by Irena Joannides
As published in Volume 10, NO 2, June 2013“For those who believe, no words are necessary. For those who do not believe, no words are possible.” – St Ignatius of Loyola
Instructions arrived before the event: dress completely in white to enable the Entities to scan your auras…
I first heard about John of God a decade ago from a friend who had accompanied his terminally ill uncle to Brazil, in search of a miracle. As the story was recounted to me, the uncle was cured of cancer but perished from the implacable disbelief of his doctors and family, who could not be convinced of the healing despite exhaustive medical tests that showed no trace of the disease. Before long, the uncle gave in to doubt, and the cancer returned to take its course.
I remembered that tragic story last year, while watching a television program where best selling American author Wayne Dyer described being cured of leukemia by John of God, through a long-distance healing. In poignant contrast to the uncle’s mind-set, Dyer admitted that, despite his initial scepticism, he has made a concerted effort “to remain healed” by keeping his faith strong and his mind positive. He also spoke of the inner transformation that ensued from the healing, emphasizing that consciousness shifts have been observed in every studied case of recovery from untreatable diseases, so that the thought patterns that produced the pathology no longer dominated. In other words, change your thoughts and change your life…
Compelled to learn more about the miracle man of Brazil, I pored over the countless books, documentaries, news reports and testimonials about him.
João Teixeira de Faria is arguably the most powerful unconscious medium alive today. Born in 1942 to a poor family, as a small boy, he dropped out of school to work. As the story goes, at sixteen, the Biblical King Solomon entered his body and performed miraculous healings. For years, the young man traveled around Brazil healing people and working as a tailor, since he has never charged for his healing services. During this time, he was repeatedly arrested, beaten and jailed by the police; religious and medical authorities felt threatened by his work.
The humble farmer, who – to this day – cannot read or write, has always been clear about one thing: “I do not cure anybody. I am merely an instrument in God’s hands.” During the healing sessions he incorporates into his body the spirits of more than thirty saints, deceased doctors, and spiritual masters, called the “Entities.” During incorporation, João’s demeanour and physical appearance assume the Entity’s once human characteristics, such as eye colour. Remarkable photos have even captured the Entity’s face and body superimposed over João’s.
While medium João is essentially asleep and has no recollection of events, the Entities utilize his body to operate on the patient’s energy field in invisible or visible surgeries. An invisible surgery is when nothing is done physically to the patient, who could be thousands of miles away, even if unexplained incisions sometimes appear on the body. Very few surgeries are visible, meaning that John of God cuts into the patient’s body without anaesthesia or sterilization, yet without pain or infection. These are performed only when the patient needs to experience a physical intervention. A question of faith, yet again…
It is estimated that, in the 55 years that John of God has devoted himself to this work, as many as 15 million people have been treated, free of charge. The Casa de Dom Inacio – named after one of the Entities, St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits – was established in Abadiania in 1979, in central Brazil, as his non-denominational healing centre. Countless people claim to have achieved miraculous healings of cancer, AIDS, paraplegia, blindness and other seemingly incurable conditions. Countless more claim to have been helped physically, emotionally or mentally, and identify the Casa as their spiritual home.
The more I learned about John of God, the more I sensed that his gift was profoundly different from everything else I had experienced in my quests for the transcendental; perhaps this impression stemmed from my familiarity what is termed “energy work,” meaning the manipulation of the body’s bioenergetic fields by the healer or energy practitioner to promote or restore physical and emotional harmony and balance. Journeying to Brazil to went on my to-do list, although I was not looking for a healing or to be convinced: for me, the proof was already in the pudding. John of God had helped several people in my immediate environment in tangible ways. A friend’s father received a long distance healing on his deathbed. Without any medical explanation, his complex and grave conditions rapidly improved, and he was released from hospital a few days later.
When healing sessions were announced for my hometown, Toronto, earlier this year, I seized the opportunity to delver deeper.
Arriving at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on that frigid March morning, I felt slightly awkward and ‘cultish’ dressed in white amid thousands of others. I had decided to go alone to the event, wanting to immerse myself in whatever was in store. Since I had no specific expectations, I began the day as a rather dispassionate observer.
The enormous hall was permeated by reverence and serenity. Mounted on the walls, portraits of the Entities gazed at the nearly soundless crowd with piercing eyes. A transfixing portrait of Jesus presided over the events from the stage.
While waiting for the morning healing session to begin, I stood in line at one of the prayer triangles to deliver help requests from friends. These wooden triangles, whose three sides stand for Charity-Faith-Love, are always described as energy portals. I wanted to see for myself.
When I arrived at the triangle, almost an hour later, I followed the protocol: I placed my hands on the sides and my head inside. And then it hit me… an energy current so powerful that I felt light-headed. Paralyzed by joyous gratitude of a profundity beyond words or comprehension, all I could do was shout out in my mind: “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I may never fully grasp the meaning of that experience, but it was as though I had been touched by the Ineffable.
Like almost everyone who had gone before me, I walked away from the triangle in a daze and in tears. A dispassionate observer no more…
John of God entered a few minutes later and invited people to have psychic surgery. A massive line formed instantly but I did not need physical healing. Those who wished to immerse themselves in the experience were encouraged to spend time meditating in his energy field and to receive a blessing in the afternoon.
I returned to the triangle line; whatever that was, I wanted to feel it again. The current was equally strong but, this time, I drifted into an inner stillness and tranquility that stemmed from a deep knowing that all our wants and needs are meaningless. Even as I was mentally delivering my friends’ requests to the triangle, I knew that – no matter what happens in our lives – all is always well. If only shifts in perception were that easy…! Although I have tumbled back into the clamour of daily wants and needs, that Truth still resonates within me, helping calm the turmoil somewhat.
I placed the help requests in the overstuffed basket next to the triangle, and then it was time to line up for the afternoon session. To go before the Entity…
While we were being ushered into the hall where the Entity was incorporated into John of God’s body, the energy was so strong that everything seemed to be moving in extreme slow motion. My limbs were limp, my vision blurry, and my mind blank. Thinking back on it now, I realize that the energy field was our doorway into the “gap.” As described by Deepak Chopra in his ground-breaking book Quantum Healing, the gap is the space from where we are able to commune with the Divine, grasp the Truth of how life operates and how we participate in Creation. It is in the gap that healing and miracles happen.
John of God sat at the centre, flanked by other mediums in meditation. As we passed before him one by one, he selected certain people for deeper intervention. I don’t know what happened with them, since most of us were led to a separate area, which stood for what is called at the Casa the “Current Room.” We were instructed to sit in meditation with our eyes closed. When my eyes cracked open for an instant, a thick, white light blinded me. From the moment I sat down, robust, smooth and clearly defined waves penetrated my entire body. The sensation was so intense and constant that it forbade any doubt that this was real; I was not suffering from ‘imaginitis’. At one point, the energy focused on my jaw and scanned up and down, where I had had ongoing discomfort from some unsuccessful dental work.
It could have been a few minutes or an hour… I don’t know how much time passed before the Entity announced that the session was over. As we were led out in a daze, volunteers handed out tissues for all those teary eyes.
I remained in a state of tranquility for hours, although the discomfort in my teeth increased to a throbbing after the scan, as though the anaesthetic had worn off following an invasive procedure. Then it was gone, never to return.
On the following day, a sceptical friend – on whose behalf I had requested emotional and mental healing at the triangle – experienced an opening through a series of strange coincidences that helped him accept the existence of the transcendental. “I finally get it,” he kept saying. “Everything is energy and it is all around us.” His lifelong conflict between belief and disbelief began to resolve.
Physical healings are only one part of John of God’s mission: in raising planetary consciousness, emotional, mental and spiritual healing is the real work. It must be said that not everyone who seeks John of God’s help is physically healed, nor are all healings instant. Healing is typically a process that requires faith, commitment and inner transformation, as illustrated by the contrasting examples of Wayne Dyer and my friend’s uncle. It depends on how much each person is able to receive and believe.
I did not witness this but media have reported that instant healings did take place in Toronto. A young man surrendered his crutches to John of God and walked away. Perhaps they will be added to the Casa’s collection of wheelchairs and braces, left behind by those who no longer need them.
I’m still processing what I took away from the experience because, as layers of meaning and insight peel away, they only reveal more. Even so, now I understand why the case of John of God had always felt so different to me, compared to the work of all the other healers and energy practitioners that I had encountered in my quests for the transcendental.
What comes through John of God is an energy current of incomparable power, clarity and deliberate intent. Without doubt, it is the highest vibrational field I have ever experienced; simply being near it can spontaneously raise one’s consciousness. It has the ability work on hundreds of people simultaneously, providing what is needed to each individual.
Yet, the profound difference is that the energy, which comes through John of God, is Mind. It is Consciousness. It is not directed by the healer or practitioner, as in the typical energy work paradigm. It itself is Intelligent… as though a saint’s halo spreads out to envelop everyone in the room and beyond, healing bodies, hearts and minds.
As devoutly Christian as João Teixeira de Faria may be, he is but a conduit for Intelligences that are – I have come to believe – not simply good but holy. The John of God phenomenon is not a case of one of us reaching up to the Source, but of the Source reaching down to us. Perhaps what is served up, through the body of this humble man, to the millions who seek and receive it, is indeed “bread from heaven.”
I suppose that I, too, received what I was unknowingly seeking: an encounter with the Sacred, not simply the transcendental. As I write this, months later, that ineffable wave of gratitude comes flooding back…
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Irena Joannides is a film and TV writer-director-producer, whose works have screened and competed at over 70 festivals worldwide, including in preselection for the Academy Awards. They have garnered 15 international distinctions including several Special Jury Prizes and Best Film awards. Irena has written for print, radio, television and film; her articles, short stories, narrations and studies have been published in magazines, anthologies and standalone publications. An accomplished Greek to English literature translator with thousands of pages to her credit, Irena recently translated “The Experiment” by Myrto Azina Chronides, winner of the European Literary Prize in 2010, for Garnet Publishing (UK).