A New Series: Begin by Defining “Science” Week One: Healing Words (1995)

By Terry Shea

October 6, 2017

Centre for Spiritual Living White Rock

Posted In: Spiritual Wellness, White Rock


Dr. Larry Dossey was one of the major contributors to the BodyMind conversation that began to heat up with Louise Hay’s arrival on the scene in the 1980’s.

Unlike Louise Hay, who was a minister in a minor religious denomination (a fact she never publicized btw), Dossey had graduated from University of Texas at Austin and received an M.D. from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas (1967). Dossey served as a battalion surgeon in Vietnam, being decorated for valor, and served as Chief of Staff of Medical City Dallas Hospital (1982).

Links between thought, emotion, and our physical health had been established much earlier in eastern cultures, but even our own ailments were attributed to humours, so that some people were described as choleric (angry) and sanguine (cheerfully optimistic). Notwithstanding, Dossey’s first book was denounced by the medical profession as New Age Psychobabble and his critics maintained: “We’d all be better served – Dossey, his patients, his readers, and the general public – if Dossey would take his head out of the clouds, plant his feet on the ground, and stop talking nonsense.”

In 1993, before the publication of his first book, Dossey had appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, in an episode themed on the power of prayer, where he was described as “a physician who advocates for spirituality in health care.”

Our own New Thought movement began with a focus on healing and the power of prayer in the 1830’s with the work of Phineas Quimby who influenced Mary Baker Eddy, the author of “Science and Health” and the founder of Christian Science, the original influence on Ernest Holmes. Centers for Spiritual Living curriculum includes a course I have taught many times entitled BodyMind. Larry Dossey’s work, and in particular, “Healing Words” is the companion book to that course. Dossey went on to write extensively on this subject, and I’d like to present some of his ideas to you in the upcoming weeks. He is still famous, as recently as 2010 co-authoring a post in the Huffington Post where he discussed “The Mythology of Science-Based Medicine” with Deepak Chopra and Rustom Roy.

This will be an exciting series with lots of opportunity for practical application to your daily life, not to mention the presence of our Practitioners to assist you in the prayer Dossey advocates. I hope to see you at our Centre on Wednesday evenings throughout October. And plan to attend the Practitioner Sunday on Prayer and Healing on October 29th.

Questions for Rev Terry? Email him at revt@csl-whiterock.com