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Spirit and Distant Healing (21) Review of 'Healing Invisble Wounds' by Richard Mollica

By:Richard Rowley
Date: Thu,23 Dec 2010
Submitter:Richard Rowley

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Unity and the temporary and relative power of the Dark Forces in genocide, from Cambodia, the Balkans, Rwanda, and Iraq.

It is important to know that this great knowledge we have of the world of spirit beyond the material universe, of our greater existence and our ability to contact and interact with those who have passed on, and in return, their ability in various ways to contact, influence and help us, - this great knowledge provides us with an understanding of why the world we live in is in such a deplorable state of suffering, unrest and disharmony, in spite of technological advances. How can it be that with all this richness in spirit life, we continue to suffer in this world, to act cruelly and destructively, destroying our very civilization and the natural beauty we see around us? The philosopher Kierkegaard wrote about this almost two hundred years agao, just before Marx and Darwin came out with their theories, and Albert Schweitzer continued with this criticism of Godless or spiritless materialism after the First World War, writing in 1923 and foreseeing further trouble ahead and his comments are most pertinent today. Civilization has lost its humanity, and science, technology and philosophy were, and are still leading towards nihilism, cynicism, futility and meaningless destruction. ["The Decay and the Restoration of Civilization," "Civilization and Ethics," and "Reverence for Life."] Post-Modernism has led us even further along that path.

On a personal note, having moved beyond acceptance of many of the beliefs of the world religions towards the knowledge which Spiritualism and Psychic Science has opened up for us, I do wonder how fellow human beings can continue to destroy each other and themselves, and the world around them, in the name of defence and security, or some ideal, cause or just out of greed, self-interest, ignorance or insanity. They all lack what Schweitzer would call reverence for life. Their ethical system is relative, or rather, their thinking is unethical, and ignores spiritual law. They are either entranced by material prospects or influenced by very negative spiritual energies.

The trouble in trying to deal with and heal the casualties arising from this situation is that most of the members of our medical and mental health professions do not accept the spiritual realities, and are even sceptical of the effectiveness of prayer. As for spirit release therapy, it is too far out for most to understand and accept. Personally I DO accept the greater spiritual realties behind all life which are glimpsed in different ways by our world religions. A near-death-experience at age 11, and evidence received through mediums of survival of members of my own family, cast out any possible doubt. Demonstrations at the Findhorn Community in Scotland by Eileen Caddy, Dorothy MacLean, David Spangler and others, and more recently by Lorna Byrne in Ireland have shown that there is also a world of devas, angels and nature spirits and other entities who cooperate in maintaining and healing us and our environment. Prayer and communication with other worlds and dimensions have time and again been be effective and meaningful.

With regard to dealing with the medical profession's general apathy in this direction, I can do no better than review a few passages relevant to Spirit Release work, from Dr. Richard F. Mollica's book about his treating cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder all around the world, "Healing Invisible Wounds: Paths to Hope and Recovery in a Violent World." [Harcourt Inc., 2006.] The book is required reading for all of us concerned with the effects of violence in this troubled world of ours.

"As I listened to the story of Leakana, an elderly Cambodian woman who was one of the first patients in our clinic (for refugees from genocide) I realised that the conventional psychiatric tools I had been taught would not be sufficient to help her.......

She had survived the Khmer Rouge labor camps that killed five daughters and four of her ten grandchildren. After fleeing Cambodia into the Thai refugee camps, she and a remaining son and daughter were resettled in America. Psychologically, she was full of fear, anxiety, and despair. Her main medical complaint was that she was dizzy and chronically on the verge of fainting. [she had been 'lucky' to have survived, when more than two million people, out of approximately eight million, died of starvation and murder in Pol Pot's labor camps, not to mention the casualties of the previous decade from the bombing of Cambodia and Laos by U.S. planes, where more tonnage had been dropped on those neutral countries than had been dropped during the entire second World War. The emerging nations are not the only perpetrators of acts of barbarism. The USA has the largest growing arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in the world, and has not been afraid to use them].

"[She] was a deeply religious Buddhist widow. She believed her spirit was possessed by the god of the sun, who cause her to faint and accompnied her to a place with animals and people who represented death. Spirit possession is common in Cambodian culture and can, as in this patient's case, be dangerous. Once the spirit has entered a person's body and mind, it can cause serious illness and even death if it not quickly eliminated.This patient was extremely depressed because the Khmer Rouge had killed most of her children and grandchildren. Through her request for help in building a temple, she was telling us that the solution to her extraordinary grief and despair was not to be found in the counseling and medication we offered her. Her pain was so great that it could only be relieved by building a Buddhist temple.

"In a conventional psychiatric setting Leakana would have been diagnosed as having a psychotic illness because it seemed that she was out of touch with reality by claiming to be possessed by the god of the sun, hearing voices, and having hallucinations. She would have been given drugs and denied access to psychotherapy. Her request for help in building a temple by the sea would have been interpreted as grandiose and delusional. But this assessment would have been inaccurate. In her understanding of my role as a doctor to keep her healthy, it was legitimate for her to ask me to help build this temple, because she felt she was going to die. I agreed to her request, having no idea how I could honor it. The solution we came upon was to speak to local Cambodian authorities, who allowed Leakana to enter the local monastery as a Budddhist nun. Although she was never able to build a temple herself, she could still devote her life to Buddhism. [She visited the doctor every month, and in this way she was able to live in peace until her death fifteen years later].......

"The therapeutic power of spirituality is a sensitive topic for modern medical and psychiatric practitioners, who generally do not believe that divine beings enter into the healing process. The medical and psychiatric attitude toward the healing power of spirituality leans more to the side of skepticism and passive neglect. Although the medical profession deals with mortality on a daily basis, many doctors seem unable to address the spiritual issues of patients in spite of the hard scientific data demonstrating the efficacy of prayer, the average physician would be uneasy at the thought of praying with his dying patient or of offering spiritual support to a rape victim or torture survivor. Because medical science is so enormously powerful and effective, medical practitioners usually do not allow any other healing system, especially one based on faith, to interact with their own. While it is understandable that patients facing death might want to know whether their doctor has a religious or spiritual frame of reference, few ask, 'Do you believe or don't you?' Through their mutual silence, the doctor and patient proceed in their relationship to ignore this important instrument of healing.....

"The Cambodian refugees training as mental health practitioners often spoke about the common occurrence of spirit possession among the people they helped. In this culture three types of spirit can enter a person, primarily producing bad results: a relative who has died and whose soul has not found rest; a famous person, such as King Jayavarman VII...; or a demon who wants to destroy the person possessed. All three spirits can cause physical symptoms such as convulsions, dizziness, fever, fainting, and chronic insomnia; they will also appear to their hosts in nightmares. The spirits will sometimes speak through the voice of the possessed person without the person's knowledge or understanding. Only the listeners can understand the spirit's communication. If not properly cleansed from the person, the spirits can lead to serious illness and death. Spirits of restless souls can be brought to peace through Buddhist funeral ceremonies, while the chants and herbal medications of folk healers can eliminate the spirits of historic persons and demons.

" The highly educated Cambodian trainees all believed in spirit possession and wanted to know where I stood personally and professionally on the issue. Being asked directly if I believed in spirit possession created a crisis for me. How relevant was my medical knowledge in a refugee camp where spirit possession was common in the patients? The response my Khmer students expected from an American physician - namely, that I did not believe in spirit possession but it was fine for them to hold these beliefs - would have disguised a prejudice against spirituality. I therefore answered with a weak yes, because I have never personally experienced a divine presence in my own medical practice.

"A Navajo medical anthropologist once explained to me that in her society, as in most traditional societies, divine spirits will intervene therapeutically by casting out bad spirits only if a healer has been prepared through spiritual knowledge and practice. I have clinically been able to acknowledge the truthfulness of this claim. Every week I encounter in my Boston practice patients who are possessed by the spirits of relatives murdered by the Khmer Rouge, who appear primarily in dreams. The bodies of these deceased relatives invariably were desecrated. I carefully obtain the full trauma story of the spirt possession and work with the patient to resolve the spirit's demands and wishes, which usually involve a proper Buddhist funeral ceremony. After these rituals occur the spirits disappear from the dreams, along with the patient's physical complaints.

"A middle-aged Bosnian psychiatrist had a clear role for spirituality in his therapy. When he was a Muslim youth in the former Yugoslavia, he initially rejected the strict Islamic religion of his parents.....When the war started after the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992, he was called up by the military to protect his people against the atrocities of the Bosnian Serbs. On the battlefield as a doctor, he was unarmed and yet no more than thirty meters from the front line. During one brutal battle, Serb bullets tore into the left side of his body. Before passing out, he sat down on the battlefield in a meditative pose, closed his eyes, and thought, 'I am now a martyr and will soon enter paradise.' He saw a ball of yellowish-white light without sharp borders engulf him and he began to rise up. He could see his soul separating from his body, and he felt relieved that death was painless. As this process was nearing its end, however, he found himself unable to speak the Islamic words that would allow him to enter heaven. 'I bear winess that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is God's slave and messenger.' He woke in a military field hospital with impaired use of his left arm due to nerve damage. Eventually he received surgery in America and recovered the use of his arm.

"After the war ended in 1995 with the Dayton Peace Accord, he found himself in charge of caring for 120 seriously mentally ill patients who had been left behind in the mental hospital by the retreating Serbian forces. Their own people had locked them behind bars and left them under horrible conditions. He worked with each and every one of the Serb patients, trying to restore their mental health with medication and therapy and eventually returning them, in good condition, to the enemy side. As a doctor and human being, he was very satisfied with his work, and ultimately he was able to harmonize his Islamic beliefs with the Christian beliefs of his patients.

"Today he works in Tuzla as a psychiatrist with people from all ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, including Bosnian Serbs, Croat, and Muslim. He asks all of his patients if they believe in God. If they say no, he proceeds with conventional psychiatric care. If they say yes, he tries also to open up that side of their lives. He prays privately with is Islamic patients in his medical exam room, as prayer is still not considered a standard psychiatric practice in Bosnia. He is strongly antinationalist, believing that those who use religion for political purposes are impostors creating great anxiety and conflict among people. This physician is fortunate to have found the spiritual power of self-healing in his own life, which he can then use in appropriate and sensitive ways in his medical practice."

This world must be a school of hard knocks, where we sort out for ourselves right from wrong, and gradually learn self-discipline, and acquire wisdom and knowledge. If we accept the theory of reincarnation, we could say that the majority of us are young souls, in need of many lives' experience before maturing into responsible spiritual beings. Natural, spiritual and cosmic laws are there to guide and direct us, but until we become aware of them, we will continue to suffer. Our conscience, and the moral and ethical systems we live by lead us to right thought and action, and so we raise the frequency and quality of our being, and move beyond the physical world altogether, or if we stay, or return in future lives, we acquire a reverence for all life forms, practising ahimsa or non-violence, and cooperation with nature and with spirit.

What seems to be pure evil I would say is ignorance and lack of awareness of the higher dimensions of spirit, or lack of contact with it. The absolute evil that some clairvoyants and psychic mediums and mystics come in contact with is, I believe, some of this accumulated negativity from the lower astral regions. It is often personified as Satan, or the Devil, or called demonic forces, out of fear for the powerful and dangerous evil that is sensed around it, and it is exacerbated by other negative emotions of sin and guilt and natural instincts for self preservation. I do not believe in the duality of good and evil, opposing forces constantly at war, as the Manicheans believed. I follow the monist, or non-dual Advaita philosophy. We may personify evil as the devil to separate what we dislike in ourselves and disclaim responsibility for it, as someone mentioned in this discussion recently. Until we recognise evil as the negativity in ourselves, which is a natural part of our material existence, which we must master before we can live ethically, and revere all life, until then, we will continue to suffer as the world suffers today. We could all list thousands of examples of where we have gone wrong, made wrong decisions and acted selfishly or destructively, - that would fill several books, but for now, let that be. History books already are full of previous follies.

There is another type of dualism which modern philsophers are discussing. That is the dualism dividing the material world from the spiritual world. This discussion lacks a logical foundation, however, since most modern philosophers, together with our sceptical scientists, subscribe to the current world-view, which does not accept a spiritual reality at all, in spite of the accumulating evidence. So how can a one-sided duality be possible? If they did come to accept the spiritual reality, their arguments would crumble anyway, since the spiritual reality would be seen to be the originating source of our material universe, at one with it rather than at odds with it. "One is one, and all alone, and ever more will be so!"

One concluding note as an afterthought, concerning spirit rescue and release. Dr. Mollica mentions that since most of the victims of genocide never received proper burial, disappearing into mass graves at best, many of them have become vengeful and earthbound. Their surviving relatives have since done their best to provide burial ceremonies after the event, to help these lost souls make a proper transition. We also have to consider that these very acts of barbarism, genocide, torture and terrorism, are influenced in part by spirits from the lower astral region. One way to forestall and prevent acts of violence would be to dispell these negative influences before they gathered momentum. Would this be another aspect of Spirit Release work? Wider education about these "powers and principalities" in a scientific rather than a religious setting would lead the world out of the present state of ignorance in these matters.

"[Another victim,] Somaly tells a story that reveals how the Khmer Rouge systematically attempted to degrade and annihilate traditional Khmer culture. 'When my mother died I could wrap her in beautiful clothes. A horrible thing happened to her two or three days after I buried her. Somebody told me, this is still a nightmare for me, that a wolf was able to go through her grave because they did not bury her deep enough. How would you feel if you were me? She was the favorite person in my life. She died, and you thought she was in peace. Even the body cannot stay in peace.'

"In Somaly's case the sanctity of death and the proper Buddhist funerary ritual was forbidden to her and her family. The perpetrators, who well knew the cultural, traditional, and religious beliefs of their victims, sought the maximum degree of humiliation by depriving them of a sacred burial that would bring the dead person's soul to rest, allowing it to be reincarnated in a new life. This degradation of the funeral ceremony by the Khmer Rouge was a common practice and led, for many survivors, to a lifetime of anguish believing that their relatives could not find peace in the afterlife. Many Cambodians are plagued at night by the spirit visits of deceased relatives seeking peace through a proper Buddhist burial. If and when they are able, the majority of survivors eventually conduct such ceremonies."

Spiritualists and mediums regularly in contact with the other side would maintain that many spirits reach there quite successfully without a funeral, cremation or burial. The spirits themselves say that though some may attend their own funeral, those who had no rituals performed for them still progress quite successfully over there. The customs belong to the physical world, and not to the world of spirit, and the more mature the soul is, the less likely it is to require that type of assistance. The state of mind and belief system of the person who passes is all-important, and that is what may lead to the necessity for help from Spirit Rescue and Release practitioners, or even from exorcists. But eventually outmoded or erroneous religious teachings lose their hold on all those who progress on to the higher planes of the spirit world. I would say that those who practice Spirit Release Therapy and Rescue work have to be aware of the relative and temporary influence of religious beliefs and what is of more permanent value and eternally valid. A practitioner who is not clairvoyant or psychically aware has to accept the validity of the spiritual dimensions even if like Dr. Mollica he or she does not have personal direct experience. There is no place for tongue-in-cheek scepticism, hesitation or uncertainty in dealing with spiritual realities.

Reviewed from Dr. Richard F. Mollica's book, "Healing Invisible Wounds: Paths to Hope and Recovery in a Violent World." [Harcourt Inc., 2006.]

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