July Book Review Competition Runner Up

*Here is the Runner up  for July in our monthly book review competition. 

The July theme was DISCOVER and Samantha wrote this piece about several books she has read read on that theme and which she has titled :


If we want the world to change, for humans to stop killing each other and children to be ‘good’, the latest findings of neuroscience show why we are not achieving that ideal. Their discoveries emphasise the enormous importance of early childhood and how ignorance of this can disadvantage a child for life and shape the world’s future. Psychiatrist Dr Thomas Verny says,”Findings in the peer-reviewed literature over decades establish, beyond any doubt, that parents have an overwhelming influence on the mental and physical attributes of the children they raise.”

After all the fuss about the Human Genome, it isn’t our genes after all that determine us, but how our brain is influenced and shaped by the environment we experience from from the date of conception. It is we, over countless generations, who have unconsciously perpetrated the erroneous ideas that babies are unaware blobs, that children should be seen and not heard, that a son is preferable to a daughter and that you can’t change human nature.

There are several very readable books that oppose such stagnant views.

They are ‘Biology of Belief’ by Bruce Lipton, ‘The Brain That Changes Itself’ by Norman Doidge’, ‘The Woman Who Changed Her Brain’ by Barbara Arrow-Smith Young and ‘Spontaneous Evolution’ by Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman. All of them send a refreshing, cleansing wind through out-dated, disabling beliefs that continue to be entertained throughout the world.

In ‘Biology of Belief’ by Bruce Lipton it is written that ‘awake or asleep, the studies show, they (the unborn children) are constantly tuned in to their mother’s every action, thought, and feeling. From the moment of conception, the experience in the womb shapes the brain and lays the groundwork for personality, emotional temperament, and the power of higher thought,’ and that ‘pre-birth life in the womb profoundly influences their long-term health and behaviour.’

Even scarier is the thought that… ‘it makes a difference whether we are conceived in love, haste, or hate and whether a mother wants to be pregnant…’ Fathers, of course come into it too, as ‘what he does profoundly affects the mother, which in turn affects the developing child’.

In Spontaneous Evolution, by Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman, it is claimed that in the first six years of a child’s life ‘their perceptions of the world are directly downloaded into the subconscious without discriminations and without the filters of the analytical self conscious mind. Consequently, our fundamental perceptions about life and our role in it are learned without having the capacity to choose or reject those beliefs.’ In other words, we are programmed!

Even more confronting is the fact that the subconscious mind has been found to be one million times more powerful than the self-conscious mind and that 95 percent of our decisions, actions, emotions and behaviours come from the subconscious mind.

In the remarkable book ‘The Woman Who Changed Her Brain’ by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young we learn how Barbara overcame severe, unrecognised learning disabilities by sheer perseverance despite the dreadful ignorance of the 1950s. As a child she was punished for her inability to understand language, numerals or commands to the point of contemplating suicide. Dr Norman Doidge also writes about this incredible woman and her achievement in ‘The Brain That Changes Itself.”

His book, and Arrowsmith’s, discuss brain plasticity, the fact that the brain can change up to any age, has exploded a lot of stale theories, especially about learning difficulties. These books are world changing and fortunate is the person who reads them.

Anyone can enter the monthly Book Review Competition, there is a nice National Year of Reading prize pack to be won. Read the rules here and put your entry in for next month. The winner has, with their permission, their entry published here on this blog and if they are happy to, we also interview them for our Listeners in the Mist podcast.

Get thinking about September’s theme : Grow.

* Addendum 28/08/12 Apologies to Samantha. I erroneously initially posted that she was the winner of the competition for July. In fact, Samantha was the runner up with her thoughtful piece. You can see the quality of the entries we are getting! We will post the winner as soon as we can confirm they give permission to do so. – HC

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