Are All These "Faith Healings" Faked? Or are SOME Psycho-Somatic Cures Possible?
Check out this link in Mexico today from a 14 year old faith healer:
You hear all sorts of stories and "claims" by various religious groups of ALL faiths (both ancient and modern) that humans can sometimes (under the
right conditions) be miraculously cured" of various maladies by "faith-healers" based on some kind of incantation or saying (from up close or from
a distance) , or from a physical touch , or "the laying on of hands" or other various parts of the Body
(as in e.g. Elisha and the Shunamite Woman's Son, where he lays on top of boy's body to revive him as described in the Hebrew bible of in II Kings
Ask any Shaman among the AmerIndian tribelets in the US and he'll tell you about his powers to "heal" by his invoking healing spirits or gods, or
by blowing magical smoke, or by the use of various incantations which are designed apparently to make the patient "believe on some level that some
change will occur"
i.e. by the use of what appears to be unrelated rigmarole.
We even see some of these strange histrionics in the Gospel material "healings" which stories were ultimately meant midrashically to "prove" that
R. Yehoshua was the Messiah
"Behold he hath performed all these things to the letter [of the prophecies...]" )
e.g. Isaiah 35:5-6
ISAIAH 35:5-6 (e.g. ref: the Day of the Messiah in the Last Days...)
5 "In that Day, the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6 And In that Day shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.."
To add to some of the staging devices required for these healings, various magical Aramaic words were placed into the mouth of R. Yehoshua bar Yosef
("Jesus") in the gospels which sound like excorcism-incantations e.g. "Talitha Qum ! "
or , "Ephraphta !"
etc. during some of his so-called healing episodes.
This feeds into the larger idea that the early Church, like the 1st century Palestinian Jews believed that diseases of the body (and mind) were caused
by Daemons, and could be cured by "excorcisms".
These were portrayed in the gospels using a variety of methods, sometimes just words or incantations, sometimes a touch, and sometimes more histrionic
methods were used: e.g. where the canonical gospels say that "Ieosus"
"spit straight into the eyes" of a blind man with his own saliva (see Mark 6:1)
or more obliquely he would "spit onto the ground to make mud with his spit"
(e.g. in John 9:6) in order to mash the messy goop into a blind man's eyes "so that he might see..." etc.
In almost every case in the canonical Greek Gospels, the particular "healing" had to be prefaced by "faith" in the healer:
"Do you believe?" would be the operative question BEFORE an actual healing could take place.
And if no "faith" or belief in his powers were shown by the patient, the healing apparently could not take place:
See Mark 6:5
"And he said, A Prophet is always honourable,
except in his own country:
A Doctor always heals the sick,
except those who know him.
So he WAS NOT ABLE to perform any "mighty work of power" (i.e. healing) there because of their UNBELIEF....
(later gospels soften the UNABLE part to "and he DID NO MIGHTY WORK there..." as in Matthew or Luke's parallel version of this little pericope)
Frequently modern “faith healers” appeal to this text in an attempt to explain their own inability to effect genuine miracles.
“Some people,” they complain, “just do not have enough faith to be healed.”
Either way the idea of TOUCH of the healer to the patient seems to be important. The Royal Touch was supposed to be what lay behind Kings reaching out
with their right hand to touch the sick (and in many cases, the sick would be cured, at least temporarily, e.g. the divine Roman Emperor Vespasian
whose Purple Border to his Toga would be the object of being touched by the sick, many of which began to feel better immediately...)
We also read of an un-named woman in a crowd in the gospels who allegedly thought to herself (to judge from the story) in Mark 5:22
"If only I could touch the tassles of his TsitTsit (Rabinnical Fringes) on the edges of his robe..." and when she did so, Yehoshua immediately
"Who touched me just now?" to which his disciples said,
"Rabbi, you see the crowds pressing you and yet you say Who Touched Me?"
and he said, "I felt the Healing Power (of my Father) go forth from me..."
almost as if some kind of PHYSICAL (healing) energy transfer was taking place...
Even if we admit that these stories follow the basic story-telling format (intro+healing+crowd reaction), could the element of THE ROYAL TOUCH be at
the back of these narratives...which after all were circulating in Greek when the Vespasian Stories were circulating (c. AD 80)?
It begs the larger question: how much of these socalled healings are purely fictitious/staged, how many of them are basically Psycho Somatic halings
(where the mind of the patient is the real one responsible) and how many of them have perhaps more scientific elements (i.e. real healing energy) to
[edit on 18-11-2005 by NEOAMADEUS]