The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self
By Alex Lickerman, MD
Review by Rebecca Johnson
Buddhism doesn't really teach you about God but seems to have some practical clues about how to alleviate life's sufferings and how to be happy. I found this quote in the book to be useful: "the quantity and quality of value we create for others is what contributes to our happiness the most."
This book also explains how helping others increases our self-esteem. I thought the idea of being a bodhisattva was interesting. To be a person who dedicates himself to the happiness of others seems like a worthwhile goal. I will say this does work in real life as I've tried it and life is much more satisfying when you are making others happy. For contrast realize how treating others badly makes you feel.
On the other hand, this book does not adequately describe sin and the description is only half true. The author also seems to have a great fear of death. He has a very honest, beautiful soul that wants to help people but can't tell them what will happen when they die. The fear of death can be alleviated by a belief in Jesus who promises that if you believe in him you will never die as a soul. You will live eternally in bliss.
What I did appreciate about this doctor was how he helped his patients overcome various problems and how he tended to look on the bright side. He believes in Nichiren Buddhism so all his beliefs are channeled through that perception. This is not a book for those unsure of their own faith. It is more a look at how a Buddhist doctor solves problems.
Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Rebecca Johnson. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.