Signs and wonders will be seen – You know my tears – This is the hour – No man shall stop my plan – Trust me!
Follow the hand of God – I will reach for you – Take my hand – Walk with me – Praise the Lord!
You have been called – You are my witness – The Rapture is coming – I am the Light – Expect me!
This is the time of teaching – There shall be a Crusade – Prepare for me – I have risen – Embrace me!
A new day is coming – I am building a Temple – My Church is being restored – Read the signs – Stand!
“The Last Days of Tolemac” is a book of prophecy. It deals with events that are happening in the world today and shows how they fulfill prophecies that were made many centuries ago. The book is set out in a series of questions and answers, and explains in detail:
- What is about to happen to our planet
- Why these events are happening at this time
- What places on earth will be affected
- What the new world will be like
- What we can do to prepare
As the book explains, our world is about to be transformed. We are about to experience “a new heaven and a new earth” where there will be no more suffering and no more pain. However all of us are faced with a choice. Do we wish to inherit the new world that is coming? Or will we fall victim to the catastrophes that will herald its arrival? What we need to do to survive is explained in the pages of this book.
For the information of readers, The Last Days of Tolemac is now available on Kindle Books as a Digital Download, as well as Allan’s major work entitled The Cosmic Web.
The Cosmic Web deals with the mysteries of life, and shows how we all have within us hidden powers that will transform our lives in the coming age. Many of the stories that appear on this Blog, as well as articles on esoteric aspects of life, have been taken from this book. And as usual with Kindle books, if you click on the cover of either book, you can read part of the contents for free.
Both books can be accessed here
Allan Colston can be contacted at Tolemac@shaw.ca
For the benefit of readers who might be looking for information on specific subjects related to prophecy, the following articles have been included here for easy reference. They can be found in “Articles” listed under the heading “Categories” in the column on the right, or by clicking here:
- The Apocalypse Unveiled
- The Rapture Revealed
- The Lost Years of Jesus
- The New Golden Age
- The Last Pope
- The Death of the Pope
- The Doomsday Prophecies
- The Kachina Prophecies of the Hopi
- Rebuilding the Temple of Solomon
- What is “Wormwood” in the Book of Revelation?
- What is “Mystery Babylon” in the Book of Revelation?
- Why America is not Mentioned in “End Time” Prophecy
We can never hope to understand the true nature and origin of disease, until we come to understand the true nature of ourselves. We need to know who we really are.
Just as the symptoms of disease have to be traced to their origins within the body, so the body itself has to be pursued to its source. That source, according to the wisdom of the Sages, lies in the mind.
Conventional thinking regards thought, and the existence of the mind, as a by-product of the brain. The body is considered to be the foundation of the mind, by providing that physical structure which makes consciousness possible.
To the Sages and mystics, however, it is the mind which is the architect of matter, and the determinant of all experience. As the 20th century Indian Sage Sri Ramana Maharshi remarked in answer to a question:
“I say that the body itself is a projection of the mind. You speak of the brain when you think of the body. It is the mind which creates the body, the brain in it, and also ascertains that the brain is its seat.” 1
The mind, as the Buddha has also taught, is nothing more or less than those thoughts and feelings that make it up. If there is disharmony in the outer form, then the source of this disharmony must arise from these thoughts and emotions.
The origin of disease must therefore be pursued to its source in the mind. The Sages have consistently taught that the secret of enduring health lies in the harmony of one’s thoughts and feelings.
If these are healthy, the body too will be free from any disease. Jesus pointed out that disease stemmed from what transpired within a person’s heart, rather than the result of anything that occurred to the body itself.
“Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which cometh out of his mouth, this defileth a man.” (Matthew 15:11)
“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man.” (Matthew 15:19-20)
Regardless of how disease is defined and treated, its origins remain the same for all cultures and for all seasons. The imperfections displayed by the body are evidence of the imperfections of one’s thoughts and feelings.
If one delves into the innermost sanctum of the mind and clears away the mental debris which is to be found there, the outer limitations in the form of physical disease must inevitably disappear.
For as another Indian Sage, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj pointed out to one incredulous questioner:
Question: “Can I cure myself of a serious illness by merely taking cognisance of it?”
Maharaj: “Take cognisance of the whole of it, not only of the outer symptoms. All illness begins in the mind. Take care of the mind first, by tracing and eliminating all wrong ideas and emotions. Then live and work disregarding illness and think no more of it. With the removal of the causes, the effect is bound to depart.” 2
Few of us, however, are competent to deal with disease on so supreme a level. For the average person, it is only when a symptom of disease appears on the physical level that he or she is prompted to seek a cure.
This “cure” invariably takes the form of removing the offending symptoms, in a manner which is consistent with the parameters of that person’s own belief. Yet the disappearance of the outer symptoms does not by itself lead to a lasting cure.
By simply removing the physical symptoms without attending to their mental causes, the patient must inevitably succumb to some other manifestation of disease, perhaps in quite a different form.
Within the context of western medicine, therefore, the pathology which appears on the physical plane to be the cause of a physical ailment, is itself the product of a deeper cause which lies at the level of the mind.
The germs that are thought to be the cause of disease, are thus the result of the original disharmony, rather than its source. It is not bacteria which cause disease, for this bacteriological action is simply a physical and outer reflection of an inner and mental disequilibrium.
According to this view of life, any manifestation which appears in the physical realm must inevitably be preceded by changes in the non-physical realm. Thus, any effect which reveals itself on the physical plane, must be accompanied by a non-physical equivalent which precedes it.
In the case of disease, disease or disharmony would first manifest itself in the non-physical realm. As it developed further, this disharmony would subsequently appear on the physical plane in the form of physical pathology.
This consequential progression of disease has been neatly summarised by William Tiller of Stanford University.
“All this leads quite naturally to a perspective of healing: i.e. that pathology can develop at a number of levels and that healing is needed at all of them to restore the system to a state of harmony.
“The initial pathology begins at the level of Mind and propagates effects to both the negative space-time and the positive space-time levels. We then perceive what we call disease or malfunction at these levels and try to remove the effects by a variety of healing techniques.
“The best healing mode is to help the individual remove the pathology at the cause level and bring about the correction by a return to “right thinking”. The next best healing mode is to effect repair of the structure at the negative space-time level. The third best level of healing is that which medicine practises today, wherein one effects repair of the structure at the positive space-time level.” 3
Jesus and other enlightened Sages performed their “miraculous” cures directly at the level of the mind, which then produces instantaneous results. Other healers, of the type we call faith healers or psychic healers, operate within the negative space-time realm described by Tiller.
The vast majority of healers, however, including those physicians who act within the western medical paradigm, devote their efforts to resolving pathology at the positive space-time level, which is the level that is discernible by the senses.
There are significant consequences to this overview of disease. Those symptoms of disease which appear in the physical body must necessarily have their counterpart in negative space-time in a non-physical body, and this non-physical pathology must ultimately derive from the mind itself.
Merely counteracting the physical symptoms of disease, therefore, without attempting to correct the underlying causes at the mental level, can never contribute to a lasting cure. As long as the pathology remains on these more subtle planes, the disease must inevitably recur in the physical body, possibly in another form.
When a physician trained in western medicine prescribes specific drugs to counteract certain pathological agents in the body, the offending symptoms may well disappear completely. But this does not mean that the patient can be regarded as being cured.
The physician may be satisfied that healing has taken place, but if the underlying cause is not attended to, which is seldom the case in western medicine, then symptoms of the underlying pathology will inevitably reappear. The cycle will repeat itself.
The patient may undergo a series of apparent successful “cures”, but may ultimately die as a result of powerful causes at the non-physical level which were never recognised or treated.
All forms of physical medicine suffer from this liability. The most effective forms of healing, therefore, are those paradigms which acknowledge the non-physical causes of disease, and provide techniques for dealing with disharmony at this level.
The medicine of “primitive” aboriginal societies practised by shamans and witchdoctors is, in this light, often more effective in combating disease than the sophisticated technological forms of medicine that dominate the world today.
This shortcoming of modern medicine is at last coming to be recognised, as attempts are made to provide a more “holistic” form of treatment, tailored to the psychological as well as the physiological pathology of the patient.
While the physical symptoms of disease are merely the outer manifestation of an inner imbalance, the mind itself plays a key role in determining the onset of these symptoms. It does this primarily through the emotion of fear.
Fear is simply the opposite pole of desire. It is desire directed at an unwanted target. Yet the very nature of the mind is to attract those experiences in life which reflect the content of desire. For as Maharaj has indicated:
“It is in the nature of desire to prompt the mind to create a world for its fulfillment.” 4
It is the persistence with which we hold on to our desires which draws them into manifestation. This principle is equally effective when dealing with negative desires or fears. Again, as Maharaj has pointed out, “All happens according to your faith, and your faith is the shape of your desire.” 5
Just as we attract those things toward us that we desire, so also we remorselessly attract to ourselves anything that we fear. Both desire and fear work with the same efficiency, and generate results in due proportion to the energy which propels them.
If the generating power is strong, whether though the magnitude of one’s desire, or else through the intensity of one’s fear, the result, whether hoped for or feared, is bound to materialise.
If we are afraid of contracting cancer, for example, we inevitably draw cancer to us. The time it takes for cancer to materialize, and the severity with which it strikes, depends on the strength of our fears.
There may be no intrinsic flaw in our physical bodies, nothing that would warrant the mutation of healthy cells, but the disharmony that exists within our minds will inevitably produce pathology within our bodies in consonance with our fears.
Whenever the content of the mind is focused on disease, the mind begins to complement this mental image by producing its precise physical counterpart.
While we laugh today at the naivety of the primitive person who succumbs to death by voodoo curse, we ourselves are victims of the same power of suggestion. We little realise that we are assiduously at work creating those very circumstances which we most fear.
When disharmony appears at the level of the mind, and then upon the negative space-time level, it ultimately manifests in the positive space-time realm in the form of some pathological affliction. The form which this disease takes will be determined by the prevailing conditions within the physical body.
A chain breaks at the point of its weakest link. But it should be evident that no physical disease can appear without its mental counterpart, which is the true cause of this condition.
Once non-physical disharmony is present at the level of the mind, some physical reaction must naturally follow, and that takes the form of disease. This disease is not caused by the adoption of any physical habits, for it is a function of the underlying disequilibrium of mind.
The mind is not only the source of all disease, but it remains the most powerful agent for overcoming disease.
It is the attitude of mind, reinforced by faith, which is capable of overcoming the physical manifestation of disease. In so doing, the mind is merely dealing with its own disequilibrium.
There is no magic in this. The action of the mind in counteracting disease is simply the action of the mind re-forming itself. Once the mind is consciously reformed, the original impetus for harm is overcome. The true art of healing is directed, as it always has been by the Sages, to restoring the harmony of the mind itself.
Dr Carl Simonton and, his wife Stephanie Matthews Simonton have been in the vanguard of those medical researchers who have utilised the mind as a powerful weapon in overcoming the manifestations of disease.
Working with cancer patients, they have encouraged them to visualize their cancers in the form of various antagonistic creatures present in their bodies, and to imagine various scenarios for overcoming them. Some patients have visualised an army of white blood cells marching upon the invaders and, in grand “star wars” fashion, repelling these hostile intruders.
Others pictured their pathological agents in the form of snakes and other creatures, and devised vivid mental strategies for defeating them. The more dramatic, in fact, these scenarios became, the more likely they were found to be effective. Dr. Simonton reported that his patients succeeded by these methods in gaining relief from pain, and remission of their cancerous conditions.
Conquering disease by means of mental visualisation is still a highly controversial subject within the medical profession. However, it rests on sound psychological principles enunciated by the Sages. Yet it is not a simple panacea for all ills. Merely targeting the physical symptoms without addressing their underlying mental causes, can never lead to a cure that is lasting and complete.
There is also the question of energy. The essential factor in all non-physical forms of healing, lies in the extent of one’s inherent level of energy, or personal power. As Michael Harner stresses, “In shamanism, the maintenance of one’s personal power is fundamental to well-being.” 6
This is a theme which recurs throughout the writings of Carlos Castaneda. The ability of mind to influence matter depends on the level of this vital energetic source.
Individuals do not possess unlimited amounts of energy, and their effectiveness in achieving their objectives depends on the degree to which they are able to conserve it. As Maharaj replied to a questioner who said that he was lacking energy:
“What happened to your energy? Where did it go? Did you not scatter it over so many contradictory desires and pursuits? You don’t have an infinite supply of energy.” 7
Similarly, when the disciples of Jesus were unable to heal a stricken child who was brought before them, they appealed to him to explain why they had failed. Jesus answered. “This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:29)
Jesus drew attention to some of the time-honoured ways of increasing personal power. In the accomplishment of any desire, it is not sufficient simply to visualise the selected goal. This mental image must be energised by power. That power is the power of life, residing in consciousness.
As Maharaj responded to another questioner:
Question: “I have cut my hand. By what power did it heal?
Maharaj: By the power of life.
Question: What is that power?
Maharaj: It is consciousness. All is consciousness.” 8
On another occasion he remarked:
Maharaj: “In some way or other you have to work for the fulfilment of your desires. Put in energy and wait for the results.
Question: Where do I get the energy?
Maharaj: The desire itself is energy.
Question: Then why does not every desire get fulfilled?
Maharaj: Maybe it was not strong enough and lasting.” 9
As he went on to explain:
Maharaj: “When your desire is not clear nor strong, it cannot take shape. Besides, if your desires are personal, for your own enjoyment, the energy you give them is necessarily limited; it cannot be more than you have.” 9
The energy that we possess can be enhanced by repeated efforts, focused upon a clear objective. The power of this strategy can be likened to the blow of a hammer on a metal rod. Although a single blow may leave the rod unmarked, if these blows are repeated for long enough, even a small force will ultimately break the rod completely.
So it is in the achievement of our desires. The problem of applying the mind of a patient to his or her own symptoms of disease is that their inherent power has been drained by this disease.
For example, Kirlian photographs taken of human limbs clearly show a diminution in the energy field when the subject is ill or mentally depressed. When the body has been ravaged by some chronic condition such as cancer, the amount of energy needed to overcome the symptoms may far exceed that which is possessed by that particular patient.
Such a person will be unable to overcome this condition through visualisation, because of this inadequate reservoir of energy. This deficiency may, however, be rectified by the infusion of energy from some outside source. This is the basis of all healing which takes place by means of the “laying on of hands”. It is simply a means of redistributing energy.
Psychic healers also achieve their results by transferring energy directly to the afflicted person. If the amount of energy transferred is sufficient to overcome the pathology, that person will be healed immediately. In most cases a single session is usually inadequate, and repeated attempts must be made before healing is complete.
When the flow of energy is clearly focused, and the reservoir of energy is great, as it is with those who have learned to harness their mental resources, truly astonishing acts of healing are capable of taking place.
For example, the psychic healer Elsie Salmon recorded the case of a man who attended one of her healing missions, who was suffering from a congenital deformity of his leg. Following treatment, his leg grew by two inches to its normal length in the course of a single night. 10
As a youth, Sri Yukteswar Giri suffered from a severe illness which caused him to lose a great deal of weight. During his convalescence he approached his Guru, Lahiri Mahasaya, who reproached him for being so thin.
His Guru remarked, “Really, it is your thoughts that have made you feel alternately weak and strong. Thought is a force,” he went on to say, “even as electricity or gravitation. The human mind is a spark of the almighty consciousness of God. I could show you that whatever your powerful mind believes very intensely would instantly come to pass“.
When Yukteswar enquired whether he could regain his lost weight, the Master replied, “It is so, even at this moment“. Yukteswar reported that he felt an instant increase in strength and weight. “I weighed myself and found that in one day I had gained fifty pounds; they have remained permanently“. 11
(Continued in Part Four)
1 “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi“, recorded by Swami Saraswathi, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 1968, p. 296.
2 “I Am That“, Conversations with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, translated by Maurice Frydman, Book I, Chetana, Bombay, 1973, p. 258.
3 William Tiller, Introduction to “Science and the Evolution of Consciousness“, Autumn Press, Brookline, 1978, p. 17.
4 “I Am That“, Book I, op.cit., p. 100.
5 Ibid, Book I, p. 182.
6 Michael Harner, “The Way of the Shaman“, Bantam, New York, 1982, pp. xv.
7 “I Am That“, Book I, op.cit., p. 56.
8 Ibid, Book I, p. 42.
9 Ibid, Book I, pp. 28-29.
10 Elsie Salmon, “Christ Still Healing“, Arthur James, Worcester, 1956, pp. 71-72.
11 Paramahansa Yogananda, “Autobiography of a Yogi“, Self Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, 1977, pp. 133-134.
In the same way that Sathya Sai Baba, the 20th century mystic from South India, was able to materialise sweets, trinkets and vibhuti (sacred ash) to startle materialistically minded people into an awareness of other levels of consciousness, so psychic healers create objective phenomena to overcome doubt, and foster belief in their ability to heal.
It is upon these deeper levels of consciousness that psychic healers such as Olga Worrall (who was quoted in Part One) operate. The powers of healing which they bring to bear upon the patient are real, but they do not work in a way which conforms to the modern medical paradigm.
It is precisely because these powers are not explainable in common medical terms that they are so often impugned. But the reality of these powers can be readily experienced and, as in the case of Lynn Brailler, may be felt subjectively as heat and warmth.
Although psychic healing is still regarded in many quarters as a form of quackery, the power which lies behind it has been shown to exist in various scientific experiments.
At the suggestion of Dr. Justa Smith, a Sister of the Franciscan Order and Professor of Biochemistry at Rosary Hill College in Buffalo, New York, an unusual experiment was conducted under the auspices of the Human Dimensions Institute.
This experiment involved Oskar Estebany, a former Colonel of the Hungarian Cavalry, who had emigrated to Canada and gained a reputation as a psychic healer.
Since Sister Smith’s doctoral thesis had been devoted to the influence of strong magnetic fields on the activity of enzymes, an area in which she was regarded as an authority, she suggested that a carefully controlled experiment be undertaken to determine what effect, if any, Estebany’s powers would have upon the activity of certain enzymes.
She recommended a test using trypsin, an enzyme that assists in the digestion of protein in the human body. In this experiment, equal parts of trypsin were placed in four enclosed tubes.
While one tube was kept as an untreated control, another tube was exposed to ultraviolet light. A third tube was placed in a strong, magnetic field, and the fourth tube was “treated” by Estebany. This treatment consisted of his holding the tube containing trypsin for a period of about seventy-five minutes.
When the results were examined it was found that, in relation to the untreated control, the trypsin in the tube exposed to ultraviolet light had reduced its activity by about a quarter. The activity of the trypsin which had been placed in the strong, magnetic field was found to have been enhanced to the degree predicted by Dr. Smith.
The experimenters found that the trypsin in the tube which had been held by Oskar Estebany, had increased its activity to a degree which matched that of the influence of the magnetic field.
It was evident that Estebany had subjected the trypsin to a source of energy which was of similar magnitude to that generated by the magnetic field. The energy demonstrated by Estebany was not magnetic, because he was unable to influence compasses or magnetometers.
Yet it was obvious that Estebany exerted a definite force which, like magnetism, yielded observable physical effects. As commentator Dr.Owen remarked in his evaluation of this experiment:
“This is a very remarkable result. The experiment was carried out with the most sophisticated biochemical and biophysical equipment. Unlike the studies of living patients, there is no problem of interpretation because there is no possible confusion of physical and psychological effect.
“Consequently, there is no adequate reason for doubting the scientific validity of the experiment or of the conclusion to be drawn from it, namely that some healers transmit a force from their bodies that has a real physical effect on biochemical substances.” 1
The evidence obtained from faith healing and psychic surgery remains data that is anomalous in terms of the western medical paradigm. Because there is no accepted medical theory to account for its validity, psychic healing is rejected as “unscientific” by the modern medical profession.
Having been dubbed a pseudo-form of medicine, its practitioners are usually dismissed as charlatans who prey on the hopes of the afflicted. According to the western medical paradigm, disease is explained on the basis of pathology. Disease is thus defined in terms of adversaries.
With the discovery of bacteria and the process of bacteriological interaction, western medicine has determined that diseases are the product, not of alien spirits or unwelcome stellar alignments, but of distinct pathological organisms which adversely affect the body.
It is now regarded as a proven truth that germs cause disease.
Because of this, the direction taken by western medicine has been to search out these offending pathogens, and then find ways of overcoming them. The success of modern medicine has been built upon the discovery that certain chemical agents can effectively curtail the actions of these pathogenic germs.
Western medicine has thus been described as an allopathic form of medicine, derived from the Greek term allos meaning “other”, or opposite. The technique of western healing has been to administer a specific chemical agent to the body, whose action is directly opposite to that of the bacteria which have caused the symptoms that are the manifestation of disease.
By producing an opposing or limiting effect, the counteragent is thus regarded as a healing substance, as it is capable of successfully overcoming the offending symptoms of disease. With the disappearance of the symptoms, the disease is presumed to have been cured.
The idea that germs are the origin of disease is the basis of modern scientific medicine. Although this has led to a remarkable degree of success in the treatment of disease, it is by no means the most effective “description” of disease, nor is western medicine the only form of medicine that is able to cure disease.
The germ theory of disease merely happens to be that description of disease which fits the modern scientific paradigm. The subtle truth, which still eludes most medical researchers, is that there is no single description of disease which is the one “true” explanation.
The manifestation of disease can be explained in a variety of ways. No one description of the nature and cause of disease is intrinsically superior to another. Each is valid within its own framework of belief.
The experience of an agonising abdominal pain may be diagnosed in western medical terms as the action of cancerous cells within the stomach. But what is called stomach cancer within one frame of reference, may equally well be defined as something completely different within another context of belief.
For example, this may range from the intrusion of an offending spirit, to an imbalance of colour, or a disturbance in organic frequency. Each diagnosis will be valid within its own frame of reference, and will require treatment which is tailored to that paradigm.
When viewed from the standpoint of any one particular paradigm, the diagnoses offered by other paradigms will inevitably be rejected as being pseudo-medical, unscientific and invalid.
If we ask ourselves, for example, which of these many different diagnoses is the “correct” one, the answer is that there is no single definition of disease that is valid for all people and for all contexts.
A diagnosis of disease is only valid when it conforms to the paradigm of disease adopted by that society. And the appropriate form of treatment must necessarily conform to the prevailing pattern of ideas adopted by the society to which the “sick” person belongs.
So while the symptoms of “stomach cancer” may well be treated effectively within western society by means of specialised radiation, they may equally well be treated by the application of substances or techniques appropriate to other paradigms of disease adopted by other societies.
In fact, every culture tends to define disease within a particular framework of ideas, and then treat these symptoms of disease in ways which conform to their prevailing patterns of belief.
The validity of any form of medicine can therefore only be judged by its efficacy within its own paradigm.
Some two-and-a-half thousand years before the birth of Christ, conversations on the nature of disease between the Emperor of China, Huang-ti and his chief minister Chi Po, were reduced to a written record. This recorded script came to be known over time as Nei-Ching, or the “Theory of Internal Disease”.
This theoretical treatise on the nature of disease was based on the cosmological ideas that were prevalent at the time. The ancient Chinese philosophy of nature regarded the human body as a miniature version of the cosmos.
The cosmos was thought to be composed of a universal energy called Chi, which was considered to be in constant ebb and flow. This energy was believed to manifest in either of two polarities. One of these polarities was called Yin and the other Yang.
Yin was believed to be the negative mode of Chi. It was thought to represent the feminine aspect of life, along with the qualities of passivity and coldness. Yang, by contrast, was considered to be positive, reflecting masculinity as well as the qualities of activity and heat.
Just as the universe was thought to be the theatre in which these two aspects of Chi vied for supremacy, so too the human body was believed to be the repository of this same energy, and was equally subject to the forces of Yin and Yang.
Health then, under this paradigm of ideas, demanded a balance in the body between these two opposing principles. If either force should gain temporary control, it was believed that disease would be the inevitable result.
The system of medicine which the ancient Chinese adopted to counteract disease, therefore, was a variety of techniques which were designed to restore the balance of Yin and Yang within the human body.
The Chinese believed that the twin forces of Yin and Yang flowed through the human body along a series of special channels, or meridians. These meridians were thought to control the functions of the various organs of the body.
Whenever any form of disease manifested itself, it was necessary to diagnose which of these meridians was affected, and where a “blockage” in the flow of energy had occurred. Since each meridian was believed to be linked to a particular pulse, physicians were trained to identify these meridians by the subtle variations in the human pulse beat.
Once diagnosis had been made, treatment took the form of altering the flow of Chi at designated points along the meridian. This manipulation was performed by means of special needles which penetrated the flesh, thus giving rise to the name whereby this form of treatment is known today – acupuncture.
The Chinese description of disease was antedated by an even earlier system of ideas devised by Indian minds. To these ancient Indians, the human body was thought to be vitalized by a particular energy called prana, which they believed to be the basic life force of the universe.
This prana was believed to flow through the body along a multitude of nerve passages, called nadis. These nadis were linked in turn to a central column, consisting of three major channels.
One channel was known as the Pingala, and was thought to be the repository of the positive aspect of prana. Likewise, negative prana was believed to be directed along its own special channel, called the Ida. Both the Ida and the Pingala were considered to be intertwined around a central channel called the Sushumna, as depicted in the following diagram.
At each point where the Ida and the Pingala crossed the Sushumna, a chakra, or pranic force centre, was believed to exist. To the early Indians the health of the body was dependent on the unobstructed flow of prana through each of the seven chakras of the body.
The intertwining features of the Ida and Pingala around the Sushumna came to be represented pictorially as the sinuous linking of serpents around a central column.
It was this symbol which was borrowed by Hellenistic Greece to denote the emblem of the medical profession. As the winged-staff of the Greek God Hermes, this sceptre has come to be known as the caduceus, as shown below.
This symbol, often shorn of one of its serpents, remains to this day the insignia of the medical profession. Although physicians have become the modern custodians of this ancient staff of healing, very few are aware of its underlying origin and significance.
Over the millennia, different societies have ascribed the origins of disease to different agents, and have interpreted the effects, the symptoms of disease, according to differing systems of belief.
The Tibetans, for example, attributed disease to certain “poisons of the soul”, such as greed, arrogance and envy, which disturbed the balance of the three primary juices of life – the wind, bile and slime.
The western concept of disease, based on the action of minute pathological bacteria, or germs, is simply the latest in a long line of descriptive paradigms. It carries no inherent superiority over those that have passed before, although each varies in the degree to which it is capable of meeting the medical needs of society.
All traditional systems of medicine have successfully cured disease, even those of the past which are now scorned from the scientific vantage point. Even the medieval practice of blood-letting undoubtedly aided its patients as its practitioners believed. If it had not done so, it would never have been utilised for so long.
Yet today, except in a few specific cases, blood-letting is regarded as barbaric. Shamanism, acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine, psychic surgery and allopathic medicine, are all substantiated by successful cures, which are explained in terms of a central philosophical regime or paradigm.
It follows then that every medical paradigm, such as the paradigm of allopathic medicine, rests upon a foundation of belief. This belief is imbued within members of any society, and is acquired as part of their general cultural conditioning. As Lawrence LeShan remarks:
“The metaphysical system you are using is the metaphysical system that is operating. A metaphysical system is a set of assumptions about how the universe is put together and functions. We always have one whether or not we are aware of it.
“The assumptions we use about the nature of reality make up the system. The system determines what is possible and impossible, normal and paranormal, within it.” 2
The germ nature of disease is a metaphysical system of medicine which derives its efficacy from a sense of validity and trust by those who have adopted it. As LeShan stresses: “One must know it is valid to operate within it.” 3
We in the west have come to place implicit trust in our belief that germs are the agents of disease. Yet in the early days of western medicine, researchers laughed at this outrageous suggestion.
One of the earliest proponents of the germ theory of disease was the German bacteriologist Robert Koch, who was later awarded a Nobel prize for his discovery. Koch was the first person to discover and isolate the cholera bacillus, and he developed choleric cultures in his laboratory.
One of those who challenged Koch’s germ theory of disease was his compatriot Professor Max von Pettenkofer. Max was convinced that Koch’s ideas were utterly ridiculous, and to prove this fact, he along with several of his students swallowed virulent cultures of choleric bacilli.
To Robert Koch’s chagrin, neither Professor von Pettenkofer nor any of his students came to any harm, although each of them had swallowed enough quantities of choleric bacteria to kill the inhabitants of a large city.
The reason for this enigma, which medical historians still find difficulty in explaining to this day, is precisely that requirement noted by LeShan. To be bound by the effects of a germ-defined paradigm, “one must know it is valid“.
Robert Koch certainly knew, for he was one of the founders of this paradigm. For him, the swallowed dose would undoubtedly have proved fatal. For von Pettenkofer and his students, however, who did not share Koch’s confidence in the validity of this new medical paradigm, these choleric cultures were as harmless as a voodoo curse would be to a professor of nuclear physics today.
Yet it would be foolhardy to try to emulate von Pettenkofer today, for belief in the validity of germ induced disease now forms the warp and weft of the current western way of thinking. To duplicate his feat would require a state of mind in which the customary definition of reality was temporarily suspended.
Although any single paradigm may be efficacious in yielding valid results, this does not mean that different paradigms can be unified into a single universal scheme. Based on what we have examined thus far, the human body would prove to be hopelessly complex if all the features of every paradigm were to be combined.
Not only would it be possessed of a skeleton draped in a muscular cloak, populated by various organs and served by a network of nerves which fed into a central brain, but it would also appear to be imbued with energy coursing down tiny tracks, which constantly vied for supremacy between two opposing poles.
The spine, furthermore, would be host to a party of serpentine coils, at whose junctures would appear centres of energy which were independent of any of the known organs of the body. It would also be composed of various juices of life, each of which was subject to our thoughts and emotions, anyone of which might at any stage disturb the equilibrium of our lives.
To combine all of these medical paradigms together into one synthesised system of thought, as some modern researchers still attempt to do, would create a human body with more complexities than the epicycles which doomed the geocentric astronomy of Ptolemy, which leads to the following conclusion:
There can never be a unified or “correct” paradigm for defining disease that is valid for every society and for all time. Disease has traditionally been defined, and will continue to be explained, according to the prevailing metaphysical systems of their times.
Despite the sophistication with which western society has confronted the symptoms of disease, modern medicine remains confounded by the nature of disease itself. Although it claims to speak with confidence about the “causes” of disease, just why a particular symptom happens to arise, and what causes it ultimately to disappear, is still a mystery which continues to defy analysis.
Just as the physicist is unable to explain the true nature of electricity, and is content, like Edison, to say that it matters not how it is explained as long as it works, so also physicians, unable to explain the mystery of healing, are content to ignore this problem as long as they can demonstrate the success of their methods.
(Continued in Part Three)
1 A. R.G. Owen, “Psychic Mysteries of the North“, Harper and Row, New York, 1975, pp. 108-109.
2 Lawrence LeShan, “The Medium, The Mystic and The Physicist“, Ballantine, New York, 1975, p. 153.
3 Ibid, p. 154.
Harold Wright was a dentist by profession, practising in the American city of Philadelphia. His lifelong interest and hobby, however, was the study of anthropology.
It was this pursuit which frequently took him to distant lands to study the culture and behaviour of aboriginal societies, and it was his curiosity about traditional jungle medicine which took him one day to a remote area of Peru.
Canoeing on the Maranon river in Peru
On this occasion Wright was travelling in a canoe down one of the tributaries of the Marañón river. He was accompanied by a Jivaro Indian named Gabrio, who had agreed to guide him through the territory of the Huambiza tribe in search of a brujo or medicine man.
Their journey had thus far proved unsuccessful, as the Indian communities with whom they had come in contact were suspicious of wealthy white intruders. Wright began to think that his quest had been in vain.
Then one morning, shortly before he was due to return to Philadelphia, Gabrio complained to him that his jaw was swollen, and that he was in considerable pain. From what Wright could make out he seemed to be suffering from an infected tooth.
Wright explained to his guide that he was a trained “tooth” doctor who was well qualified to deal with his problem. But Gabrio adamantly refused his aid, claiming that the white man’s medicine was not good for the Indian.
A short while later, as they were paddling along the river, a small jungle village hove into sight. Gabrio immediately beached the canoe and went off in search of the resident medicine man.
When he returned a few minutes later, he was accompanied by a thin, emaciated old man who was clearly the local brujo. Gabrio explained the nature of his problem to him, whereupon the elderly man squatted down and placed Gabrio’s head firmly between his knees.
After probing with his fingers around the inflamed gums for a while, the brujo uttered a grunt of satisfaction. He then called to his assistant, who brought a bowl filled with a dark, oily liquid, which the medicine man proceeded to swallow with a single gulp.
Wright was hardly surprised when the man suddenly vomited the contents on the ground in front of him. Undeterred by this event, the man called for a second bowl and the identical scene repeated itself.
With the aid of his assistant, the medicine man then pulled Gabrio to the ground and crouched over him. He then placed the contents of a tobacco-like pouch into his mouth and began chewing furiously, all the while chanting in a thin, reedy monotone.
As Wright looked on with interest, the witchdoctor leaned forward, placed his mouth against Gabrio’s swollen cheek, and began to suck noisily. The pressure on the tender gums caused the Indian to let out a yelp of pain.
The old man continued to suck vigorously until he suddenly raised his head and spat something out onto the ground. Wright drew closer and saw that it was a splinter of wood. The witchdoctor continued to suck, and soon spat out another mouthful. This time it was a collection of ants.
Wright was amazed to see that a third expectoration produced a grasshopper, and that the fourth delivered a dead lizard. The brujo then picked up this last creature and dangled it by its tail in front of the enthusiastic crowd of Indians that had gathered around to watch.
Gabrio gazed at these objects in astonishment, but it was clear that he was still in considerable pain. The old man then picked up an open mussel shell and, using it as a pair of tongs, proceeded to pluck a live coal from a nearby fire. He then crushed some dry leaves into a fine powder and sprinkled this upon the glowing coal.
Then, turning to Gabrio, he motioned him to place the shell in his mouth. As he did so, the fumes from the burning powder curled slowly out of Gabrio’s mouth. After a few minutes of this treatment Gabrio removed the shell with its smoking contents, and announced to the group that his jaw was healed and that the pain had disappeared.
He told Wright that he was ready to continue their journey down river. Before they left, Wright was able to obtain some of the leaves which had been used in the cure. When he returned to the United States he had them analysed, to see if they contained some healing or anaesthetic property.
Subsequent laboratory analysis revealed that the leaves were taken from a variety of the babassu plant. Yet to his surprise, Wright learned that they contained nothing which could possibly have accounted for the abrupt cure of Gabrio’s swollen jaw.
The Indian had effectively been healed, but by a substance which apparently held no curative powers. As Wright later confided to a friend about this strange incident: “What I cannot understand is how a toothache can be cured without medicine or surgery.”
Yet the brujo had healed Gabrio’s pain in the space of half an hour, in a way which Wright with all his dental skill could not have matched. 1
Dr Andrija Puharich
In 1966, another American doctor had an unusual experience in South America. His name was Andrija Puharich. Puharich was a physician who had distinguished himself in the field of medical technology, having invented a variety of miniature devices to assist the hard of hearing.
He was also a researcher of psychic phenomena, having conducted investigations of such gifted clairvoyants as Eileen Garrett, Harry Stone and Peter Hurkos. It was his interest in the unusual which led Puharich to Brazil, to see firsthand the exploits of a certain psychic surgeon named José Arigo.
He travelled to Congonhas de Campo in the state of Minas Gerais to observe this unusual healer in action. It so happened that, prior to his visit to Brazil, Puharich had been suffering from a growth of tissue on his arm. Since his own physician had found this growth to be non-malignant, he had recommended that it be left untreated.
Puharich was aware that the growth was extremely near the nerve controlling the movement of his little finger. He was afraid that any further growth in size could lead to muscle contraction which might paralyse his finger.
In due course, therefore, after having witnessed Arigo performing various surgical procedures which appeared to be successful, Puharich asked him if something could be done about the growth on his arm.
Arigo examined it closely, and then turned to those who were still waiting for attention, and asked if any of them possessed a knife. Of the several that were offered, Arigo selected one, and passed it on to Puharich for inspection. The American found it to be a common pocketknife, which he then returned to the healer.
Then, without attempting to sterilise the knife in any way, Arigo grasped Puharich’s arm and made a swift incision. Blood immediately began to ooze from the cut. Arigo then pressed his fingers on either side of the incision and began to apply pressure to the opening.
As Puharich watched, a small tumour emerged and dropped onto the floor. Although the cut was only about one centimetre in length, Puharich was surprised to see that the tumour which lay on the floor was about three centimeters in diameter.
Although the incision in Puharich’s arm was not sutured or treated in any way, it healed completely within forty-eight hours. Puharich noted later that while a western-trained surgeon would have required at least fifteen minutes to perform this excision, the entire operation conducted by Arigo had lasted less than fifteen seconds. 2
1966 was also the year in which Lynn Brailler, the wife of an American physician, was involved in a motor vehicle accident. In this collision she suffered serious injuries to her neck and spine, which required her to wear a neck brace to support her damaged limbs.
These injuries caused her intense pain, and she resorted to various drugs to gain relief. When large amounts of aspirin were no longer effective, she switched to codeine. The presence of the neck brace did little to ease the pain, which continued unabated for the next three years.
It was then that Lynn was told that she had acquired a terminal disease of her spinal cord. Despite this alarming diagnosis, she was convinced that her pain was due to a cervical disc injury.
It was another three years before her specialist concluded that she did, in fact, have a disc problem which required surgery. By this time the majority of the muscles in Lynn’s neck, back and right arm had atrophied from lack of use.
An operation was then performed in which pieces from her hipbone were transferred to her neck. The surgeon estimated that this disc fusion operation would take another two years to heal completely, and he warned Lynn to be particularly careful during this time, as any sudden blow could cause her to break her neck.
In May 1975, almost nine years after the original accident, Lynn was out shopping when the car in which she was travelling was struck broadside by a truck that had careened through a red traffic light. In this collision, Lynn again suffered injuries to her neck. The two discs which had previously been fused together had shattered.
Although her neck required another operation which would again involve a transplant from her hip, the surgeon chose not to operate because her spine was in such a fragile condition, and because he was fearful that another operation might sever her spinal cord completely and leave her paralysed.
Instead, he directed her to rest in bed and to treat her injured neck with applications of hot packs. For Lynn the pain which had been bad before, now became intolerable, and she dosed herself with increasing amounts of codeine and valium.
Lynn Brailler was faced with the choice of a protracted and extremely painful convalescence in bed, which would entail resigning from her job, or else of undergoing dangerous surgery which could leave her a quadriplegic.
Psychic Healer Olga Worrall
She had already decided on the latter course of action when she chanced to pick up a journal which contained an article by the noted psychic healer Olga Worrall. Although Lynn had never been able to bring herself to believe in such a thing as faith healing, a friend of hers persuaded her to telephone the healer in Baltimore.
Lynn spoke to Worrall, who expressed interest in her case and invited her to attend one of her healing clinics. Before making a decision, however, Lynn discussed the matter with her husband.
“It’s not going to help you to go over there,” he declared emphatically. “Somehow in your mind you’ll think you’ve tried everything, that nothing will work, and you’re going to be more depressed than ever.” 3
Despite her own misgivings, and against the advice of her husband, Lynn decided to undertake the trip from Washington to Baltimore.
When she arrived at the church where the healing sessions were to take place, Lynn suddenly felt overcome by embarrassment at having succumbed to such an improbable course of action. As she sat in the pew with her arm in a sling and her neck in a brace, it seemed obvious that nothing could be done for her.
Later, when various people began to make their way to the altar rail, she felt that she simply could not bring herself to join them. It was her friend who insisted that she do so, and practically pushed her down the aisle. Lynn described what happened then.
“I never felt so foolish in my whole life. For me to kneel down at a rail was just too much. Olga came along and put a hand on either side of my head, and I thought, Humpf!, big psychic! She doesn’t even know where the problem is.
But then, I knew she wasn’t for real anyway. I was thinking what a waste of time, when suddenly I felt a deep heat going through the inside of me, through my back and into my arms. When she took her hands away from my head, the heat dissipated.” 4
As she retraced her steps from the altar rail, Lynn was convinced that she was, if anything, even more seriously hurt than before. She felt that the action of the healer had actually added to her injuries. She sat out the remainder of the service in a state of shock.
As she was leaving the church, however, Lynn noticed that both her arms felt perfectly normal. She found that she was able to raise her right arm, still in its sling, without the usual searing “tear response” which inevitably attended any movement.
Furthermore, the agonising pain in her neck had been reduced to a mere ache. Thinking that this was a temporary effect caused by her state of shock, Lynn waited for the pain to return. But by the time she reached her home in Washington, D.C., the pain had still not returned.
Her husband greeted her skeptically, saying: “Well, did you get healed?” In response, Lynn flailed both her arms and moved her neck and cried, “Did I ever get healed!” Her husband looked at her in stunned amazement.
“The poor man! I felt sorry. I just watched the color drain from his face, and he was listing a little to the left. Finally he said, ‘Do that again’, and I did. You know how you always have to repeat everything for scientific validity.” 5
For Lynn Brailler, almost ten years of suffering and intense pain had come to a sudden and dramatic end. Her neck injuries had been completely healed.
The experiences which occurred to Harry Wright, Andrija Puharich and Lynn Brailler, are instances of physical healing which defy explanation in conventional western medical terms.
Because they do not fall within the accepted mould of western medical thinking, cases such as these are generally regarded as spurious, as contraventions of reality. Where they are not condemned as outright fraud, they are rejected as the result of suggestion and imagination.
They are not considered to be cases of valid medical procedures. But while the cures that were witnessed by these three people may seem inexplicable within our own definition of reality, they nevertheless find a legitimate place within the mental framework of other cultural patterns of belief.
Michael Harner was a teacher of anthropology at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York. He was not, however, the usual type of teacher one might expect to find within this academic discipline.
Harner was a recognised shaman, having received his shamanistic training from the Jivaro Indians on the eastern slopes of the South American Andes, as well as with the Conibo Indians of the Ucayali River region of the Peruvian Amazon.
For Harner, shamanism was not mere mumbo-jumbo, or some pseudo-medical subterfuge played upon the gullibility of simple minds. Rather, it was an exquisitely refined social and psychological paradigm, based upon an alternate view of reality. As he described it:
“Shamanism is a great mental and emotional adventure, one in which the patient as well as the shaman-healer are involved. Through his heroic journey and efforts, the shaman helps his patients transcend their normal, ordinary definition of reality, including the definition of themselves as ill.
“The shaman shows his patients that they are not emotionally and spiritually alone in their struggles against illness and death. The shaman shares his special powers and convinces his patients on a deep level of consciousness, that another human is willing to offer up his own self to help them.
“The shaman’s self-sacrifice calls forth commensurate emotional commitment from his patients, a sense of obligation to struggle alongside the shaman to save one’s self. Caring and curing go hand in hand.” 6
For Harner, shamanism is not a practice which can be separated from the mental paradigm in which it has its roots. Its validity lies in its value in sustaining the social fabric of the tribe, and its ability to diagnose and treat disease within the context of that psychological setting.
The mental paradigm under which the shaman operates, is not the paradigm held by the modern medical practitioner. The witchdoctor and the brujo function within a description of the universe which is profoundly different from the western way of thinking.
Its efficacy is not denied by the validity of the western scientific paradigm. Both descriptions of the universe are valid within their own contexts of belief. It is the belief in each underlying system which generates results. These beliefs are not confined to any special society. They can in fact be transferred from one group to another. They can be learned as the need arises.
For example, by using those same methods by which he was taught, Harner has conducted training workshops in shamanistic healing throughout Europe and North America.
He has found that westerners can successfully practice shamanism, if they are prepared to set aside their usual systems of belief and conventional assumptions of reality.
As he stresses to his students, it is not necessary to understand how shamanism works in order to practise shamanistic healing, just as it is not necessary to understand the principle of electricity to operate a motor vehicle or radio. All that is necessary is to permit one’s self the freedom of believing in its possibility.
With that as a base, the subsequent results speak for themselves, and are their own proof of the validity of the shamanistic way of healing. Harner has demonstrated that shamanism does not draw its worth from the gullibility of primitive minds. It is potentially as effective within western technological society as it is within the aboriginal world.
What determines its effectiveness is the underlying foundation of belief.
When Harold Wright witnessed the strange ritual on the banks of the Marañón river in Peru, his western scientific training led him to believe that the efforts of the Jivaro brujo were mere sleight-of-hand tricks designed to prey upon the gullibility of his guide Gabrio.
It was clear to Wright that the various objects which the medicine man spat onto the sand were objects which he had previously extracted from his tobacco-like pouch, slipped surreptitiously into his mouth, and then regurgitated at the appropriate psychological moment.
To Wright, there seemed nothing of real medical value in the entire performance, other than the inescapable fact that it cured Gabrio of his painful condition.
Yet Harner has pointed out that the various creatures which the medicine man produced were not simply a collection of extraneous objects gathered at random. Each object was actually a tsentsak, or magical dart, which was essential to the shamanistic method of healing.
According to the shamanistic paradigm of belief, the tsentsak, or spirit helpers, are powers which are believed to cause and cure disease. Non-shamans are naturally unable to see these spirit helpers because they do not share the shamanistic state of consciousness. To the shaman, however, they are vividly real.
Harner explains the significance of these spirit helpers, and the role they play in the restoration of health.
“Each tsentsak has an ordinary and nonordinary aspect. The magical dart’s ordinary aspect is an ordinary material object, as seen without drinking ayahuasca. But the non-ordinary and “true” aspect of the tsentsak is revealed to the shaman by taking the drink.
“When he does this, the magical darts appear in their hidden forms as spirit helpers, such as giant butterflies, jaguars, serpents, birds and monkeys, who actively assist the shaman in his tasks.
“When a healing shaman is called in to treat a patient, his first task is diagnostic. He drinks ayahuasca, green tobacco water, and sometimes the juice of a plant called piripiri. The consciousness changing substances permit him to see into the body of the patient as though it were glass.
“If the illness is due to sorcery, the healing shaman will see the intruding non-ordinary entity within the patient’s body clearly enough to determine whether he possesses the appropriate spirit helper to extract it by sucking.
“When he is ready to suck, the shaman keeps two tsentsak, of the type identical to the one he has seen in the patient’s body, in the front and rear of his mouth. They are present in both their material and nonmaterial aspects, and are there to catch the non-ordinary aspect of the magical dart when the shaman sucks it out of the patient’s body.
“He then “vomits” out this object and displays it to the patient and his family saying, “Now I have sucked it out. Here it is.” The non-shamans may think that the material object itself is what has been sucked out, and the shaman does not disillusion them.
“To explain to the layman that he already had these objects in his mouth would serve no fruitful purpose and would prevent him from displaying such an object as proof that he had effected the cure.” 7
Psychic Surgeon Tony Agpoa
Among the psychic surgeons of the Philippines and Brazil, the ability to operate within a unique framework of reality, other than the normal state of mind, is crucial to the healer’s craft. Like the shaman, the psychic surgeon works within a specific framework of belief, which is linked in turn to those cultural values which lend it its validity.
Western observers, who have watched psychic surgeons at work, have made much play of the fact that these “surgeons” seldom actually penetrate the skin of their patients, but manipulate instead their outer flesh.
They point out that laboratory analyses of the tumours and other tissues which emerge from such surgery often reveal no organic link with the patient concerned. Surgeons even produce bizarre objects such as feathers and pips, which could never have been part of the bodies of their patients.
Furthermore, the blood, which usually appears in such profusion at these surgical operations, is often found to belong to pigs or chickens, or to some other non-human source. To critically trained observers of the west, these absurdities are taken to be clear evidence of medical fraud – a charade played upon the ignorance of their patients.
Yet this judgement is merely a reflection of the way in which these effects are construed within the western paradigm of thought. But the phenomena of one paradigm can never be validated within the context of another.
The physical objects which the shaman spits out, or the tissues which the psychic surgeon excises, cannot be interpreted correctly within the context of the western framework of belief. These things are visitors from another paradigm.
They can have no value within the western medical mould of thinking, just as the idea of pathological bacteria has no significance within the shamanistic scheme.
The objects conjured up by psychic healers are actually materialisations, or apports created by the healer, which serve as physical evidence induced to enforce belief that effective treatment has actually taken place.
As Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama was told when he challenged the Philippine psychic surgeon Tony Agpoa:
“I asked Tony Agpoa why he finds it necessary to produce immediate, physically apprehensible results (such as blood) during the operation. Tony said that it is actually unnecessary to produce blood or tissue to cure a person, but he held that people will become more convinced of the existence of higher dimensions of being if they witness the materializations of physical objects through non-physical means, and that such immediate experience is necessary to shock materialistically oriented people into spiritual growth.” 8
(Continued in Part Two)
1 Harry Wright, “Witness to Witchcraft“, Funk and Wagnalls, New York, 1957, pp. 8-15.
2 Gene Klinger, “Jose Arigo or Dr Fritz?” Fate magazine, December, 1967, pp. 95-96.
3 James Crenshaw, “A New View of Healing“, Fate magazine, May 1979, pp. 89-90.
4 Ibid, p. 90.
5 Ibid, p. 91.
6 Michael Harner, “The Way of the Shaman“, Bantam, New York, 1982, pp. xiii-xiv.
7 Ibid, pp. 21-23.
8 Hireshi Motoyama with Rande Brown, “Science and the Evolution of Consciousness“, Autumn Press, Brookline, 1978, p. 127.
In the third chapter of the Book of Exodus, the Bible describes an occasion some three thousand years ago when Moses was tending to the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian.
It records how Moses led the flock “to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb“. And it was on this mountain that he was attracted to a bush that mysteriously “burned with fire but was not consumed“.
As Moses approached the bush, he heard a voice that identified itself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph calling out to him. This voice then charged Moses with the task of rescuing the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt.
Then in chapter 19 of Exodus, three months after Moses had succeeded in his mission, the Bible records how the children of Israel came to the wilderness of Sinai, and camped at the foot of the mountain. And it was there, on Mount Sinai, that God gave Moses the tablets of stone on which were inscribed the Ten Commandments.
Although the mountain on which these two events took place is called Mount Horeb at one place in the Bible, and Mount Sinai in another, most Jewish scholars consider that Mount Horeb and Mount Sinai refer to the same place.
So in mystical fashion, the place where Moses first encountered the burning bush turned out to be the very spot where he later received the Ten Commandments. And it was here on Mount Sinai that a Christian monastery later came to be built to commemorate both of these events.
St. Catherine’s Monastery and the Sinai Peninsula (Courtesy BBC)
This Greek Orthodox monastery is commonly known today as St. Catherine’s monastery. It is located in the Egyptian province of Sinai, at the mouth of a gorge at the foot of Mount Sinai, where it has flourished for over fifteen hundred years.
The fortress walls of the monastery were built at the order of the Emperor Justinian in 542 AD, to protect it from Bedouin marauders. The walls also enclosed a special chapel that had been commissioned several centuries earlier by Helena, consort of Constantine the Great, the first Roman Emperor to embrace Christianity.
This chapel, which is known today as St. Helen’s Chapel, was built at the site where Moses was believed to have seen the burning bush. The bush that can be seen on the chapel grounds today is considered to be the same one witnessed by Moses.
Behind the Monastery, a pathway of stone steps have been carved out of the mountain. They are known as the “Stairs of Repentance”, and they lead from the Monastery walls up to the top of Mount Sinai, at an altitude of 7,500 feet (2285 metres).
St. Catherine’s Monastery as it looks today
In 1934 AD, a Greek Orthodox chapel was built on the summit of the mountain, at the site of the ruins of a 16th-century church. This chapel encloses the rock that is thought to be the origin of the stone tablets given to Moses.
While most Christians today know about the link between Moses and Mount Sinai, very few are aware of the association between St. Catherine’s monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai and Muhammad, the founder of the Islamic religion.
The prophet Muhammad was born around 570 AD in the Arabian city of Mecca, located some 400 miles(640 kms) to the south-east of Mount Sinai. Muhammad was orphaned at an early age, and was raised by his paternal uncle Abu Talib.
It is known that while he was still in his early teens, the young Muhammad accompanied his uncle on trading journeys to Syria, which took him through the Arabian peninsula. Later on, he became a merchant and made frequent trips to the area.
It was during the course of these trips that Muhammad came to visit St. Catherine’s monastery, where he was welcomed by the monks who engaged him in discussions about science, philosophy and spirituality. It is said that these discussions had a great influence on the young prophet.
Muhammad’s religious calling began at the age of forty, when he had a series of visions of the angel Gabriel. Although he continued to live in Mecca, in the year 622 AD Muhammad became aware of a plot to kill him, causing him and his followers to leave Mecca and flee to the city of Medina – an event that became known in Islamic tradition as the Hijra (flight).
Four years after the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, in 626 AD, the monks of St. Catherine claimed that the prophet had personally granted them a special charter which became known as the Achtiname of Muhammad.
Under the terms laid out in this charter, all Christians “far and near” who were living under Islamic rule were granted protection, freedom of worship and movement, as well as the freedom to appoint their own judges and to own and maintain their own property.
A 16th Century copy of the Achtiname of Muhammad
They were also granted exemption from military service, freedom from paying taxes, and the right to protection by Islamic forces in the event of war. This document (the Achtiname), was sealed with the imprint of the hand of Muhammad.
According to the monks of St. Catherine, during the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517 AD, the original document was seized by Ottoman soldiers, and taken to the palace of Sultan Selim I in Istanbul for safekeeeping. However, a copy was made to compensate the monks for the loss of their original document.
According to historical documents issued by the government in Cairo during the period of Ottoman rule from 1517 AD to 1798 AD, the Pashas of Egypt recognised the authenticity of this document, and annually reaffirmed the protections granted to the monastery by Muhammad.
To this day certified historical copies of this Achtiname can be found on display at the library of St. Catherine. An Arabic version of the text was first published in 1916, followed shortly thereafter by a German translation in Bernhard Moritz’s Beiträge zur Geschichte des Sinai-Klosters.
An English translation of the original text was published in the early 20th century by F. Anton Haddad under the title Oath of the Prophet Mohammed to the Followers of the Nazarene. It reads as follows:
“This is a letter which was issued by Mohammed, Ibn Abdullah, the Messenger, the Prophet, the Faithful, who is sent to all the people as a trust on the part of God to all His creatures, that they may have no plea against God hereafter.
Verily God is the Mighty, the Wise. This letter is directed to the embracers of Islam, as a covenant given to the followers of Nazarene in the East and West, the far and near, the Arabs and foreigners, the known and the unknown.
This letter contains the oath given unto them, and he who disobeys that which is therein will be considered a disobeyer and a transgressor to that whereunto he is commanded.
He will be regarded as one who has corrupted the oath of God, disbelieved His Testament, rejected His Authority, despised His Religion, and made himself deserving of His Curse, whether he is a Sultan or any other believer of Islam.
Whenever monks, devotees and pilgrims gather together, whether in a mountain or valley, or den, or frequented place, or plain, or church, or in houses of worship, verily we are [at the] back of them and shall protect them, and their properties and their morals, by Myself, by My Friends and by My Assistants, for they are of My Subjects and under My Protection.
I shall exempt them from that which may disturb them; of the burdens which are paid by others as an oath of allegiance. They must not give anything of their income but that which pleases them.
They must not be offended, or disturbed, or coerced or compelled. Their judges should not be changed or prevented from accomplishing their offices, nor the monks disturbed in exercising their religious order, or the people of seclusion be stopped from dwelling in their cells.
No one is allowed to plunder the pilgrims, or destroy or spoil any of their churches, or houses of worship, or take any of the things contained within these houses and bring it to the houses of Islam.
And he who takes away anything therefrom, will be one who has corrupted the oath of God, and, in truth, disobeyed His Messenger.
Poll-taxes should not be put upon their judges, monks, and those whose occupation is the worship of God; nor is any other thing to be taken from them, whether it be a fine, a tax or any unjust right.
Verily I shall keep their compact, wherever they may be, in the sea or on the land, in the East or West, in the North or South, for they are under My Protection and the testament of My Safety, against all things which they abhor.
No taxes or tithes should be received from those who devote themselves to the worship of God in the mountains, or from those who cultivate the Holy Lands. No one has the right to interfere with their affairs, or bring any action against them.
Verily this is for aught else and not for them; rather, in the seasons of crops, they should be given a Kadah for each Ardab of wheat (about five bushels and a half) as provision for them, and no one has the right to say to them this is too much, or ask them to pay any tax.
As to those who possess properties, the wealthy and merchants, the poll-tax to be taken from them must not exceed twelve drachmas a head per year.
They shall not be imposed upon by anyone to undertake a journey, or to be forced to go to wars or to carry arms; for the Islams have to fight for them.
Do no dispute or argue with them, but deal according to the verse recorded in the Koran, to wit: ‘Do not dispute or argue with the People of the Book but in that which is best’ [29:46].
Thus they will live favored and protected from everything which may offend them by the Callers to religion (Islam), wherever they may be and in any place they may dwell.
Should any Christian woman be married to a Musulman, such marriage must not take place except after her consent, and she must not be prevented from going to her church for prayer. Their churches must be honored and they must not be withheld from building churches or repairing convents.
They must not be forced to carry arms or stones; but the Islams must protect them and defend them against others. It is positively incumbent upon every one of the Islam nation not to contradict or disobey this oath until the Day of Resurrection and the end of the world”. (View Source)
As will be clear from the words of this document, it was the expressed wish of the prophet Muhammad that Christians be allowed to pursue their faith in whatever manner they wished, and free from interference by those of the Islamic faith.
This message from the foot of Mt. Sinai is also a timely reminder that the essential message of Islam is one of peace, tolerance and goodwill to all people, and that it is the duty of Moslems everywhere to protect any Christians who happen to live in their communities.
It is also a reminder in these days of fanatical religious extremism, where various sects are intent on wiping out all those who think and act differently from themselves, that all religions draw their meaning from a common source, and that all human beings share a common nature that is Divine.
The ability to communicate between human and other forms of life is not limited to domesticated animals, but includes creatures of the wild as well.
When biologist Lyall Watson lived for some months on a remote Indonesian island in the Banda Sea, he became fascinated by the egg-laying rituals of female marine turtles.
These ponderous creatures would come ashore under the curtain of night to dig nests in the sand in which to lay their eggs, before dragging themselves exhaustedly back into the simmering surf. Although numerous different species of turtle came ashore, Watson was never able to catch sight of the giant of all sea turtles, the leatherback.
Finally, after many nights in vain anticipation, he happened to mention his interest in this turtle to the local djuru, a man who had an uncanny ability to locate and understand sea creatures. The djuru promised to show him one.
It was several weeks later when the village djuru approached Watson and announced that his wish would be fulfilled. That afternoon, the two of them proceeded to a spur of volcanic rock which stretched into the deep waters of the lagoon.
Then, as Watson watched in curiosity, the djuru crouched down at the water’s edge and began dabbing his fingers in the waves, as if he were playing upon the keys of a piano.
After about twenty minutes of this strange behaviour, Watson noticed a large frigate bird swooping low over the surface of the lagoon. As the bird drew nearer, it was clear that it was attracted by a dark shape in the water that was steadily approaching the tongue of rock on which the two men stood.
Suddenly, the glistening olive-green shell of a leatherback turtle broke the surface of the waves. It was larger than Watson had ever imagined. At the sight of this creature, the djuru broke into a quiet chant. Slowly, but with repeated evasive flights of alarm, the giant turtle approached the djuru’s outstretched fingertips.
As Watson watched in astonishment, the turtle lifted its beak and gently nibbled at his fingers, before turning and swimming swiftly back to the open sea. 1
Aboriginal societies not only communicate with animals but with plants as well. When shamans and witchdoctors incorporate plants and herbs in their medicinal cures, they talk to them as part of their rituals.
One of the mental hurdles that Carlos Castaneda had to overcome in his apprenticeship to the Yaqui shaman Don Juan, was his idea that plants could not communicate and were incapable of feelings. As Don Juan continued to stress to his western neophyte, however, “Plants are very peculiar things – they are alive and they feel.” 2
On another occasion he told his pupil, “In order to see the plants, you must talk to them personally. You must get to know them individually, then the plants can tell you anything you care to know about them.” 3
One person who was well aware that plants were conscious and were able to think and feel, was the Indian scientist Jagadis Chandra Bose. Bose was educated at Christ College, Cambridge, and astonished his colleagues with various devices he invented to measure the character and sensitivity of plants.
He was able to demonstrate, by physical means, that plants had a nervous system and that they enjoyed a varied emotional life. He found that they responded to such stimuli as hate and love, and that they expressed such emotions as fear and pleasure.
Like humans, Bose found that plants became intoxicated when given doses of alcohol , and showed every sign of the common hangover. He also noticed that the application of chloroform on plants had the effect of temporally discontinuing all growth, and led to a state of general torpor.
It was by this means that Bose was able successfully to transplant trees that were fully grown. He also discovered that plants suffered from stress and fatigue, and that this directly affected their powers of resisting disease.
He found, furthermore, that at the moment of death plants radiated an enormous electrical charge. Referring to this phenomenon he noted that five hundred green peas were able to generate, in their death spasm, an electrical discharge that was sufficient to electrocute a chef, if it were possible to connect them up in series. 4
For his innovative research and success in analysing plant physiology, Bose received a knighthood in 1917.
Although many people might be prepared to grant intelligence to domestic pets, and even concede a sympathetic response in plants, few would generally consider that any form of consciousness or intelligence might reside in insects.
Yet all insects, as Maharaj has pointed out, possess consciousness and an awareness of identity. Some years after Allen Boone had his memorable relationship with Strongheart, he formed an unusual friendship with a common housefly, which he christened Freddie.
Boone was able to establish his extraordinary contact with the fly by drawing on the lessons he had learned from his experiences with Strongheart. He found that he could attract the fly to him if it were absent, merely be issuing a mental call. He also found that the fly responded directly to his thoughts and feelings:
“There was no emotionalism or sentimentality, or wishful thinking in all of this. I simply was compelled to realize that as I identified Freddie as either intelligent or unintelligent, good or bad, friendly or unfriendly, co-operative or unco-operative – that is precisely how he behaved. For Freddie was nothing more or less than the state of my own consciousness about him being made manifest in our outward experience.”
It took a humble housefly to reveal to Boone that life, consciousness and intelligence manifested in all creatures, and that no matter how lowly these might appear to the human eye, each demonstrated an amazing ability to share in a world of fun, joy and adventure.
In describing his episode with Freddie, Boone recalled the words of the thirteenth century mystic and theologian, Meister Eckhart:
“When I preached in Paris I said then – and I regard it well said – that not a man in Paris can conceive with all his learning that God is in the very meanest creatures – even in a fly.” 5
According to the sages, intelligence is a characteristic of all life, and inhabits every form. Even such microscopic creatures as bacteria exhibit intelligence, by processing information in ways which are favourable to their survival.
One of the problems with which medical scientists have grappled in the course of their research, has been the problem of “acquired bacterial resistance”. This is exemplified by such strains of bacteria as staphylococci, which, over a period of time, have become immune to the influence of such antibiotics as penicillin.
In a similar way, the bacterium Escherichia coli have become immune to the drug streptomycin. 6
It is a common experience that chemical antitoxins work well initially in counteracting the ravages of bacteria. Over the course of time, however, the efficacy of these antitoxins becomes reduced, until finally they cease to be effective altogether.
The limits to intelligence do not end with microscopic forms of organic life, for evidence continues to accumulate that even insentient matter possesses a rudimentary form of consciousness and intelligence.
Jagadis Bose found that metals suffered from fatigue, just as plants and humans did, and that, if given sufficient opportunity to rest, would return to their normal level of functioning.
Bose discovered that the pattern of fatigue demonstrated by a slightly warmed magnetic oxide of iron was similar to that exhibited by human muscles. In both instances, the recovery response decreased with exertion. Bose found, however, that metal fatigue could be removed by gentle massage or immersion in warm water.
He also learned that potassium lost its power of recovery altogether when coated with certain substances, in a way which seemed to rival the response of muscular tissue to various poisons.
When Sir Michael Foster, secretary of the Royal Society, called on Bose one day while he was engrossed in one of his experiments, he happened to glance at the response curve that was being recorded. “Come now, Bose,” he exclaimed, “what is the novelty of this curve? We have known of it for at least half a century.”
When Bose asked him what he thought the curve represented, Foster” replied: “Why, a curve of muscle response, of course.” Sir Michael was silenced when Bose quietly countered: “Pardon me, but it is the response of metallic tin!” 7
Bose was led by the results of his experiments, to question the classical scientific division between organic and inorganic life, and came to the conclusion that this dichotomy was purely artificial.
At a meeting which took place at the Royal Institution on May 10, 1901, he announced to his bemused audience:
“I have shown you this evening autographic records of the history of stress and strain in the living and the non-living. How similar are their writings! So similar indeed that you cannot tell one apart from the other. Among such phenomena, how can we draw a line of demarcation and say, here the physical ends, and here the physiological begins? Such absolute barriers do not exist.” 7
Science has traditionally divided nature into two distinct categories. That which is inert it has called inorganic matter, while that which has demonstrated the principle of cohesive growth, it has called organic life.
It has, furthermore, classified organic life into a hierarchy of forms, starting from the simplest and proceeding to the most complex. Science has called the process whereby the simple forms have been transformed into the complex, evolution.
While it has succeeded in identifying these various forms of life and cataloguing them according to certain common characteristics, science is still struggling to explain the way in which these transformations have taken place. As has been pointed out in earlier Blogs, the traditional theory provided by Charles Darwin now seems ripe for a new explanation.
Mankind stands today at the apex of the evolutionary process, and appears to science to be the fruit of an age-old procession through a long hierarchy of forms. The physiology of man is considered to be the product of his unique genetic code, which ultimately determines the limits of his powers.
Yet the scientific description of the origins and nature of humanity, as represented by the current theory of evolution, is the direct product and outgrowth of the classical mode of thought, which believed that the universe was a form of Giant Machine.
Because the universe was conceived to be a vast scheme of physical objects and organic creatures that existed independently of the observer, the appearance of this variety of form led naturally to the concept of an evolutionary spiral linking these forms together in a meaningful way.
But once the universe is portrayed as a subjective phenomenon, in the form of various images appearing in consciousness, then the entire edifice of evolutionary thought reveals itself to be a structure built upon the quicksands of illusion.
Since illumined souls have taught that there is no such thing as an objective universe that exists separately from us, what we have taken to be a real world is, they claim, merely a series of images projected on consciousness, just as cinematic images are projected on a screen.
Furthermore, because these images are projected by the mind of each individual observer, the nature of what is seen must inevitably reflect the content of each mind. It is the recognition of this fact, or, to be more precise, its revelation, which the sages claim exposes the true nature of creation. For as Maharaj points out:
“To know that you are a prisoner of your mind, that you live in an imaginary world of your own creation is the dawn of wisdom.” 8
Because the universe has revealed a plethora of creatures, the various religions of the world have taught that all these creatures have been created by a supernal God. The sages, on the other hand, have consistently taught that the existence of all creation, as well as the God to whom it is attributed, is in fact a creation of our minds.
It is because we find ourselves living in a world of incredible size and beauty that we assume that there must exist some all-powerful Being who is responsible for this extraordinary variety. The sages point out, however, that this entire panoply of universal form is nothing but a projection of our minds, and that it is we ourselves who are the authors of its expression.
The various religious orders of the world pander to the needs of their adherents by conceding the existence of a Creator. To those who can grasp the subtle truth, however, the sages reveal the subjective nature of the universe.
As the master explains to his disciple in the Indian Vedantic classic Advaita Bodha Deepika:
“Man having forgotten his true nature of being in the all-perfect Ether of Consciousness, is deluded by ignorance into identifying himself with a body, etc., and regarding himself as an insignificant individual of mean capacity.
“If to him it is told that he is the creator of the whole universe, he will flout the idea and refuse to be guided. So coming down to his level the scriptures posit an Isvara as the creator of the universe. But it is not the truth. You are now mistaking the nursery tale for metaphysical truth.” 9
The entire discipline of science is founded upon the belief that the universe exists as an objective phenomenon that is experienced alike by every mind. Yet despite the splendid theories of science, and despite the evidence of our senses, there is no world of shape or form that exists independently of our selves.
We project the images we see in waking life, just as we do in hallucination or dream. The fact that we are able to discover in the rich world of our experience, fossilised remains buried in antiquated rocks, together with ruins of ancient civilisations, does not in any way alter the fact that these hoary objects are actually pristine images which are being projected moment by moment in consciousness.
Our experiences in waking consciousness are, in essence, no different from our dreams.
In our dreams we also see objects of great antiquity. We discover ancient relics and other buildings and artifacts which seem to be the product of long ages of time. Yet when we wake, we see that the appearance of time was illusory, and that our ancient ruins were freshly minted by our minds within the fleeting moments of the dream.
When we see the images and objects of our waking state, we do not stop for a moment to consider that they might also arise in the same way as a vision or hallucination. Instead, we allow ourselves to be beguiled by the evidence of our senses into believing that our waking state is the only state that is real, and that it alone reflects an objective world.
Because our waking world is not an objective world, the analysis of those physical objects and organic forms which populate our waking state is only valid within the context of belief. Our conclusions have no underlying validity that is independent of our thinking.
Trying to classify the images of our waking world is no different from attempting to catalogue the creations of our dreams. Just as the idea of subjecting the content of our dreams to scientific analysis seems ludicrous, so also the evaluation of our waking world in scientific terms is equally illusory.
Our scientific paradigms are mere pyramids of thought, built upon our belief in an objective reality which is itself illusory. As Sri Ramana Maharshi remarks:
“One sees an edifice in his dream. It rises up all of a sudden. Then he begins to think how it should have been built brick by brick by so many labourers over such a long period of time. Yet he does not see the builders working.
“So also with the theory of evolution. Because he finds himself a man, he thinks he has developed to that stage from the primeval state of the amoeba. The man always traces an effect to a cause; there must be a cause for a cause; the argument becomes interminable.” 10
The physical bodies which we inhabit in our waking world appear to us to be completely real. In terms of the current scientific description of the universe, our bodies are believed to be dominated by the messages of our genes, and that it is our genes which ultimately decide what our bodies can and cannot do.
Yet the sages have pointed out that our bodies are encompassed by our minds, and that it is the content of our minds which determines the effective limits of our ability. Each person’s world thus takes the shape of those thoughts which give it birth.
“Thoughts“, says the Maharshi, “are the content of the mind, and they shape the universe“. 11
Or in the words of Maharaj, “What is imagined and willed becomes actuality“. 12
Or again, “The world becomes for one whatever one is accustomed to think of it“. 13
Our world, stress the sages, is governed by our minds. Our bodies, likewise, are limited only by our thinking. We are not bound by any laws of nature, nor are we dependent on the decrees of any genes. We are always free to roam within the limitless shores of our minds.
Confronted by this bold statement, the tough-minded realist reacts by saying: “I simply don’t believe it!”
The sage in turn retorts: “That, in a nutshell, is your problem”. For as Jesus assured the father of a child stricken with a demonic sprit: “All things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23)
When Kirk Maynard Gull dragged himself across the beach with a damaged wing, Jonathan urged him to fly.
“You don’t understand. My wing. I can’t move my wing.
Maynard Gull, you have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way.
Are you saying I can fly?
I say you are free.” 14
Each one of us is ever free to transcend the apparent limitations of our bodies. We are neither the captives of our genes nor the victims of our environment. Each one of us is truly the unlimited expression of our divine potential.
We limit ourselves only by our thoughts, and by the nature of our beliefs. Our true origins do not lie in the gloom of a primeval past. They arise out of the untrammeled depths of spirit.
From our earliest days we have bound ourselves in chains of our own making, absorbing those beliefs that are the common heritage of our culture. But we need not remain bound. We are always free to shed the shackles of our illusory limitations, if we can only bring ourselves to believe we can.
Science has determined man to be a creature of the earth, a product of the long, slow march of time. Born out of the primal slime of antiquity, he is believed to have emerged from the ancient seas, until he came to stalk the land.
Driven by the constant struggle for survival, he mutated through a kaleidoscope of forms, until he laboriously reached that pinnacle of physical expression in which he exists today. Man’s potential is believed to be determined by his genes, which set strict limits to what may or may not be done.
The testimony of the sages points to an altogether more ethereal source. Man, they say, is a creature of ancestral freedom. The apparent limits of his physical form are but the shadows of his mind.
Loose the shackles of his thoughts, they claim, and he is free to explore the utmost limits of desire. His only obstacle is the impediment of his own belief. Man’s ultimate destiny, and the end of all his striving, lies in the rediscovery of his One True Source.
This is the truth that sets him free.
1 Lyall Watson, “Lifetide“, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1979, pp. 179-180.
2 Carlos Castaneda, “Journey to Ixtlan“, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1972, p. 22.
3 Carlos Castaneda, “A Separate Reality”, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1971, p. 117.
4 Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, “The Secret Life of Plants“, Avon, New York, 1974, p. 107.
5 Allen Boone. “Kinship with All Life“, Harper and Row, New York, 1954, pp. 143-144.
6 Harold Morowitz, “Do Bacteria Think?” in Psychology Today, 15:10-12, 1981.
7 “The Secret Life of Plants“, op. cit., pp. 99-101.
8 “Seeds of Consciousness“, The Wisdom of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, edited by Jean Dunn, Grove Press, New York, 1982, pp. 199-200.
9 “Advaita Bodha Deepika“, translated by Swami Saraswathi, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 1967, p. 20.
10 “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi“, recorded by Swami Saraswathi, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 1968, p. 603.
11 Ibid, p. 93.
12 “I Am That“, Conversations with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, translated by Maurice Frydman, Book I, Chetana, Bombay, 1973, p. 241.
13 “Tripura Rahasya“, translated by Swami Saraswathi, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 1962, p. 88.
14 Richard Bach, “Jonathan Livingstone Seagull“, Pan Books, London, 1973, pp. 82-83.