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The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles Paperback – January 1, 2008
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About the Author
Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized authority in bridging science and spirit and a leading voice in new biology. A cell biologist by training, he taught at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine, and later performed pioneering studies at Stanford University. Author of The Biology of Belief, he has been a guest speaker on hundreds of TV and radio shows, as well as keynote presenter for national and international conferences.
- Publisher : Hay House; Revised edition (January 1, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1401923127
- ISBN-13 : 978-1401923129
- Item Weight : 13.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.25 x 0.75 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #518,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Being a cellular biologist, Dr. Lipton organizes his presentation around his professional knowledge of cell biology and extrapolates what he has learned to apply to personal psychology, cultural programming, ecology, and the cyclical lifetimes of civilizations. No small feat.
His personal insights and ultimately his spiritual revelation came to him out of his ever-deepening understanding of the nature of cellular life. These cast him pretty far from mainstream scientific practice, and it would seem that he had truly found a radically new perception of a very different reality from the one we had been taught to believe in.
Disappointingly for me, Lipton can't quite evade the ever-present scientific infrastructure and its categorical minutiae. The antidotes he formulates for the excesses of an arrogant and settled science are framed in the by now rather worn options of ecological responsibility, pacifism, and thinking globally. He conveys the idea that in the long evolution of life on this planet there were epochs of harmonious balance and cooperative, peaceful development--all before the appearance of humans, however, which means that none of us were actually present to verify the existence of those utopian periods.
At any rate, Lipton makes the case that his thinking, his BELIEFS, have progressed beyond quite a lot of outmoded scientific thinking while continuing to rely on many of the old suppositions about time, space, evolution, cause and effect, and an "out there" that is still out there. Lipton has dared to pull the piggy's tail, but not go the whole hog.
He admires the paranormal abilities of Australian aborigines, but doesn't suggest that he would abandon his scientific approach to implementing his alternative insights by joining them. He NEEDS the naming, labeling, and formulation of techniques that the scientific infrastructure supplies. He needs things to be in clinical settings so that they will be meaningful to him. He claims to have become more metaphysical in outlook, saying early in his book (p.79) that ". . . today's physicists have completely failed to inform the public of the purely mental nature of the Universe", but he stops far short of considering all of reality to be an illusion of consciousness. Instead, like most civilized Westerners, he wants to fix, change, or improve that persistent illusion, that mental nature of the Universe that he experiences around himself. Whether or not matter creates consciousness, or consciousness creates matter, Dr. Lipton tries to work both sides of the street. Perhaps he will go for the Full Monty in another book.
Top reviews from other countries
The “belief” in the title refers essentially to the ability of the brain to command, whether consciously or unconsciously, the production of neurotransmitters and other signalling proteins which then tell cells what to do. This view, as Lipton acknowledges, is based on the ideas of Candace Pert. Interestingly, Lipton reports that this signalling intelligence was first developed in unicellular amoeba communities, where the signalling compounds are released into the environment and operate between distinct individuals. Multicellular organisms came only later, and took over this system of signalling to regulate the behavior of the community of cells which had now come to be permanently associated in a single individual. Thus cellular intelligence underpins the intelligence of more complex organisms.
Despite its expositional merits, however, Lipton’s book does not get us much closer to an understanding of the actual mechanisms behind the control of cell behavior. For the most part, he relies on somewhat forced analogies from quantum physics, the pertinence of which is far from established. Whilst he seems authoritative in matters of cell biology, what he says about quantum physics is frequently wrong and sometimes breathtakingly so. Essentially his main argument, which may well be valid but is nevertheless lacking in detail, is that the body’s self-healing mechanisms are activated by relaxation and disactivated by stress, i.e. by the activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
These self-healing mechanisms may be astonishing, and may depend to a significant degree on the variables he cites, but they remain quite mysterious in their details. One possibility one might have hoped Lipton would explore, but which he does not, is that there is a macro equivalent of the cellular apoptosis mechanism which leads entire organisms to self-destruct when signals in their environment communicate to them that they no longer play a role in the community. This may be a gross simplification but it would fit with Lipton’s overarching metaphor whereby the human body is, in many ways, merely the cell writ large.
Lipton also takes the medical community to task for overuse of prescription medicines without a proper understanding of their systemic functioning. However he does not, and cannot, establish any principles to determine whether or not the use of pharmaceuticals is appropriate in individual instances and whether the other healing resources of the body have been sufficiently activated and explored. As such, the criticism, even if one may have sympathy for it, seems superficial.
These criticisms aside, it is clear from this and other books that a major shift in social consciousness around health and healing is underway and increasingly forcing its way into the mainstream. For those who continue to place undue faith in the mechanistic and simplistic ideas which have hitherto underpinned Western allopathic medicine, the book will be a very helpful antidote. We may be still a long way off adequately describing how the body’s self-healing mechanisms work, but there seems no doubt at all that they make a key contribution to health outcomes and, if only for this reason, should be nurtured. In reality, of course, the quest for optimal health only dictates what the spiritual path anyway demands on other counts: a conscious uncovering of reality, and the courage to listen to what we already know.
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Science, mainly quantum physics and biology, leads dr. Lipton to very interesting spiritual insights; and he comes to the conclusion that we are "one thing with a bigger Universe/God". "We all represent ... a small part of God."
It's impossible to make justice to this booki in a few words. Although deep, it is clearly written and very enjoyable.
The format Bruce uses, as well as his style, are very 'user friendly' and this made for an enjoyable read. As for the material itself, I found that I learned a great deal about the field of Epigenetics and it is refreshing to hear another voice disagreeing with, in my biased opinion, the deterministic views coming from the choir of the majority. Certainly I am no expert in the field of genetics; however, anytime I hear that scientists have found 'the answer" I shudder. The fact that DNA sequencing was supposed to be the holy grail of all things living is no different than when the world was flat and at the center of the universe. I do not dispute the fact that DNA research and the field of genetics is important, but when part of that conclusion says that Mother Nature decided to make 96% of that DNA useless (junk DNA) I tend to believe that there is more to the situation than what we are perceiving or what we have the ability to measure. Perhaps the beleifs of genetic determinism are incomplete, perhaps we need better tools, and perhaps the final word on DNA has yet to be written; however, one thing is certain, the fact is that we don't know everything there is to know and we will only expand our awareness by being open to new ideas.
Science is about discovery and a desire to get to truth, yet it seems that many "so-called" scientists are no different than the religious zealots that burned people at the stake 500 years ago. Anyone remember Giordano Bruno? So, what does this have to do with the 'Biology of Belief'? Well, in this book Bruce goes against the deterministic view and says that it is not only genetics that shape our inner world, it is the environment as well. This book is one of self-empowerment because it says that you aren't just a machine following orders that came from pond scum 700 million years ago. You have the ability to transform your outer world and INNER world. Certainly empowered people are healthier and harder to control then their unaware counterparts and they use less pharmaceutical interventions. Hmmm, so by being aware of our power we take money out of the pharma's pockets, who are the ones providing so much of the funding to the scientific quacks. No wonder the mainstream scientists resist work such as this, it's their pocket book stupid (you need to read the book to get the gist of that last statement). In the end, ironically perhaps, the quasi-scientists of today will go the way of their ancestors and go extinct because they refuse to look at the facts, to adapt to the environment and view new ideas with curiosity rather than dogma. Perhaps the title of Bruce's next book could be something like, 'Did dinosaurs wear lab coats?'