Luke 4: Faith Healing and the Empathetic, Intuitive Heart

Jesus Healing the Sick

Jesus Healing the Sick

The first hearers of Luke’s story of Jesus would have the stories of healings and exorcisms (Luke 4:31-44) to be a normal part of life. What do they mean for us in today’s society?  Is there room for healing in our faith?

In mainstream Christian traditions like Catholicism and Anglicanism faith healing has not been emphasized, perhaps reflecting modern society’s bent to prefer a scientific approach to healing. While people have always prayed for good health and blessed themselves against evil, these were “back burner” practices, not given center stage importance as Jesus did in his ministry.  This attitude may be changing, however, with the recent popularity of energy medicine and notions of how energy heals in Asian traditions.  These practices may become the bridges that can help westerners understand how faith healing works, and thereby open up the possibility for a more general acceptance of it.

What is Faith Healing?

As a “hands on healer” in my own church, I can see a need to educate people about faith healing.  It is not “magic,” and certainly nothing to be afraid of.   It is energy that flows because love desires to help someone with a need.  When Jesus healed, He healed energetically.  For example, in Luke 8:48 Jesus even says he felt energy go out from him as the woman with a hemorrhage sought his healing.

The Power of the Empathetic, Intuitive Heart

Modern day faith and energy healers recognize this kind of energy flow that can go from one person to another.  Many take the compassionate intuitive heart to be the locus that draws and directs this healing energy to other people.  This was verified for me in a dream when I saw a physician who told me that healing comes from what can be called the intuitive heart, a region he pointed out to be just above and to the left of the physical heart.  Healing energy then goes out from there.  From my own experience and observation I have seen that a developed sense of intuition provides an empathetic inner knowing of the other person’s state thereby initiating and inspiring an open heart to help someone who is suffering.  The heart’s intentionality to help sets and directs the energy on its path.

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Luke 3: Who are your spiritual mothers and fathers?

Luke lists the genealogy of Jesus to show His connection to the Jewish religious tradition and to all human kind by tracing Jesus’ ancestry back to Adam. Who are your spiritual mothers and fathers?

My spiritual mothers and fathers are those people who taught me how to open doors to intuitive realms of understanding so that I could be receptive to insight from another plane of consciousness other than what is given in the three dimensional “agreed upon” world we live in. This happened in various ways and stages of my life—as I think it does for all people.

Valuing the Imagination

From my father I learned the importance of imagination. Dad was always telling stories and loved things that came from the imagination. With him I learned to play “Let’s Pretend” whereby we would make up scenarios and actions for a story. Appreciating a child’s ability to pretend and imagine is a key step to developing the child’s intuitive powers because so much intuitive information comes through the imagination. If this ability is denigrated, the child will lose all trust in his or her imaginative abilities and tend to see the world in terms of black and white, devoid of life and creativity.

Learning to Pray

From both parents and my older brother I learned to pray. This is nothing less than teaching a child that her requests will be heard by super human powers. Such education empowers a child for life by opening up a very important internal resource for problem solving, healing and creativity. The child learns that he has supernatural help that may come in the form of angels, guides, saints and the divine whenever he needs it.

Learning to be Healed through Dreamwork

In graduate school, a professor of religion was able to teach me how to work with a dream to heal what would today be called a case of PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In a lucid dream I was able to access the source of my fears and resolve those fears to the point where I woke up completely healed of the anxiety and the nightmares. Healing took place at a profoundly deep intuitive level.

From this event, this teacher, Dr. Mitsuo Aoki, showed me that indeed the Kingdom of God was within and that this level of healing was what the stories of religion were all about.

Learning to Be Informed by Higher Consciousness

Over a two-year period of weekly meetings, a Japanese nun, Sr. Sanae, taught me the value of ongoing dreamwork to deal in a methodical and systematic way with painful memories, the problems and the obstacles of life. Through her, I learned that my dreams were always there, healing and guiding me. I consider her my spiritual mother in that she gave me continual access to the power of the Great Mother through my dreams. This dreamwork strengthened my belief in the Christian approach as the way for me personally because the spiritual guides who came through and the symbolism that presented itself in dreams were mostly drawn the Christian story.

Learning to Trust Waking Intuition in Major and Minor Situations

Through my work with Henry Reed, Ph.D., Director of the Edgar Cayce Center for Intuitive Studies, I learned to trust my intuition as it works in our waking life. I found that the information received by the body through the imagination could be relied upon just as I could rely upon my dreams. From his Intuitive Heart Discovery Group I learned methods to work with intuition that were quite effective for problem solving, healing and creativity. Again, I discovered that the spiritual guides that came to me through intuitive methods were from the Christian tradition, again affirming for me that my own healing story was rooted in the story of Jesus.

Luke 2: Insight as a Personal Gift and a Gift for the World

The Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32) sounds a note of joy in a fulfilled personal promise from God and then connects it to a salvation for the wider world. Have you ever had such a connection with God? How do we connect the “I” of our being with the “We” of those around us, and then with the “World” as a person/people of Faith? Have you ever had a “Song” like Simeon, Mary or Zechariah?

Simeon - Painting by Rembrandt.  Image courtesy of the Queen of Angels Foundation.

Simeon – Painting by Rembrandt. Image courtesy of the Queen of Angels Foundation.

Profound intuitive insights are often “mountain top” experiences in that it is from the ecstatic heights of those events we can touch the sacred yet it is also from there we may be gifted with a 360 degree view that more deeply connects us to the reality around us. However, it may take time for the clouds to clear on the mountain top before we can see the grander view.

Sometimes, the personal experience may be so complex and so disruptive to one’s life that the person will need a long while to develop the “song” that he or she can give back to the world.  It often takes time to understand the meaning of the personal gift.  Sometimes, an initiation or education is required to understand how this experience fits into the greater context of one’s life before one can present one’s gift to the world that is characterized by the song.

This is exactly what happened to me with my kundalini event when I experienced, along with the release of powerful energy, an oral intuitive insight.  I heard a gentle but quite authoritative voice say “I have chosen you.”  While I was never told specifically what I was chosen for, dreams have suggested certain tasks.  Seven years later, I am still trying to discover what I have been chosen for while I try to pursue a spiritual path with every choice I make.  One thing I know very clearly is that what I do and the choices I make must serve a higher purpose in line with my ideal. These choices in turn connect me with the wider world.  I trust my song will include the choices I make on a daily basis that reflect my highest ideal.

One Purpose for Visions and Intuitive Insights

Sometimes one can only trust that one has made the right choices and it will come out all right in the end, as it did for Simeon.  He must have lived for a long time with nothing more than his choice to trust and hope in the revelation he received.  One wonders how this divine inspiration transformed him personally.  Certainly, it gave him clarity of sight to recognize the redeemer in a little infant.  In a dark time of spiritual decay and foreign oppression, Simeon was the perhaps just one of the few bearers of a saving vision for his people.  When he saw the truth of his vision in the flesh he was then able to sing his song to the world. The Song of Simeon underscores the importance of holding on to intuitive insight in time of adversity.  I personally believe this is one of many reasons why we are given visions in the first place: to get us through the hard times.

Holding on to a vision keeps us steady in the difficult business of undergoing transformation.  The new awareness arising from the struggles of our transformation is the song we will give others.

Want to Rely More On Your Intuition? Try These Four Tips to Get You Started.

Intuition: A Light Out of Darkness

Intuition: A Light Out of Darkness

Relying on one’s own intuition is often thought of as a little dicey but the following tips about intuitive insight can help you develop your inner powers by learning to recognize when intuition occurs and when you can trust it.

  1. Intuitive insights are often very subtle, but this doesn’t take away their truthfulness or helpfulness. You are not alone if you think they are vague and hard to grasp. Insights may be nothing more than a fleeting memory, a sensation at the back of the neck, a few notes of music heard out of the blue. The key here is to be aware, and to take nothing as accidental, especially if you are experiencing something in your body or your mind that wasn’t obviously prompted by something else. In Dead Men Do Tell Tales, Ashlynn Acosta often feels the hairs on the back of her neck stand up when her intuition kicks in. Other people may experience a tingling in the neck, or the traditional “gut feeling.” Just being aware of how your body customarily picks up intuitive messages is a starter for learning how to recognize intuition when it comes.
  2. Intuitive insights seem to come out of nowhere; even if you may have been deliberate and specific in asking for a particular insight. It is very different from saying, “Now I am going to imagine a red house,” and I see a red house in my mind’s eye. Usually, insights float into consciousness as images, feelings, trains of thought, and physical sensations which may seem at first unrelated to what was on the mind. Sometimes they can come in a sudden flash, the typical “A-hah!” And the answers are usually quite different from what you’d expect. Ashlynn in a remote viewing session is surprised to discover that the possible suspect picks an object up from a scene she is remembering. This is new to her conscious mind. She didn’t remember this happening. The image comes from out the blue and surprises her.
  3. Intuitive insights often have an oddity to them such as the tone of voice if one hears a voice or a unique rhythm if words come to mind in a sentence. They have the quality of something so odd; you just know you couldn’t have thought it up yourself. For example, Ashlynn finds the dog that is leading her in her dream to be odd. She doesn’t own a dog nor does she know anyone who owns the kind of dog she sees in her dream. She recognizes this image as being an important piece of intuitive information and knows to ask questions around this image.
  4. Intuitive insights have the characteristic of wanting to reveal themselves and will respond to gentle questioning and reflection. Ask a question of an image and then let the image percolate in your heart for the day and see what associations arise. For example, if a strange and interesting image comes to mind, ask yourself, like Ashlynn does, what associations also come to mind that are connected to this image:
  • What does this image remind me of in my life right now?
  • If I asked the image a question, what would it say?

If you get into a habit of working with intuition along these lines, you will find that answers do come and that they can be relied on. You just need to practice a little. Just try it and see!

Luke 1: On Visions and Faith: A Comparison of Zechariah’s and Mary’s Responses to the Angel Gabriel

Zechariah’s Response

In Luke 1:18, Zechariah asks Gabriel, “How will I know that this is so?”  A good faithful person can have their doubts about God.  What is the cause of our doubt?

Gabriel Appears Before Zechariah

Gabriel Appears Before Zechariah

In most cases I think doubt is caused by believing that things can never be other than they are, especially as we have always experienced them.  Just being human in a worldly society conditions us to take what we see, hear and touch in the three dimensional world as more “real” than what we hold as an ideal or a miracle that we have heard about—especially if we feel buried under the constraining weight of that reality.  Zechariah, based on his own experience, probably thought as we think that old women can’t have children because he personally didn’t know any old women who did.  Yet what I find interesting is that 1) he must have known the story of Abraham fathering Isaac when both father and mother were well into their dotage.  The concept was there that God could do this sort of thing.  And 2), he didn’t seem to question the fact that he was dealing with a real angel and not an illusion. A vision is a type of intuitive insight.   Zechariah, to his credit, did not doubt he had a powerful vision nor did the people waiting for him.  Its effect was obviously overwhelming for him and all concernedIf this happened today, Zechariah most likely would have been prescribed medication and told to go home and forget it because a great many people in our contemporary culture don’t believe God acts in special ways with ordinary people.

This then points to another cause for doubt for Zechariah and for usand I think a much more significant one for those of us who know that the transcending divine power can break through into our lives—is a questioning whether God would do something so touching for me.  Obviously this miracle of a birth in old age would release not only the deep suffering Zechariah and his wife faced but also give him his place in Jewish history as fathering a special prophetic son—“to have such a son!” as they would say.  Anyone familiar with Hebrew scripture would know this was a miracle on the order done for Zechariah’s glorious ancestor Abraham.  I think almost anyone of us would react the same way because a person has to have a very strong sense of being special to God NOT to doubt that God wants to work miracles personally through him or her.  To get such news would be a humbling experience, leaving most of us speechless or feeling like we are candidates for the funny farm.

Mary’s Response

On the other hand, Mary replies to Gabriel (Luke 1:38), “Here am I, the servant of The Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” What does it take to risk for God? Have you ever known that kind of faith?

Mary's Vision

Mary’s Vision

In contrast, even with her initial astonishment and perplexity, Mary’s response to how God wants to work through her typifies that of a person who has a deep intuitive understanding of her relationship to God and is comfortable with it.  She clearly knows her status as servant in relationship to God and is well aware that God can ask anything of her and she will do it.  Because she is naturally humble, her amazement is what causes her to be astonished and perplexed that God asked her, a lowly person of no account, to do something great, worthy of a person of high status.  Unlike Zechariah who is blinded by a false pride that nothing can be done for him—a common feeling among all of us when problems pile upMary’s clear understanding of the all-encompassing power and mercy of God allows her to respond unreservedly with profound joy and gratitude, making her an ideal open channel for God’s grace in the world, and thus making it possible for her to give birth to the Divine in this world.  In a sense it is a model for all of us who are called to be channels for divine graces in a variety of different ways.  The characteristics of this kind of faith are a capacity for joy, an unconditional trust, a willingness to risk all, to go for broke, and a profound sense of gratitude for the risk we have been asked to make.

The one time in my life when I was challenged to “risk it all” was in 2007 when shortly after having a vision of Jesus just standing in my bathroom which I was tempted to attribute to the migraine I was experiencing at the time, I underwent an overwhelming kundalini release that sent immense waves of energy coursing through me, amplifying all my emotions and sensations to a heightened intensity, including the terror of wondering what was happening to my body.  Throughout my life, I had been blessed with good health and felt so at home in my body.  Now, my body was literally shaking so much for extending periods every day that I could hardly walk, much less concentrate or work a regular job.  I was not at home in my own skin and literally wanted to jump out of it!  At the energy’s most intense period, when all I could was lie on the bed and pray, a strong voice came out of the blue saying, “I have chosen you.”

After getting assurances from two psychologists that I wasn’t going crazy, I intuitively felt called to move in a new direction, and the more I could unreservedly go in that direction, the better off I would be.   It meant gambling my recently acquired inheritance by investing in a move to a faraway location and preparing for a new career in a field that has no well -paying, secure job openings.  More importantly, it meant making the decision to go off the strong medications that had brought me back to “normal.”   This was a scary and dangerous risk which my doctor opposed because of the difficulty most people have in dealing with such a condition.  However, this was something I felt called to do.  Because I knew what kundalini was I knew I could trust its work in my system.  It meant allowing this energy do its cleansing work through my body, psyche and soul—something Philip St. Romaine has compared to sitting on the edge of a volcano and watching it erupt.  Beyond the considerable strange and frightening physical sensations which for me mimicked having strokes and heart problems, I was observing the unraveling of my protective ego masks—something that surpasses any TV horror show because it is real and it was happening to me.  All I could was trust unreservedly because what is happening is the birth of a higher state of consciousness and a healthier, detoxed body that most people experience who are willing to go through the difficult process.  The attitude of complete trust, I discovered, was what alleviated the difficult physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of my kundalini experience and was what opened me to experience ecstatic joy AT THE CELLULAR and ENERGY FIELD LEVEL called the kundalini awakening– an experience I think many humans are meant to know because it is a visceral knowledge of our truest selves.  Now I have nothing but gratitude for the experience and it is a humbling one since, naturally, I was more like Zechariah than Mary in my willingness to undergo the process.

For an informed description of kundalini energy in a Christian context, please see Kundalini Energy & Christian Spirituality by Philip St. Romaine.

Compare the Song of Mary (Luke 1:46-55) and the Song of Zechariah (Luke 1:47-55). To whom is each addressed?  What do they tell us about God and God’s relationship with God’s people?  What about God in our lives?

Mary is speaking to Elizabeth as she responds to the joyful greeting of her relative.  It is the ultimate joyfest of two blessed women who have been elevated to high status after experiencing lowliness and disgrace.  They know the power of their God, now not just in faith which is a form of intuitive understanding, but literally in the flesh.  This is a perfect example of how intuitive truths must first be held in ideal form, and adhered to during a time of testing long before they are manifest on the physical plane.  This is how energy works, gives life and shapes form on the physical plane.  It is always God who calls us to greater risk that we might become greater people with the unique genius that God wants expressed in each us, even if it is just the grace of doing little things in a loving way such as St. Therese of the Child Jesus manifested.

A strong relationship with God provides the firm bonding needed to withstand the power of divine energy moving beyond the usual but subtly and often missed supporting expressions in physical form to an apparent miracle producing event of startling proportions.

Zechariah is addressing the people who came to perform the circumcision on his son.  These people were probably either priests or functionaries of the temple, people responsible for handing down the traditions of the Hebrew heritage.  In this scene, Zechariah is clearly inspired because now his tone of speech is joyful, authoritative and healing to his people.  It is no longer fear filled and doubting.  His transformation shows us how we, too, can be made over to communicators of God’s astounding graces despite all our shortcomings, doubts and anxieties.

To learn more about dreams, visit my website: http://www.healingdreamgarden.com.

Bringing Gratitude, Caring, Focus and Intentionality to Creative Problem Solving

Ashlynn Acosta Dreams:  Meaningful Symbols Appear in Dreams

Ashlynn Acosta Dreams: Meaningful Symbols Appear in Dreams

 

Dreaming and intuitive work are important tools teen detective Ashlynn Acosta uses to find clues in Dead Men Do Tell Tales because they are intentional and proactive methods used to get a focused result that can be trusted in a rather short amount of time.

This is very different from the way intuitive insight is often handled in mystery stories where the detective may be lucky to get a vague gut feeling relating to the case.  Often the detective doesn’t know why he has the feeling or what the feeling might be connected to in the vast number of variables related to the case.  This gut level method suggests that one needs to sit around and wait for some “Aha” to arrive out of the blue to give understanding to the hunch.

However, Intuition and information from dreams are gifts that are available to us almost all the time when we have an important problem to solve.  We just need to set the stage to receive those gifts, and readers of Dead Men Do Tell Tales discover along with Ashlynn how this might be done.  Here are some prerequisites for making oneself ready to receive intuitive insight, either in waking or the dream state.

  • Be thankful for any insights you have received in the past from dreams and gut feeling
  • Focus on a specific issue that you are genuinely concerned about, either for yourself or someone else.  Studies by Henry Reed, Ph.D., of the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies indicate that intuition works more strongly when used in service to the needs of others.
  • Before meditation or going to sleep, ask or make an intention that you want information about the specific issue.  Be precise as possible about the information you are seeking.  For example, instead of asking how to bring about peace in the world, you would ask what you could do today that would contribute to peace in your part of the world.

An attitude of thankfulness opens your heart out to the providence of your inner resources.  Focusing on a genuine problem with an attitude of helpfulness directs and jump starts the flow of energy in the Universe. Being specific helps control the type, quality and relevance of information you receive.  With the stage set, you can expect to receive useful information and will be one step closer to connecting you to the many gifts that lie within.