A great book (so far)

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Posted by Marshall Van Stone ( on December 04, 2000 at 02:48:36:

Hello all. I just recently posted something about Imitrex (about a page down) and I eluded to something about mind over matter. Well, I'd like to share a book that I am currently reading with all of you.
The book is called Space, Time, and Medicine and is written by Larry Dossey, MD. I am reading it for S375 Sociology of Religion and Medicine. I am a Sociology major with a Philosophy minor and an anthropology minor. I am going to go to grad. school to study the Sociology of Deviance. I hope to teach Deviance at a university level when I am all done. THis book very much fits into the school of deviance which encompasses the myth of mental illness (also a great book by Thomas Szasz), religion, symbolic interaction, and medicine (and deviance in general of course!). This book states that the current dichotomy of mind and body that we believe in is a false and dangerous one. The author writes about many of his patients curing themselves by simply absolving their linear notions of time and embracing a cyclical pattern of time. He comes to the conclusion that many illnesses are caused by our cocept of time. I am reminded of a case study I learned about in an ANthro class which talks about voodoo practicioners. In this case study, the anthropologist studied a group of voodoo believers. When a shaman cast a death spell on somebody else, the victim actually almost always died. When the spell was abolished before death occurred, the victim regained health. The victim literally went into shock and killed themselves as they believed death inevitable. Their thoughts were capable of destroying their very body.
Space, Time, and Medicine suggests that there is more to medicine than mind vs body. Mind and body are one, not two. We are not our mind residing in our body. We are both... they are inseperable. The cliche mind over matter pops into my head (I believe I said it earlier in this post even) but that really doesn't hold, as your mind is matter and your body is mind. Why isn't it possible that we think not only with our mind, but with our body? And why can't we feel with our mind? Is there a difference? This book says no.
I am not done reading this book, but it is powerful and great indeed. I bring this up because I believe that the medications that have worked on me (Imitrex and Stadol) do so because they allow my me to cease focusing on the migraine and instead I can wander in my thoughts. Because of this, the migraine leaves. It isn't the medicine themselves, but my mind (perhaps believing that it IS the medicine). Just something to ponder.
Thank you all who made it this far. Let me know what you think please as I am very interested in this topic, especially because it may cure my headaches. After all, I think that they are caused (brought on) by stress. This stress is most certainly due to my concept of time (and therefore... gasp!... deadlines!) and the inevitability of death (for more readings on the wish for immortality and the fear of death, read the AMAZING book by Ernest Becker called Escape From Evil). Anyway... I'd like to get a conversation going about this. SO, bring it on! Take it easy and good luck to all of you. I, literally, feel your pain.

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