on December 15, 2002
This book does a great disservice to many people with genuine PHYSICAL illnesses. To say that the probable cause of AIDS is, "Feeling defenseless and hopeless. Nobody cares. A strong belief in not being good enough. Denial of the self. Sexual guilt'" or that the probable cause of Migraines is, "Dislike of being driven. Resisting the flow of life. Sexual fears," is beyond the bounds of good sense. Hay certainly has a right to express her beliefs. What concerns me is that people will see her as an expert because she's a published author, and not seek necessary medical care. I'm all for good, valid complementary therapies. Hay, however, would have us believe that the cause of all illness is psychological/spiritual in nature. Her complete failure to acknowledge actual physical conditions renders this book virtually useless. It lacks reasonable medical foundation, and essentially blames us for our pain. I'd say take this book not with a grain of salt, but with an entire salt block.
on May 29, 2004
I hesitate to post this review because it disagrees so strongly with the accolades the book has racked up so far. Obviously, many readers greatly appreciate this book and genuinely love Louise L. Hay for writing it.
I picked up the book at the local library on a whim. I was horrified by it. The book struck me as evil, stupid, and cruel.
Evil -- the book states that those who experience ill fortune are responsible for their own ill fortune.
So, all those women in Sudan, who, right now, are being raped and made homeless by invaders. Well, it's their own darn fault, and we don't have to worry about them.
People starving in famines ... children being kidnapped into sex slavery ... people killed in earthquakes, or by disease -- again, it's their own choice, their own fault.
This philosophy is sick and cruel.
It is also stupid. Ms. Hay produces not one iota of evidence to support anything she says.
Yes, readers here claim that Ms. Hay's writings have changed their lives, but if you go to a St. Jude website, you will see an equal number of enthusiastic posts claiming that St. Jude performed miracles that changed lives. If you go to the shrine of a Hindu idol, you will hear testimonials that the Hindu idol changed lives for the better...
In other words, there are numerous people willing to testify to any number of belief systems or modes of behavior.
What separates these testimonials from real evidence?
A little ritual called "The Scientific Method."
Let's take those women in Sudan. If the women in Sudan being terrorized by invaders were to repeat, everyday, some Louise Hay style affirmation, like, oh, say, "My farm is not being invaded today; I am not going to get raped today; my husband will not be murdered before my eyes today," would that deflect the invaders?
I don't think so.
If Hay thinks so, let her travel to people in real need and test her methods out, rather than dispensing her "wisdom" to rich denizens of Malibu.
Hay claims that her own life story is proof of her method. She recounts her life story, and it *disproves* her method.
Hay was negative and her life was miserable. Then, because she was good looking, as she herself reports, she was able to earn a living as a model, and attract a rich husband. Presto changeo, everything in her life got better. Not because she practiced "affirmations," she didn't. But because she was able to market her good looks and marry a well-to-do man.
The low point of this book's inanity is the appendix at the end that claims that diseases are caused by given attitudes, and that if people repeat affirmations, their disease will go away.
So, AIDS is not caused by a virus, but by low self esteem. If people will just think better about themselves, their AIDS will disappear.
No need to worry about condoms, or safe sex, or anything. Just maintain a positive attitude, and condoms aren't necessary.
Such a lie is nothing short of grotesque. No, really, it is murderous.
Hay's brutal insistence on blaming persons not as fortunate as herself for their suffering is one of the most heinous things I've ever encountered in any book.
In reading this book, though, I learned at least one important source for the vicious New Age phrase, "You give yourself breast cancer."
There must be something highly appealing in this book or else it would not have racked up so many positive reviews on Amazon, and Hay would not be the very, very wealthy woman she is today.
What that positive feature is is totally beyond me.
on January 2, 2003
This book was given to me as a gift. I put it on the shelf, suspecting it was similar to other pop-psych works "shared" with me in the past. I was correct. As I later pulled the book out to donate it to GoodWill, I noticed in the back the index of medical conditions, each with a supposed "probable cause". Can it be that vertigo, glaucoma, diabetes are all the result of failure to know and accept the self? So I read through as much as I could stomach of the text. I can hardly believe the wrecklessness with which Ms. Hay opines on the etiology and treatment of any and all life problems. Medical concerns? Financial distress? Relationship issues? Hay recommends forgiving someone, as this is the common source of all ills. As a mental health professional with strong empirical beliefs, I found Hay's writing to be misleading and self-righteous. What credentials does she have to suggest that her personal knowledge overrides hundreds of years of real research and clinical progress dealing with medical and psychological problems? To offer readers a simple-minded solution to all concerns, despite the existence of validated treatments they might seek, is absolutely unethical. While specific elements of her advice are borrowed from known clinical theory, it appears only accidental that she says anything of real value. I strongly recommend you look elsewhere if you truly desire to improve yourself under the guidance of an "expert". Validated resources for self-improvement I recommend: McKay & Fanning -- Self Esteem, Alberti & Emmons -- Your Perfect Right.
on November 11, 2012
I swear, I am never going to read a self-help book again unless (a) I write it myself (an almost guaranteed way to make money) or (b) I need to inject more comedy to my life. I bought You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise L. Hay that was in a bookstore's "Books With Buzz" section--the same section as DeNiro's Game, which won a fab award. This is my excuse for buying the book. That is, if Book A is next to fab-and-prize-winning Book B, Book A must be good too, right?
It was not long before I got an inkling of the goofiness of this book. On page 4, for example, I learned that "Each one of us decides to incarnate upon this planet at a particular time and space. We have chosen to come here to learn a particular lesson that will advance us upon our spiritual, evolutionary pathway. We choose our sex, our color, our country, and then we look around for the particular set of parents who will mirror the pattern we are bringing in to work on in this lifetime." Yes indeed, some time in April-May 1960, I looked around at all the people in the world who were at that moment bonking in the bedroom, or in the back seat of the car, or wherever, and had the foresight to choose my parents. Hey, that was smart. I could have chosen to go to one of those families they show in the Care Canada commercials. Or I could have chosen a seagull family. Well, at least I wouldn't be afraid of flying. A cat family would be ok too, so long as I eventually got hooked up with a nice, loving human family.
Ok, say you DO decide the cat family is the best family to go to. When calculating your chances of evolutionary and spiritual success, how far ahead do you look? Do you take into consideration the family you will end up with? What if they're real dogs? Well, all right, maybe this idea only works with humans and so you decide to join a particular human mum and dad who later produce 15 more kids. Did you knowingly choose the non-existent 15 siblings too? And what about the evolutionary and spiritual pathways of each one of those 15 siblings? There'd be so many pathways it would look like an Escher drawing.
I think we also need to consider the Pro-Life people. They believe that life begins at the moment of conception. If they read this book, they might decide that life begins, uh, when exactly?
And what if you are a dithering sort of soul and need time to make up your mind? You're out there in the ectoplasm trying to figure out which family will provide you with the best life lessons and just when you think you've chosen the right family, someone else gets in there before you do. Hey! Get to the back of the line! Ok, I guess I'm stuck with the family behind door number two. Darn!
But this is not the exciting part of the book. If you were an author, would you put the exciting part on page 4? No, you'd wait until at least page 125, where you would write, "Interestingly, migraine headaches can almost always be alleviated by masturbation if you do it as soon as you feel a migraine coming on." Notice that masturbation only alleviates migraines, but doesn't actually cure them. Yay! If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Notice also that migraines are only "almost always" alleviated by masturbation. Well yay again! If it doesn't work the first time, have another go! Unfortunately, I've never suffered from migraines, so I can't tell you if this method works. That said, I just know that some among you will wonder why I've never had a migraine.
I do see some problems with this migraine thing. Notice that the relief only works "as soon as you feel a migraine coming on." It's no good after you've been hit with it. So, what if you are at work when you feel a migraine coming on? I foresee interrupted meetings and creative out-of-office emails. Pretty soon there'll be discrimination lawsuits against companies who refuse to let suffering employees take time off for a quick pick-me-up, but leading-edge companies will score points in employee satisfaction surveys by providing not only casual Fridays, games rooms, and espresso machines, but also masturbation Mondays.
And what about those people who use a headache to avoid intimacy? "Not tonight, dear; I feel a migraine coming on." Well, yay and woo hoo! Have I got a cure for you!
on June 2, 1999
So here is Louise's version of good and evil. Oops! I forgot, there is no such thing as evil to Ms. Hay. To those who read this book-if you want to know why you have cancer or AIDS, why it is because your attitude is not positive enough.And by the way, if you are in a plane crash-you attracted it. If you have food poisining, you attracted it. The message here is that you attract EVERYTHING in your life. Good, bad, or in the middle. Think Ms. Hay is just a little bit of a control freak?? HELLO!!!!!!! Sorry Louise, sometimes a cold is just a cold, and a cigar just a cigar.
on February 9, 2009
Don't waste your time reading this book if you have ever stepped foot in a university, or even if you just consider yourself an intelligent, rational person. I agree about the "lack of scientific method" mentioned by one reviewer. This book is rediculous. It blames the victim, even blaming children born with cerebral palsy as having caused their condition. The fact that this book has received such good reviews is shocking to me, but must reflect the fact that only irrational people with questionable intellects would waste their time reading this new age rubbish, written by a women with no formal credentials.
on September 19, 2003
This book is actually promoting occult practices. Louise L. Hays website is full of occult books and ideas. Louise actively promotes New Age Atheism. Such as The Worship of False gods and goddesses, Astrology, Channeling and Tarot cards.
Although true in a few areas. One can worry too much and get an ulcer. Many ulcers are due to bacterial infections. Many cancers and diseases are caused by Genetic Defects at Birth, such as Hemophilia and Muscular Dystrophy. Some Illnesses are caused by the way we choose to live our lives, such as smoking causing Lung Cancer.
This book denies the existence of the Christian GOD and promotes the god or goddess within. This is nothing more than wishful thinking.
Many people such as gay folks who are dying of AIDS who are desperate for a cure are buying this book with the false hope they can simply "wish" away thier disease.