The Healing Path

by Marc Ian Barasch

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Praise for Barasch's previous book THE HEALING PATH: (Penguin, 1995)

THOMAS MOORE (author of Care of the Soul and Soul Mates):

"Illness remains one of our few windows to mystery and eternity. Marc Ian Barasch's captivating book looks through that window and finds a world of hinting dreams, necessary questions, and trickster solutions. For its honesty, style, and wise wariness about cures, it's a book that could help all of us deal with both bodily illness and the soul sickness of our lives. "


"Here is the strongest case yet for a spiritual understanding of health and illness. The Healing Path is sympathetic to the bodymind viewpoint, but not willing to settle for wishful thinking. The result is a more expansive view of the territory, and a clearer and more useful reckoning of its features, than I've seen anywhere.


"Without fanfare or jargon, proposing neither a blind faith in technological medicine nor an unwitting escape into mystical or unorthodox approaches, Barasch asks the reader to explore the inner journey. All this is done with exceptional sensitivity, well-developed case histories, and a poetic and easily readable style. A remarkable book."

LARRY DOSSEY, M.D. (author of Healing Words):

"If you read one book about the mind-body connection, make it this one. Both high drama and fine literature, The Healing Path is a work that affirms all of life. Amid all the current hype, it is a beacon of science, spirituality, and sanity.A magnificent contribution! "

JOAN BORYSENKO, Ph.D. (Author, Minding the Body, Mending the Mind):

"Sometimes I can barely suppress a groan reading yet another book on healing, but I devoured The Healing Path in a single afternoon. I have rarely felt so riveted. The book itself is a kind of healing. Marc Barasch is a uniquely talented writer whose words and images conjure up long-forgotten memories and inner stirrings of wholeness. It is scholarly and wise, poignant and funny. Best of all, it rings of the authenticity that is the very hallmark of healing. This book is going to become a classic in the burgeoning field of bodymind medicine."


"While much has been written about the notion of the "bodymind," the idea itself has entered our culture without much of a map to help one negotiate the way through what largely remains terra incognita. The Healing Path is that map."


"In this elegant memoir, which mixes the author's own reflections with those of forty others stricken with serious disease(including poet Deena Metzger, psychiatrist Oliver Sacks, and Buddhist anthropologist Joan Halifax) as well as with the wisdom of mythology, theology, psychology, anthropology and medicine, Barasch retraces the steps of "soul-retrieval." The Healing Path is relevant not only to its obvious readership of those suffering from an illness, but to all of us. For the way of healing discerned here---the way marked by acceptance, even joyous affirmation, of all that exists, be it good, evil, ill or healthy---is akin to the way discerned by the Buddha and all great teachers before and since. Barasch writes about "a higher form of fidelity---an obedience to awareness" that will be inspired in all who read this brave, insightful, and powerful book. "

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES IN HEALTH AND MEDICINE (Reviewed by Jeffrey S. Levin, Dept. of Family and Community Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA):

"The Healing Path is the most engrossing, challenging, and empowering book on this topic I have ever read. Barasch's honest, literate portrayal of his personal journal and the healing journeys of others, combined with his thorough citation of biomedical references make this a unique contribution to the medical literature on healing and an important addition to the libraries of scientists, physicians, nurses, and other health professionals."

RACHAEL NAOMI REMEN, M.D. (Medical director/co-founder, Commonweal Cancer Help Program; Assistant clinical professor of Family and Community Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine, author, Kitchen Table Wisdom.) From Advances: The Journal of Mind-Body Health:

"This book is an example of what can happen with a sensitive, thoughtful, and articulate writer and editor encounters the challenge to seek and find healing. The Healing Path is a dense and rich tapestry of investigational reporting, scientific evidence, personal experience, and literary scholarship. One envies the sure hand with which Barasch weaves together ancient and contemporary healing wisdom. He does not offer a simple answer of universal formula, but presents the complexity of genuine experience. Even after a lifetime in the field, many facts offered in the book were new to me. Barasch uncovers some of the foundational principles of the healing process and shows them to us in myth, in ritual, in literature, in poetry and dreams, in anthropology, in medicine, and in the lives of our neighbors and ourselves. This book is a masterful, awesome feat; an unnervingly accurate reframing of the nature of wounding and task of becoming whole."

BARBARA H. WARREN, M.D., (Medical Director for Managed Care, University Physicians, Inc., and Assoc. Prof of Clinical Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine):

"The Healing Path addresses a side and sense of patient care needs that one would be hard pressed to find in the bills in our legislature, the claims of the managed care industry, or the halls of medical science. Marc Barasch has created a compendium of literature and experience, revealing the roles of mind and spirit in serious disease.His style is reminiscent of the lost art of rich description of disease found in the nineteenth century, which used keen observational skills we sadly have all too often lost. We need to heed this book as a clarion call to physicians to try to better understand and address the emotional needs and forces of illness."


"In an age of clinical specialists and alternative hucksters, a cancer survivor has explored---in refreshingly humanistic, non-medical guise---the full range of issues that confound, confront, and encourage cancer survivors. Like a kind of Hermes, Marc Ian Barasch guides the reader through the abundant and textured terrain of the soul and its healing, opening a world alive with possibility. He respectfully relates each story to his 'own, still dark interior." His history is thereby rescued from the prison of self-absorption, and becomes a kind of communal deposit, which he mines gently but thoroughly, opening its luminous depths. Reading The Healing Path is itself a healing act, melding one's own journey to his compassionate guide for the oncologically perplexed. "

C.K. (patient, Amherst, MA):

"I have just finished reading your book for the second time. When I read it the first time, I closed the cover, held it close to me, and cried---for all of us who have experienced the illumination that illness brings, and the pain, terror and isolation--for our connection and our separateness. I have read virtually every book related to healing since I became ill almost 14 years ago. In my opinion, you have written the best one of them all. Not only is it beautifully and lyrically written, and the topics so significant, but your soul permeates the book. Thank you for taking the risk."

N.H. (patient):

"Last April your book was given to me as a gift. From its very first pages, I was held captive by your words. Their authenticity was all the more remarkable because they told of my journey after-the-fact. There, in the pages, was a revelation to me about the magnitude of my experience in language I could grasp. I had to reread the entire book, for I was---and am---astonished and grateful. No one else could have given me the coordinates to my own map of this strange, new place."



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