The Philosophy and Methodology of Spiritual Healing
Ambrose Alexander Worrall
1. Spiritual healing is the art of restoring a person (or other living entity) to a condition of health by the use of powers usually attributed to the Supreme Being and various saints. This art has been given many names such as faith healing, psychic healing, magnetic healing, New Thought healing, laying-on-of-hands, and many other could be added, for description is limited only by the boundaries of imagination.
2. Spiritual healing operates in many ways. In its broadest interpretation, one must recognize that spiritual healing is at work in every case of recovery from disease. It would be difficult to prove that spiritual healing is not being applied at the same time as medical treatment, and who will say that the hands of the Lord or the saints do not work through and with doctors and nurses and contribute to the recovery of the patient from disease or injury.
3. There is no reason to eliminate correct medical treatment while the patient is receiving spiritual healing, for the two are complementary and compatible.
4. In the usual interpretation, spiritual healing connotes the restoring of a person to health without the assistance of medical or other treatment. However, we must face the fact that in practically every case of illness, medical or other treatment has already been administered before spiritual healing per se is tried. In the event a patient recovers when spiritual healing is added to the medical or other treatment, it may be the result of the combination of the two methods; therefore, the patient should not give all the credit to spiritual healing, which may have been only instrumental in tipping the scales in favor of recovery. Spiritual healers can work as associates with other healing professions. Patients and healers should work in harmony with the medical profession and pay tribute to its competence and accomplishments.
3. Everything in Nature is according to law. We live according to the laws of health or the laws of disease. It is impossible to break any of Nature’s laws. For instance, the laws of health cannot be broken, but one can live according to the laws of disease. Spiritual healing is a natural phenomenon. It occurs strictly in accordance with natural laws.
4. There is evidence that spiritual healing power is demonstrated through people of many religions, and through some who claim no religious affiliations.
5. Spiritual healing forces appear to be subject to spiritual, psychical and physical laws. There seems to be an intelligence of high order behind healing manifestations, and, until proved otherwise, we can assume that spiritual healing power has its nucleus in the Supreme spiritual power that governs and controls all things, material and immaterial, and that this type of healing is administered through both extra-mundane beings and others in the flesh, or as some would say, through angels and mortals.
6. The importance of psychical conditions and the possible effect of their influences on the results of spiritual healing ministrations cannot be over-emphasized. With all other things being equal, two identical cases could be treated, in the one case success is assured by the proper psychical environment, in the other case unfavorable psychical conditions make success impossible. Any attempt to show that spiritual healing can be accomplished in the presence of a critical audience, or an unsympathetic group, is almost certain to fail. This is the nature of spiritual healing.
7. The absence of specific knowledge pertaining to the laws governing spiritual healing gives rise to conjecture and perhaps an educated guess as to how this power works. Over the years I have developed a theory, a working hypothesis founded on observations and results, and shall attempt to explain it in layman’s language.
8. It is commonly known that we are surrounded by force fields. Gravitation is one with which we are all familiar, and there are others, such as magnetic and electrical fields which, thanks to science, are in daily use to make our modern way of life possible. Let us assume that a field of energy, akin to life itself, exists around and about us, that the supply is constant and inexhaustible, and that we draw our daily supply of energy from this source. When we isolate ourselves by wrong thinking or wrong living from this source of supply we become sick. If we expend more energy than we take in, we become tired and listless, like batteries that need recharging. Rest and sleep are the means provided by nature to recharge the human battery. When something interferes with the recharging more than rest and sleep may be required to restore health. Medical therapy often removes the interference completely, the human battery becomes recharged and the patient is restored to health. Spiritual healing methods sometimes succeed in restoring a patient to health when other therapy fails.
9. This inexhaustible supply of life energy is around us. Our only problem is in tapping the source of supply. A patient is one who is unable to properly tap the source of supply. A spiritual healer is a person who is spiritually, psychologically and biologically adaptable as a conductor between the source of supply and the patient. Under the proper conditions healing energy will flow from the healer into the patient.
10. The healing energy can be compared with electric current. It can flow only through a suitable conductor. The conductor (the healer) must be connected to the source of supply, in this case the force field of life energy, and to the load, in this case the patient. The spiritual healer must be more than a simple conductor, he must function like a complex electronic circuit, because the healing current appears to have, among other things, qualities akin to voltage, frequency and wavelength.
11. The spiritual healer can be compared with a radio transmitter. The patient can be likened to a radio receiver. The healing energy flows from the transmitter (healer) to the receiver (patient). The transmitter (healer) and receiver (patient) must be in harmonic attunement for reception to take place.
12. The spiritual healer has an affinity (a good connection) with the source of healing (life) energy. The healing energy flows freely as a current through what we might call his equivalent of a first receiving stage. The spiritual healer’s equivalent of the second and subsequent stages must produce the current at a frequency that can be received by the patient. A successful healer is equipped with this natural equivalent of an electronic tuner. He establishes a kind of empathy with the patient by tuning in spiritually and psychologically, becoming as one with him. When attunement is reached the healing current will flow into the patient. This tuning-in can be likened to the condition that exists between a parent and child who is paying rapt attention to a story that is being told.
13. The proper environment for spiritual healing varies considerably with the persons concerned and the methods used. Generally, there are two distinct methods involved in spiritual healing. One is healing with physical contact between healer and patient. The other is healing without physical contact between healer and patient. Environment is important in both methods.
14. First, we will consider healing with physical contact. Healing with physical contact is done in public meetings such as church services, in small groups such as prayer meetings, and in private where only the healer is present with the patient.
15. All healers and patients do not feel at home in the same environment. Some favor a condition where thousands are gathered together and emotion is worked up to a high pitch, where the healer appears to pour forth abundant physical energy in his efforts to drive out sickness. Unfortunately, some of the results obtained under these conditions are of a temporary psychological nature, and when emotion dies down the patient regresses to his former condition with the additional mental shock of having received relief only to have it taken away, leaving him more hopeless than before.
16. Others work in a formal church atmosphere where there is the peace and tranquility of the House of the Lord. The attendance will probably be measured in hundreds, rather than thousands, but we can be sure that the environment will be conducive to good results. Usually you will find that the patient will not be asked to declare publicly that he has been healed, and the cures are more likely to be lasting.
17. In prayer groups where there are permanent members who prepare themselves properly and meet regularly in one accord, we probably have the best of the group meetings. Such groups should be small in number, and the individuals should be carefully selected. The larger the group the more difficult it is to control the psycho-physical environment within the parameters necessary to successful results.
18. When no one is present but the patient and the healer, the conditions are ideal, providing there is that complete trust which comes with the realization that they are not really alone but in the presence of the Lord.
19. In healing with physical contact, the question arises as to how the contact should be made. Each healer must work according to his guidance. It is common practice for the healer to place is hands on the patient’s head while the patient is sitting or kneeling. Some healers treat two patients at a time, placing the left hand on the head of one, and the right hand on the head of the other.
20. The healing currents appear to flow through the nervous system and placing the hands on specific nerve centers probably produces the faster results.
21. Now let us turn our attention to healing without physical contact. Most of the remarks made in connection with healing with physical contact apply to healing at a distance also. Some of the conditions are different and give rise to further questions, such as, “If the healer cannot touch the patient with his hands, how can he reach him to heal him?” “If the healer does not know the patient, how does he know where to direct the healing force?” “If the patient does not know the healer, how can he cooperate?” “How does spiritual healing work through an intercessor?”
22. Treatment of absent patients is a part of many healing services. Names of the sick are turned over to the minister, and these are listed, sometimes with details of the illness, for presentation at the altar during the service. It is not unusual for the names to be read aloud, and you can readily understand that in a large parish hundreds of names may be listed. The reading of those names is a lengthy and exhausting experience for the minister and for the congregation. In view of the fact that we are dealing with the Supreme Intelligence, who is omniscient, it would appear unnecessary to recite names which have already been placed upon His Altar in supplication. Experience indicates that the complete list can be covered without mentioning a single name, with results equal to those obtained when names are recited.
23. Small, properly trained groups, such as prayer circles, are able to focus their attention on a single patient, picturing him in light and health, and in the course of an evening, one group may treat as many as ten patients in this manner. Each patient would be treated separately by the group under the direction of a leader. A short time interval between patients is necessary for best effects. Good results have been obtained by this method.
24. When requests for healing reach large numbers it is impractical to treat each patient separately by directing the group’s attention to a single patient. A healing circle or group may receive hundreds of requests to treat absent patients. One method which has proved successful is to ask the patients and their intercessors to enter into a five minute period of expectant silence each day or night at a specified time. During this time and under these conditions, the healing forces are transmitted through the group, received by those who are in tune, and healing takes place. In this way great numbers can receive through a single healing channel. It is like having a million people listen to the same radio broadcast for five minutes. They tune in in order to listen. It would be impractical to broadcast the program on a million different frequencies.
25. The healing current flows from a higher to a lower potential. If this difference in potential does not exist the current cannot flow from the healer to the patient, therefore healing cannot take place. The current will always flow through the path of least resistance. When the hands of a healer are laid upon the patient the current flows through his hands. This is the path of least resistance.
26. During the laying-on-of-hands the force is felt by both the patient in and the healer in the form of heat, often accompanied by a tingling sensation like a thousand tiny electrical discharges. Scientists have obtained photographic evidence of this force. The spiritual healer, like all others, is immersed in the force field of life energy but by virtue of his talent has so finely attuned himself to its frequency that he absorbs the healing currents like a sponge soaks up water. This transfer of energy from the force field to the healer takes place over the entire surface of the body, and because of this there is no concentration of current at any one point and no sensation is felt to indicate the inflow of energy. During the laying-on-of-hands a different condition exists. The patient is not able to obtain the healing current directly from the force field because he lacks the necessary attunement, his energy level is at a low potential. On the other hand, the healer has a high potential and when he touches the patient there is a concentrated flow of power from his hands to the patient. It is this concentration of power being discharged over a small area of the body that both healer and patient feel during the laying-on-of-hands.
27. When healing without physical contact, the current appears to flow from the solar plexus. Unlike the sensation of heat experienced in laying-on-of-hands the current from the solar plexus feels cool. Perhaps low frequency current is used in the laying-on-of-hands and a high frequency is used for healing at a distance. The current, in both cases, gives the healer the sensation that something of the consistency of heavy air is leaving him. Jesus referred to a similar experience when He said He felt the virtue leave Him when the woman touched His garment.
28. When a prayer group turns its attention to a single patient all members start to tune in at the same time. However, some are more closely attuned to the patient than others. The one that reaches critical attunement with the patient first will be the one through whom the power is discharged. All members of the group have contributed to the healing force, but it is discharged through the person who forms the path of least resistance. When the next patient is treated some other member of the group may be the first to reach critical attunement; the power would then be discharged through him or her as the case may be.
29. In treating a patient at a distance the healer is not concerned with the miles separating the patient and himself. He is concerned with differences in frequency between the patient and himself. Success depends on the healer being on the fundamental frequency of the patient or on one of its harmonic frequencies.
30. In healing at a distance, the healer does not need to know the patient. If the patient knows that the healer is “on-the-air” he can receive by tuning-in to him.
31. A mobile transmitter can broadcast from a secret location. Those interested in the program are not aware of the location of the transmitter, yet, they have no difficulty in receiving. How do they receive? First, they turn the receiver “on;” then they turn to the proper frequency, adjust the antenna and listen to the broadcast. Spiritual healing operates in much the same way.
32. If we think of the force field of healing, or life energy, as a broadcasting studio, and the intelligence that directs the healing currents as the program director, then the healer would be the transmitter and the patients would be the receivers. Obviously, the patients cannot receive unless they are tuned in.
33. The patient’s desire to receive is the action that turns on his “receiver,” turning his attention to the healer adjusts his “antenna,” and praying adjusts his tuning dial and increases the volume. Having done all these things he should relax and enjoy the healing symphony.
34. If the patient permits his mind to wander from subject to subject it has the same effect as twisting the tuning dial on a radio, he will receive a little from a number of different transmitters and may not receive the healing program that he desires.
35. It is important for the patient to relax after he has tuned in to the healer. He must adopt a listening attitude. He must be alert, all attention, but free from stress. He should always expect to receive. He is a good listener, does not talk or allow his attention to be distracted in any way. This is the best description of how a patient should act in order to receive spiritual healing without physical contact with the healer, often referred to as absent healing.
36. A patient’s role is often more difficult than that of the healer, after all, the healer has had more experience. In many cases is will be necessary for the patient to practice the art of tuning in before he can receive spiritual healing effectively.
37. The intercessor is like a relay station. He is an intermediary, forwarding the request for help, and is often the channel through which the healing current flows to the patient. He has the difficult task of being impersonal, he must be able to focus his attention on both healer and patient, his conscious mind must be free from all thoughts of the patient’s disease, and he must be free from anxiety. After making the request for healing his role is purely passive.
38. It is natural for a patient who knows nothing of the procedures of spiritual healing to be somewhat fearful and untrusting, especially when alone with the healer. Fear must be overcome, and complete trust is necessary for the ideal condition. Fear and distrust are insurmountable barriers that prevent spiritual healing from being effective. These barriers, if present, must be eliminated. When a patient is alone with a healer the healer must dispel all fear and gain the complete trust of the patient before attempting to apply spiritual healing. This may take several sessions, a half hour, five minutes, or two seconds, depending on conditions.
39. The patient must be free from guilt complexes. Many patients believe that they are being punished for some sin of omission or commission. In other words, God is punishing them and their punishment is just and deserved. Why, then, should they expect relief. This type of thinking will prevent spiritual healing from being effective.
40. The patient should not become discouraged if he does not receive the desired results immediately. He must persevere.
41. The patient should not demand results. This makes him become a transmitter rather than a receiver, and, therefore, prevents him from receiving the healing currents.
42. Frequently, a patient will desire to recite the history of his case. The experienced healer will allow the patient to tell his story, he will not discuss the subject at any length but will gradually guide the conversation into other channels. He finds the patient’s favorite topic, gets him to talk about it, expressing his views with respect to past and current events, future developments and possibilities, and the part he would like to play if the opportunity presented itself. Soon the healer and the patient are in harmony, the disease is forgotten and the conditions for spiritual healing to be most effective have been created.
43. It is generally accepted that music can be soothing and healing, that it can induce a receptive spiritual mood. It may come as a surprise to some that a discussion on baseball, football, or electronics can produce the same results with some patients.
44. Some patients and intercessors have difficulty in maintaining the “listening attitude.” If they must think of something during the healing treatment it would be wise to visualize themselves being bathed in the warm beneficent rays of the spiritual sun.
45. The person receiving healing must have patience. Spiritual healing cannot be rushed. Spectacular healings occurring almost instantaneously are rare. Spiritual healing is more often of the slow recovery variety.
46. There would be more success in the practice of spiritual healing if patients were given instructions and some explanation of the laws involved and methods of treatment.
47. There is no set pattern which governs success and failure in spiritual healing. There are so many variables involved that no one has gathered together sufficient statistical data to predict the chance of success in curing any particular disease by spiritual healing.
48. The question arises as to why there should be any failure in view of the fact that we are asking the intervention of the Supreme Being who is omnipotent. We could also ask why disease is in existence. The answer is that everything is accomplished in accordance with natural law.
49. A healer is pleased when a patient is cured of a disease. However, he takes no credit for the cure because he is just an instrument used by a higher power. When a patient is not cured the healer should not feel that he has failed. The patient may not have been receptive, or the healer may not have been adaptable to healing that particular patient. In either case results would be negative. When a cure takes place both healer and patient can rejoice and give thanks for something that occurred that neither can explain.
July 9, 1961.