- Larry Dossey, M.D.
from Reinventing Medicine
This distinguished Texas physician, deeply rooted in the scientific world, has become an internationally influential advocate of the role of the mind in health and the role of spirituality in healthcare. Bringing the experience of a practicing internist and the soul of a poet to the discourse, Dr. Larry Dossey offers panoramic insight into the nature and the future of medicine.
Upon graduating with honors from the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Dossey worked as a pharmacist while earning his M.D. degree from Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, 1967. Before completing his residency in internal medicine, he served as a battalion surgeon in Vietnam, where he was decorated for valor. Dr. Dossey helped establish the Dallas Diagnostic Association, the largest group of internal medicine practitioners in that city, and was Chief of Staff of Medical City Dallas Hospital in 1982.
An education steeped in traditional Western medicine did not prepare Dr. Dossey for patients who were blessed with "miracle cures," remissions that clinical medicine could not explain. "Almost all physicians possess a lavish list of strange happenings unexplainable by normal science," says Dr. Dossey. "A tally of these events would demonstrate, I am convinced, that medical science not only has not had the last word, it has hardly had the first word on how the world works, especially when the mind is involved."
The author of nine books and numerous articles, Dr. Dossey is the former Executive Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, the most widely subscribed-to journal in its field. The primary quality of all of Dr. Dossey's work is scientific legitimacy, with an insistent focus on "what the data show." As a result, his colleagues in medical schools and hospitals all over the country trust him, honor his message, and continually invite him to share his insights with them. He has lectured all over the world, including major medical schools and hospitals in the United States --Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, the Universities of Pennsylvania, California, Washington, Texas, Florida, Minnesota, and the Mayo Clinic.
The impact of Dr. Dossey's work has been remarkable. Before his book Healing Words was published in 1993, only three U.S. medical schools had courses devoted to exploring the role of religious practice and prayer in health; currently, nearly 80 medical schools have instituted such courses, many of which utilize Dr. Dossey's works as textbooks. In his 1989 book Recovering the Soul, he introduced the concept of "nonlocal mind" -- mind unconfined to the brain and body, mind spread infinitely throughout space and time. Since then, "nonlocal mind" has been adopted by many leading scientists as an emerging image of consciousness. Dr. Dossey's ever-deepening explication of nonlocal mind provides a legitimate foundation for the merging of spirit and medicine. The ramifications of such a union are radical and call for no less than the reinvention of medicine.
Space, Time & MedicineWhat is the soul? Can the soul be scientifically explained? In this thought-provoking book, Dr. Dossey provides an alternative view of human consciousness, one which asserts that an aspect of the human mind--the soul--exists independently of time, space, and matter.
"Why speak of the soul in an age of science?" asks Dr. Dossey. "Why suggest that there is some aspect of the psyche that is not subject to the limitations of space and time, and which might precede the birth of the body and survive its death? The main reason is that something vital has been left out of almost all the modern efforts to understand our mental life-- something that accounts as a first principle, without which everything is bound to be incomplete and off base. This missing element is the mind's nonlocal nature: the soul." In Recovering the Soul, Dr. Dossey interweaves the wisdom of ancient texts with quantum physics, mysticism with scientific research, religion with Western medicine and triumphantly affirms our interconnectedness with the universe, and each other.
Western medicine has long viewed the body as working mechanically, like clockwork: A breakdown of its parts causes illness. But modern physics says something new about the universe; its more holistic view includes the effects of consciousness on matter and the possibility of nonlinear time. Western medicine has not yet embraced these new ideas, and as a result physicians find themselves "with a set of guiding beliefs that are as antiquated as are body humors, leeching, and bleeding."
Dr. Larry Dossey discusses our obsession with time and how the notion of time "flowing" may profoundly act upon our health. Those who are able to alter their concept of time flow, says Dr. Dossey, have been able to positively affect the course of their disease.