Mind, Body, Spirit Issues

by Scott Morrice on 02/04/2012

Another bit of a rant. But this time, on topic–on some mind, body, spirit issues.

The other day I wondered into a bookstore specializing in personal growth, spirituality, healing and mysticism. I was looking for a particular book that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere, but I soon just started wondering around that whole maze of material, books and publications available in this store.

And I found the experience kind of off-putting.

As I mentioned in my About page, I am on a bit of a journey. And I think this journey is taking me deeper and deeper into that area of interest that is sometimes characterized by some, in a very general sense, as the field of mind, body, spirit.

Being new to this, I am actually not really sure what is meant by that phrase “mind, body, spirit”. But, as I understand it, that bookstore, or at least the books and other publications found in that bookstore, is very representative of what is being written and talked about in this field.

And now that I have seen that, now that I have been to a bookstore that is representative of this field of interest, I am wondering where I am.

From what I can see, there is a lot, and I really mean a lot, being written (and obviously read) that I regard as being right off the wall. I worry that much of it is playing to our insecurities, is offering us false hope. In fact some of it is, in my humble opinion, almost cultish—and is therefore possibly even dangerous. And this is what I mean when I refer to mind, body, spirit issues.

I think part of the problem is that a lot of this material being pushed out isn’t based on any kind of empirical evidence. And this allows the authors of that material to defend that kind of criticism as being rooted in outmoded, closed minded, western style approaches to living and life. It also allows some of these authors to make take outrageous positions, to espouse outlandish theories and philosophies, because if there is no way to prove the correctness of what you are saying, there is no need to worry about having to back it up.

Now admittedly, the fact that an idea isn’t supported (yet) by empirical evidence isn’t necessarily a body blow. There is much (actually quite a bit) being written that doesn’t enjoy this support, but is still based upon reasoned analysis from credible sources, or is based upon historical (sometimes centuries long) anecdotal evidence.

But it did make me stop and wonder where I was going with my journey. I don’t have an answer yet either. At this point, if I look back on my posts it would seem that I am more comfortable in areas where there is some scientific basis for what is being postulated, or at least, and Eastern healing techniques would be a good example of this, where there is good historical anecdotal evidence to support what is being taught.

Again, I’m not really sure. But I do think, now that I have had a look at the breadth of what is being talked about out there, that you have to be careful about what you get yourself involved in. There is no question that there are mind, body, issues. So you can’t abdicate good judgment, and the responsibility you have to yourself–to think for yourself.

It’s a jungle out there!

I’ll keep you posted.

  • Dnhiggins

    Hmmmm, this reminds of some advice I received years ago from a Stanford prof (LLB/MBA) who was on the Harvard Business Review…we asked him for recommendations on the “best business book to read”. His response was: When you go to a book-store and see all those business books, it is all intellectual junkmail! You have to “read them all”. This left us baffled…he responded with..”the best book to read it a biology textbook”. It BEST represents the business world as everything is always changing…..

    • Anonymous

      Hi there—thanks for your comment! I like your Stanford prof’s “intellectual junkmail” thought. And that is partly where I was going with my post—its obvious to me that a strong filter is needed when doing my research. The problem with that is if I use too strong a filter I am no longer exposing myself to what might actually be some really important, leading-edge ideas.

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