The other day, I had the opportunity to listen to an interview with Larry Dossey. I’m not sure how his work had escaped my notice all these years, but hearing him speak was certainly an enjoyable and reinforcing experience. Dossey has been an MD for 4 decades, was a battalion surgeon in Vietnam and chief of staff at a hospital in Dallas. He is also the author of a bunch of books and the chief proponent in the American conventional medical world of what he has termed the "nonlocal mind", that is, the concept that our awareness and our mind are not confined to our physical brain and body.
His story is similar to a number of others I have heard: he came across some data that seemed to contradict everything he knew about medicine and physical reality, and instead of dismissing it as flawed or bogus, he went about finding out whether it was valid or not.
The information he first came across was the result of a study conducted by South Korean researchers who created an experiment to determine the validity of the healing power of prayer. In it, a group of Korean women troubled by infertility were matched up with a person unknown to them in Canada. These pairs were divided into two groups, one where the Canadian was instructed to pray for their Korean partner to become pregnant, and the other where the Canadian was instructed to not pray for the partner.
What shocked Dossey, and paved the way for a dramatic shift in his view of medicine (and reality, in general) was the fact that there was a clear statistical difference in the pregnancy rate between the two groups.
Further studies showed that the religious affiliation of the participants – both the ‘prayers’ and the ‘prayees’ – happens to be. Whether Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, no matter what God or how they pray – all these factors make no difference. What is critical is the performance of some form of ritual that signifies one person’s intent that another be healed.
This often overlooked aspect of healing has been recognized for centuries in other traditions of medicine and is now, thanks to Dossey and other likeminded allopathic medical practitioners, only slowly gaining some recognition in the modern medical world.
This phenomenon brings to mind the science of Radionics, a form of distance healing created and popularized around the turn of the last century. It was the invention of a man named Albert Abrams, who made it into a very successful enterprise, and was further developed by a number of disciples some of whom were later persecuted and jailed because of their activities.
In Radionics, a “signature”, that is, a substance unique to a person, such as a drop of blood or a few strands of hair, is used as a focus to determine the health status of that individual and to heal them. This can be performed no matter where the person may actually physically be at the time.
Both the diagnosis and treatment are conducted by a device, a Radionics machine, onto which the signatures are placed. Curiously, this device is very simple electrical circuit – a circuit that may or not even be functional. It doesn’t use electricity or any other external form of energy (aside from, one might presume that of the practitioner and the subject).
Compared to a healthy person, a sick person will show disturbed or abnormal patterns of energy. These patterns or frequencies are picked up by the Radionics machine, and then categorized into various patterns that define what the problem or illness is.
Having made a diagnosis of sorts, the treatment is carried out by ‘broadcasting’ healing patterns of energy to the patient. This too, is carried out a Radionics device – either the same or a different machine from the one used to make the diagnosis.
One very interesting aspect is the fact that Radionics practitioners often used ‘rates’ to define and cure illness. Anticipating the modern computer age to a certain degree, rates are series of numbers that are used to categorize a disease and to perform the broadcast.
Although I am not involved with nor very studied in Radionics per se, over the years I have been exposed to and used various forms of treatment that rely on similar concepts. And it has become absolutely clear to me that the efficacy of these treatments - and make no mistake about it, sometimes miraculous cures have occurred with them – is dependent on the focus and intent of the practitioner.
These machines are merely conduits for that intent and focus, just as are acupuncture needles and the hands placed on a person during massage, chiropractic, Reiki or any form of bodywork. For that matter, it seems no different than the focus and intent that a physician, nurse or homeopath gives while interacting with a patient.
Sometimes it is useful to codify this into a ritual, a prayer or some other act, that brings us back from the mundane thoughts of daily life, brings our mind into a sharper focus, and distills or intensifies our true intent. For every person, this ritual may differ, but in the end, it boils down to the simple act of caring.