Healing, by definition, is a sacred art. Practically all of the ancient texts describe the art of healing as a divine process in which healing the body first requires healing the spirit. When the potential of technical and chemical medicine accelerated during the second half of this century, the "spirit" of healing was made ill. That is, the consciousness that healing is a sacred art was eclipsed by a more scientific modality. Though not a deliberate intention on the part of the scientific community, respect for the healing power of prayer, faith and love diminished dramatically as chemical medicine produced more and more physical results.
The one of these three internal qualities that retained a position of respect within the allopathic medical community was faith. Even then, the energy of faith had to be directed toward supporting the potential healing technologies of the allopathic community. The healing power of faith was reduced to a personal matter that carried little or no authority in the external world. It seemed that as the scientific and medical community accelerated in its growth and development, faith became a property of a more religious arena.
The entry of the scientific mind into the medical world has been and remains essential. The research done in these past five decades has been a masterful contribution to the knowledge we need to have about the chemistry and physiology of our own bodies. But somewhere along the line, the precious role of the Sacred has been reduced to the status of superstition and non-provable thought, dropped completely from the list of significant factors that contribute to health or the disintegration of health.
The information in this book, Soul Medicine, looks at the interior of the human soul and honors its position of power within the human body. The authors lead the reader into the history of sacred healing, beginning with the ancient Romans and Greeks. This journey examines the role of religion and religious rituals that revolve around healing as well as the sacred sites that emerged during that time. They also introduce the reader to contemporary sacred healing and the research that has been done to study the effects of sacred techniques such as prayer and the laying on of hands.
The authors of Soul Medicine draw together numerous angles into one unified pattern, presenting an insightful view of the challenges that the contemporary healer faces within our culture. From an initial search for authentic healers that began in 1972, exploring various cultures and spiritual traditions, the authors have gathered an encyclopedia unto itself. This incredible book is a product of over three decades of experience with gifted healersand reports on their successes and failures.
I have personally known Norm since 1984. While I recognize that he is a brilliant physician, I think of him first as the quintessential research scientist whose primary interest in this life is to discover more about the relationship of the energyor sacred texture of the human beingto the physical body. Dawson Church has amassed an incredible breadth and depth of experience in the field of holistic and integrative medicine. This is their life's passion, and this passion is evident in every page of this book. They have thoroughly investigated, and continue to investigate, alternative sacred healing techniques, the foundation of Soul Medicine. In this book, they share years of personally investigating some of the most prominent energy healers of our time, describing their techniques and their successes. They knew (and know) many of these healers, and they write about them with clarity and discernment.
For all of us who are interested in understanding the nature of healing, this book is a necessary part of our library. It is becoming increasingly evident that the themes of this next millennium are healing and the emergence of the sacred into the entire weave of life. Norm Shealy and Dawson Church have performed a valuable service in presenting Soul Medicine.
Caroline Myss, Ph.D.
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