By Gil Hedley, Ph.D., Louisville, CO, 1999 (rev.'00, '01, '05, '07, '09): This handbook is dedicated to the donors, with whose gifts I work in awe, wonder, and gratitude.
Orientation to Place
A Few Words about Donors and their Gifts
Orientation to Class
Meeting Each Other
Acknowledgement of the Donor Gifts/Setting the Intent
Getting Acquainted with the Cadavers
Day One Projects
Safe Use and Disposal of Sharps (Scalpels)
Dissection Technique and the Dissection Progression
Group Review and Commentary
On the Interim Time
Other Cool Books
Spirituality and Personal Growth
Top of page
Welcome to the fascinating inner journey of human dissection. I acknowledge your efforts of planning, preparation and "opportunity cost" which make your participation in this class possible, as well as your courage in approaching terra incognita, unknown territory. In the following pages, I offer some reflections and practical considerations in the form of a brief text. My intent is for this to be a user-friendly workshop handbook. I offer it to you as an opportunity to reflect upon and support our mutual inquiry into the wonders of human form. Many of you may want to look through all of these pages before the class. The events which lead you to this experience form a continuum, and this text can bring you more deeply into the workshop experience before you arrive to it physically. I have no expectation that you will remember or know all of what is included here in advance. That's why I wrote it down for us. Some of you may choose, due to time constraints or personal preference, to wait until the class itself to review these pages. At the very least, I ask you to read the WELCOME and DAY ONE sections in advance of the first morning. They are essential for tuning the group to a shared "wavelength." Whether you opt to read the remainder "before" or "during," please include this handbook in your experience as both a record and an opportunity to engage fully in the intent and process of the class. I have come to rely on it as a reference myself, directing students to it when necessary. It is a helpful tool. We come together as "somanauts" ready and willing to explore and navigate the land and seas of our human body. As awed by the marvel of creation as any astronaut over-viewing the heavenly body of our planet from outer space, we choose to inter-view the inner space of our own heavenly bodies whereby we move and live and feel our world of physical form. Top of page
Orientation to Place:
For most of you who are taking this class, your arrival at a dissection workshop is a new and much anticipated experience. The lab is a strange place, an unknown in your mind, and you have filled in the blanks with your own imaginings. It will soon become a familiar place, though still strange! If you would be willing to recognize and acknowledge your fears surrounding this place and what you imagine about it, you will come that much more readily past both timidity and bravado to the true courage that lies within you. Know your fears about this place and what awaits you here, and acknowledge your courage for coming to it anyway! Take the time to orient to your surroundings. Find out where the bathrooms are, the cafeteria, water, what floor of the building you are on, how to access nature and so on, so that you have the resources to take care of yourself as your needs arise. We who lead this course expect and respect your adult capacity to respond to the calls of nature and the need for periodic refreshment and encourage you to heed them as desire or necessity arises. We will additionally break for lunch as a group. In many ways this experience will seem to be happening in a dreamland and dreamtime far removed from your normal states of consciousness, notions of reality and familiarity of place. Nonetheless, you are actually required to walk between the worlds, navigating both worlds simultaneously. Make friends fast and stick close together: somanautical proprioception often depends upon gently bouncing off of one another to figure out which way is up/out/in/down! Top of page
A Few Words about Donors and their Gifts:
For my part, I am deeply grateful to those individuals who saw fit to donate their bodies for others to study and learn from them. Their remarkable act of generosity makes possible our exploration at this level, and I consider myself very blessed to be on the receiving end of these gifts. I encourage you to reflect as well upon your own status as recipient of these awesome gifts, and to find within yourself a place of gratitude as well. Now, one thing about gifts is that they are given to be opened. Our appreciation for the gift is signified in many ways, not least of which is our readiness to look inside with wonder and excitement and curiosity, having become present ourselves. You must be present to receive a gift! There's an odd turn of the tables! When you actively make yourself present, you will find yourself surrounded by gifts. Spend the entire week unwrapping your present. Every day is your birthday!
This week you also make a gift to the donors and their families. Our work together is a kind of intervention in someone else's process of letting go of their body or their accustomed relationship with a family member or friend. We are in fact stepping into the path of someone else's loss. The donor's have left not only their body behind, but often family and friends as well. The loss to the living may have been a grievous one, or a relief, or a joyful transition. We don't know. The body has been embalmed and "cured," usually for six months to a year. Now we will do our work, after which the remains will be cremated and returned to the family, interred on university grounds, or sometimes scattered in the ocean. We charge each group with whom we work with the following responsibility: let your personal engagement with this experience be a positive offering to those who will receive the cremated remains, whether family, friend, earth, wind or sea. When those ashes show up on someone's doorstep one day in the future, or when they are returned to the elements, they will have been infused with your own appreciation. In this the giver will be gifted as well. I believe this, and I hold the intent to extend the giving back from whence it came. I invite you to do the same.
Having said all of this, I hope I have conveyed our insistent concern that we take excellent care of the cadavers. I am by no means counseling timidity, however. Dissection is a very practical matter in itself, frankly requiring the talents of both the butcher and the artist. When I say "take excellent care," I maintain space for both skill sets in the process. I must be the butcher to cut with a knife or manually differentiate the tissues, to divide bone, to clear the layers, and to handle the cadaver's bulk. I must be the artist to recognize and highlight delicate structures hidden in more amorphous ones, to finesse apart adhesions while preserving component elements, to reveal the beauty in the rock. I must feel into my own depths to look upon and feel the depths of another. Please also remember: there are Zen butchers and apprentices, master sculptors and novices. The medium of preserved tissue is new for most of you. Where one person may feel herself to be considerate and careful and enthusiastic, another perceives brutality or incompetence, and so on. Forget your judgments of self and other, be true to yourself, and make room for a multitude of perspectives, skill levels and comfort zones, while you track your own. Juggle many balls. You can! Top of page
Anatomy literally means to cut up with a knife. Anatomy is furthermore an act of abstraction. Abstraction means to draw away from. So anatomy is a study based upon cutting up a body with a knife and drawing things away from the original whole. Those drawings in the anatomy texts that we have come to love and admire are abstractions to the point of idealizations. They represent an artist's ideas as much as any "reality" that might be attributed to any particular human form. Cadavers themselves demonstrate a high degree of abstraction from the living form of a person, and from the person who expressed the form. Life as we are accustomed to it has been drawn away, with all of its movement and heat. Inner chemistry and textures, colors and odors have been transformed by the process of embalming. That process creates what is in fact a replica or model of the body of the donor on the day they shed themselves of it, much as a conch steps out of small quarters for more spacious ones. The model's precision derives from its elemental origins in that body's very substance: it's basically the same stuff, but preserved in a way that the living flesh, ever moving, never was. The conclusions that one arrives at about "reality" or "that person" when deduced from the study of a cadaver are based on an abstraction, so to that degree at least, they are unreliable.
We will, however, certainly reveal ourselves to ourselves as we study anatomy. Our perceptions and conclusions, what attracts and repels us, our feelings of compassion, love, beauty and horror-these are the projections of ourselves which we will be throwing out upon the screen of the cadavers and each other. The lens through which you focus the aperture of your perception is your own body, your own joy, your own sorrow, and your own sensitivities. Once again, track yourself to the extent that you are able, and take responsibility for your own reactions.
Having said that anatomy is an act of abstraction, and that our ideas about the given reality of the human form are as much the revelation as the form itself, I make the following invitation. When you dissect, do so aware of both your intent and your idea. Although you may think you are revealing what is there, the "what is there" which you reveal is very much dependent upon the intent and ideas which you carry to the table. You may have the idea that the human body is full of tubes, and it may be your intent to see and feel and differentiate those tubes. Go for it! The project is both exciting and revelatory. However, do so while acknowledging that those tubes you create are carved out of whole cloth, apart from which context they have never existed until the very moment you applied your knife/scissor/hand/ hemostat/belief in tubes. You have created something new! Another who is in search of planes of fascia will intend rather to strip depth from breadth and so demonstrate the idea of two-dimensional sheets. Cool! Just know that this is as much or more a product of the idea and intent you brought to the table as it is "a part of the cadaver."
A word of caution: when you find you cannot determine what idea and intent is shaping your actions, step away from the table or at least put down your tool of choice. You are probably pooped out and about to make a mess! Give yourself some space, check a book, make a friend, help someone else, watch, get a drink, take a stroll.... While we are on the subject of anatomy, I would like also to distinguish "gross anatomy" from the study of human "ultrastructures," or microanatomy. Gross anatomy undertakes to study relatively large, that is to say, visible, structures. We are studying gross anatomical structure and function. That means we are blowing past the universes which microscopes would reveal to us. If we were carrying the intent to study tissue ultrastructures, we'd need a different set of tools, another text, and lots more time! The curriculum of medical students does in fact usually include gross anatomy and histology (tissue studies) during the same semester. Makes sense to me! Top of page
Introspection is the act of looking inside. An anatomy workshop therefore is largely an introspective endeavor. The tools of introspection include the visual sense, the kinaesthetic sense (our sense of movement), the aesthetic sense (our feeling powers, both touch and emotion), in addition to our intellectual skills (or baggage). We proceed by looking inside. What we dissect are relationships: skin to superficial fascia, superficial to deep, tendon to wrap of bone, heart to lung. Our bodies are nests and networks of relationships, some which can be worked through easily and without struggle. Others require our utmost commitment and attention for a deep understanding to develop. Life's like that! I believe that a deep understanding of anatomical relationships arises when the explorer is ready and committed to look inside at many levels, to feel at many levels, and to listen at many levels. The relationships which provide the context of the class are fertile ground for enriching the study of our human form. I invite you to enjoy the support which those relationships provide. Nobody is in this class alone! Your internal relationships, connections with classmates new and old, your cadaver and the other cadavers in the room, the instructors, and goodness knows who else, form an external web of meaning which can bring your understanding of anatomical relationships to depths and heights unimagined! Included among the pages of this handbook are blank sheets, which I intend to be a convenience for your own reflections or drawings as the class proceeds. Use them as you please, and clip in more blank pages as you see fit.
Frankly, there are so many practical concerns that I won't even pretend to cover them all here. Also, concerns differ from city to city, so I will confine these considerations to the most general. * Rest when you need it: This class is tiring. The work also will put you into sensory overload at times. Take breaks on your own recognizance.
We will break for lunch as a group, for about an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half, as circumstances require.
Clean vs. Grease Copies of Texts:
A "clean table" is set up at each class where you may share information, favorite books and references, etc. Remove your gloves before approaching that table. "Grease copies" are texts that may be used in proximity to the dissection tables. We bring them to class and take them home, so even though they are not "clean," please don't go out of your way to muck them up, thank you! If you bring a clean copy of your favorite textbook anywhere near a dissection table, you can pretty much expect it to get a little mucked up, if only accidentally. Do so at your own risk. Top of page
Take long views:
You may find yourself so engrossed in some detail which has captivated you for a long time that you've lost the forest for the tree. If you realize it, take a few minutes to expand your horizons and see what your classmates are curious about and accomplishing all around you. Go be a fly on the wall at the next table over for a bit. This will enhance your experience.
Help each other:
We work as a group, with teams, and with partners. The classes we gather tend to be amazing groups of people, which is part of what makes our job such a wonderful one. We get to hang out with y'all! Find support in one another. We are dreaming together, and things change and move at a furious pace. We all need each other's help to find our way. Our knowledge compiled is a great resource as well. Share what you learn, and ask lots of questions. If you have come to dissect alone, you have come to the wrong class! Top of page
Most of us find some security in what we know, and cling to it like a life preserver. I invite you to dare to not know so much this week, so that you can make room for the cadavers and nature to teach you a thing or two about the human form! I am constantly amazed by the unique and surprising expressions of the human spirit I encounter when I am open to what I don't know. Cadavers are full of surprises!
I am glad you have chosen to enroll and to experience this course. Welcome! Top of page
Here is some information on a few books which I find helpful or interesting or exciting. I am hard pressed to claim an original idea, although I occasionally manage to get previous thinkers' "original ideas" together on the same page in a provocative way :-) After a while it's hard to say who thought up what first. I credit the books below and many more not mentioned for helping to shape my point of view, or inform my basic knowledge, and for that I am much obliged.
Barral, Jean-Pierre, and Mercier, Pierre, Visceral Manipulation, Eastland Press, Seattle, 1988.
This is the first of four on the subject by the same authors.
While not anatomy books per se, I have learned a great deal of anatomy pertaining to the organs through the study of this and the subsequent volumes. These guys have an interesting take on things, and are very serious about demonstrating the efficacy of their work.
Visceral Manipulation II.
Clemente, Carmine D., Anatomy: A Regional Atlas of the Human Body, 3rd Ed., Urban & Schwarzenberg, Baltimore-Munich, 1987. I love Clemente's classy drawings. Netter's atlas may be more practical-- I have many of Netter's text's, but I also enjoy the aesthetic which Clemente brings to anatomical art.
Cohen, Bonnie Bainbridge, Sensing, Feeling, and Action: The Experiential Anatomy of Body-Mind Centering, Contact Editions, Northampton, MA, 1993 (the collected articles from Contact Quarterly dance journal, 1980-1992). This is a fascinating collection of insights from a woman who has done her homework both technically and experientially. Bonnie is a somanaut in the original sense of the word.
Dowd, Irene, Taking Root to Fly: Seven Articles on Functional Anatomy, Contact Collaborations, 1981 (Contact Quarterly, a magazine for the contact improvisation dance community). I appreciate Dowd's insights and love her line drawings. Top of page
Gray, Henry, Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical, (The Classic Collector's Edition), Gramercy Books, New York, 1977, first ed., 1856!). I bought this because it was on sale, and it has become perhaps my most basic resource for nuts and bolts detail of the bottomless variety. If you are into words, here are over a thousand pages of them!
Grey, Alex, Sacred Mirrors: The Visionary Art of Alex Grey, Inner Traditions International, Rochester, Vermont, 1990. This guy sees "outside the box." If you have'nt at least flipped through this amazing set of images at a bookstore, and believe there is more to anatomy than first meets the eye, check this book out.
Gorman, David, The Body Moveable: Blueprints fo the Human Musculoskeletal System: Its Structure, Mechanics, Locomotor and Postural Functions, Ampersand Press, Guelph, Ontario, 1981. (tel. 519-836-7204) This is a stunning hunk of completely hand drawn text, loaded with pictures and commentary of the most precise kind.
Hoppenfeld, Stanley, Physical Examination of the Spine and Extremities, Appleton & Lange, Norwalk, CT, 1976. This book is a great palpation guide, putting the words of anatomy into action in the most practical way.
Juhan, Deane, Job's Body: A Handbook for Bodywork, Station Hill Press, Barrytown, New York, 1987. I have pretty much destroyed my copy of this book from reading it so many times. I hope to write a book this good myself soon. Beyond information, Juhan conveys excitement and wonder about anatomy and physiology for bodywork so that the information is actually accessible to the reader. A rare feat.
Kapandji, I. A., The Physiology of the Joints, Annotated Diagrams of the Mechanics of the Human Joints, Churchill Livingstone, New York, 1982, (in three volumes: Upper Limb; Lower Limb; The Trunk and Vertebral Column). If you REALLY want a LOT of detailed information regarding joints, this is where you should go.
Netter, Frank H., The CIBA Collection of Medical Illustrations, CIBA Pharmaceutical Company, 1959 ff. There are many volumes of this series of which I own several. They are good texts for grasping detailed anatomical knowledge with plenty of descriptive information as well as insight into medical views of pathology. Netter was one seriously prolific artist. Top of page
Olsen, Andrea, with McHose, Caryn, Bodystories: A Guide to Experiential Anatomy, Station Hill Press, Barrytown, New York, 1991. This is more a workbook than an anatomy text, right up the alley of someone who wants actually to experience their body and not merely read about it.
Rohen, Johannes W., and Yokochi, Chihiro, Color Atlas of Anatomy: A Photographic Study of the Human Body, 2nd Ed., Igaku-Shoin, New York-Tokyo, 1988. The 4th Edition has been out for a while, and it is excellent. When folks ask me to recommend an anatomy book to get ready for my class, this is the one I tell them about. These folks have created a beautiful collection of masterfully photographed and skulpted human forms. After the class, you will appreciate the artistry even more. The text is a series of labeled plates of actual dissections, photographed.
Schultz, Louis R., and Feitis, Rosemary, The Endless Web: Fascial Anatomy and Physical Reality, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA, 1996. These two make a nice contribution envisioning fascial banding as a structural/ functional component hitherto unnoticed. Not too many folks love fascia like these too, and that's why they see more!
Singer, Edward. Fasciae of the Human Body and Their Relations to the Organs They Envelop, with 24 original illustrations by Elizabeth B. Cuzzort. Baltimore, The Williams & Wilkins Company, 1935. I have read this pithy book many times. It is repleat with the kind of detail that satisfies fanatical anatomy hobbists on a topic rarely considered at any length as a whole. A must read for eggheaded fasciae fanatics who want a hundred pages worth of abstract anatomical details with some pictures thrown in. The information is also very useful practically speaking, but the transition from the text to the hand is the challenge posed for the reader who wants to bring this to a practice. Top of page
Tortora, Gerald J., and Anagnostakos, Nicholas P., Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, 6th Ed., HarperCollins, New York, 1990. This is just your basic decent college level A & P textbook. I have returned to it for years for nuts and bolts information from the established perspective. If I knew everything in this book, I would feel like I knew a lot.
Warfel, John H., The Extremities: Muscles and Motor Points, 6th Ed., Lea &
Febiger, Philadelphia and London, 1993. This book and its companion volume together
form a sort of flash-card set with a binding for quick referencing those stubborn facts.
Why try to remember it all when Warfel has written it down for you!
The Head, Neck and Trunk, 6th Ed., same information as above.
Zollinger, Robert M., and Zollinger, Robert M. Jr., Atlas of Surgical Operations, 7th Ed., McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York, 1993. This is an invaluable recent edition to my working resources. A large text with line drawings and text, it describes numerous common surgical procedures. I always wondered about the surgeries donor's had undergone, and this book provides depth of insight into the art of those who cut the living in order to help them. A special "thanks" to the generous students who bought this for me! Top of page
Blechschmidt, Erich, and Gasser, R. F., Biokinetics and Biodynamics of Human Differentiation: Principles and Applications, Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL, 1978. Not an easy read, but a fascinating take on the anatomy and movements of formation in the embryological period of human life.
Blechschmidt, Erich, The Stages of Human Development Before Birth: An Introduction to Human Embryology, W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1961. Translated from the German, this hard to find text known among the osteopathic community as "Blechschmidt's Atlas" is an amazingly beautiful (my humble opinion) series of plates with facing text. This fellow has a vision of early human life which is both unique and profound, based upon extremely detailed observation of embryological structures and movement. If you want to get off the beaten path of current stuff on the medical embryological booksellers shelf, find this book. Good luck!
Cooper, Geoffrey M., The Cell: A Molecular Approach, ASM Press, Washington, D.C., 1997. I read the whole darned thing to teach a class on the cell, and believe me, I had more information than I needed.
Cross, Patricia C., and Mercer, K. Lynne, Cell and Tissue Ultrastructure: A Functional Perspective, W.H. Freeman, New York, 1993. This is a beautiful book of high magnification micrographs of cell structures with facing explanatory texts. I have learned much from studying this book.
Mattman, Lida H., Cell Wall Deficient Forms: Stealth Pathogens, 2nd Ed., CRC Press, Ann Arbor, MI, 1993. I got my copy of this from the author herself, a woman who has spent her career revealing what the establishment microbiology community has steadfastly refused to see: life forms which shed their cell walls, engage in complex life cycles often mistaken for other life forms, and grow them back again. This is an important book, though not an easy one.
Moore, Keith L., and Persaud, T.V.N., The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th Ed., W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1998. This is a basic textbook of embryology along the standard medical science approach. It's what is out there, as opposed to what could be out there (see Blechschmidt above).
Murray, Patrick, et alia, Medical Microbiology, 3rd Ed., Mosby, New York, 1998. For the standard drills of medical microbiology, this covers it. For an alternative view with lots of pictures to back it up, see Mattman above.
Vander, Arthur J., Sherman, James H., and Luciano, Dorothy S., Human Physiology: The Mechanisms of Body Function, 5th Ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1990. I have spent a lot of time with this textbook learning its basic and unabashedly mechanistic perspective on human physiology, and then translating the ample fascinating information which it contains into my own unabashedley life-and-spirit-infused perspective. Their philosophy is what I hope we can move beyond, but we will stand on the shoulders of their science to see past it. How's that for honest!? Top of page
Alexandersson, Olof, Living Water: Victor Schauberger and the Secrets of Natural Energy, Gateway Books, Bath, UK, 1996. An accessible account of the genius forester, naturalist and inventor, this guy had a deep grasp of the nature and movements of water, and we would do well to follow his teachings very closely.
Batmanghelidj, F., Your Bodies Many Cries for Water, 2nd Ed., Global Health Solutions, Inc., Falls Church, VA, 1996. (703-848-2333) If you are not convinced of the simple and essential value of being appropriately hydrated after reading this book, nothing will convince you!
Beaulieu, John, Music and Sound in the Healing Arts: An Energy Approach, Station Hill Press, Barrytown, New York, 1987. This book opens a whole level of access to healing and transformation through the medium of sound.
Becker, Robert O., and Seldon, Gary, The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and
the Foundation of Life, William Morrow, New York, 1985. Seldon puts Becker's
life's work into extremely accessible and fascinating prose, detailing the importance of
bioelectrical phenomena for life and healing.
Cross Currents: The Perils of Electropollution, The Promise of Electromedicine, Putnam, New York, 1990. More depth of understanding our bioelectrical roots. Top of page
Berman, Morris, Coming to Our Senses: Body and Spirit in the Hidden History of the West, Bantam Books, New York, 1990. An historical investigation of changing perceptions of the body and the relationship of heresy to the engagement of the human body in spiritual practice.
Brennan, Barbara Ann, Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing Through the Human
Energy Field, Bantam Books, New York, 1988. This was one of the first books in
the genre of healing arts that I read, so it had a deep impact. As Barbara says, "Don't
ask if it's weird; ask if it works." I like that practicality!
Light Emerging, Brennan's second book, is a bit more mature of a presentation of the key interpretive devices that inform her work in terms of psychodynamics, spirituality, and energy healing.
Coates, Callum, Living Energies: An Exposition of Concepts Related to
Theories of Viktor Schauberger, Gateway Books, Bath, UK, 1996. This book
continues to blow me away, and afford me insights into water, life, conservation and
Collins, J.C., The Matrix of Life: A View of Natural Molecules from the Perspective of Environmental Water, Molecular Presentations, PO Box East Greenbush, New York, 12061, 1991. Collins is thinking outside the box, re-envisioning the import of water and the nature of its structure.
Christy, Martha M., Your Own Perfect Medicine, TriMedica, Inc., Scottsdale, AZ, 85267, 1994. Christy explains the logic and practice of a worldwide, traditional self-healing method ignored in the USA, that being urine therapy.
Dinshah, Darius, Let There Be Light: Practical Manual for Spectro-Chrome Therapy, 2nd Ed., Dinshah Health Society, PO Box 707, Malaga, NJ 08328, 1995. Spectro-Chrome is my "family doctor." I have been using and teaching others to use this simple but EXTREMELY well thought out and effective application of specific frequencies of the visible light spectrum for health for years. Pure, living water, fresh moving air, appropriate food, love of neighbor, self, and Source, and all components of the solar spectrum, combined with following your heart--this is Gil's recipe for health! Top of page
Dinshah P. Ghadiali, Spectro-Chrome Metry Encyclopedia, 3rd Ed., Dinshah Health Society, PO Box 707, Malaga, NJ, 08328, 1992. Known as Col. Dinshah, this is the father of Darius and originator of Spectro- Chrome. While Darius' book is a formulaic and practical approach to the use of the Spectro-Chrome colors, Dinshah's book explains the theory which underlies the practice. Very interesting reading on many different levels.
Eidem, William Kelley, The Man Who Cures Cancer, Be Well Books, 4938 Hamden Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814, 1996. Eidem chronicles the genius of Emanuel Revici, a brilliant scientist and medical practitioner whose unconventional approaches refect his deep understanding of human physiology as yet unheralded.
Hunt, Valerie, Infinite Mind: The Science of Human Vibrations, Malibu Publishing Co., Malibu, CA, 90265, 1995. Valerie Hunt exposes her infinite mind, ranging from hard core cutting-edge science to rampant speculation and downright proselytizing for your personal transformation. Loads of fun!
Jenny, Hans, Cymatics, Vol. 2: Wave Phenomena, Vibrational Effects, Harmonic Oscillations with their Structure, Kinetics and Dynamics, Basilius Press, Basler Druckund Verlagsanstalt. This is a really cool book with incredible photographs of the impact of sound on the movement and morphology of materials. Jenny, the father of Cymatics, reveals the world formed by sound.
Kronberger, Hans, and Lattacher, Siegbert, On the Track of Water's Secret: From Viktor Schauberger to Johann Grander, Uranus, Vienna, 1995. While a bit ardent, these fellows do present Johann Grander to the world, an Austrian naturalist who has picked up the ball on technological applications of insights regarding water and brought it to the turn of the century.
Liberman, Jacob, Light: Medicine of the Future, Bear & Co., Santa Fe, NM, 1991. Liberman employs light for healing, standing on the shoulders of Dinshah (see above), and bringing his own power as a healer to bear on what he himself develops.
Margulis, Linn, and Sagan, Dorothy, Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 1997. This book puts microbes in their place: masters of the universe! An eye opener for the anthropocentrically committed.
Mees, L.F.C., Secrets of the Skeleton: Form in Metamorphosis, Anthroposophic Press, Spring Valley, NY, 1984. A follower of Rudolph Steiner and an M.D., Mees presents fascinating (at least to me) views on human bones, their forms, and the nature of their metamorphosis. This guy has a very cool take on the forms of human bones. Top of page
Montagu, Ashley, Growing Young, 2nd Ed., Bergin & Garvey, New York, 1989. An exposition of the concept of neotony, good science underscoring the biological value of the scriptural injunction to become like a child.
Oschman, James L., The Natural Science of Healing: A Biology of Whole Systems,
NORA, PO Box 5101, Dover, NH, 03821, (603-742-3789). Jim Oschman has spent a good
chunk of his life researching connective tissue, how healing happens, and all sorts of cool
stuff. This manuscript is a whole pile of very interesting information for those wanting to
support their understanding of what they do when they touch at the level of physical
phenomena and causation.
What is "Healing Energy?" The Scientific Basis of Energy Medicine, a collection of offprints of articles by Oschman. This is an absolutely gripping series of five articles which I highly recommend to anyone who wants to sharpen their understanding of how healing phenomena take place in the physical. See contact information above.
Ott, John N., Health and Light: The Effects of Natural and Artificial Light on Man and Other Living Things, Ariel Press, PO Box 1347, Alpharetta, GA, 30201, 1973. Ott is the grand-daddy of time lapse photography, the medium which launched him into a deep exploration of the impact of light on biological systems, ours included. Top of page
Outwater, Alice, Water: A Natural History, BasicBooks, 1996. If you want to know a bit of the key factors in transforming North American waterways over the last half a millenium, check out this extremely readable book.
Pert, Candace, Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel, Scribner, New York, 1997. This book blew me away, and reshaped my way of looking at human physiology (again!) permanently.
Reich, Wilhelm, The Bion Experiments, The Cancer Biopathy, Cosmic Superimposition, Character Analysis, The Function of the Orgasm, Genitality, Listen, Little Man!, and more, courtesy of the Reich Museum Bookstore, (207) 864-3443. He was way ahead of his time, but I feel his time has come.
Schauberger, Victor, The Water Wizard: The Extraordinary Properties of Natural Water, Gateway Books, Bath, UK, 1998. Here translator and Schauberger devotee Callum Coates presents the German naturalist/inventor in his own words. Amazing stuff.
Schwenk, Theodor, Sensitive Chaos: The Creation of Flowing Forms in Water and Air, Rudolph Steiner Press, London, 1996. Another follower of Steiner, Schwenk sees water and air, and consequently the human form, with the kind of eyes with which Mees (see above) sees human bone. The images in this book are truly striking, provocative, and beautiful, and the text fascinating in its speculations. It is a personal favorite which continues to influence me deeply.
Sheldrake, Rupert, The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature, Park Street Press, Rochester, VT, 1995. Further explicating his hypothesis of formative causation, Sheldrake is someone who, like myself, takes the question of "how do things get here shaped in the way they are" very seriously, but, unlike myself, he has written some really good books about it. I'm working on it!
Tompkins, Peter, and Christopher Bird, The Secret Life of Plants, Harper and Row, New York, 1973. If you think it's about time you started respecting and deeply appreciating the vegetable kingdom, read this book.
Wiley, Rudolf A., Biobalance: The Acid/Alkaline Solution to the Food-Mood- Health Puzzle, Life Sciences Press, Tacoma, WA, 1989. While a bit acidic in his presentation, Wiley takes Ph seriously, and I feel he's on to something that Revici (see Eidem, above) understood yet more deeply. This is, however, a practical book. Top of page
Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Larry Dossey, Executive Editor, Innovision Communications, 800-899-1712. This journal is a classy product keeping its readers abreast of current research, figures, and politics regarding developments within and without the medical field.
Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Jonathan Collins, Editor-in-Chief, (360-385-6021). While not as slick as Alternative Therapies, it also doesn't pull any punches. There is plenty of hot debates and an endless stream of helpful and interesting health tips from an alternative perspective.
The Journal of Integrative Medicine, Majid Ali, Editor, (212-873-2444). This journal is packed with interesting science, and Ali seems to be a one man whirlwind, but he's got to have a lot of help! Heavy emphasis on standing standard medical approaches on their heads.
Science News: The Weekly Newsmagazine of Science, Julie Ann Miller, Editor, (800-552-4412). I get endlessly updated with breaking scientific developments from establishment sources through this brief weekly.
Spirituality &Health, Stephen Kiesling, Editor, (800-876-8202). This is a nice magazine for those of you who would rather go down that positive road, when faced with the onslaught of "bad news" or impossible physiques at the newstand.
I am not even going to pretend to start going through that stack of books for you! What I do suggest is that if this is a track you want to pursue, go to a good bookstore, find this section, and grab something off of the shelf that you are drawn to, then, happy journey!
I would like to acknowledge Tom McCollough, James Gustafson, Bruce Moran, William Schweiker, Tom Meyers, and Levent Bolukbasi for inspiring my desire to be a good teacher and for modeling that in their own unique ways. I would also like to acknowledge Don Van Vleet and Emily Conrad D'aoud, who's excitement about exploring inner space re-launched my own somanautical journey. There is a whole list of people, past and present, whose efforts in the matter of the search for truth demonstrate the heroism and perseverance sometimes characteristic of the advancement of knowledge in the face of resistance of all sorts. I am truly indebted to those seekers. Top of page