Interview with Dr. Larry Dossey about his new book 'One Mind'

#1
http://www.drfranklipman.com/an-interview-with-larry-dossey-md/



I am honored to interview Dr Larry Dossey about his new book, One Mind.

Larry is is one of the fathers of the holistic medicine movement and a mentor of mine.

Dr Lipman:What is your book about?

Larry Dossey MD: It’s about the nature of our mind. I show that our mind is not confined to our brain or body, as we’ve been taught, but it extends infinitely outside them. Our minds have no boundaries or limits, so they merge with all other minds to form what I call the One Mind. This greater mind appears to be boundless in time, so it’s immortal and eternal. It’s also a source of great wisdom and creativity. This picture is based on many lines of evidence as well as a variety of people’s experiences, which I explore at length in the book.

So, basically the book is about the size of our mind — whether it is small, medium, large, extra large, or even infinite in extent.

It’s about how our individual minds are not just individual, but connected in the One Mind.

It’s about our relationships — how our minds are connected with one another and with all of life on earth, and why this is crucial for our survival.

I’m saying that you, your spouse, children, siblings, your lover, your ancestors, your descendants, even your mother-in-law and your dog and cat, are all members of a larger consciousness: the One Mind.

During the 20th century, we took the mind apart. I’m putting it back together.

We’ve been taught that our mind is fragmented, that it is divided into the preconscious, the sub-conscious, the unconscious, and the collective unconscious. This book looks through the other end of the telescope. It shows that our individual minds are part of a greater whole, a dimension of consciousness that encompasses all minds — past, present, and future, human as well as non-human.

Dr Lipman: Why is this important?

Larry Dossey MD: This realization is our best hope for our survival on earth. Only by realizing, at the deepest emotional level, our connections with one another and the earth itself can we summon the courage necessary to make the tough choices that are required in order to survive. So this book is about staying alive — saving the earth and our own skins.

Alice Walker said, “Anything we love can be saved” — including, I suggest, the earth itself, ourselves, our children, and generations yet unborn. The One Mind facilitates our connectedness and oneness with all else, therefore our love for all else. The One mind helps us re-sacralize the world.

How do we know the One Mind exists? Hints of our One Mind are all around us. This is not mere philosophy. From time to time, we all experience events that make sense only if we are connected with one another mentally.

The love of a mother for her baby is a study in oneness, in which boundaries and isolation are overcome. Anyone who has been deeply in love experiences the same thing: a fusion of two people in which the concept of “the other” is set aside. The recent explosion of interest in genealogy, the study of one’s family origins, can be seen as attempt to restore connections and a yearning for oneness.

Moreover, people often exchange thoughts, emotions, and even physical sensations at a distance. This is particularly common between people who are emotionally close. The classic example is a mother who “just knows” that her child is in danger, even though far away — as if the mother and child have a common mind, a common consciousness.

Another example: People often acquire knowledge of things in ways that that are inexplicable. For example, the great inventor Thomas Edison once said, “I have never created anything. I get impressions from the Universe at large and work them out.”

Another example: Savants, who are often profoundly mentally handicapped, cannot read, and are incapable of learning, demonstrate detailed information they could not possibly have learned. Where does it come from? I suggest they connect with a reservoir of wisdom that is the One Mind.

People frequently have detailed dreams of future events, which I devoted an entire book to, The Power of Premonitions.

Near-death experiences are a portal to the One Mind. Ten million Americans have experienced an NDE. The hallmark of the experience is a sense of oneness with all there is — an awareness that is so profound that their life is transformed after recovery.

I discuss a huge variety of experiences of this kind. There simply is no way happenings such as these can be explained by our conventional view that our mind is confined to our brain, that we acquire information only through the physical senses, and that our minds are separate from all other minds. Some larger view of consciousness is required — what I’m calling the One Mind.

The evidence shows that our mind is not limited to our brain and body. And if it is not limited or confined to specific places in space, then our individual minds must in some way come together — again, I suggest, in the One Mind.

The benefits are enormous. If our individual minds don’t have boundaries and mix with all other minds, this means we have access to all possible wisdom and creativity. And since the One Mind is infinite not just in space but also in time, it must be, in some sense, immortal. So the One-Mind view provides us indirect assurance of the survival of bodily death.

Dr Lipman: Where did you come up with this idea?

Larry Dossey MD: The concept of the One Mind has been around for a long time. We can trace it back 3,000 years to the philosophy of ancient India, where it was called the Akashic Records. It is echoed in the Hindu concept of the union of the human and the divine: tat tvam asi of “thou art that.”

Many traditions honor the experience of the One Mind. It has been variously called satori in Zen, samadhi in Yoga, fana in Sufism, and Christ consciousness in Christianity. Other terms include cosmic consciousness, illumination, awakening, enlightenment, and so on. The experience of the One Mind, however it is named, involves a direct apprehension of the universe and all in it as being One with no real dividing lines or divisions in it. Everything is connected with everything else. Partition and separation are illusions. As psychologist Lawrence LeShan wrote, “There is no separation between entities, neither by time nor by space. The whole universe is perceived as ‘a one without a second.” This experience carries with it the sense that one has apprehended ineluctable Truth. (Source: Lawrence LeShan, Landscapes of the Mind. Guilford, CT: Eirini Press; 2012: 91).

There are allusions to the idea in the New Testament. St. Paul spoke of “the peace of God that passes all understanding.” As mythologist Joseph Campbell put it, Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is within. Who is in heaven? God. This means, Campbell said, that God is within each person — infinite, boundless, immortal, one.

The American transcendentalists advocated a One-Mind concept — Emerson’s idea of the Over-soul.

The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung’s idea of the collective unconscious is a version of the One Mind.

William James, the founder of American psychology, was a proponent of a single, collective mind.

Many great scientists in a variety of fields have endorsed the idea. It has surfaced in modern physics in the writings of Nobel Prize winner Erwin Schrödinger, whose wave equations lie at the heart of quantum physics. The eminent physicist David Bohm also strongly supported the idea of a single, over-arching mind that includes all individual minds.

So the idea of the One Mind began millennia ago and persists to the present day, and it is supported by some of the outstanding figures in modern science and psychology.

Dr Lipman: You’re a physician. Does this have anything to do with your interest in the One Mind?

Larry Dossey MD: Yes, definitely. During my early career as an internist, I experienced several events that turned my views of consciousness upside down and inside out. I found these experiences unnerving.

I was a typical believer that mind and brain were essentially the same. But when I began experiencing precognitive dreams, gaining information from the future before the event happened, I began to question the dogma that says these events can’t happen. It wasn’t just me; my patients, as well as nurses and other doctors, shared similar experiences with me.

In the late 1980s, experiments began to be published in medical journals assessing the impact of healing intentions and prayers on the clinical course of patients in distant hospitals and coronary care units. Similar experiments were done non-humans and with organs and cells. These experiments strongly implied that our mind is not confined to our brain. Our intentions, thoughts, and wishes can reach out beyond the body and make a difference in “the world out there.”

Several evaluations of this field have been published, called systematic or meta-analyses. This is a way of combining the results of many studies in order to take an overall look at a particular field . Many of these analyses have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Most of them are positive, indicating that these effects are real. Still, they have not penetrated our awareness as they should.

It is vital to realize — and this is almost always ignored by skeptics — that scores of these experiments deal with effects not just in humans but in animals, plants, microbes, and even chemical reactions. Why important? Skeptics generally say that if a person responds to, say, the healing intentions of a distant individual, it is merely a placebo effect — the result of positive thinking, suggestion, or expectation. But if an animal, plant, microbes, or biochemical reactions are affected, the distant effect cannot be dismissed as a placebo even because, as far as we know, animals, plants, microbes, and chemicals don’t think positively. They don’t have placebo responses. So these non-human studies strongly suggest that the remote, distant, consciousness-mediated healing effects and similar nonlocal phenomena are real, and that we are not fooling ourselves.
 
#2
So we are 'really' all One Mind?

But are we not supposed to love one another?

If we are really one, does that not make that loving to be entirely selfish?
 
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Larry Dossey MD: This realization is our best hope for our survival on earth. Only by realizing, at the deepest emotional level, our connections with one another and the earth itself can we summon the courage necessary to make the tough choices that are required in order to survive. So this book is about staying alive — saving the earth and our own skins.
The denial of individuality is not encouraging. It is a depressing and detrimental idea.

Anyone who has been deeply in love experiences the same thing: a fusion of two people in which the concept of “the other” is set aside. The recent explosion of interest in genealogy, the study of one’s family origins, can be seen as attempt to restore connections and a yearning for oneness.
I have been deeply in love, but I have never experienced "a fusion of two people", or "oneness". I am interested in the study of my family origins, but I definitely do not yearn for oneness.

The evidence shows that our mind is not limited to our brain and body. And if it is not limited or confined to specific places in space, then our individual minds must in some way come together — again, I suggest, in the One Mind.
This is ridiculous. Evidence suggests that mind is not limited to the brain. Everything else he says is mere conjecture.

So the One-Mind view provides us indirect assurance of the survival of bodily death.
No, it doesn't. One Mind = destruction of all human and animal life.
 
#6
The denial of individuality is not encouraging. It is a depressing and detrimental idea.



I have been deeply in love, but I have never experienced "a fusion of two people", or "oneness". I am interested in the study of my family origins, but I definitely do not yearn for oneness.



This is ridiculous. Evidence suggests that mind is not limited to the brain. Everything else he says is mere conjecture.



No, it doesn't. One Mind = destruction of all human and animal life.
No joke!
 
#7
I must say I'm puzzled as to how an essentially positive idea should be interpreted with such negative connotations.

Let's consider for example that we all breathe the same air. That's something which unites all of us - and the rest of our planet. There's no reason to regard having such a connection as selfish or destructive. Or we all, up to the time of birth, are physically attached to our own mothers. By extrapolating backwards in time, one could consider that there is in a very literal sense, a direct physical link which unites all of us - and indeed all life. It might be considered that there is in fact only one physical body. But there's nothing destructive or negative in such a view. We are who we are, our individuality remains.
 
#8
I must say I'm puzzled as to how an essentially positive idea should be interpreted with such negative connotations.

Let's consider for example that we all breathe the same air. That's something which unites all of us - and the rest of our planet. There's no reason to regard having such a connection as selfish or destructive. Or we all, up to the time of birth, are physically attached to our own mothers. By extrapolating backwards in time, one could consider that there is in a very literal sense, a direct physical link which unites all of us - and indeed all life. It might be considered that there is in fact only one physical body. But there's nothing destructive or negative in such a view. We are who we are, our individuality remains.
We breath the same air, but not the same molecules at the same time.
We are attached to our mothers, but we are not identical to our mothers.
There are direct physical links between us, but we are not one and the same!
There is more than one physical body. Even the materialists acknowledge that.
We need to be not just the Same One, if our individuality is to remain.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#9
I don't know if "Oneness" needs to mean the disintegration of personality. Consider Teilhard's Omega Point where minds are united but retain their selves.

Of course whether there's anything to the Omega Point is a discussion for another place and time. :)
 
#10
I don't know if "Oneness" needs to mean the disintegration of personality. Consider Teilhard's Omega Point where minds are united but retain their selves.

Of course whether there's anything to the Omega Point is a discussion for another place and time. :)
If we 'retain our selves' in a Teilhardian 'Omega Point', then we are only One in coordination, but not in existence.
That kind of 'community oneness' is fine. It is not having our individual loves and thoughts and memories which is worrying.
After all, we do NOT want a unity in which 'all the colours will bleed into one'. Variety is the spice of life, especially mental and spiritual life!
 
#11
The denial of individuality is not encouraging. It is a depressing and detrimental idea.
I agree. The thing is that Dossey is not denying individuality. Not even nearly


I have been deeply in love, but I have never experienced "a fusion of two people", or "oneness". I am interested in the study of my family origins, but I definitely do not yearn for oneness.
That you have not experienced a state of awareness of oneness sort of means you don't have much to offer in discussing it. You can only refer to what you think oneness might be like.



This is ridiculous. Evidence suggests that mind is not limited to the brain. Everything else he says is mere conjecture.
Let's say that you're correct and it is conjecture. There's nothing "mere" about that. Even in strict materialist science, conjecture is part and parcel of the method. It's one thing to have data, quite another to decide what that data means.

No, it doesn't. One Mind = destruction of all human and animal life.
 
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