Love and Survival was a recommendation of Brad Blanton. In fact I lost count of the number of times he urged his readers to buy it during the reading of Radical Honesty, and I want to go on record and thank Brad, as I have learned so much through the teachings of Dean Ornish. This is one of the most influential books I have ever read.
The book is separated into a ménage a trois of information. The first part of the book is a lot of scientific fact, the centre is a lovely slice of Ornish’s life – and how his sufferings connect with his teachings – and the final part comes directly from the mouths of believers. I was intrigued by the first part, absolutely loved the centre and felt a bit letdown by the ending. Maybe I am just getting too difficult too please as I digest more and more books. I am still waiting for a book to punch my in the guts and leave me winded by the time I have turned the final page. So far it is eluding me.
Dean Ornish is a clinical professor of medicine and his book is about life. Yes, I know life is a vast open space of a word but I feel he pretty much touched every part of mine. He took me to places that I never knew existed, left me with answers that I had been searching for, gave me worry and also hope. Love and Survival is a book that tells a story of how love and intimacy can save your life. The book contains plenty of scientific studies to show how love and intimacy can help improve the situation of people who are suffering from diseases such as heart disease.
The book really made me take stock of my own life, the behaviours of those that I love and the behaviours of myself. I have never truly understood how damaging hostile and anger can be. Yes I feel upset and tired after arguing…but I never dreamed that it could affect my mortality. I never knew that shutting myself off from the world could cause me harm. I never really understood the power of community, love, compassion and social structure. My eyes have also opened a little wider in the context of religion. I never realised that having faith – having a religion can be so healthy for you. For those of you who are religious this may be blindingly obvious, but to me it was a revelation. At least now I have a greater understanding. I can now see how religion has a purpose.
This book was a special one. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone irrespective of your situation or circumstances. Fit, healthy, unhealthy, dying or just plain bored out of your mind; buy this book because it is a little gem.