Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Placebo Effects

by Raeal

I was preparing an article on Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for our Healing Series when I came across the Wikipedia entry on it. Wikipedia, if you do not know, is a free online encyclopedia that is contributed and edited by anybody who wants to. It is also very much reflecting the current human consciousness since it is an open project participated by all.

Back to the entry on EFT, I saw something that caught my eye:

“There are two studies which appear to show positive outcomes from use of the technique, but another study has suggested that it is indistinguishable from the placebo effect. Critics have described the theory behind EFT as pseudoscientific and have suggested that its utility stems from its more traditional cognitive components, such as distraction from negative thoughts, rather than from manipulation of energy meridians.”

The exact words that grabbed my attention are “placebo effects”. It set off a chain of thoughts in me. This is not the first time the more scientific or left-brained people have brushed off something as a placebo effect. In other cases, they simply use the word “fake”. It seems that our world is so left-brain centric and logical that most people have declared that they wouldn’t believe something unless they see it with their own eyes. Others would be afraid to acknowledge what they feel to be right in order to conform with society.

In an excellent video made by the founder Gary Craig on EFT, a medical doctor tested a group of subjects and showed the laboratory results of their blood flow before and after 5 minutes of EFT. Before using EFT, the blood cells were stagnant and clumped together under the microscopes. In the medical field, this is usually explained as health issues that need to be addressed. After 5 minutes of EFT, their blood cells are starting to flow again. This doctor is convinced but unfortunately, she remains the minority.

In Japan, Dr Masaru Emoto discovered a way to photograph water crystals. He realized that high vibrations produced by words such as “Love” and “Thanks” or beautiful soothing music like Mozart and Beethoven or prayers will cause water samples to form beautiful and exquisite crystals. On the other hand, negative thoughts of a low vibration such as the word “Hate” or certain heavy metal music would cause the water crystal to be deformed or simply not formed at all.

Dr Emoto was in Singapore to give a talk and I bought a copy of his book after I attended his engaging talk. Later, I went to meet some friends and they saw and asked me about the book I bought. However, none of them was interested to browse the pictures in the book as I eagerly shared the amazing work done by Dr Emoto. At that moment, I was thinking that metaphysics is finally having a tangible proof and yet the problem with many people is that they refuse to look or study the evidence in the first place, even when you put it in front of them.

A parallel example would be the crop circles phenomenon. Hectares of crops are literally transformed into sophisticated patterns within a very short time with almost perfect geometry and yet many people just simply discounted them off as hoaxes. My friend, a very left-brained guy who works in the IT industry rebutted, “You know it was shown in the Discovery Channel that a group of students from MIT were able to duplicate a crop circle.” He is convinced that crop circles are fake and man-made.

One person’s truth may not be another’s.

I have been mulling over this and after some time, I arrived at some observations. One of these observations is that we cannot ever make another person see our truth

Many teachers have taught that truth is relative to each individual. One person’s truth may not be another’s. My friend’s truth is that crop circles are man-made hoaxes. I am convinced that it is the extra-terrestrials or UFOs who made crop circles. But then again, we could both be wrong.

Like what Seth (channeled by Jane Roberts) and Bashar (channeled by Darryl Anka) have suggested, people, objects or extra-terrestrials in this case could even be manifested by our own thoughts. They are saying that some things we see are illusions manifested by our own thoughts. Not that there are no UFOs but not every UFO vision is real. Sometimes, we wanted to believe in something so strongly that we created it ourselves as the immensely powerful creator that we are.

In quantum physics, scientists found that the observer affects the observed. What if the water crystals appear beautiful because we have subconsciously wanted to associate beautiful crystals with “good” thoughts, words or music? And that water crystals should appear deformed if we think “bad” thoughts. After all, what is good or bad, light or dark and right or wrong? In the oneness theory, everything is of one source, energy or God as some prefer to call it. Everything emanates from the one; only that labels are put on things.

Nevertheless, my next thought is this. Does it really matter whether EFT heals negative emotions, good thoughts create beautiful water crystals or extra-terrestrials have created the crop circles?

What is more important if we look closer is that our intentions are perhaps key and everything. Perhaps EFT doesn’t work at all. Frankly, I am of the opinion it does. And another skeptic may not agree with me. But does it make any difference?

What the skeptics overlook on their side of the argument is that they have actually agreed, perhaps unknowingly, that there is an unexplainable power within each and every one of us that allow us to do what is beyond the norm or explainable. And we direct that inner power with our intentions as creators. When we believe in something deeply enough, the universe will reflect that belief to us and it becomes reality.

In other words, people only want to see what they wanted to see.

Think of the Hindu fire-walkers in India, how do they cross the red-hot burning coal pitch or pierce themselves without the pain and injuries that should have been there? How did Brandon Bays, founder of The Journey, heal herself completely of a tumour the size of a basketball when her doctor had originally given her a few months to live? How did many people, including a woman with AIDS, get healed by John of God, the miracle healer from Brazil?

Does it matter if someone is healed by John of God or by their own faith and determination? Skeptics are missing the point. They have already fixed their conclusions and focused on the negative aspects by citing cases of people who were not healed. They fail to see or attempt to explain why the healed were no longer sick. They can’t explain the unexplainable and so they focus on debunking because they can. In other words, people only want to see what they wanted to see.

Besides, our society prizes people who can explain things, not for faith in the unseen or unexplainable. Perhaps that is why the MIT students who thought they have successfully debunked the crop circles phenomenon are hailed as televsion heroes globally. On the other hand, the crop circles film-makers can only sell their DVDs in their own web stores because no distributors or studios will distribute or screen them.

We simply cannot teach others about life by writing a long essay or pointing something out. I am not saying that it is impossible but that it is perhaps very difficult to do so.

Have you wondered why we have always heard of karmic stories of abusers reincarnating as victims and vice versa? Why is it that a soul cannot learn immediately after they review the incident and often needs to reincarnate to play the other role to know how it really feels like?

And we wonder why others fail to see what we have already learnt.

It seems that lessons must be experienced in order to be learnt. This is perhaps why lessons can often take lifetimes to complete or release. In a past life workshop I attended with Margaret McElroy, she channeled Maitreya and pointed out the biggest lesson each participant faces in this lifetime. Interestingly, most of the participants have issues that are carried over for a few lifetimes.

And we wonder why others fail to see what we have already learnt. It is sometimes like a father telling his son not to follow in his footsteps and yet the son will still end up doing it.

So how do we teach others? I am of the opinion that many teachers have hit the right note when they say that we must be examples ourselves. After a year of hard work on Cosmic Lighthouse, I can tell you that my friends are beginning to believe in what I am doing. A year ago, they thought I was crazy and misguided. Today, one of them jokingly offered to invest one thousand dollars in Cosmic Lighthouse. It is probably a joke but that’s beside the point. What I am glad is that his attitude towards my work has changed significantly. And I do not feel that my words have changed his opinion but the actual work produced and our testimonials are there for him to see.

So I say, we should all stop becoming teachers in the old sense and start becoming examples. Words or lectures may not change or convince the world of how a new world can exist in love and peace but our actions and examples may start having a chain effect on the rest of humanity.

Be in joy, love and peace!

This column first appeared in Cosmic Lighthouse Metaphysics Magazine at http://www.cosmiclighthouse.com/jul08/columns/joyouschee

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