By Michael Tymn
Every now and then, while channel surfing, I’ll come upon some television evangelists supposedly healing someone of a dreaded disease, blindness, or lameness by simply putting his hand on the person’s head and then pushing the person backward for his assistants to catch the person before he or she hits the floor. I shake my head and wonder what is going on. Is it for real? It’s hard for me to believe that all those people who get up on stage and profess they have been healed are acting or imagining they have been healed, but I’m a real ‘doubting Thomas’ when it comes to most of the evangelical healers.
On the other hand, about six years ago, I was suffering significant pain in my right knee. Having been a runner since my high school days in the early 1950s, I had had my share of knee problems before that. In fact, I had knee surgery in 1984 to remove loose cartilage. But the knee problem I was experiencing six years ago was worse than any preceding problem. It seemed like the whole knee had been disarranged and I was anticipating a long recovery period. I was reluctant to go the doctor, as I knew from past experience he would just order x-rays and then recommend heat and rest, if not surgery.
About the third week of the knee pain, I went for a massage. The massage was primarily for my back and I did not expect any benefits from it for the knee. However, when the massage therapist asked me if I was having any problems, I mentioned the knee. She told me that besides being a massage therapist she was also a Reiki practitioner. She asked me if I like some Reiki healing on my knee. I figured I had nothing to lose and so told her to go ahead.
Since all she did, that I could see, was hold her hands a few inches over my knee, I began to regret asking for the healing as it was cutting into the hour of soothing massage that I had paid for. Yet, I left the massage table with no pain in my knee and it did not return. It was not the type of pain that instantly goes away. It was the type that gradually diminishes over a period of days or weeks. Thus, I was inclined to think that maybe the Reiki healing worked. And yet, I wondered if perhaps in massaging my feet the therapist applied pressure in the right place and released a pinched nerve that was somehow causing the pain. To this day, I remain skeptical as to whether the Reiki healing really worked.
As my preceding posts suggest, I am not a ‘doubting Thomas’ when it comes to other areas of spirituality, at least after I have been able to investigate. Psychic healing, however, is something I have difficulty understanding and accepting. As a student at a Catholic grammar school during the 1940s, I heard about the faith healings at Lourdes in France. The nuns told us that you could be healed there only if you had complete faith, which meant no doubts. I could never understand how a rational person could not have some doubts. Thus, it seemed like only the most uneducated and irrational were candidates for healings. It didn’t make sense.
Recently, a fellow blogger, Don Childers, asked me if I would be interested in reading his book, Inside Out. Sure, send it, I told him. The book is about Childer’s ‘awakening’ during a two-year prison sentence. You might say he was transformed from grizzly bear to teddy bear. It wasn’t until he was behind bars that he began searching for some meaning in life. He started by observing the other prisoners and guards, trying to figure out what prompted their negative behavior. ‘I could see that everybody was full of fear and anger,’ he writes. In effect, he was beginning a spiritual quest, one in which he would find God and discover that he had the ability to heal by the ‘laying of hands.’ Although he doesn’t call it an out-of-body experience, as such, he seems to have learned how to leave his physical body and travel outside the prison walls.
Childers does not impress me as the type of person who makes up such stories. When he writes about other prisoners feeling the heat emanating from his hands and overcoming their afflictions, I believe it. I just don’t quite understand what I am believing.
Coincidentally, within a few days of finishing Childers’ book, I watched a video, I Do Not Heal, God is the One Who Heals, about John of God, a world renowned psychic healer in Brazil. Although I had seen documentaries about John of God before and had heard the debunkers side, I lean toward a belief that he is for real. There is simply too much sincerity and too much commitment evident in the testimonies of educated, intelligent, and otherwise credible people who have experienced or witnessed his gift of healing through psychic energy.
‘I have come to the realization that there are beings in the next dimension – call them what you will – but there are beings who help mankind who are so compassionate that they actively assist people who have the gift of mediumship to direct energy into what is known as the etheric body, which is then reflected into the physical body and thus healing takes place,’ Johann Grobler, MD, explains in the video, adding that it is important to recognize that we are multi-dimensional beings.
Narrator Emma Bragdon, PhD, explains that John of God enters an altered state of consciousness and then channels various spirit entities who do the healing. One of them is St Ignatius Loyola. Occasionally, St Francis of Assisi comes through, but most of the entities are names not known to the general public. John of God was interviewed and gave all the credit to the ‘good spirits.’
I mentioned John of God to a friend who has some physical problems, suggesting that perhaps she should make a pilgrimage to Brazil. Much to my surprise, the friend, a psychologist, told me she had been there on two occasions and had not been healed. However, she also told me that she had seen many healings take place while she was there and had no doubt that John of God is gifted. She said she observed incredible surgery take place without anesthetic and also experienced much in the way of spirit manifestation, and she was positive it was not staged.
So what to believe? I believe psychic healing is for real. I believe it works on some people and not on others. The explanation by Dr Grobler makes the most sense to me. However, I still have doubts about those TV preachers.