Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing

Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing


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Building on wisdom from Hindu, Christian, and Kaballah traditions, this comprehensive guide to energy healing reveals the hidden stresses, beliefs, and attitudes that cause illness. 

Anatomy of the Spirit is the boldest presentation of energy medicine to date, written by one of its premier practitioners, internationally acclaimed medical intuitive Caroline Myss, who is amongst the "hottest new voices in the alternative health/spirituality scene" (Publishers Weekly). Based on fifteen years of research into energy medicine, Dr. Myss's work shows how every illness corresponds to a pattern of emotional and psychological stresses, beliefs, and attitudes that have influenced corresponding areas of the human body.

Anatomy of the Spirit also presents Dr. Myss's breakthrough model of the body's seven centers of spiritual and physical power, in which she synthesizes the ancient wisdom of three spiritual traditions-the Hindu chakras, the Christian sacraments, and the Kabbalah's Tree of Life-to demonstrate the seven stages through which everyone must pass in the search for higher consciousness and spiritual maturity. With this model, Dr. Myss shows how you can develop your own latent powers of intuition as you simultaneously cultivate your personal power and spiritual growth.

By teaching you to see your body and spirit in a new way, Anatomy of the Spirit provides you with the tools for spiritual maturity and physical wholeness that will change your life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780609800140
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 09/06/1997
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 25,616
Product dimensions: 6.06(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

Caroline Myss, Ph.D., is an internationally sought-after speaker on spirituality and personal power. She is widely recognized for her work in teaching intuitive diagnosis and is a pioneer in the field of energy medicine. She lives in Chicago.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Energy Medicine and Intuition
I disappoint some people when I discuss intuition because I firmly believe that intuitive or symbolic sight is not a gift but a skill based in self-esteem. Developing this skill and a healthy sense of self becomes easier when you can think in the words, concepts, and principles of energy medicine. So as you read this chapter, think of learning to use intuition as learning to interpret the language of energy.

The Human Energy Field
Everything that is alive pulsates with energy and all of this energy contains information. While it is not surprising that practitioners of alternative or complementary medicine accept this concept, even some quantum physicists acknowledge the existence of an electromagnetic field generated by the body’s biological processes. Scientists accept that the human body generates electricity because living tissue generates energy.

Your physical body is surrounded by an energy field that extends as far out as your outstretched arms and the full length of your body. It is both an information center and a highly sensitive perceptual system. We are constantly in communication with everything around us through this system, which is a kind of conscious electricity that transmits and receives messages to and from other peoples’ bodies. These messages from and within the energy field are what intuitives perceive.

Practitioners of energy medicine believe that the human energy field contains and reflects each individuals energy. It surrounds us and carries with us the emotional energy created by our internal and external experiences both positive and negative. This emotional force influences the physical tissue within our bodies. In this way your biography that is, the experiences that make up your life becomes your biology.

Experiences that carry emotional energy in our energy systems include: past and present relationships, both personal and professional; profound or traumatic experiences and memories; and belief patterns and attitudes, including all spiritual and superstitious beliefs. The emotions from these experiences become encoded in our biological systems and contribute to the formation of our cell tissue, which then generates a quality of energy that reflects those emotions. These energy impressions form an energy language, which carries literal and symbolic information that a medical intuitive can read. 

Here is an example of the kind of message the energy field may communicate. Let’s say you had some trouble with math when you were in elementary school. Knowing the fact that twelve makes a dozen would not ordinarily carry an emotional charge such as would alter the health of cell tissues. On the other hand, if you were humiliated by the teacher because you didn’t know that fact, the experience would carry an emotional charge that would create cellular damage, especially if you were to dwell on that memory through adulthood or use it as a touchstone for determining how to deal with criticism, or authority figures, or education, or failure. An intuitive might pick up the literal image of your exchange with the teacher or any other negative symbol linked to that experience. 

Positive images and the energy of positive experiences are also held in the energy field. Think of a time when someone praised you for a job well done, or a kind act, or for some help you gave someone. You feel a positive energy surge of personal power within your body. Positive and negative experiences register a memory in cell tissue as well as in the energy field. As neurobiologist Dr. Candace Pert has proven, neuropeptides the chemicals triggered by emotions are thoughts converted into matter. Our emotions reside physically in our bodies and interact with our cells and tissues. In fact, Dr. Pert can no longer separate the mind from the body, she says, because the same kinds of cells that manufacture and receive emotional chemistry in the brain are present throughout the body. Sometimes the body responds emotionally and manufactures emotional chemicals even before the brain has registered a problem. Remember, for instance, how quickly your body reacts to a loud noise before you’ve had time to think.

As Dr. Pert said on Bill Moyers’s Healing and the Mind, Clearly, there’s another form of energy that we have not yet understood. For example, there’s a form of energy that appears to leave the body when the body dies. . . . Your mind is in every cell of your body. Moyers: . . . You’re saying that my emotions are stored in my body? Pert: Absolutely. You didn’t realize that? . . . There are many phenomena that we can’t explain without going into energy.

Reading the Field
In addition to reading specific dramatic childhood experiences, sometimes an intuitive can even pick up on superstitions, personal habits, behavior patterns, moral beliefs, and preferences in music and literature. At other times the energy impressions are more symbolic. For instance, from one patient who was suffering from tightness of breath, I kept receiving the symbolic impression of him being shot in the heart before a firing squad. Obviously this had not literally happened to him, but he had undergone extensive medical tests, which could locate no known physical cause for his condition. After I shared my impression with him, he told me that his wife had betrayed him several times with other men, and being shot through the heart was exactly how he felt about her actions. By admitting these emotions, which he had previously tried to ignore, he was able to address the problems both in his marriage and in his health.

Our emotional energy converts into biological matter through a highly complex process. Just as radio stations operate according to specific energy wavelengths, each organ and system in the body is calibrated to absorb and process specific emotional and psychological energies. That is, each area of the body transmits energy on a specific, detailed frequency, and when we are healthy, all are in tune. An area of the body that is not transmitting at its normal frequency indicates the location of a problem. A change in intensity of the frequency indicates a change in the nature and seriousness of the illness and reveals the stress pattern that has contributed to the development of the illness.

This way of interpreting the body’s energy is sometimes called vibrational medicine. It resembles the most ancient medical practices and beliefs, from Chinese medicine to indigenous shamanic practices to virtually every folk or alternative therapy. The truth is that energy medicine is not new; but I believe my interpretation of it and of how you can use it to heal spiritually in conjunction with contemporary medical treatments is unique. If a person is able to sense intuitively that he or she is losing energy because of a stressful situation and then acts to correct that loss of energy then the likelihood of that stress developing into a physical crisis is reduced, if not eliminated completely.

While I can parse the language of energy for you so that you can begin to see and feel the human energy field, begin to understand its corresponding spiritual anatomy, begin to know the sources of your personal power, and begin to develop your own intuition, I have some trouble explaining exactly how I personally acquire energy information. Other intuitives appear to have the same difficulty, but we all pick up on information that has the strongest impulse the most intensity. These impulses usually relate directly to the part of the body that is becoming weakened or diseased. As a rule, a person’s energy system transmits only the information that is essential to bring the conscious mind to an awareness of the imbalance or disease. Like the shot in the heart image, symbolic information can sometimes be disturbing. But this intensity is necessary in order that the bodys message can break through the habitual mental or emotional patterns that caused the disease to form in the first place. Medical intuitions cooperate with the bodys intention to promote its own health and life; that is, our energy will always seek health, in spite of what we may do to ourselves physically. If, for example, we tell a lie, our energy field will often communicate to the other person the energy fact that we are not telling the truth. Energy does not and cannot lie.

Stay with Your First Impression
When you receive an intuitive impression about yourself or the person you are reading, pay attention to whatever image comes up. Most people are looking for safe intuitions, not healthy ones, and safe insights, not healthy insights, because they usually want a safe passage into the future, into the unknown. So you may be tempted to dismiss a disturbing image that you receive, or one that is not congruent with your own desires or those of the person you are reading. Most people who come to me for an evaluation have already intuited themselves that something is wrong, but they are hoping that I will give that feeling some other meaning, such as You’re merely going through a natural body change, but nothing is wrong with you physically.

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Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like many of you, I¿m one of those readers who likes to highlight words or sentences or passages with a yellow marker. So, it makes me chuckle every time I consult my copy of ANATOMY OF THE SPIRIT: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing by Caroline Myss because it often looks as if I highlighted everything! Once, I went back through the book just to convince myself that I had been doing a weak job somehow, that I wasn¿t really present when I read, that I wasn¿t paying attention. But no, that wasn¿t it. The thing is, Caroline Myss is a marvelous writer, let alone a profound medical intuitive and teacher. With her significant help, and for the first time, really, I was able to make sense of the Seven Sacred Truths, or seven Hindu chakras. As she blends them, point by point, with the Kabbalah¿s Tree of Life and the Christian sacraments, I felt repeatedly as if a brilliant, warm and clear light were going off in my head. I was raised a Catholic, and I never understood the sacraments so well! In addition to this magnificent breakthrough model, Myss¿s narratives of individual cases she¿s worked with are inspiring and riveting. Finally, her introduction on becoming a medical intuitive and serving her intuitive apprenticeship is simply remarkable. This book, in short, is jaw-droppingly astounding. It would be impossible for me to praise it to excess, because anything I say cannot quite measure up to Myss¿s poetry in prose. I¿m suggesting everyone I know and meet read and cherish this book! To Caroline Myss, I bow down. Robert McDowell, The Poetry Mentor, author of the forthcoming POETRY AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE (Free Press, July 2008),
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is well-written and gives a fascinating glimpse into one woman's experience with the energy system and what it can mean for us psychologically and physically. However, be careful to take it all with a grain of salt - throughout the book Myss tends to create definitions, formulas, and types, as she does in all her work, that may go beyond her actual experience. People like fitting into a formula, but the formulas found in this book are over-simplistic to the point of being misleading. Pain in the back does not always correlate to a particular chakra being imbalanced, for example. The three systems she addresses are NOT direct parallels of each other, and to 'make them fit' she lessens the innate depth, complexity, and true value of each. Far better to experience one of these systems in detail for yourself than to depend on someone else's interpretation. However, this book does have the strength that runs through all of Myss' work, and that is psychological insight - as a work of psychology, she has valuable ideas that anyone can apply to their lives right now.
Kyra1985 More than 1 year ago
Anatomy of the Spirit marked the dawn of Caroline Myss' notorious career on the New Age healing circuit. Anatomy is a book that relies heavily on anecdotes and testimonials, offering these as "proofs" of Divine healings. Writing in the fashion of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Myss touts a PhD in the field of "Energy Medicine" and boasts a miraculous healing of a man with HIV. There is no proof of either an accredited PhD or any such healing. Like any good New Age woo, Myss combines all the major world religions and throws in some popular, scientific weasel words (ie Anatomy). Her tone, per usual, is self-praising as she claims that her Divine ability to diagnose illness is far superior to the fields of science, medicine, and psychology. While presenting her pseudoscience in the form of chakra work, prayer, and meditation, she manages to remind the audience that even if all this work is done, there is no guarantee of healing. She has an entire story about a woman who was allegedly told by a mystical being that she would end up with an illness and have to live with it for the remainder of her life. It, like in all of Myss' books, reminds the reader that, though she offers a seeming science to the process of healing, it is likely that if you do not receive any benefit, it is because there is some Divine, incomprehensible reason beyond our current understanding. So, remember, you can do all this work in her book (which is quite a lot, I assure you) and still be stuck where you are. Oh yes, and Myss tells us that the aforementioned woman, who would live the remainder of her days in pain, was on hallucinatory drugs when she had her mystical encounter. And this in no way affects Myss' judgment that the experience was real and Divine. This sort of selective storytelling sometimes leads me to believe that Myss is more deluded than a fraud. And yet, fortunately, her current, alleged interactions with St. Theresa of Avila, reassure me of the charlatan that she has always been. If you want to read something written by someone who believes that she is far superior to the rest of humanity-who acts as though she has been chosen by God to heal the world-who creates a pseudoscience based on sorta kinda maybe experiences and anecdotes-then Caroline Myss is your author. She will surely show you all the things wrong with your life, and remind you that you are imperfect, selfish, and stupid. The only value in reading this book is in the fact that it has been a major influence in the world of woo. As always, I remind all readers to enter with caution. Myss is known for encouraging irrational thinking (as she believes that the Divine is irrational). It is likely your brain might fall out in reading such garbage.
ArnaldoGoncalves More than 1 year ago
This is a terrific book. It is deep, very comprehensive and treats many issues we find intuitive and some guidelines for conduct that are treated by different disciplines as luminous. I don't believe really in books of self-help as I don't believe in gurus. No one has found the real truth. Caroline makes a very responsible effort to understand and let us comprehend the illness that we suffer in modern societies. Being Christina she doesn't impose a religious was of interiorization. Looks at the different contributions of several spiritual paths and combine them. I come from the world of Kabbalah as I found this old tradition appealing and giving me the answers of self-understanding and meditation. But I am not a Jew, so some of the appealings seem for a Southern European odd. This book completed the way I perceived the internal voyage within ourselves as something open to everyone: to those who worship a religion, for those who don't (like myself) and for those that have doubts about the sacred and the path to the divine. I read it in Portuguese and by searching other books available from the author I found that she has published others. I recommend this book to anyone not satisfied with what he or she knows about his/her spiritual demands and demanding about what he or she needs to do change his/her life. 
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read many books on spirituality and healing and this is the best. I've given copies to all my family members; I recommend it to my children when they are having difficulty. The book is like a Bible to me; it is a stone upon which I can build my faith. It makes sense.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is good to know that there are human beings like Caroline Myss, who aperantly cares for people, and helps them heal in this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've had a long time where I have been in pain from something resulting from my cerebal palsy (whether it be recovering from one of my many surgeries or having gerneral joint pain almost everyday). It has been hard to get thru the everyday. After finding this book, and she going on the Oprah show a few years ago, I realized that this woman/healer could be onto something. Now, not only do I take good care of my body by exercising and eating better, but I relax and meditate to center myself and see what my body is trying to tell me. Caroline is a heaven-sent, and if it weren't for her, my life would be much more miserable than it is now.
jehara on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
i could rave forever about this book. the author is a medical intuitive (someone who can read someone's energy and determine their illness). she explores seven sacred truths and how each truth is related to a specific chakra, sacrament and tree of life. it was really interesting the way she weaves all of the spiritual information from different traditions to distill universal truths. the case histories were astounding. the first part of the book she gives her history, how she discovered her gift and the journey she has taken from the early days to the present. then each chapter focuses on one chakra. she delves deeply into the energy of each chakra and how it relates to its corresponding sacrament/tree of life and at the end of each chapter are self-examination questions. it was such an enlightening and life-changing book. she says our biography is our biology and we can't separate our spirits from our bodies or from our experiences. every experience, thought, emotion is stored in our energy, in our spirit and can create blocks, which are the source of our illnesses and dis-ease.
Cecilturtle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book has given me great insight on personal growth and the relation between the spirit, the body and energy. It is very easy to read, with concrete examples and lots of questions that allow personal evaluation. It doesn't matter what your faith is, there is something that will speak to everyone
Smellsbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Myss explores and explains the chakras, drawing parallels to the 7 Sacraments. This is an excellent resource for anyone commited to healing themselves. Highly recommended as a read-through and as a continuing resource.
chersbookitlist on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a must read for anyone interested in spirituality, the chakras, energy healing. Catherine Myss is a mystic, a medical intuitive and an entertaining writer. She opens up a fascinating view of the energetic information stored in the different chakras and how we move through various stages of personal growth. I have read this book several times. It's also great to listen to her CD series "Energy Anatomy" which is based on the principles of this book.
donitamblyn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fascinating, well-researched, and elegantly written.
lgaikwad on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book and the audiotapes on the same subject had a lasting effect on my life. I have continued to revisit her works, and always I understand more from her. I am impressed by the truth she finds common to all major faith traditions and our biological and psychological realities.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book as a gift to a sick friend. I first read this book many years ago when it was given to me by my sister. It has been a great resource for me to call attention to the core of some of my own challenges and questions. I have given it away to many other people and end up buying another copy for myself. It is one of those books that you refer back to over and over again. I love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would like to request a nookbook for this title. Thank you.
JanetStephenson More than 1 year ago
I am giving this book a solid 4 stars - in many ways, it has helped me grow and heal, and most importantly recognize exactly where I am and how I got here. I realized that my alignment with my spiritual path and life's purpose began many years ago as she talks about leaving your tribe to seek your soul family. I gained a sense of confidence by recognizing that I had accidentally been taking large steps, I just hadn't given myself any credit for them because I didn't know they were universal steps. Anatomy of the Spirit gave me a sense of camaraderie that there are many souls out there who have come to the same realizations I have, who had dealt with difficult situations, and how it all ties together. Caroline Myss ties in several different religious aspects, which honestly bored me to tears. I don't need a justification or an explanation from a variety of different belief systems in order to validate the truthfulness of her statements - I could feel it within me, and that is good enough for me. I could have done without the extraneous (in my humble opinion) cross-referencing to religion. That being said, many of you will love the way she has carefully studied and presented these seemingly different religions within the framework of our spiritual anatomy. I highly recommend this book as a confidence builder, as a means to identify where you are today, and what areas you could continue working on. Janet Stephenson, author "Young Bodies, Old Souls" (coming soon to Barnes & Noble) www (dot) young-bodies-old-souls (dot) com
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I've love love her very early works, before she became this world famous spiritual teacher. You can sense from her voice, a humble, gentle person who had inspired millions of people including myself! Especially her "Spiritual power & spiritual practice". But ever since last year presidential election, Caroline has changed to this sharp tongue, partisan, opinionated political person who writes articles on and their news paper, criticizing all Republicans parties, candidates or anyone who is not supporting the democrats party because their political views is not the same as hers. I feel that she is not living what she preach! You are an spiritual teacher! You should rise above all these political madness and use your power and inspirational words to bring people together! Especially during this trouble time, instead of clam people's anger & differences on the health care bills that just past, she writes many articles to add the oil into fire to make people more partisan and angry! Caroline, I am so disappointed by the direction you took. I think you were a wonderful spiritual teacher when you just started many years ago, maybe your success and ego has finally got to you! Please bring back the old Caroline Myss we love! Not this political driven, sharp tongue partisan columnist! If you are republican, or not agree with the health care bills that just passed or the direction of our country is heading, go to and type in the search section of Caroline Myss you'll see what I am talking about!
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