- Paperback: 329 pages
- Publisher: Hay House (February 15, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781401938093
- ISBN-13: 978-1401938093
- ASIN: 1401938094
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 458 g
- Customer reviews: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1.834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One Paperback – 15 February 2013
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About the Author
Joe Dispenza, D.C., the author of Evolve Your Brain, studied biochemistry at Rutgers University. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in neuroscience, and earned his Doctor of Chiropractic from Life University in Atlanta, Georgia. He has received postgraduate training and continuing education in neurology, neuroscience, brain function and chemistry, cellular biology, memory formation, and aging and longevity.One of the scientists, researchers, and teachers featured in the award-winning film What the BLEEP Do We Know!?, Dr. Joe has lectured on six continents, educating people about the functions of the human brain. He has taught thousands how to reprogram their thinking through scientifically proven neurophysiological principles.When not traveling and writing, Dr. Joe is busy seeing patients at his chiropractic clinic near Olympia, Washington.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
How am I supposed to trust an author who uses bogus studies and who’s editors don’t fact-check him before his works are published? How am I supposed to finish this book when I’ve now discovered this glaring error in obvious fake science and flawed methodology?
Dr. Joe Dispenza has some great quotes, like: “A memory without the emotional charge is called wisdom.” And, “Change as a choice, instead of a reaction.” I’m sure these quotes, and his desire to help people become better people, has helped folks. But I still can’t recommend this book.
That’s because other quotes are closer to Buddhism than realism, and, for me as a Christian, sound like the serpent talking to Eve. For example, “To be empowered—to be free, to be unlimited, to be creative, to be genius, to be divine—that is who you are…. Once you feel this way, memorize this feeling; remember this feeling. This is who you really are….”
No, it’s not who I am. It's not even close. I am not divine. If I were, we wouldn’t have cancer. Or cats. Or ear hair. Speaking of things I don’t like...
Others have taken the author to task for his “science." Since I’m no scientist (nor is the author), I’d like to focus instead on the theology being taught, and contrast it with Christianity. Dr. Joe teaches a doctrine of looking within, of focusing on our inner selves to find divine happiness. This is just a short list to demonstrate the contrast of Dr. Joe’s New Age religion to Christianity.
Joe teaches that success and joy is within you: P.300 “I fear that this so-called recipe for ultimate success in life has kept us looking outside of ourselves for answers and true happiness, when the real answers and true joy have always been within.”
The Bible teaches success and joy come from God, that deceit is within you: Philippians 3:3, “We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in the flesh.” And Psalms 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” And Jer 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things.”
Joe teaches that we can create a new mind for ourselves: p.299 “You are a multidimensional being who creates your reality… you are going to have to lose your mind and create a new one.”
The Bible teaches that our minds are transformed by God: Romans 12:2, “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
Joe wants you to pray to the Universal Consciousness within yourself for yourself: p.310 “It’s time to turn to the power within you, introduce yourself to it, and tell it what you want to change about yourself… it is real. It already knows you it doesn’t judge you. It only loves. Say to it ‘Universal consciousness within me and all around me, I have been _____ and I ….”
The Bible teaches us to pray to the Father through the Son for His will: John 14:13 “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Joe teaches that you are God: P. 303 “The greatest habit you will ever create is the habit of expressing the divine through you. That is when you inhabit your true nature and identity. It is to inhabit self.” p.312 “I want you to move into a state of being. It is time to change your energy and broadcast a whole new electromagnetic signature… become it… to be empowered—to be free, to be unlimited, to be creative, to be genius, to be divine—that is who you are.”
The Bible teaches that God alone is God: Isaiah 43:10 “Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.”
Much of this book reminds me of Star Wars. George Lucas has been open about borrowing his “Force” ideas from Buddhism and Taoism, as a way of bringing spiritualism into his movies. Dr. Joe Dispenza has not been so open. However, an overview of the schools he has been connected with helps explain where he is coming from. I believe all the information below came from Dr. Joe’s site, Amazon’s book site, the school’s sites or Wikipedia, but there could be sites I don’t remember. I tried to go to original sources, not those upset with Dr. Joe or his teaching.
His bachelor’s degree (I never could find what it was in) is from Evergreen State College, his Dr. of Chiropractic is from Life University. But his other connections help to understand the New Age leanings in the book.
He is a faculty member at Quantum University in Honolulu, Hawaii. This school’s accreditation is by an organization in India. I know nothing about it, but would guess they don’t serve hamburgers for lunch.
The Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, New York. This is a non-accredited New Age retreat center. It started from the teachings Eastern meditation teacher, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan.
The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. According to the interweb, Amrit Desai, who was a disciple of Indian yoga master Swami Kripalu, started the school. It focuses on Yoga and other eastern religious thought.
Ramtha's School of Enlightenment(RSE) is located in Washington state. This school is the most interesting. J. Z. Knight, who claims to channel a 35,000-year-old warrior named Ramtha the Enlightened One, established the school in 1988. I read that, "the school bases its teachings on these channeling sessions." If so, it would be a helpful place to go if one needed schooling in the art of war in 33,000bc.
Joe taught at Ramtha, but doesn't often mention this school. On the back of this book he highlights the film he was in called “What the Bleep Do We Know!?” which was produced to promote Knight’s teaching. In googling the movie, I read that it got a Pigasus Award for “the media outlet that reported as factual the most outrageous supernatural, paranormal or occult claims.” I have not seen the movie.
Their four cornerstones of this school are: 1) The Statement, “You are god.” (I wonder what the real God thinks about that) 2) The mandate to make known the unknown, 3) The concept that consciousness and energy creates the nature of reality, 4) The challenge to conquer yourself.
Is Dr. Joe a god? His book forward and website claim postgraduate training in neurology, neuroscience, brain function and chemistry, cellular biology, memory formation, brain imaging, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, psychoneuroimmunology, aging and longevity. I could find no school names or evidence of these claims, but if they are true, and he understands it all, maybe his is a god.
I read this book on a recommendation, but I can’t recommend it.
In general, in his last book his newer line of thinking sells the idea that the human mind can change the manifestation of reality and change his fate; all this can be done by a certain personal discipline including meditation. Until now it sits well with the newer current of ideas. I like the idea of meditating and love the idea of manifesting too! About the science facts, I'm not sure, but it sounds interesting and I'm willing to suspend disbelief and try it out.
What pains me though, is the method of delivery of this so called Workshop ...where there never was a schedule handed out, we were left at the mercy of JD. In particular, he proceeds to claim to have witnessed spontaneous remissions of serious illnesses in his workshops, and I noticed several participants in wheelchairs or on crutches ... not counting all the participants with undetectable disease in the hall ... these people are especially vulnerable to false hopes that healing is instantaneous and about to happen! At no point does he show any real testimonies of miraculous healings ... his anecdotes should suffice to make us believe in a better tomorrow.
His workshop was fairly expensive, and it is said that this cost is justified since it included videos (about 5 hours) of a previous workshop that no longer exists but which must be watched before you attend the progressive workshop ... the majority of the workshop I attended (progressive) was the verbatim repetition of that video!!! ... is it brainwashing? or lack of imagination or information? I would say that this is the recycling of old stock. They also strongly encourage us to read his latest book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, which again a rehash of the same thing? (Enough already!) Even his anecdotes are the same! He seems to have learned his text very well. But don't expect him to interact directly with the participants; he can't go off script. He allows no questions from the audience.
In addition, the meditations (which I find interesting) of the 2.5-day workshop are the same as those he sells online ... but it appropriates some ancient techniques of meditation (among others Kundalini) claiming that enlightenment is imminent and easy to obtain if you follow to the letter his instructions ... ex. you have to push the energy of the first chakra to the seventh with forced breath holding - a bit like self-asphyxiation -which can cause particular sensations ... pffft!
However, I appreciate the fact that he encourages his "disciples" to install a daily meditation practice. But to judge as wrong or right the personal practice of a meditation, and to expect some kind of magical effect is not right. Meditation takes many forms and is individual...and is not a result oriented practice...it should be a journey. Pushing for results is not the way!
I especially hated the obvious marketing in the workshop where he plugs advertisements for the upcoming workshops, publications, at all times; and where the electoral campaign/pep rally style is used by encouraging the participants to dance and clap after the breaks to lively music for no apparent reason except to make promotional videos (looks like you're having fun here -! artificial enthusiasm for a meeting where calm should be nurtured...)
I also noticed that JD does not care entirely about our questions on site (you could ask questions at his paying webinars I guess), or our learning (no leader came to guide us, there were no group activities) ... he seems to be more interested in our wallet.
He also seems to use a type of communication with his technical team by pretending to make us interact (ex. – “poke your neighbor” and “discuss what you understand”) that are not often logical since he did not give enough info for discussion and he obviously seeks a break for some reason ... perhaps he needs to blow off some time during these pauses ....or hear his next line in his earbuds.
He also makes an unnecessary use of Youtube videos to so-called "spark our enthusiasm and inspire the imagination of our emotions" ... I think even here he gets a small break on stage ... all these videos were "déjà vu" for any subscriber to FB!
Finally, I come out disillusioned and annoyed to have spent to attend a workshop with such manipulation techniques and lack of concern for the participants! I love some of his ideas, and I come out a little more aware of the dangers of this kind of workshop. I have compassion for some of his "fanatical groupies" and even some exalted shouters during the meditations.
I hope my reflections and questions will spur discussion or at least "enlighten" a few ... I wish I had read this kind of criticism before spending ... but I think his team is efficient at digital scrubbing.