The Soul of Medicine: An Anthology of Illness And Healing

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9780140195309: The Soul of Medicine: An Anthology of Illness And Healing
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'Illness opens up new experiences for the soul as well as the body. The pieces of writing in this book will map out step by step the way illness touches our hearts and moves our souls'. Bringing together voices from many different cultures and ages, this anthology explores how illness impacts on the soul as well as the body. It looks at how people learn to live with and find meaning in their medical condition, and how healers can derive deep satisfaction from their work.

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Illness, particularly serious or life threatening illness, opens up the heart and mind in a way that is unimaginable to people who have perhaps never before had to face the possibility of death or disease in either themselves or a loved one, bringing with it emotional reactions varying from fear, denial, and anger alongside new, profound and, often, life-changing perspectives.

The Soul of Medicine, a powerful anthology of thoughts and writings from different ages and cultures, examines how illness affects the soul, burying as deep as the physical symptoms and often burdening the patient and those around them with unbearable emotional pain.

By drawing on the words and experiences of a spectacular array of luminaries ranging from Plato, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf and Carl Jung to the thoughts of neurologists Oliver Sacks and surgeon Richard Seltzer, Peter Adams delves into the true meaning of sickness, choosing sometimes painful, sometimes humorous, sometimes spiritual and sometimes shocking pieces to examine specific afflictions ranging from cancer to the common cold.

In doing so, Adams gives those suffering from any form of illness a stimulating--if not always easy-to-swallow--taste of how those who truly dare to face up to what is happening to them have the opportunity to reassess their lives and attitudes and discover new and surprising strengths within themselves and those around them.

As either a "dip-into" book to help give a sense of meaning--or simply a different perspective--to personal conditions, or as a serious study of the effect of illness on the soul, The Soul of Medicine is a truly fascinating and inspirational book which encourages understanding and acceptance in those facing the ultimate fear. --Susan Harrison

Synopsis:

An anthology of writings chosen from a range of sources: from the "Epic of Gilgamesh" through Robert Louis Stevenson to Auden, Laurie Lee and Thomas Largwhiskers, Navaho medicine man. Illness is an experience that everyone shares at some time, and the compiler intends his selection to be a source of comfort and inspiration for both patients and healers. It includes writings on specific illnesses, on mental and emotional troubles, on pain, on the role of the doctor/carer, and on the insights that the experience of illness can bring.

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