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le 18 avril 2014
From the introduction: "Writing this book was an attempt to put down on paper, in a much more detailed and usable form, the material I've been presenting in lectures. My goal in writing, as in speaking, was twofold: to explain the science underlying the new bodymind medicine, and to give enough practical information about implications of that science, and about the therapies and practitioners embodying it, to enable my readers to make the best possible choices about personal health and well-being." Unfortunately little effort was made to truly adapt those lectures to the book form. They are often direct transpositions like if the author was still speaking to an audience. I found this irritating at times. On the other hand, the fact that the book is derived from lectures makes it a captivating read. There was not a dull moment, as it should be for any lecture.
It is important to know that this book is not a scientific treaty. I mention this because many reviewers were disappointed that it was not. While the book never pretended to be a scientific treaty, I can understand than some readers might have been mislead by the title. I think the best way to characterize this book is to say that it is a scientific story. Other reviewers have mentioned that it can be compared to "The Double Helix" by James Watson. Except that it would be the story of the discovery of the double helix as seen from the point of view of Rosalind Franklin. For a large portion of this book is dedicated to the discovery of the first molecule of emotion by the author who recounts how she felt betrayed by her mentor. The story of this misappropriation occupies a large portion of the book, but it is a fascinating read into the politics of science. This scientific story is a very personal one and is largely autobiographical. It is the story of the author's personal struggle for the acceptance of the idea, largely her own, that the mind interacts with the body via various molecules that can be found throughout our body. At the time the book was written in 1997 this idea was heresy in scientific circles. It is still largely so, but the concept has evolved and is better accepted today in one form or another. It seems to have taken the author a long time to understand that she may have been largely responsible for the difficulties she had to go through. It is only towards the end of the book that she recognizes her own failings. But until then she had largely discussed various issues she had had with male egos while not seeing immediately that she had ego problems of her own. But later in life she seems to have come to terms with that.
Even though this book is not a scientific treaty it does not necessarily mean that it is an easy read. If the author provides very good explanations of the underlying science it could still represent a challenge for the uninitiated. This book was written for the layperson, but obviously with the educated public in mind. That being said, the explanations are very good and should make the required effort worthwhile for the interested reader. Overall a very good book that I would recommend to anyone interested to explore the relation between the mind, the body and the spirit. After reading it you might better understand why you feel the way you feel.
le 10 août 2014
Un livre fort intéressant, mais un peu trop centré sur la vie de l'auteure, et les diverses anecdotes qui ont ponctué sa carrière de chercheuse, malgré cela, on y apprend de nombreuses choses dans le domaine des neurosciences, des neuropeptides etc.