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Measuring the Immeasurable: The Scientific Case for Spirituality Hardcover – 1 Oct 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Sounds True Inc.,U.S. (1 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591796547
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591796541
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 826,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daniel Goleman, PhD, covers the behavioural and brain sciences for the New York Times and his articles appear throughout the world in syndication. His latest book, Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama, was published in January 2003. He has taught at Harvard (where he received his PhD) and was formerly senior editor at Psychology Today. His previous books include Vital Lies, Simple Truths; The Meditative Mind; and as co-author, The Creative Spirit. He was also a contributor to the business reference work, Business: The Ultimate Resource.

Product Description

Measuring the Immeasurable A growing body of persuasive research has turned many scientific thinkers into believers in the power of spiritual practice. "Measuring the Immeasurable" brings together some of the most prominent and informed authorities on the new frontier where science and spirituality intersect. Full description

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By N. Marik on 21 Mar. 2015
Format: Hardcover
Tami Simon, in her introduction, sets the stage for this landmark compilation, as follows:

“Why is Sounds True publishing this book? Why do we need to measure the benefits of spirituality, if they are so clear to those who seek the truth through direct experience?
…As a society, we value what we can count. Without qualitative proof that a system or practice offers benefits, it’s an uphill battle toward social acceptance….….many people on the spiritual path may draw strength and validation from having their subjective experience confirmed by objective tools of science…..moreover, what if research- the specifically the emerging field of neuroscience – can help spiritual practitioners refine and hone the way we approach traditional contemplative practices?
This book introduces the reader to this new field of scientific inquiry through the writings of forty-three different scientific researchers, journalists, healers and visionaries. Our hope is that it furthers the dialogue in this important new area of inquiry, utilizing the best of our scientific understanding of what matters most- our moment-to-moment connection with each other and the wholeness of life.’’

The following nuggets stand out for me in living up to that intention:

1. Candace Pert’s ‘molecules of emotion’ which impact memory, learning and identity and can be ‘used’ to alter pain thresholds. ‘Change your mind and change your pain’ is a more helpful aphorism than ‘No pain, no gain’.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Coverage of Spirituality and Science 6 Jan. 2010
By John C Aldrin - Published on Amazon.com
This book provides an excellent introduction to a broad range of scientific studies and on-going research efforts exploring spirituality. Science has not yet provided a complete testable model of a `spiritual universe'. However, this book does forge new ground in summarizing scientific evidence on the value of certain practices with spiritual / religious connections: prayer, meditation, compassion, and transformational practices. In addition, it also presents some very thought-provoking studies, for example on 'distant healing' and 'low-energy neurofeedback', that really challenge our conventional understanding of the mind and reality. This book does introduce some concepts in modern science such as quantum entanglement that may provide a scientific basis for `distant healing'. (Now, does 'quantum entanglement' between people in close relationships really occur and is this phenomena equivalent to religious perspectives on `spirit' and 'boundless love' that ties us together under `god'? Clearly, more work is needed.)

What I really appreciated most in the book was that it brought a breadth of insightful authors together in one place. I've been interested in a number of them, and this book provides a concise introduction to many of their works. Not to mention, with the extensive bibliography / notes section, it's a great starting place for further study. For further reading, I also recommend Dean Radin's two books " The Conscious Universe" and "Entangled Minds".

Note, this book does not address topics that typically have more obvious spiritual connotations. For example, out-of-body experiences (OBEs) were not addressed in this book. (For solid works investigating OBEs, the books of Robert Monroe are recommended for starters.)

Lastly, after reading this book and appreciating its depth and quality, I am somewhat surprised this book has not been more widely appreciated. For some reason, books rehashing the long debate on evolution sell better and populate the annual `best of' science book lists. I only wish more people could discover a book like this that really breaks new ground for both individuals who practice the scientific method and people of faith.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
The Immeasurable, Measured... Yep, indeedy. 3 Nov. 2008
By James D. Ferguson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful book. I am only halfway through and I know this. I have even put into practice some of the glowing bits of wisdom which pop up here and there. Covered is a rather wide range of subject matter, most essays are quite approachable and the level of "scientific acumen" generally called on is quite within the scope of most readers, in my opinion. Anyone who feels spiritual and who also appreciates science should get much from even a first reading, and the references are useful for broadening one's reading in the area. In many ways a "must have"... the lens of science gets applied deftly and aptly, but the subject does not die; or get preserved; or get destroyed in the process.Measuring the Immeasurable: The Scientific Case for Spirituality
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A Round Table Discussion of the Last Frontier 14 Dec. 2009
By Matthew J. Schimpf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Make no mistake, the depths of the oceans nor the farthest reaches of the universe, are not and never were the final frontier. The ultimate journey into uncharted territory is a trek into inner space. "Measuring the Immeasurable" is a compendium style work that serves like a round table discussion with a host of today's most prominent internauts (my new word that means: those whom travel inside consciousness.) As I have mentioned in other reviews, I'm not a big fan of collected essay style works, but this is one of the very few that I picked up and couldn't put down. Some chapters dealt heavily with a more narrative focus on the prospects of consciousness, remote healing, intercessional prayer/meditation; while others were laden with more rigorous scientific, neurophysiologic and ancillary statistical data, which in my opinion may leave many lay readers a bit nonplussed.

Not that it matters too much, but I can't help but wonder whom the target audience for this work was supposed to be, in that it seems to suffer from a mild Jekyll and Hyde personality. This book is perhaps too rich in scientific language for the average lay reader and too lean for the advanced scientist, although for me it struck a distinctly happy medium. As I suspect with many books of this ilk, very broad swaths are painted but are not particularly deep, nor are they meant to be. All things being equal - a fine read: 4 stars on the board with a real 3 and ½ from me today.

Editorial comment: I think that consciousness study is a very worthwhile endeavor, but I truly do not understand how measuring the effects of consciousness will help us to comprehend consciousness itself. After all, consciousness is not tangible, one cannot employ the use of EEG's, GSR recorders, compasses, protractors and slide rules and proclaim - "there it is, there is consciousness!" A paradigm shift with respect to scientific observation is in order.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Not All Scientific 27 Jan. 2010
By Howard J. Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The book addresses the ideas of a "spiritual" subculture and it uses data developed in relatively small samples to make, in some cases, arguments that are hard to accept. The "inner universe" of the human brain is indeed mysterious, and our very existence, by definition, resides only therein. Thus, for the most part, the conclusions require a measure of acceptance/faith not entirely supported by objective reasoning. On the other hand, the book offers opportunities for self improvement if some of the ideas are used wisely. In a nutshell, it's not voodoo, nor is it rocket science.
A must read 4 July 2010
By Vasco Gaspar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A trully valuable book that brings together the science and the spirituality in a serious way. If you want to put foundations under your "spiritual castles", this may be the book to do it.
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