"Ninety percent of people believe they have a soul, and that it gives their lives ultimate meaning. The soul is divine; it connects us to God. Insofar as life contains love, truth, and beauty, we look to our soul as the source of those qualities; it's no accident that a perfect love is called a soul mate.

"There is constant feedback between the soul and the body. We invented the separation between the two, and then came to believe that separation was real.

"You may object that you've never felt ecstatic or sensed the presence of God. This simply reflects our narrow conception of the soul, confining it to religion. If you look into the wisdom traditions of every culture, you find that the soul has other meanings. It is the source of life, the spark that animates dead matter. It creates the mind and emotions. In other words, the soul is the very foundation of experience. It serves as the channel for creation as it unfolds in every second. What makes these lofty ideas important is that everything the soul does is translated into a process in the body. You literally cannot have a body without the soul. This is the forgotten miracle. Each of us is a soul made flesh.

"I want to prove to you that your body needs reinventing and that you have the power to accomplish that. Every generation has tinkered with the body, strange as that sounds. During the pre-scientific age, the body was deeply distrusted, and it was provided with squalid sanitation, wretched food, and barely enough protection from the elements to survive. Thus it became natural to expect a short, nasty life filled with pain and disease.

"So that's exactly what the body produced. People lived thirty years on average, and were scarred for life by childhood illnesses. You and I benefited enormously when this life view became outdated. As we began to expect more from our bodies, we stopped mistreating them. Now your body is ready for the next breakthrough, which will reconnect it with meaning, with the deeper values of the soul. There is no reason to deprive your body of love, beauty, creativity, and inspiration. You are intended to experience ecstasy just as much as any saint, and when you do, your cells will join in.

"Life is meant to be a complete experience. People keep struggling with problems both physical and mental, never suspecting the root cause: that the bond between body and soul has been severed. . . . I'm as eager and optimistic as the first day I used my scalpel to uncover the mysteries waiting under the skin, only now my optimism extends to the spirit as well. The world needs healing. To the extent that you wake up your soul, humankind is waking up the world's soul. It may yet happen that a wave of healing will sweep over us, a small wave at first, but one that could swell beyond all expectations in a single generation."