill-defined points. The rambling chapter on polarities and Braden's dreams seems detached from the rest of the book, which desperately needs what is known in publishing as "developmental editing." There is no flow or continuity to the chapters in what is a wandering, now-familiar discussion of manifestation and the laws of attraction and belief.

Gregg Braden has been called "a modern-day prophet," a scientist who is bridging the gap between science and spirituality. Braden, however, is a former computer programmer, not a scientist, and the methodology, research, and conclusions in his books have been sharply criticized for years by legitimate scientists as well as reviewers in the mainstream press.
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108 of 126 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 2, 2008
Gregg Braden certainly has a way with words to convey concepts and discoveries that can only help humanity.

In this important work, Braden gets to the "heart center" of manifestation, transforming the limits that have bound most of humanity for eons, and delivers key elements in practical terms to not only create what you truly want in life, but also to stop getting in your own way with previous conditioned limitations.

If your life is not the way you want it to be, if there are areas of society that you would like to see transform, Braden's new book is like a refreshing and welcome breeze on a hot summer day to finally and simply help you transform it all from the inside out. The transformation is not only for you and me, it can very well be for life on earth for all.

This is an eloquently written book that conveys important elements for positive transformation straight from the heart.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2008
Two GEMS are "worth the price of admission" ...

(1) Braden's definition of BELIEF, and

(2) His highlighting of the importance of whether you view life as a fundamental UNITY or as basically a POLAR reality.

I enjoyed the sense of being guided by a scientist who has switched his main focus to the study of the "inner realms".

The summary of the key points in the back of the book is very "user-friendly" and makes for easy review.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2008
This book is the most incredible gift you and your future will ever receive! Mr. Braden has made the intricate and complex science of quantum physics "code" readable for everyone. It contains new information and is not a re-write of any of the other books I've found on quantum physics and manifestation. It's full of solid research, rich in concrete examples and exquisitely written for both the lay person and the scientist. Once I opened the cover, I couldn't stop reading until I'd glossed and highlighted almost every page. Thank you for this gift of awareness and scientific knowledge, Gregg Braden! I wish you a Nobel prize for this work!
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60 of 75 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 28, 2008
Let's start with the title. It sounds like another book that was already published. In fact 'Spontaneous Healing : How to Discover and Embrace Your Body's Natural Ability to Maintain and Heal Itself' was written by Andrew Weil and released in April 2000. It seems this topic has been addressed already. So don't expect real breakthroughs in this retread.

The thesis here starts out by examining the ideas of those (Seth Lloyd, John Wheeler, John Barrow) who compared the workings of the universe to a computer program or simulation (ala Matrix). The book says that the universe is a running computer program composed of bits (atoms) and that this concept of bits (polarity) has influenced, or corrupted, our entire mental programming. If we can realize that not everything is good or bad, and if we can swap our old beliefs for new ones (cosmic belief code), then everything will be better.

Since the authors background is as a computer programmer, not a scientist, these 'facts', from others, end up becoming a foundation upon which to build a less certain train of thought. Through the book you end up with 31 'Codes of belief' which are an attempt to explain how the universe works. It's all extremely tenuous and does not appear to be much more than whimsy.

This does sound like a technically enlightened self-help book for the awakening minds of the 21st century right? Here is what I don't like and why and the reasons why these types of writings actually prevent people from progressing on the spiritual path.

First, this book does not saying anything new. Read your favorite spiritual book by any ancient author. Pick the words of Jesus for instance and you have everything the author is saying here with more clarity and in a less complicated way. Check out the Sermon on the Mount or the Tao Te Ching as examples.

Second, the author seems to be changing positions from his earlier works like The Divine Matrix (and the Lost Language of God) where it was emotion, not belief, which was absolutely primary to reordering your reality. In a section where there is a misquotation of the Nag Hamadi scrolls there is a claim that the unification of two (specifically thought and emotion, like this is his grand discovery) will allow you to move mountains.

Third, the book is unaware that when fitting/forcing the writings of others to the current thesis that there is often a misapplication of the original quoted message. Did you realize that when the book borrowed the verse from the Nag Hamadi scrolls to try and prove the concept of joining thought and emotion that something really, really, big was missed? Let me explain.

The unification of 'two' to 'move mountains' is primarily the union of polarities in general (ALL polarities), not the union of 'thought and emotion'. This is HUGE! It's a breakthrough in our orientation to the world and the book completely misses it! How do I know the interpretation I see is correct? Because it is repeated in other places in the same Gospel of Thomas (verse 22) Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom]."

Jesus is saying that if you can look beyond polarities, of any kind, you will enter the Kingdom. Don't get stuck in male or female, good and evil, right and wrong. This single verse should have been the crux of the entire book. The book was so close but missed it.

My other main concern with the book is the emphasis on 'belief'. If we change our old beliefs from being based on polarity and get a new set of beliefs then we will be ok. However, at some point on the spiritual journey you realize that beliefs are something that you lean upon, something that you believe 'in' that is still `out there'. You can believe in this or that being, this or that orientation. But until you really do away with polarities (including the world of separation of 'you' and 'everything else') you still need belief to hold you up and keep you going. The latest belief becomes the latest support that you cling to in order to give reality a sense of meaning. So what's wrong with having good beliefs?

After some advancement on the spiritual journey you realize that you can change your beliefs. But if you really progress you realize that to a certain extent belief fills in the gaps from what you know. Belief becomes this big box where you can put all the unknowns. But belief is still something `else'. The real solid spiritual foundation comes from knowing, Gnosis, not from belief.

To *know* the shepherd, reality, whatever you want to call it, is the only sure foundation in life. To know that the kingdom of the heavens is within you is the only `rock' of `salvation'. This is the Yoga of all the great saints and sages.

Belief is in the intermediate school of spiritual life. Gnosis is where there real substance starts to come in. I don't think the word Gnosis ever appears in this book. I don't quote the New Testament Paul very much but he understood the Gnosis when he wrote in Philipians 3:10 "That I may know him..." Knowing, not believing, is where it's at.

The paradox is that real faith is not based on belief. Real faith is having enough experience with *knowing* that you can actively anticipate how the unseen will unfold in your life. How? Because you have seen it before and know that you are always taken care of.

And hence this book, which can only take you to beliefs, to change your old beliefs for new ones, better ones (still stuck in the world of polarities), shows me again why this book has nothing really new, or meaningful, to say.

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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2008
Gregg Braden's The Spontaneous Healing of Belief: Shattering the Paradigm of False Limits is an extraordinary, exciting and eminently timely book for many reasons. The first and primary is its message of health, hope and healing, describing for you ways to access your resilience, create your well-being and impact the world. Second, the zeitgeist in global medicine is toward Integrative Health centers, centers that treat mind-body-spirit with a proactive stance toward wellness rather than a simple reactive response to disease. The Spontaneous Healing of Belief along with others of this genre like The Biology Of Belief: Unleashing The Power Of Consciousness, Matter And Miracles and The Genie in Your Genes: Epigenetic Medicine and the New Biology of Intention lends additional support to these efforts. Third, Shattering the Paradigm of False Limits is an idea that has found its time in books like The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe and the research that is developing around the potential influence of human focused energy and the impact on the larger universe. The Spontaneous Healing of Belief: Shattering the Paradigm of False Limits is a must read.

Sheila Sidney Bender, PhD co-author The Energy of Belief: Psychology's Power Tools to Focus Intention and Release Blocking Beliefs and Evolving Thought Field Therapy: The Clinician's Handbook of Diagnoses, Treatment, and Theory
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 14, 2008
This book will be very helpful for some very specific people - those who find themselves having undesired negative emotions, but whose emotions aren't completely overwhelming. The exercises on understanding your conditioning and beliefs can be helpful and powerful, if you take them seriously.

That said, I think that's because the title is somewhat misleading because it implies that we can heal the idea of 'belief' itself. While that may be true, more than likely you will be left with a new set of "better" beliefs to replace the old ones.

Also, the authors' voice comes across as presumptuous at times as he compares our reality to that of a computer. He's so excited about his analogy, and so convinced, that his 'voice' doesn't leave the impression that there is room for the possibility that his model of reality might not be accurate.

The ending also left me unfulfilled and seems like it was thrown on there to get more pages into the book. The book's potentially reality-shattering and life-changing climax goes almost unnoticed because it is so subtle, and so the last part of the book feels like filler instead of really bringing the reader into a new awareness and state of being.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2008
Gregg Braden has done it again. I love the way Gregg, as a scientist, ties together science and spirituality. This book gave me many "Aha" moments, directly related to those ties. In my everyday reality I often see connections between what science is telling me and what my spiritual path has been hinting at...and Gregg Braden has really put it all together in this book. His "Belief Codes", which are scattered throughout this book and then gathered again at the end of his book for easy finding, are something I will read over and over again for maximum absorbtion.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2008
This is one of the greatest books that I have read on the subject of self-healing and spirituality. It really works. I recently experienced severe internal bleeding after a medical procedure and I stopped the bleeding by using the techniques revealed in the book. I have heard Mr. Braden speak in person and he's a very talented speaker as well as a writer.
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