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Healing Touch, Dan Brown, Noetic Science & The Karate Kid

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Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

Remember the final fight scene on Karate Kid when Daniel has to fight that bad ass Kobra Kai kid, but he was injured and got carried off? So Mr Miyagi clapped his hands, rubbed them together, wiggled his magic spirit fingers and the next thing you know, Daniel is back to whoop some ass? How did Mr Miyagi do that?

A few years ago now, my Mum became a healing touch practitioner. She even became a member of the “New Zealand Charter of Health Practitioners Inc.” Busy in my own health science and psychology papers at the time and struggling through statistical calculations for research assignments, I thought, “Holistic Energy Based Healing? Pffht!!! Is that even a science? Where are the peer-reviewed studies?!!”

Being a university student, I knew everything.

I struggled to separate the idea of “what Mum did” from the sorts of people at those bogan “Spiritual Health Fairs” (or whatever they`re called) that roll around town every now and again, where you can get your cards read, your aura photographed and buy incense, crystals, books about spirit guides, and nifty little pipes for smoking marijuana. Sort of like when the circus or the gypsies are in town. Fun, but you don`t really take the people seriously… especially when the women are dressed in long velvet dresses and have renamed themselves something like “Moon.” Does Mr. Whippy usually hang around outside the offices of serious people? No. Luckily, there is a difference. 

Since I`ve been reading Dan Brown novels, I (again) think that I know everything.

In his latest novel, "The Lost Symbol" Dan Brown again makes readers feel like we are his secret little squirrels, as he pulls back the layers from things we never really gave a toss about before, shining a delicious light on the world now that "we know something you don`t know". Having religiously read his book (and making mental notes about what interesting points I can repeat to others in order to start philosophical arguments, upon which all my opinions will be based on the book, because of course I have done no further reading) I can at least answer the question I had those years ago, when I wondered if energy healing was at all scientific...

The Institute of Noetic Science in Northern California “conducts and sponsors leading-edge research into the potentials and powers of consciousness – including perceptions, beliefs, attention, intention, and intuition.” Learning more about our mental and spiritual capabilities… scientifically? That’s pretty exciting.

“The Secret” self-help and spirituality book claimed that we can all achieve life changing results through positive thinking alone but critics argued that this is a dangerous concept. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” But sometimes shitty things happen to good, positive people. However, now I know I can go to sites like The Intention Experiment and participate in scientific research that seeks to discover answers to questions such as, how much can our thoughts change the physical world?

Not that any of these questions or answers, are necessarily new. Even the idea of energy and thoughts existing outside of ourselves, a "universal consciousness" has been chewed on from Einstein to Emperor (the idea of healing touch is also old, because Karate Kid was filmed in the 80`s and even then, Mr Miyagi was elderly). But it doesn`t make the knowledge (which is not the same as information) any less relevant when we finally find it within ourselves. 

So, although I may not be any closer to understanding the mysteries of the universe just yet... at least I`m a little bit closer to understanding my brilliant Mum.

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