So far, it’s a bit heavy on the anatomy and physiology. It’s probably not necessary to know all of this stuff, but it does put what will follow in a context that is necessary in today’s world of evidence-based medicine. Until fairly recently authority and expertise were often enough to convince people about a treatment or technique. Nowadays it’s not enough just to claim that something works, you have to be able to support that claim. Or at the very least have a plausible mechanism to account for the claim. However, some of the techniques I will be offering don’t come with a handy placebo-controlled double-blind trial to back them up, and so we have to rely on our judgment and common-sense. Unless, of course, the proposed approach goes against common-sense!
It is important to keep our wits about us, but also to remember that the scientific method is very conservative by its very nature. This is one of its greatest characteristics.
However, we have to bear in mind that science is dominated by a very limiting worldview at the moment. I will discuss this in more detail later, but for now let me just point out that the scientific materialist view has many dogmas or creeds which are presented as scientifically proven, when they are actually articles of faith. A summary of this view is that matter (or energy) is the ultimate ground of being; there is no ultimate ‘source’, or intelligence, or compassion in the universe, which itself arose out of nothing and does not care for us; in turn, we are meaningless accidents of Darwinian evolution, and the universe is going nowhere, only to end in a slow heat-death, or collapse in upon itself again.
Let’s put this in its historical context a little.
The philosopher A. N. Whitehead said that ‘the safest characterisation of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato’. One of Plato’s central ideas concerns ‘Forms’. For example a triangular folded napkin reflects the perfect triangle which exists as an ideal, independently of any triangular object. We can all imagine such an ideal triangle, and keep it in our mind’s eye. From that position the long tradition of Christianity, with its transcendent god and all the rest of it followed. There is a transcendent sphere where all the ideal forms, including love and justice and so on, abide.
To cut a very, very long story short, along comes science and drives a coach and horses through all of that, and we end up where we are now. Now there is no transcendent reality, no God in his (or her) heaven, and everything we experience is just a spin-off (an epiphenomenon, to be precise) of electrical signals going around in your brain. And all that just got here by some cosmic accident, with neither ‘Source’ nor intelligence underpinning it. And when you die, its lights out, game over.
Now the thing is, there is no more ‘evidence’ scientifically that this is true, than there is that Plato had it right. But it is presented to us as if it were a proven fact. And any phenomena which cannot be explained within that framework, or which challenge it, will be dismissed, refuted or ignored. Near Death Experiences, for example, are explained away as surges of endorphins in the dying brain or something of the like.
What I want you to consider is that there is a choice to be made between these two opposing worldviews. Do not take it on anyone’s authority which one of these views is the ‘Truth’. The churches and the scientific community are made up of ordinary people, each one of whom has to make up his or her own mind as to whether we live in a meaningless universe or one where we belong and are loved. The Pragmatist view (as expressed by the American psychologist William James) is that since we can never prove which is true we should choose the one which gives us most traction in the living of our lives. Indeed, the ideal might be to hold both views lightly and simultaneously. Of course, if your credibility or acceptance within a particular social group depends on your acceptance of their philosophy, your choices will be constrained.
This is the point: Some of the stuff you will be presented here with is not acceptable or permissible within the materialist worldview (such as telepathy, healing, the power of prayer, the law of attraction, etc), and if you cannot suspend that view for awhile, it will go right over your head. But as I said, let’s keep our wits about us: just because we wish something were true does not make it so.