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Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One Paperback – Illustrated, February 15, 2013
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-- Rollin McCraty, Ph.D., Director of Research, HeartMath Research Center
We're in the midst of an unparalleled new era of personal growth, in which a productive feedback loop has been established between the latest discoveries of neuroscience and the ancient practices of meditation. Dr. Joe Dispenza's new book masterfully yet clearly explains the 'hard science' of how our brains and bodies work. He then applies it practically in a four-week program of fundamental personal change, showing how we can use a structured meditation program to consciously rewire our neural network for creativity and joy. Dawson Church, Ph.D., bestselling author of The Genie in Your Genes
"Dr. Joe Dispenza brings us the manual for becoming a divine creator! He makes the brain science practical; he shows us how to break free of the grip of our emotions to create happy, healthy, and abundant lives, and how to finally dream our world into being. I've been waiting for this book for a long time!"
-- Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D., author of Power Up Your Brain and Shaman, Healer, Sage
"As a semiretired psychologist who has thought about many of these issues for years, I have to admit that [this book] will likely change some long-held beliefs in the field of psychology. Dr. Joe's conclusions, which are well grounded in neuroscience, challenge our ideas of who we think we are and what we think is even possible. A brilliant and uplifting book."
-- Dr. Allan Botkin, clinical psychologist; author of Induced After-Death Communication
"Dr. Joe Dispenza's entertaining and highly accessible manual for rewiring your mental and emotional circuitry carries a simple but potent message: what you think today determines how you live tomorrow."
-- Lynne McTaggart, best-selling author of The Field, The Intention Experiment, and The Bond
About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Paperback : 360 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781401938093
- ISBN-13 : 978-1401938093
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.94 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Hay House Inc.; Illustrated edition (February 15, 2013)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 1401938094
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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How am I supposed to trust an author who uses bogus studies and who’s editors don’t fact-check him before his works are published? How am I supposed to finish this book when I’ve now discovered this glaring error in obvious fake science and flawed methodology?
Dr. Joe Dispenza has some great quotes, like: “A memory without the emotional charge is called wisdom.” And, “Change as a choice, instead of a reaction.” I’m sure these quotes, and his desire to help people become better people, has helped folks. But I still can’t recommend this book.
That’s because other quotes are closer to Buddhism than realism, and, for me as a Christian, sound like the serpent talking to Eve. For example, “To be empowered—to be free, to be unlimited, to be creative, to be genius, to be divine—that is who you are…. Once you feel this way, memorize this feeling; remember this feeling. This is who you really are….”
No, it’s not who I am. It's not even close. I am not divine. If I were, we wouldn’t have cancer. Or cats. Or ear hair. Speaking of things I don’t like...
Others have taken the author to task for his “science." Since I’m no scientist (nor is the author), I’d like to focus instead on the theology being taught, and contrast it with Christianity. Dr. Joe teaches a doctrine of looking within, of focusing on our inner selves to find divine happiness. This is just a short list to demonstrate the contrast of Dr. Joe’s New Age religion to Christianity.
Joe teaches that success and joy is within you: P.300 “I fear that this so-called recipe for ultimate success in life has kept us looking outside of ourselves for answers and true happiness, when the real answers and true joy have always been within.”
The Bible teaches success and joy come from God, that deceit is within you: Philippians 3:3, “We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in the flesh.” And Psalms 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” And Jer 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things.”
Joe teaches that we can create a new mind for ourselves: p.299 “You are a multidimensional being who creates your reality… you are going to have to lose your mind and create a new one.”
The Bible teaches that our minds are transformed by God: Romans 12:2, “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
Joe wants you to pray to the Universal Consciousness within yourself for yourself: p.310 “It’s time to turn to the power within you, introduce yourself to it, and tell it what you want to change about yourself… it is real. It already knows you it doesn’t judge you. It only loves. Say to it ‘Universal consciousness within me and all around me, I have been _____ and I ….”
The Bible teaches us to pray to the Father through the Son for His will: John 14:13 “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Joe teaches that you are God: P. 303 “The greatest habit you will ever create is the habit of expressing the divine through you. That is when you inhabit your true nature and identity. It is to inhabit self.” p.312 “I want you to move into a state of being. It is time to change your energy and broadcast a whole new electromagnetic signature… become it… to be empowered—to be free, to be unlimited, to be creative, to be genius, to be divine—that is who you are.”
The Bible teaches that God alone is God: Isaiah 43:10 “Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.”
Much of this book reminds me of Star Wars. George Lucas has been open about borrowing his “Force” ideas from Buddhism and Taoism, as a way of bringing spiritualism into his movies. Dr. Joe Dispenza has not been so open. However, an overview of the schools he has been connected with helps explain where he is coming from. I believe all the information below came from Dr. Joe’s site, Amazon’s book site, the school’s sites or Wikipedia, but there could be sites I don’t remember. I tried to go to original sources, not those upset with Dr. Joe or his teaching.
His bachelor’s degree (I never could find what it was in) is from Evergreen State College, his Dr. of Chiropractic is from Life University. But his other connections help to understand the New Age leanings in the book.
He is a faculty member at Quantum University in Honolulu, Hawaii. This school’s accreditation is by an organization in India. I know nothing about it, but would guess they don’t serve hamburgers for lunch.
The Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, New York. This is a non-accredited New Age retreat center. It started from the teachings Eastern meditation teacher, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan.
The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. According to the interweb, Amrit Desai, who was a disciple of Indian yoga master Swami Kripalu, started the school. It focuses on Yoga and other eastern religious thought.
Ramtha's School of Enlightenment(RSE) is located in Washington state. This school is the most interesting. J. Z. Knight, who claims to channel a 35,000-year-old warrior named Ramtha the Enlightened One, established the school in 1988. I read that, "the school bases its teachings on these channeling sessions." If so, it would be a helpful place to go if one needed schooling in the art of war in 33,000bc.
Joe taught at Ramtha, but doesn't often mention this school. On the back of this book he highlights the film he was in called “What the Bleep Do We Know!?” which was produced to promote Knight’s teaching. In googling the movie, I read that it got a Pigasus Award for “the media outlet that reported as factual the most outrageous supernatural, paranormal or occult claims.” I have not seen the movie.
Their four cornerstones of this school are: 1) The Statement, “You are god.” (I wonder what the real God thinks about that) 2) The mandate to make known the unknown, 3) The concept that consciousness and energy creates the nature of reality, 4) The challenge to conquer yourself.
Is Dr. Joe a god? His book forward and website claim postgraduate training in neurology, neuroscience, brain function and chemistry, cellular biology, memory formation, brain imaging, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, psychoneuroimmunology, aging and longevity. I could find no school names or evidence of these claims, but if they are true, and he understands it all, maybe his is a god.
I read this book on a recommendation, but I can’t recommend it.
In general, in his last book his newer line of thinking sells the idea that the human mind can change the manifestation of reality and change his fate; all this can be done by a certain personal discipline including meditation. Until now it sits well with the newer current of ideas. I like the idea of meditating and love the idea of manifesting too! About the science facts, I'm not sure, but it sounds interesting and I'm willing to suspend disbelief and try it out.
What pains me though, is the method of delivery of this so called Workshop ...where there never was a schedule handed out, we were left at the mercy of JD. In particular, he proceeds to claim to have witnessed spontaneous remissions of serious illnesses in his workshops, and I noticed several participants in wheelchairs or on crutches ... not counting all the participants with undetectable disease in the hall ... these people are especially vulnerable to false hopes that healing is instantaneous and about to happen! At no point does he show any real testimonies of miraculous healings ... his anecdotes should suffice to make us believe in a better tomorrow.
His workshop was fairly expensive, and it is said that this cost is justified since it included videos (about 5 hours) of a previous workshop that no longer exists but which must be watched before you attend the progressive workshop ... the majority of the workshop I attended (progressive) was the verbatim repetition of that video!!! ... is it brainwashing? or lack of imagination or information? I would say that this is the recycling of old stock. They also strongly encourage us to read his latest book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, which again a rehash of the same thing? (Enough already!) Even his anecdotes are the same! He seems to have learned his text very well. But don't expect him to interact directly with the participants; he can't go off script. He allows no questions from the audience.
In addition, the meditations (which I find interesting) of the 2.5-day workshop are the same as those he sells online ... but it appropriates some ancient techniques of meditation (among others Kundalini) claiming that enlightenment is imminent and easy to obtain if you follow to the letter his instructions ... ex. you have to push the energy of the first chakra to the seventh with forced breath holding - a bit like self-asphyxiation -which can cause particular sensations ... pffft!
However, I appreciate the fact that he encourages his "disciples" to install a daily meditation practice. But to judge as wrong or right the personal practice of a meditation, and to expect some kind of magical effect is not right. Meditation takes many forms and is individual...and is not a result oriented practice...it should be a journey. Pushing for results is not the way!
I especially hated the obvious marketing in the workshop where he plugs advertisements for the upcoming workshops, publications, at all times; and where the electoral campaign/pep rally style is used by encouraging the participants to dance and clap after the breaks to lively music for no apparent reason except to make promotional videos (looks like you're having fun here -! artificial enthusiasm for a meeting where calm should be nurtured...)
I also noticed that JD does not care entirely about our questions on site (you could ask questions at his paying webinars I guess), or our learning (no leader came to guide us, there were no group activities) ... he seems to be more interested in our wallet.
He also seems to use a type of communication with his technical team by pretending to make us interact (ex. – “poke your neighbor” and “discuss what you understand”) that are not often logical since he did not give enough info for discussion and he obviously seeks a break for some reason ... perhaps he needs to blow off some time during these pauses ....or hear his next line in his earbuds.
He also makes an unnecessary use of Youtube videos to so-called "spark our enthusiasm and inspire the imagination of our emotions" ... I think even here he gets a small break on stage ... all these videos were "déjà vu" for any subscriber to FB!
Finally, I come out disillusioned and annoyed to have spent to attend a workshop with such manipulation techniques and lack of concern for the participants! I love some of his ideas, and I come out a little more aware of the dangers of this kind of workshop. I have compassion for some of his "fanatical groupies" and even some exalted shouters during the meditations.
I hope my reflections and questions will spur discussion or at least "enlighten" a few ... I wish I had read this kind of criticism before spending ... but I think his team is efficient at digital scrubbing.
Top reviews from other countries
by Ron Immink on December 20, 2018 in Blog
“The Greatest Habit You Can Ever Break Is the Habit of Being Yourself” is a great book about your mind, brain imaging, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, psychoneuroimmunology, quantum entanglement, neurochemicals, and meditation
The power of the mind
You need to embrace the concept that your (subjective) mind has an effect on your (objective) world. The latest research supports the notion that we have a natural ability to change the brain and body by thought alone. In fact, your thoughts have consequences so great that they create your reality.
The most fundamental components of our so-called physical world are both waves (energy) and particles (physical matter), depending on the mind of the observer. What quantum physicists discovered was that the person observing (or measuring) the tiny particles that make up atoms affect the behaviour of energy and matter.
In other words, a particle cannot manifest in reality—that is, ordinary space-time as we know it—until we observe it. Quantum physics calls this phenomenon “collapse of the wave function” or the “observer effect.” The subjective mind has an effect on the objective world. An observer can affect the subatomic world and influence a specific event, just by collapsing a single electron from a wave of energy into a particle.
Quantum entanglement will tell us that once two particles can be initially linked in some way, they will always be bonded together beyond space and time. That means that since we too are made up of particles, we are all implicitly connected beyond space and time. What we do unto others, we do unto ourselves.
Everything is every
The atom is 99.99999 per cent energy and .00001 per cent matter. Think about this: everything physical in your life is not solid matter. Instead, it’s all fields of energy or frequency patterns of information.
At the subatomic level, energy responds to your mindful attention and becomes matter. Energy is the very fabric of all things material and is responsive to mind. Everything in the physical universe is made up of subatomic particles such as electrons. By their very nature, these particles, when they exist as pure potential, are in their wave state while they are not being observed. They are potentially “every-thing” and “no-thing” until they are observed.
Everything is potential
Thus, everything in our physical reality exists as pure potential. If subatomic particles can exist in an infinite number of possible places simultaneously, we are potentially capable of collapsing into existence an infinite number of possible realities. In other words, if you can imagine a future event in your life based on any one of your desires, that reality already exists as a possibility in the quantum field, waiting to be observed by you. If your mind can influence the appearance of an electron, then theoretically it can influence the appearance of any possibility. That means that the quantum field contains a reality in which you are healthy, wealthy, and happy, and possess all of the qualities and capabilities of the idealised self that you hold in your thoughts.
Hold a picture
When you hold clear, focused thoughts about your purpose, accompanied by your passionate emotional engagement, you broadcast a stronger electromagnetic signal that pulls you toward a potential reality that matches what you want.
Mind and matter
Mind and matter are completely entangled. Your consciousness (mind) has effects on energy (matter) because your consciousness is energy and energy has consciousness. In the quantum model, the physical universe is an immaterial, interconnected, unified field of information, potentially everything but physically nothing.
All potential experiences exist in the quantum field as a sea of infinite possibilities. When you change your electromagnetic signature to match one that already exists in the field, your body will be drawn to that event, you will move into a new line of time, or the event will find you in your new reality.
What are you thinking
How we think and how we feel produces a state of being, which generates an electromagnetic signature that influences every atom in our world. Ask yourself. What am I broadcasting (consciously or unconsciously) on a daily basis? Y our brain does not distinguish between what is happening in the outer world of reality and what is happening in the inner world of your mind.
You are your memories
Unfortunately, we unconsciously live by a set of memorised behaviours, thoughts, and emotional reactions, all running like computer programs behind the scenes of our conscious awareness. Hence, all of our personal experiences with people and things at specific times and places are literally reflected within the networks of neurons (nerve cells) that make up our brains.
You are living in the past
And since your feelings are a record of previous experiences, you’re thinking in the past. By quantum law, you create more of the past. Bottom line: Most of us live in the past and resist living in a new future. Why? The body is so habituated to memorising the chemical records of our past experiences that it grows attached to these emotions. In a very real sense, we become addicted to those familiar feelings.
You are 95% on automatic pilot
Psychologists tell us that by the time we’re in our mid-30s, our identity or personality will be completely formed. That means that for those of us over 35, we have memorised a select set of behaviours, attitudes, beliefs, emotional reactions, habits, skills, associative memories, conditioned responses, and perceptions that are now subconsciously programmed within us. About 95 per cent of who we are by midlife1 is a series of subconscious programs that have become automatic.
You are neurochemically addicted
There is a principle in neuroscience called Hebb’s law. It states that “nerve cells that fire together, wire together.” It means that clusters of neurons have fired so many times in the same ways that they have organised themselves into specific patterns with long-lasting connections. Every time you have a thought, there is a biochemical reaction in the brain—you make a chemical. The brain and the rest of the body interact via powerful electrochemical signals. You’ll become neurochemically attached to the conditions in your life. You get addicted to past emotions and memories.
Neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, and hormones are the cause-and-effect chemicals for brain activity and bodily functioning. These three different types of chemicals, called ligands (the word ligare means “to bind” in Latin), connect to, interact with, or influence the cell in a matter of milliseconds. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers.
Addiction to memories
Unfortunately, your body’s cells aren’t feeling so good. Over the years, you’ve trained them to demand more molecules of emotion (mostly negative) in order to fulfil their chemical needs. Your body is trained to live as a memorised chemical continuity, and it becomes addicted to guilt or any emotion in the same way that it would get addicted to drugs. You are a drug addict. The body wants you to return to your memorised chemical self, so it influences you to think in familiar, routine ways
You are only 5% conscious
Since the body becomes the subconscious mind, it’s easy to see that in situations when the body becomes the mind, the conscious mind no longer has much to do with our behaviour. The instant we have a thought, feeling, or reaction, the body, runs on automatic pilot. We go unconscious. Think about that: 5 per cent of the mind is conscious, struggling against the 95 per cent that is running subconscious automatic programs.
Reliving your past over and over
What most people don’t know is that when they think about a highly charged emotional experience, they make the brain fire in the exact sequences and patterns as before; We are capable of reliving a past event over and over, perhaps thousands of times in one lifetime.
The relationships with people we’ve known, the variety of things we own and are familiar with, the places where we’ve visited and lived at different times in our lives, and the myriad experiences we’ve embraced throughout our years are all configured in the structures of the brain.
Your past is your future
When you consider that your brain is a complete record of your past, and your mind is the product of your consciousness, in one sense you might always be thinking in the past. According to quantum law (which, by the way, is still working for you), your past is now becoming your future.
Negative feedback loop
If you continually think about your problems (consciously or unconsciously), you will only create more of the same type of difficulties for yourself. As long as we use familiar feelings as a barometer, as feedback on our efforts to change, we’ll always talk ourselves out of greatness.
Time to change
Why are you secretly expecting something different to show up in your life, when you think the same thoughts, perform the same actions and experience the same emotions every single day? You can change your brains just by thinking differently, but when we are truly focused and single-minded, the brain does not know the difference between the internal world of the mind and what we experience in the external environment.
When we can change our minds independent of the environment and then steadfastly embrace an ideal with sustained concentration, the brain will be ahead of the environment. You can change your brain’s hardware, its physical structures, its anatomy, its neurons. If you keep installing, reinforcing, and refining your neurological hardware, the end result of that repetition is a neural network—in effect, a new software program.
What do you want
If you entertain that idea even for a moment, you might start focusing on what you want instead of what you don’t want. When our behaviours match our intentions. When our actions are equal to our thoughts. When our minds and our bodies are working together when our words and our deeds are aligned. Then there is an immense power behind any individual.
Our thoughts are themselves energy, with a specific link between our emotional states and our heart rhythms. Positive emotions (love and joy, for instance) produce highly ordered, coherent patterns that HeartMath researchers refer to as heart coherence.
Clean your mind
If you know that by staying present and severing or pruning your connections with the past, you can have access to all the possible outcomes in the quantum field, why would you choose to live in the past and keep creating the same future for yourself?
Which is why they invented meditation. In the Tibetan language, to meditate means “to become familiar with.” Meditation as a synonym for self-observation. Becoming conscious of your unconscious self.
Close your eyes and be still
If you eliminated stimuli from your external world by closing your eyes and becoming quiet (decreasing your sensory input), putting your body in a state of stillness, and no longer focusing on linear time, you could become aware solely of how you are thinking and feeling.
Open the door to your mind
Meditation opens the door between the conscious and subconscious minds. We meditate to enter the operating system of the subconscious, where all of those unwanted habits and behaviours reside, and change them to more productive modes to support us in our lives. The true purpose of meditation is to get beyond the analytical mind and enter into the subconscious mind so you can make real and permanent changes.
Given that your personality comprises how you think, act, and feel, you must pay attention to your unconscious thoughts, reflexive behaviours, and automatic emotional reactions—put them under observation to determine if they are true and whether you want to continue to endorse them with your energy. Meditation allows us to change our brains, bodies, and state of being. So if you truly want a new personal reality, start observing all aspects of your present personality. In a way, you were going into the operating system of the subconscious mind, where those programs exist, and you were the observer of those programs. When you can become aware of or notice who you are being, you are becoming
Rewrite your hardware
Through meditation, we can install the necessary neurological hardware, just as those piano players and finger exercisers made changes through mental rehearsal. Those new states of being create a new personality and a new personality produces a new personal reality.
The purpose of becoming self-aware is so that you manage your thoughts, actions and emotion. To change any aspect of your life (body, environment, or time), you must transcend it.
It always starts with a thought
Almost all of what we demonstrate begins with a thought. But just because you have a thought doesn’t necessarily mean it is true. Most thoughts are just old circuits in your brain that have become hardwired by your repetitive volition.
You are what you think
Change all begins with thinking: we can immediately form new neurological connections and circuits that reflect our new thoughts. Take control. Rather than waiting for an occasion to cause you to feel a certain way, create the feeling ahead of any experience in the physical realm; convince your body emotionally that a “gratitude-generating” experience has already taken place.
Hold a clear intention of what you want, but leave the “how” details to the unpredictable quantum field. Let it orchestrate an event in your life in a way that is just right for you. If you’re going to expect anything, expect the unexpected. Surrender, trust, and let go of how a desired event will unfold. When you are in a state of gratitude, you transmit a signal into the field that an event has already occurred. Choose a potential reality that you want, live it in your thoughts and feelings, and give thanks ahead of the actual event.
That will orchestrate an event, an energetic response, to match whatever the subjective mind puts out into the quantum field. When our will matches its will, when our minds match its mind, when our love for life matches its love for life, we are enacting this universal consciousness. We become the elevated power that transcends the past, heals the present, and opens doors to the future.
Mastering your mind
Mastery is that your internal chemical state is greater than anything in our external world. You are a master when you’ve conditioned yourself with chosen thoughts and feelings, you’ve memorised desired emotional/chemical states, and nothing in your external life deters you from your aims. No person, nothing, and no experience at any time or place should disrupt your internal chemical coherence. You can think, act, and feel different whenever you choose.
Control your destiny
You are a new neurochemical self, a quantum observer of a new future. Healing your body and freeing the mind.
Understanding how emotions condition us positively and negatively is key to peak performance. The key learning point for me was the bit about understanding that your present thoughts determine your future. So many people live in the past and these past memories are continuosly lived in the present and then create a future equal to your past. We need to create a positive environment around us and keep positive vision about our future now.
I am looking forward to doing some of Dr Joe Dispenza's courses and reading his other books.