Hay House, 2014, pbk, 216pp
Reviewed by Marian Van Eyk McCain
There is a certain quality in Bruce Lipton’s writing that delighted me when I read and reviewed his first book, The Biology of Belief, and caused me to pounce quickly on his second one Spontaneous Evolution and now on this latest one The Honeymoon Effect. I think it is this author’s ability to present his material in such a light, humorous and interesting way that my attention is not even tempted to wander and I find myself effortlessly soaking up new information without even noticing. The key may well be his talent for choosing such exactly right metaphors and images—often quirky and unexpected ones—to illustrate the principles he is describing that they imprint indelibly on the mind. Particularly if, like me, you are a ‘visual’ type. He does it again here, superbly.
From the title—and the cover—you might think at first glance that this is yet another of a million ‘how to’ books about the dynamics of intimate relationships and their potential as a vehicle for personal growth. And in a way you would be right. However, this book has two things that make it different: (a) it is underpinned by science, and (b) it addresses the connection between personal love and planetary healing.
Lipton starts with the drive to bond: There is a fundamental biological imperative that propels you and every organism on this planet to be in a community, to be in relationship with other organisms. Whether you’re thinking about it consciously or not, your biology is pushing you to bond. In fact, the coming together in community (starting with two) is the principle force that drives biological evolution.
He then turns to quantum physics to explain that while we still think we live in a Newtonian world of solid objects and wonder what mysterious forces draw us together—or repel us from each other—in fact the ‘vibes’ are the only thing in the universe that is actually real. The rest is illusion Atoms are made out of vortices of energy. That means molecules, which are made up of atoms, are vortices of energy as well; so cells, which are made up of molecules, are also vortices of energy; and finally, human beings, each of whom is made up of trillions of cells, are…vortices of energy. It is true that we look as if we are physical, but it is an illusion, a trick of the light—we are all energy.
Central to the book is the story—told in Lipton’s endearing, self-deprecating manner —of his own search for a partner with whom he could ‘live happily ever after’ and how he became aware, in the process, of his own ‘stuff’ i.e. the conditioned, self-defeating patterns in his own psychological make-up that emerged, as such patterns inevitably do, whenever he stepped into intimate relationship.
The challenge for any couple, of course, is to take that step in full awareness, to commit to working together on whatever issues come up, to be willing to trust and be vulnerable and be open to change, knowing that it is all part of their personal growth and will almost certainly lead to the deepening of their love.
Many books have been written about this process and how to do it skilfully. Most were written by psychologists and counsellors, many of whom explain, in various simple ways, the origins of our emotional conditioning and how and why it so easily and so often hijacks our rational minds. Lipton, too, addresses this, reminding us that in every couple there are four minds, not two, since each of us brings both a conscious mind and a subconscious one, with the latter driving much of our behaviour. But as a cell biologist he adds several interesting new dimensions to our understanding, such as epigenetics (how the environment influences the DNA of a cell) and how the neurotransmitters between our brain cells influence—and are influenced by—our interactions with each other, particularly in intimate relationships.
Finally he brings in the physics of so-called ‘noble gases’ (helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon) and their role in laser technology, to provide a very appealing metaphor for how the love we can generate between two can be spread to many and how the ‘honeymoon effect’ could potentially become the force that heals our ailing planet. And he ends the book with several pages of resources, a brief ‘Honeymoon Effect Checklist’ and even a list of movies. Overall, though in a way ‘lighter’ than his previous work, this is a sweet, funny, informative, useful and inspiring little book.