Among the Healers, 3-4



Experience of Power


p. 59 “words that have been traditionally translated as power























pp. 61-2 'miracle' & miracles

p. 61

The Sanskrit term for miracle is anubhuti, whose meaning includes … special, intuitive, spiritual perception that can predict a crisis and give its possible resolution.”

For a guru, his own awakening {buddhi} … occurs before he serves as a teacher. Then he is enabled by his shakti power to open his disciples' [spiritual] eyes so that the disciple sees [praeternaturally] as he does. … .

p. 62

Since the guru {is abetted by a fravas^i who} embodies the eternal shakti power in human{oid} form, the power is not lost at the guru's death, but continues to connect him with his disciple after he has given up the body.

{After the guru's death, that guru's immortal fravas^i (guardian angel, spirit-guide) may continue assist that guru's former disciples (and may even assume the guise of the guru in doing so). The guru himself hath by then passed into another incarnation, and is no longer directly connected with former disciples.}

The guru of another had insight into his disciple's previous incarnations and knew the details.

Some of the disciples had dreams in which gurus appeared in waves of light to summon … to worship at certain named temples”.

pp. 64-6 experiences told of by a man-devotee to a woman-devotee, at Kalighat.a

p. 64

I looked at the sadhu and was amazed to see a bright orange glow around him.”

p. 65

it was around four in the morning.The light was brighter than the sun and it lit up the whole room. At the same moment, the light came in and struck me on the right shoulder … . … My guru said, “... Such experiences do happen on the path of spiritual discipline.””

p. 66

My guru used to study forensic medicine … . But he gave it all up to be a Tantric and perform esoteric rites to Kali at the cremation grounds. … While he was studying medicine, a certain event inspired him to ask the meaning of life. One day, coming out of medical college, he saw a man dressed in saffron … . … As their hands touched, my guru felt an electric current pass through to him. … What he gave my guru was the god Vishnu in the form of a black oval stone in a bag. The friend told my guru that as a new guru he was destined to renounce worldly life. When my guru's friend died there was a tremendous storm.”

pp. 67-8 disciple & guru : soul as conduit; miracles

p. 67

The soul is the conduit between god, guru, and disciple. If initial experiences “pull” at the soul of the disciple, the guru is able to read that soul by the power that is in him. The guru can also read the disciple's secret predilection for a particular god, and the guru initiates the disciple with the mantra concerned.”

The miracles are achieved through the guru's shakti power working through his touch, glance, or verbal assurance, and also through certain rituals”.

p. 68

The healings were done by his shakti – which manifests itself in his ability not only to precognitively “know” that a disciple is unwell but also to effect a cure.”

p. 69 attuning to a particular personal vibration in the spiritual-power grid

Shakti power penetrates everything … . … The peculiarities of each person are set into vibration by this power. Spiritual power is intimately related to the individual soul, for it is on the soul's wavelength that help can get through.

In Malaysia, also, the Inner Wind is one's true temperament with which the rhythm of the music in the healing ceremony strives to resonate, finally releasing the pent-up power.

The same thing is sought in Africa at the Tumbuka Vimbuza ceremony, when the drummers search for the special mode that resonates with the patient's own energy-spirit.”

Even … I know I am looking for a particular vibration precisely necessary to hook myself into the power grid. Each word is a kind of personal pass code to a human-spiritual power, giving extraordinary pleasure {satisfaction}.”

pp. 71-2 sensations of Charismatic healing

p. 71

all prayed on me, and it was like a heat coming from above that went right through my body, that I've never felt anything like that before. … I … felt the divine power sweeping over me – heat flowing through my body. … A woman came and said, '… Did you know that you have one leg shorter than the other one?' … . ... she was praying, and I saw my leg stretch right out in front of my eyes to the same length as the other one.” (Csordas 1994, pp. 60-1)

p. 72

The Charismatic healer Francis MacNutt [1974, p. 304] says that a sense of heat is the most common of all physical phenomena connected with healing, centered on the affected organ … . Also the hands of the healer may shake as a kind of current of power moves thorugh them, lasting as long as the prayer continues … . If healers feel this sensation during a prayer meeting, they know through experience that someone in the group needs healing and can receive it.”

Csordas 1994 = Thomas Csordas : The Sacred Self : … Charismatic healing. Berkeley : U of CA Pr.

MacNutt 1974 = Francis MacNutt : Healing. Notre Dame (IN) : Ave Maria Pr.

p. 75 standing posture of the healer

I have seen the apostles of … Maranke of Zimbabwe – a … syncretistic movement – go into a trance of bliss, but standing … .

In … this book the [sorcerer-]doctor ... worked in full consciousness, on his two legs, invested with his tutelary spirit, and it was the patient who fell”.

pp. 77-80 Yuwipi healing caerimony of the Oglala

p. 77

The spirits who were coming were distant ancestor spirits and they didn't like modern metal and glass things. People sensed the spirits as … about three feet high, extraordinarily active. … .

p. 78

a heap of … mole {cf. Vaidik mole-god Rudra}-hill earth … the Yuwipi man now smoothed …, using an eagle's feather.

TheYuwipi got ready a pair of rattles that each contained tiny ant's {cf. emmet-seer Valmiki} stones … .

{Quartz-pebbles are owned by termites (white emmets), in the mythology of the Warau of the Orinoco delta (“HS-TK”, p. 148).}

These rattles … talked, and could be understood if one used a certain herb in the ear. [Lame Deer & Erdoes 1972, pp. 188-9] … .

the Yuwipi raised … a high intense, vibrating voice and lowering it at the end of the phrase – “I pray to Wakantanka so that we may gain knowledge.” Now we singers … beat our drums, and sang in a vivid tremolo. [Powers 1982, p. 47] …

And now the Yuwipi man stood before the altar, took off his shoes, and faced west. … He was a shaman : and tied …, he would heal … the sufferer. We used bowstring rawhide for this, starting with his fingers, tying each finger to the other. … We tied a thong tightly … around and around his body in slip knots {“slip knots” making escape more possible} seven times, all down his back, Then we bound his ankles together. At each knot we tucked in a sprig of sage. … . … this tying was making a line from humanity to Wakantanka – a harnessing of power. The spirit could now come ... and teach us.

p. 79

The Yuwipi man had to be tied up to make the spirits appear. … Sometimes we just felt a furry hand, soft as a kitten, on our shoulders and neck. … The singers began, joined by women with extremely high-pitched voices … . The one lamp was extinguished. [Powers 1982, pp. 193-4] …

Now the spirits were reaching us. They might touch us … . Amidst the roar of the drums …, our ears caught the voices of the spirits – tiny voices, ghost-like, whispering to us to us … unseen … . …

Soon, in the blackness of the room, tiny sparks began to appear wherever the rattles struck the floor … .

{Cf. the sparks emitted through apertures in the quartz-filled rattles of the Warau (MWV, pp. 64-5).}

The lights flitted across the room … . … We felt the wings of birds brushing our faces, felt the light touch of a feather on our skins. They came from above and beneath,

making the walls and the floor shake and tremble. [Powers 1982, p. 55]

{aequivalent to the “shaking lodge” of northeastern North American tribes}

p. 80

The sick man … felt wind pressing against his head, a fanning motion across his face. …

The lights went on. We saw the Yuwipi man sitting unwrapped and untied … . [Powers 1982, p. 66]”

We asked him questions about our health …, about somebody or something which has been lost, and the Yuwipi answered us.”

HS-TK” =Johannes Wilbert: "The House of the Swallow-Tailed Kite". In :- Gary Urton (ed.): Animal Myths and Metaphors in South America. U. of UT Pr, Salt Lake City, 1985. pp. 145-182.

Lame Deer & Erdoes 1972 = Fire Lame Deer & Richard Erdoes : Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions NY : Washington Sq Publ.

Powers 1982 = William Powers : Yuwipi … in Oglala ritual. Lincoln : U of NE Pr.

MWV = Dale A. Olsen : Music of the Warao of Venezuela. U Pr of FL, Gainesville, 1996.

p. 81 in Alaska : a caerimony symbolically aequivalent to Yuwipi

Among the In~upiat of northern Alaska, a shaman used to be bound inside the underground house;

yet … he rose … and traveled 300 miles …, and was seen walking about there.”

{projection of the lower-astral-body}

pp. 81-2 highlights of Yuwipi

p. 81

What is beautiful about Yuwipi are those little trails of light, sparks flitting, flashing, playing, one's hair lifting …, the spirit passing over the scalp, the dance of the tiny ancestors. … Then those tiny whispers right in the ear – is this what our saints hear? …

p. 82

In Yuwipi, … the spirits come … . Then pass the whispers …; and the touching, so gentle, like the touch … given by a dear one who has left us.”

p. 82 “once, when the great symbolic anthropologist Roy Wagner was meeting with other spiritual experiencers along with me, … I saw with my own eyes a line of sparks come from his outstretched hand.”



Imparting of Power


pp. 83-7 healing with the laying-on of hands

p. 83

Among the In~upiat, hands-on healers attribute the power to a helping spirit. … The account that follows

p. 84

is told more fully in my book, The Hands Feel It [DeKalb : Northern IL U Pr, 1996]. …

p. 85

Before my eyes the swelling went away altogether”.

p. 86

This is how [the healeress] put it : “... I feel it. … . ... I always felt it. … I could heal, my grandfather did, by grandmother did, my great-grandmother did. … Every time I work … I get … symptoms beforehand. … If they don't give me anything in return {pay for having cured a patient} I just constantly have it {the symptoms of the sickness – these being imparted to the cureress by the curative spirit in order to remind the cureress to demand pay in honor of the curing-spirit}. … . Most of the time I ask to work at their house so that I can get … to eat … . They're giving me something {viz., pay in the form of food}.”

(The same spiritual healeress requaested that her own rib be massaged;

p. 87

so, the authoress administred such healing.) “I was not the one doing it [but rather some divine spiritual agency was]. …

The perception of the trouble was not “extrasensory perception”, but an actual fine sense … in the fingers, somehow resulting in the transfer of the ailment.

{So-called “extra-sensory” perception is actually always sensory; it is, however, non-physical (immaterial, subtle), being dependent on a immaterial body pervading one's material body.}

This sense perception of the fingers seemed to be actually real; and there grew a knowledge, a certain awareness …, of a link between oneself and the sufferer … . This … is the concrete meaning of sym-pathy, “feeling-with” … . …

p. 88

That joining of one's consciousness with that of the other person – … is not of one's own doing; it is one's allowing. It cannot be forced but is prayed for; “prayer” … is the allowing of an opening {to the curing-spirit}.” “The hands thus intimately work at the pain …, attracting the pain into the hands … . The healers sometimes say, “They are God's hands, not mine.” The trouble will enter as far as the elbows, where the healer blocks it off. Then she washes out the bad things she has drawn into them.” `

pp. 88-9 Maori curing of whakama by means of aroha

p. 88

the Maori gift of aroha, an account given by Joan Metge [1996], … describes what happens

p. 89

to a Maori who experiences a sudden lack of mana power, causing a state of body and soul called whakamaa. The stories illustrate the act of resoration of the power, an act of curing called aroha, unconditional love – a word related to the Polynesian {Hawai>ian} aloha.”

Metge 1996 = Joan Metge : In and Out of Touch : whakamaa. Wellington (NZ) : Victoria U Pr.

p. 91 diagnosis of ailment by Australian aboriginal practitioner

a Yolngu healer in Australia diagnosing a woman's injuries” : “The healer, marrnggititj, takes two magical stones and places one between the patient's breasts. The other is placed against her side. He leans down, peering intently and looking through her body in the line of the two stones. Then he uses another stone to treat her internal organs.” (Reid 1983, p. 67)

Reid 1983 = Janice Reid : Sorcerers and Healing Stones. Canberra : Australian National U Pr.

p. 92 Otomi healing crystal

[quoted from Dow 1986, pp. 107-9] “start to pull out the illness. The crystal will pull it up. You can feel the illness moving inside as you pull on it with the crystal. Another crystal is used to cure your patients when the illness is so deep in the body that you can't use your mouth to suck it out. … The crystal will bring it to right below the surface of the skin. … You place the crystal on the body. So, the crystal begins to dance by itself and begins to pull the illness up toward the surface. When it's close to the surface, … get down to suck it the rest of the way. … Each time you're going to suck out these bad things …, chew on … tobacco … . … The tobacco neutralizes the power of the things you suck out. They can't withstand the shock of encountering the strong tobacco. … The tobacco stuns it.”

Dow 1986 = James Dow : The Shaman's Touch : Otomi … healing. Salt Lake City : U of UT Pr.

pp. 94-6 Black Elk's first healing [quoted from Niehardt 1961]

p. 94

the herb was growing, and I knew it, although I had never seen one like it before, except in my vision. … It was flowering in four colors, blue, white, red, and yellow. I made a prayer to the herb … . … .

p. 95

I had never cured anybody yet with my power … . … . … I began to make a rumbling thunder on the drum. The voice of the drum is an offering to the Spirit of the World. Its sound … makes men feel the mystery and power of things. … I understood … now, so I gave the pipe to the pretty young daughter …, telling her to hold it, just as I seen the virgin of the east holding it in my great vision. … Four times I cried “Hey-a-a-hey,” drumming as I cried to the Spirit of the World, and while I was doing this

I could feel the power coming through me from my feet up … .

{As it likewise ascendeth upward from the feet in Haitian spirit-possession caerimony.}

I kept on sending a voice, while I made low thunder on the drum, “... Great Spirit …, by … power shall the dying life. … To you and to all your powers …, I send a voice for help.” … Standing there I sang thus : … In a sacred manner, he shall walk.

While I was singing this I could feel something queer all through my body … . …

p. 96

Standing ..., I stamped the earth four times. … Then I told the virgin to help … . Then I went away. … He got well.”

pp. 96-9 Rabbi Ya<qob Wazana of MaGreb

p. 96

Yoram Bilu, an Israeli anthropologist … told us of the healer Rabbi Wazana and the Jewish community in thr first half of the twentieth century, living in a remote mountainous region of Morocco among Berbers. …

p. 97

Rabbi Wazana … Like other helpers of the sick, … made alliances with earth spirits, called demons by the people. Healers were able to contact the earth-spirit world …; and healers could also exploit the earth-spirits' constructive powers for curing and divination.”

p. 98

The saint himself died at a relatively young age … . … After his death he

p. 99

was often seen in this world, appearing at times of prayer and going about to heal the sick.”

He did not marry “on earth,” but he was … married “below earth.” It was said that he was married to a spirit woman, a “demon woman” as the people supposed, and he had two spirit sons. This family miraculously appeared to someone in the community.”

pp. 100-1 mystical participation in spiritual power

p. 100

Going right back to the highest level, to the problem of how all things are one, one sees sometimes how all things are knit together with power … . …

p. 101

The anthropologist Lucien Le'vy-Bruhl, in describing “how natives think,” called it “the law of mystical participation” – a perfect term for this power.

Teilhard called it the divine milieu.

One senses that the power derives from interconnectedness, and, as the Buddhists {or rather more accurately, the Taoists} see it, is involved with the activity of the universe in its ongoing acts of creation,

which the Buddhists term interdependent co-origination.”

{The usually Bauddha implication of “ interdependent co-origination” is purely individualistic, relating merely to how the facets of one's own personal karman are interrelated.}


Edith Turner : Among the Healers : stories of spiritual and ritual healing around the world. Praeger Publ (an imprint of Greenwood Publ Grp), Westport (CT), 2006.