How do we know if what we know is real or true? In a recent forum I was invited to talk about this question, I used the controversial phenomenon of psychic surgery, which our local faith healers perform on patients, to provide answers.
I define psychic surgery as the process or the ability to open up the body of a patient using only the healer’s bare hands, take out diseased tissues, blood clots and even tumors, and close the incision without a trace of the operation at all. The entire process takes usually less than five minutes.
Because it defies all known and accepted laws of physics, biology, medical science and logic, psychic surgery is regarded as fraudulent or a product of trickery and deception.
The Department of Health does not recognize it as a legitimate form of therapy. The Philippine Medical Association completely ignores it. And the Catholic Church considers it the work of the devil.
But ordinary Filipinos, especially in the provinces, believe in it and patronize it.
There are only two countries in the world where psychic surgery is practiced: Brazil and the Philippines.
The difference is that Brazilian spiritual healers and psychic surgeons use knives, scissors and other instruments to open up the body of patients, and that Filipino healers use their bare hands. Most Western researchers and investigators believe the Brazilian healers more than our own. One cannot open up the body of a patient with bare hands, but it can be done with knives.
This is obvious, isn’t it? But is it? Remember that we are dealing here with a paranormal phenomenon which cannot be explained by mainstream materialistic science.
To use the principles, methodologies or paradigms of materialist science to explain nonphysical or paranormal phenomena is like using an umbrella as a parachute to jump from a tall building.
Science was meant to study or explain only physical things. It is very efficient and useful in doing this. Its methodologies are perfect and cannot be improved upon. But when used to explain nonphysical phenomena, it is almost useless.
When Western scientists tried to use their scientific tools and methodologies to study paranormal or spiritual phenomena, something almost always goes wrong.
For example, in the 1980s, when Japanese researcher Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama had three blood samples which a Filipino healer took from the same patient, and had these examined by three different laboratories in Japan, the results were inconsistent. The first two blood samples were of the same blood type as that of the patient, but the third sample was diagnosed to be the blood of a sheep. Now, sheep are not indigenous to the Philippines. So, where did that blood come from?
The other example is Dr. Lyall Watson, a biologist from South Africa (and author of the best-selling book “SuperNature”), who placed diseased tissue taken by a Filipino faith healer from a patient into a glass container with formaldehyde, sealed it and sent in to a laboratory in South Africa for analysis. When it reached South Africa, the glass container was empty, but the seal was intact. The specimen had vanished into thin air.
But sometimes, researchers are lucky. For example, when I had a problem with an enlarged prostate in 2002, I went to a radiologist who was a former student of mine. The ultrasound result showed an enlarged prostate gland.
Instead of going to a hospital to have it operated on, I went to a female faith healer and psychic surgeon in Makati whom I had observed many times before, and whom I considered to be genuine.
She performed psychic surgery using only her bare hands, after shaving the hair on that part of my anatomy and removing what looked like blackish tissue from inside. Blood oozed out as she pressed deep into my groin with her bare hands.
I felt the pressure of her hands, but there was no acute pain, as would be expected. She closed the incision and applied plasters. The whole psychic operation took about 30 minutes.
The next day I went back to the radiologist, who performed an ultrasound on me and found my prostate gland completely normal. “Like the prostate gland of a 17-year-old boy,” she said, smiling.
So, on at least that one occasion and several others where I had medical proof (before and after), these psychic surgeries, I believe, were genuine. I cannot say the same for others, but I came out with the conclusion that psychic surgeries are not completely fraudulent.
As Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard says, “There are two ways to be fooled: One is to believe what is not so. The other is to refuse to believe what is so.”
Regarding science and its current paradigms, I quote here the words of the genius inventor Nikola Tesla: “If science were to study nonphysical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than all the centuries of its existence.”
The next Basic ESP Seminar is on May 25 and 26, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tel. 8107245 or 0998-9886292