[This is] something I rarely talk about in public. I [wrote] about this 20 years ago in one of my books, and I have not talked about this very much. I had two near-death experiences, both of them in the same year of my life, when I was five years old.
One of them was with electricity, and I remember very consciously taking a wire, with scissors I scraped the insulation, so this bare copper wire, and I walked to an electrical outlet and I plugged both in the outlet and I was severely burned. Even today, I have scars. It’s black. My face was burned. My eyelashes were gone. My eyebrows were burned. And it was in the middle of the day, like this, when it happened. Continue Reading
Why does the maximum human age seem to hover around the 100-year mark? Why not 200 or even 500 years? If we’re to believe accounts in the Torah and Old Testament texts, many ancient people measured their lives in terms of centuries, rather than the decades that we use today. Adam, for example, is documented as having lived for 930 years, Metheselah for 969 years, and Noah for 950 years.
According to the texts, these men were not simply shriveled husks of their former selves, meagerly surviving and hanging on to the frail thread of life. At advanced ages, they were active and vital, enjoying their families and even starting new ones!
And why not? We clearly live in bodies that are built to last. The Torah states that Noah lived for Continue Reading
We’ve all seen examples of turning points in our lives or those of friends and family. They can happen spontaneously, or they may be created intentionally. It’s entirely possible that we’ve experienced both kinds without recognizing what we were seeing. So how do we know when one appears?
A familiar example of a turning point would be when a friend or family member undergoes successful surgery to correct a dangerous condition in his or her body. Whether it’s the removal of a life-threatening tumor or the repair of a vital organ, when such things happen, it’s commonly said that the surgery has given our loved one a “second chance.” In other words, Continue Reading
In each moment of every day, a conversation is taking place inside us that’s one of the most vital we will ever find ourselves engaged in. It’s the silent, often subconscious, and never-ending conversation of emotion-based signals between the heart and the brain. The reason this conversation is so important is that the quality of the emotional signal the heart sends to the brain determines what kind of chemicals are released into our bodies. When we feel what we would typically call negative emotions (for instance, anger,hate, jealousy, and rage), the heart sends a signal to the brain that mirrors our feelings. Such emotions are irregular and chaotic, and this is precisely what the signals they send to the brain look like. Continue Reading
After leaving the corporate world in 1990, I was living temporarily in the San Francisco area developing seminars and writing books by day.
In the evenings, I would work with clients who had asked for my help in understanding the role of belief in their lives and relationships.
One evening I scheduled an appointment with a client whom I’d worked with many times before.
Our session began as usual. As the woman relaxed into the wicker chair in front of me, I asked her to describe what had happened in the week since we’d last talked.
She began telling me about her relationship with her husband of 18 years. For much of the marriage they’d fought, sometimes violently. She had been on the receiving end of daily criticism and invalidation of everything from her Continue Reading
In 1955, H. K. Beecher, the chief of anesthesiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, published a landmark paper entitled “The Powerful Placebo.”1 In it, Beecher described his review of more than two dozen medical case histories and his findings, documenting that up to one-third of the patients healed from essentially nothing. The term used to describe this phenomenon was the placebo response—or, as it is more commonly known, the placebo effect.
Placebo is used to describe any form of treatment where patients are led to believe that they’re experiencing a beneficial procedure or receiving a curative agent, while in reality they’re given something that has no known healing properties.
The placebo can be as simple as a sugar pill or common saline solution or as complex as an actual surgery during which nothing is done. In other words, while the patients have agreed to participate in a medical study, they may not know precisely what their role in it will be. To test the placebo effect, they may undergo all of the experiences of surgery—including anesthesia, incisions, and sutures—while in reality nothing is added, taken away, or changed. Continue Reading