“We now have scientific proof that the mind can heal the body,” the chapter begins and in the tilt of my head, the downward cast of my eyebrows, and subtle shifting of my posture my skepticism makes itself known. All sorts of questions come to my mind alongside the more far fetched images associated with “mind of matter.”
Yet the integration between the mind and body which forms the basis of Relaxation Revolution should not provoke so immediate and severe a response. Integral to the Christian perspective on the human person is our mixed composition of body and soul. Both are present, essential, and intertwined in ways we can’t easily sort out. So these authors (and doctors) help me see a blind spot in which I embrace a view of human persons that is poorer and simpler than that of the bible.
Rewind a dozen years and I distinctly remember a college class on Reformation era history. The professor asked the class what we thought made up reality. This was an exercise to help us identify the points of connection and dissonance between our world and the 16th century. There were a few Christians in the classroom that I recognized and one of them raised his hand, “I believe that angels and demons are part of our reality.” Though in theory I agreed with him a condescending grin would not leave my face. “Are you serious,” my mind silently asked and again I saw how I believed less than I thought.
In these situations and others God humorously opens my eyes and helps conform me to his truth. Maybe this is happening as you think about the reality of the supernatural breaking into an undergraduate history class.