Two days ago I shared my first article about my visit to Casa de Don Ignacio to see John of God, a famous healer in the suburbs of Brazil. Unfortunately, he has been in the hospital since we arrive, being treated for a stomach hernia. Because of this we have not had the chance to see him or his miraculous healing powers, but I have had time to observe the town, the healing center and write about what I have seen around here.
About the Town of Albadinia in Brazil
Here are some facts. The town of Albadinia is located 2 hours south-east of Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. The town’s population is approximately 13,000 and the whole economy is centered on the tourism that John of God and the Casa de Don Ignacio attract. The majority of these tourists come from the United States and Europe, most in search of miraculous healing and the hope to elevate their spirituality.
Walking around town you can find a couple dozen “Posadas” and three star hotels. The majority of the shops sell crystals, white clothes (a requirement for being at the healing center) and massage centers, the rest is mainly restaurants and other miscellaneous. In addition to that there are a few schools, a couple super markets, a pharmacy and hundreds of homes where the town residents live. The population is composed of Brazilians who speak Portuguese, very few people speak any English. The town resembles much to any other towns from underdeveloped countries. Most streets are dirt roads, there is plenty of trash on the floor and feels somewhat unsafe, especially at night time. The only paved roads are the main roads in the town’s center, and these are full of holes. People drive fast through the narrow streets and do not slow down for pedestrians, not even for those on wheelchairs.
My Growing Skepticisms and Disappointment, Follow the Money
It is said that the energy of the entities that operate at Casa de Don Ignacio is so strong that it prevails over the whole town of Albadinia. Some people even recommend to stay in Albadinia the whole duration of your trip to make sure you get every ounce of the available healing spirituality (and that the town gets every ounce of your money, yes, we are getting there). Some other advice given by the people who operate the healing center and the residents of Albadinia include wearing white clothes, drinking the blessed holly water, taking the blessed holly herbs and doing crystal bed sessions at the healing center, all of these cost money.
Now, do not get me wrong, I am a body worker and run a holistic health and wellness practice, I have to charge money for my services so that I can pay for my rent, food and the things I need to run my business and help people, fortunately, there is a difference. The work that I do is not based on faith and it has an immediate effect that you can notice and feel as I work with you. My therapy is not based on promises but on results that you feel during and after each session. When I see or hear that someone is not benefiting from my work I simply recommend them to see someone else, I do not claim to be a miracle healer and I do not believe I can cure any disease, yet.
The Problem and Controversies with Spiritual Healing
The idea of spiritual healing is rather vague and results are nothing short of subjective and controversial. I understand that spiritual healing has to do with healing of the spirit, and that our spirit or soul is that inner most aspect of ourselves that continues on even after our body dies. Some people do not even believe that there is such a thing as souls and spirits, they believe that our experience is nothing more than chemical reactions taking place in the brain, and that once the brain stops working you cease to exits. To me it is quite obvious that this is not the case and ancient teachers from every culture around the world supports my perspective, each in their own way with their own explanation. Considering this, we can leave aside any doubt about the existence of our spirits and we can begin to focus on their healing process.
According to Daoist teachings (and many other), our spirit is a fragment of God, a piece of God that separates from itself in an effort to experience itself through incarnation to have a specific experience and latter return to itself. With this incarnation comes the idea of free will, meaning that the individual spirit, created by God to carry out a specific mission, has a certain degree of control over its actions, this is also a subject of debate for we will take it as fact for the sake of the argument. Each soul has its own specific reason to be where it is when it is and is meant to be on a path or journey that eventually leads back to union with God. Whenever we, as souls, are on our right path, we feel joy, peace and a number of positive emotions, these are supposed to be the compass that guides our actions, whenever we deviate from our path we suffer pain, which then forces us back into our path.. It is a self-correcting mechanism where free will is allowed yet checked on to ensure the success and completion of God’s desires.
According to the recently stated theory, pain and suffering are reminders to get our spirits back in our path, illness and disease are some of the tools used for this purpose. Many people embark on spiritual journeys after great loses and traumatic events and many find God through this process. With that being said, we can conclude that spiritual healing is simply the process of returning to being ourselves.
My Doubts about John of God
I consider myself a healthy skeptic and at the same time I am very open minded. So much that I was willing to come all the way to Brazil, as a favor to a friend, because I believe that miracles are possible. I know it is not fair to judge John of God without seeing him face to face, however, after four days, I believe I have spent enough time around his center and his town to have a pretty good idea of what is going on here. I am still open to miracles, I never close my heart to them. The doubt and disappointments are not only based on the actions of John of God but on the energy that permeates the town and the controversies that I continue to observe.
I do believe in spirits and I do believe in entities, but I do not believe in the monopoly of these. I do not believe that the spirit of Jesus Christ or any other spirit chooses to help some people and not others. I do not believe that certain places are more holly than others. I believe that the healing happens within and that we carry our strength wherever we go. Some people may give us a little push, they may help us grow our faith and trust in God, which is ultimately ourselves. I believe that someone can help you heal, I do it all the time with people that come to me with pains of all sorts, however, I believe that they do not need to see me, that what they need is a way, and if they search within, sooner or later they can find it on their own.
As I write this I want to clarify that I do believe that John of God has been able to help people experience miraculous healing, what I disagree with is that these entities only answer to him and that we, as individuals, cannot get this healing on our own.
The Healing Power is Within Us All
We all have the power to take care of ourselves, what we lack most often is the will to do so. We want others to do it for us. I have been there too and maybe I still am, but I am making my way out of it more and more every day as I learn to become self-sufficient when it comes to my health, and when I need help, I first search for information, and then for support. We all can use support on our healing, from our parents, from our partners, from our friends or specialists that can guide us in a path that they recommend. Ultimately, it is us who have to believe in this path and it is us who have to walk through it. No one can do it for you.
We all have the same basic needs but we lack these in different proportions. We all have the same powers but we develop these on our own time. Perhaps today you need to come see of John of God to walk again, and perhaps tomorrow John of God will come to you in need of healing. Perhaps today you need to believe in healing entities performing spiritual surgery on you and perhaps tomorrow you will be helping an entity find its way back home. At the end of the day, we all come from the same thing and we all return to it. Through the eyes of the One we are all the Same.