Energetic Healing: The Merging of Ancient and Modern Medical Practices

Energetic Healing: The Merging of Ancient and Modern Medical Practices

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By James Eden, M.D.

Insight Books/Plenum Press (New York, N.Y.), hardcover, 262 pages, $24.95

Reviewed by Richard Leviton

When he was seven years old, James Eden accompanied his grandmother -- spiritual healer, herbalist, and midwife in Appalachian Tennessee -- to the scene of an accident. A farmer had an unstanchable nosebleed and seemed likely to bleed to death. Cupping her fingers a few inches from his nose, Grandmother Stanley asked the man to pray with her for the intercession of the Spirit to stop the bleeding.

Young Eden watched a fine tremor develop in his grandmother's arms and hands, and after five minutes, "much to my amazement, the blood began to slow to a slight trickle." When his grandmother told him that the Spirit, not she, had healed this man, Eden didn't understand: He hadn't seen the Spirit anywhere, he protested. Then she gave him a glimpse of his future: He would be the first male in a 200-year lineage of female healers, she predicted, and he would explain how the Spirit heals.

Eden made good on his grandmother's prediction, and the result is this excellent account of Eden's training as a healer and firsthand experiences with subtle energies. His approach is anecdotal yet intellectually lucid, and though he covers somewhat familiar ground, he does so with an experiential integrity, genuine empathy, and humility that his grandmother would be proud of. Eden draws capably from the new paradigm emerging in science, citing pioneers like David Bohm (enfolded implicate order), Rupert Sheldrake (morphogenetic resonance), and Karl Pribram (holographic brain function). Yet he is equally comfortable with the perspectives of Carlos Castaneda (the luminous body), Barbara Brennan (healing hands of light), and Dolores Krieger (therapeutic touch).

Eden postulates a model of quantum medicine based on what he calls a "holomatrix theory of field interaction." Quantum medicine is based on the insights of quantum physics, as opposed to the older, Newtonian model that still informs conventional allopathy. The holographic matrix, or holomatrix, is a conceptual model for the mechanics of reality from the cosmos to the human body, says Eden. The essence of a holograph is that information about the whole picture is encoded within,very fragment, no matter how small. In Eden's model, we live embedded in a web of interpenetrating subtle energy and information fields that link our individual lives to the highest level of cosmic consciousness. According to Eden, our human energetic field, or aura, is alive and aware, possessing the intelligence to heal and evolve; it is "a sentient, intelligent holomatrix" that is integrally connected with ever-larger energy fields, including those of the Earth, sun, and solar system.

Trained as an allopathic psychiatrist, Eden quickly perceived the "deadly trap of detached objectivity" represented by the belief systems of our Western scientific paradigm. Bored and disillusioned with the ineffectuality of standard clinical practice, Eden remembered his grandmother's teachings and started integrating them into his own practice. He kept foremost in his thinking his grandmother's vivid example of honoring the primacy of the Spirit in healing. Why should we bother to bring the Spirit into it? Because our highest human destiny is to become "equal co creators with God" of our fate, says Eden, who asked his grandmother this same question. Cocreation gives us the "real possibility to experience total awareness, through God, of the universe." Energetic healing becomes the doorway into an expansive spiritual awareness; that's something allopathy will never give us.

Only a quantum medicine, founded on the insights of intuitive, spiritual healing and its whole-person, noninvasive methodologies, will meet the therapeutic needs of the next century, argues Eden. "This emerging field of medicine seems destined to be the next major evolutionary step in our conceptualization and practice of healing." To ease our way into the new practice of quantum medicine, Eden outlines a variety of training requirements, including moral development, a "tremendous broadening" of perception, sensitivity to subtle energies, and familiarity with such diverse modalities as aura diagnosis, chakra energizing, sound and color healing, and the laying on of hands. But most important of all, he says, is the willingness to undertake a highly personalized and compassionate therapeutic relationship with individual clients based on an alignment with Spirit, the true healer.

Yoga Journal L.L.C.

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By Richard Leviton

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