My book review of 'The Awakened Brain' by Lisa Miller
The Awakened Brain
Lisa Miller has spent many years researching the effects of spirituality on the brain.
From scientific studies, she presents an argument that by nurturing our spirituality we can become more resilient, be less susceptible to depression and substance abuse, and enhance the course of recovery in many other clinical settings.
Her findings are well presented and compelling, and her own personal experience is presented without hyperbole. She tells of how, in being desperate to start a family, she felt that elements of her life, the people she was meeting and the conversations she was hearing, all supported and reached into her particular heightened emotions. This is the awakened brain she refers to.
We all have a need and an ability to be spiritual, she says, and just as doctors are able to show activity of the brain during periods of depression, she was able to show scans which highlight the brain's activity spiritually.
It's an intriguing book which gives plenty to ponder. I felt nervous at times that the author was pursuing a 'new age' route, but was repeatedly reminded of her own battle to be taken seriously throughout her studies. The positive benefits of spirituality were seen as less legitimate than the findings in studies of depression, it seemed.