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Anatomy of the Soul: Surprising Connections between Neuroscience and Spiritual Practices That Can Transform Your Life and Relationships Paperback – June 1, 2010
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- Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 141433415X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1414334158
- Product Dimensions : 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
- Item Weight : 12.2 ounces
- Publisher : Tyndale Momentum; 26373rd Edition (June 1, 2010)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #12,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The ability to see, through technology and neuroscience, how various parts of out minds work is a relatively new phenomenon. Prior to 30 or so years ago it just wasn't possible. Thompson's perspective and ability to see the thread between what we can now see and scripture is great.
There is nothing "unChristian" or weak about paying attention to our own emotions, physical sensations and thoughts. Thompson calls this "paying attention to what we are paying attention to" and I find it is an incredibly beneficial practice which actually draws us closer to God.
You cannot know God if you do not experience being known by him . The degree to which you know God is directly reflected in your experience of being known by him . And the degree that you are known by him will be reflected in the way in which you are known by other people . In other words , your relationship with God is a direct reflection of the depth of your relationship with others .
Our brains are not "hard-wired" but rather have neuroplasticity- they can change and change throughout our lives. What's more, there is what Thompson calls a neuroplastic triad of activities (aerobic activity, focused attention exercises and novel learning experiences which can enhance desired change.
The role of implicit memory is much larger than I knew. Once more, however, the meaning and impact of such memories can change and our lives can be improved. Dr. Thompson explains this with medical precision as well as Godly patience and empathy so that a layman like myself can understand it. Check this out
"God does this with all of us . First he comes to our deserts and lonely mountains . He asks us questions , sometimes difficult ones that may initially drive us deep into the caves of our own minds , into the recesses of old neural pathways and ancient , repetitive memories . His probing may leave us exhausted , famished , and terrified . His queries may even elicit the very feelings we try so hard to avoid . Often the question is simply , What are you doing here ? He never asks with scorn or derision but always with hope and anticipation . He asks with the tone of a God who is eager for us to retrace our neural pathways , to eventually take a different route and create a new end to our story . To “ remember ” our future differently."
That is a good word right there. I highly recommend this book
Of all the books I read this past year, this one was the most interesting. Dr. Thompson integrates the latest findings in neuroscience to show how the mind actually changes. Thompson borrows John Calvin’s description of the Psalter as an Anatomy of the Soul. His book illustrates how our minds embody our physical self, that is profoundly relational, regulates our flow of energy, and is interconnected with other’s minds. He goes on to say that the biblical concept of the “heart” is manifested most profoundly at the level of the prefrontal cortex (the front part of our brain).
Basically, this book explains neurologically how people change. Thompson’s premise is that a healthy, mature person has a fully integrated mind. Half of the book reads like a scientific text book for dummies and the other half reads like a guide for holistic, biblical change.
One of the most shocking moments in the book is when Thompson says, “there is no such thing as an individual brain.” I’m still trying to sort that one out. He continues: “transformation requires a collaborative interaction, with one person empathically listening and responding to the other so that the speaker has the experience of feeling felt by another” (p. 137). In other words, storytelling is essential for making disciples in community. He explains that by telling and listening to each other’s stories, it opens the door to a different future. When we tell our story and others empathically listen, our brains become more integrated by forming new neurological pathways which then changes how we think and feel about our memories. Crazy stuff! An Anatomy of the Soul is a very stimulating read.