I'm reading a book called Into the Magic Shop by James Doty. He is a friend of mine, and I had him on the show about a year ago and said, "I haven't had a chance to read your book yet, Jim, but I will." Well, I started reading it, and it is tremendous. Tremendous.
It's a true account of Jim's life. He is a guy whose life was completely out of control at eight years old. His mom was constantly in and out of the hospital and jailed for trying to commit suicide. His father was always missing. He was a drunk. When he would come home, the beatings would getting worse and worse. They were always running from the creditors and moving all the time.
One summer, when he was 12 years old, riding his bike down the street just trying to get lost, he sees a magic shop --- and goes in. Behind the counter was an old lady who taught him life lessons about how to calm himself, how to empower himself.
It's a fantastic story. A true story about a guy who had nothing and no chance of making it, and his transformation into a guy who becomes beyond wealthy, beyond successful --- and loses it all. He forgot the one thing the old lady in the magic shop said that was the most important. He just wanted success, and so he didn't listen to that one thing until he lost it all. Then he corrected it and is now one of the most amazing philanthropists I've ever seen.
Oh, and he's also a brain surgeon. The book includes insight into the fascinating way your brain works. The prologue tells how, as a medical student, they don't teach you about certain things, they don't talk about certain things --- the smells and the sounds you'll experience as a surgeon. They don't talk about the "pop" a head makes when you finally cut through the skull and open it.
In the book, he tells a story about doing surgery on a four-year-old with a horrible tumor at the base of his brain. It was wrapped around the spinal column, and took hours of delicate surgery to remove. At the very end of the surgery, the assisting doctor let down his guard while vacuuming the last remnants of blood before sewing up the child. He got too close to the artery and sucked it into the vacuum. Blood poured everywhere. The patient's vitals flatlined. The anesthesiologist went under the table to start chest compressions, all while Jim tried to keep him alive by finding the artery and closing it. But he couldn't find the artery. Blood was everywhere, and he just couldn't find it.
Then he does the lesson the old woman taught him in the magic shop and closes his eyes to visualize where the artery should be. With his eyes closed, he reaches down and pulls up the artery and saves the kid.
Jim said, "Sometimes you don't need your eyes. Sometimes you know where things are. You know how it's supposed to be. You just need to calm yourself and get yourself out of the situation and into a place to where your senses and the gifts that God gave you actually are really employed."
I believe he's an atheist. He really wants to believe. He just doesn't. I tell him all the time, "You are not an atheist, dude. Listen to you." He talks more about God and how the universe works and everything else. I'm like, "You just got a different name for it. You're talking about God, dude." He's an amazing guy, and the book is Into the Magic Shop.
Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:
Featured Image: James R. Doty, MD, featured on The Glenn Beck Program