The Intersection of Science and Belief
Welcome to the extension post for Joe Dispenza's Becoming Supernatural! I'm always curious to discuss further the books that create a bit of a stir and Joe's book raised some good questions in the comments on my latest Instagram post. If you weren't following along, I've included the post in its entirety:
“The only way we can change our lives is to change our energy — to change the electromagnetic field we are constantly broadcasting. In other words, to change our state of being, we have to change how we think and how we feel.”
It is upon those words that we embark into the world of Joe Dispenza, arguably one of the most popular speakers/writers out there on the topic of self-actualization/self-help. First, let me say that overall I liked this book. I fall into the camp that believes we do have control over our lives and the energy that we put into the world helps to drive the energy we get back. Napoleon Hill spirited this message his entire life.
Dispenza takes these ideas to the next level and works to bring a lot of science to the page. I say that word cautiously. Not that it isn't science because I did check quite a few of the references; it's more the question as to why these scientific ideas haven't been absolutely flooded with more science.
We are, after all, talking about human potential and the mind. Any researcher in their right mind could make a career on simply building on the science in this book. And yet, it's absent. It's the skeptic in me that always asks why and I think truthfully Dispenza takes a lot of liberties when it comes to applying the science to his ideas.
If this stuff works, why isn't there so much research that we aren't all running around like supernatural humans?
So, the book. I enjoyed it! I want to believe in all of the science and mystery that Dispenza brings up. I'd recommend it to anyone looking to find ways to help themselves; there are some excellent breathing exercises throughout and meditations to really (in my opinion) help. I'm not willing to fall into line though and believe all of the science provided to support the claims. I'll continue to listen to his YouTube videos because his message is ultimately one of good and we can all use a little good in the world.
A book like this is always going to garner some negative attention. We have to put on a clear lens and recognize that Dr. Joe Dispenza is an excellent presenter. He knows how to capture a crowd through his videos, books, and in person. It can therefore be difficult when presented with evidence (specifically in this book) by a doctor, citing research, to question whether it's valid. That was where some of the criticisms arose.
One comment noted the type of language that Joe is apt to use: "Once I start hearing about "broadcasting energy to the universe" I am "tuned out." It is one of the most fascinating things about Joe is that he has pursued all of this higher education and believes wholeheartedly in his ideas of the ability for humans to create the energy needed to draw success and fulfilment to them. He clearly works in a realm that crosses into spirituality using language that we often hear from gurus and religious evangelists.
My comments about the questionable nature of the science presented, in my opinion, are valid for the sole reason that we can't let credentials mask the honesty of the science. Joe provides A LOT of scientific evidence and yet the sources were often weakly presented or not repeated. He notes that he tests a lot of the people that come through his program, but again, it's not something anyone else can test.
I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this, especially if you've read the book. Comment on the IG post or even below if you have some thoughts.
As I mentioned before, I enjoyed this book! I skeptically believe in the ideas of this book. We have an untapped potential that is often overlooked and underutilized. Is Joe being completely honest in the use of all of the science provided? I'm not so sure but that is just my opinion. I question it because I'm surprised at how little subsequent attention has been paid to the studies. In the world of self-development, why wouldn't these studies be beaten to death if there was in fact so much power that people aren't tapping into? A lot of questions that I can't answer but I can be skeptical and honest about in my review.
So a couple of last questions for you. Where do you stand at the intersection of belief and science? If there wasn't a shred of scientific evidence presented in this book, would you still be inclined to believe in the idea of untapped energies within us? Are we able to, through meditation and breathing, tap into quantum energy fields where we are ultimately all connected to endless possibility and the universe?