Healing practices as diverse as homeopathy, chiropractic, and therapeutic touch draw their inspiration and effectiveness from an unseen world beyond the physical senses. Our view of that world is the legacy of two key thinkers: Emanuel Swedenborg and Franz Anton Mesmer.
The starting point is the competing worldviews of Swedenborg, a mystic whose deep faith in God and visions of the afterlife have moved generations, and Mesmer, whose magnetic healing system required nothing but the forces of nature. Both were convinced that good health depended on properly managing one’s internal energies, whether that meant a life of biblical virtue or simply achieving balance with the universe. This book traces the influence of these two men through the nineteenth century as their ideas were embraced by utopians, psychic healers, spiritualists, mind-cure advocates, homeopaths, and ultimately by the inheritors of those traditions–modern practitioners of alternative and complementary healing.
Swedenborg, Mesmer, and the Mind/Body Connection illuminates a pivotal time in American history, when pioneers explored not only the boundaries of their growing nation, but the limits—and the intersection—of mind and spirit.