EFT AND SPIRITUALITY
The Power of Intention and Emotional Freedom Techniques
The story of "The Hundredth Monkey" has appeared in various writings for many years. Whether is it true, an embellished story based on observation, or a teaching metaphor, is not important except, maybe, to empirical science. One account attributes the observations to Japanese scientists of a family of monkeys on an island in the South Pacific. One of their experiments involved providing the monkeys with a supply of sweet potatoes which these animals loved. Evidently one monkey got the idea that the sweet potato would be more pleasant to eat without the sand that stuck to it so she washed it in the ocean water and probably got the added bonus of being able to eat a salted sweet potato. After a while other monkeys took notice and tried it and the practice spread throughout the population very quickly.
Now this development would not surprise anyone, being an example of others following a good role model with immediate rewards. But what was very curious is what happened on nearby islands also populated with monkeys who were also supplied with sweat potatoes. Unlike the first island, these monkeys didn't start the practice by watching one or two of them wash their potatoes. Almost all of them on each island began washing the sweet potatoes at the same time. Remember that these monkeys had no way of communicating to each other the benefits of washing. At least not through the physical senses.
At first, the minority of monkeys who washed the food were the oddballs and the practice expanded only gradually. But there was a point when a certain number of monkeys (probably the number of 99 is arbitrary) changed their behavior, then a sudden, not gradual, change or shift came over the entire population. This shift affected not only the monkeys on one island, but also all of them no matter where they lived. Now the oddballs were the few who clung to the "old ways", the old habits for whatever personal reasons. What caused that "quantum leap" from island to island? Throughout history there are many instances of scientific discoveries and inventions, of cultural or spiritual practices, of tribal or social stories, tales, and metaphorical accounts, happening at the same time to different persons or communities who were not in contact with each other.
Renown psychotherapist Carl Jung wrote about the "Collective Unconscious", scientist (who helped discover and "channel" electricity) Galvani used the term "life-force", the Russian researchers Kirlians coined the phrase "bioplasma" (see our own photographs of this energy field in a related article.) The Chinese acupuncturists and philosophers referred to the energy in this all pervasive "force field" as "chi"; the Japanese "ki"; the Hebrew cabalists "Ruach" or "yesod"; the Greeks "pneuma"; the yogis of India "prana"; the Native Americans "good medicine"; the Sufis "ruh" or "baraka"; the Indonesians "mana"; the Africans "num" or "nye"; the Christian mystics "The Holy Spirit". Albert Einstein's famous equation, E=mc2 (energy is mass times the speed of light times itself, a huge quantity of energy!) reflects the notion explored by modern science that all matter is a form of "congealed" energy. Modern physicists have "dissected" the atom down to a point where matter "disappears" and the "observers" and the "observed" are intertwined, affecting one another; to the place where by interacting with something to study it changes it, incorporating the energy and attention of the observer. Boundaries between us and what we are "observing", the boundaries between all things, matter and energy, body and mind, body-mind and Spirit, diffuse and lose their meaning. This is the place where we are co-creating a new reality with whatever and whomever we interact. The place where we realize we are influencing the course of events, whether those events are the development of disease, emotional disorders, outcomes of health and vitality, our very "fates". Since the 1930's many scientists have been gathering impressive data from measurements of this "energy field", a notable example being the recent and remarkable documentations of shifts in the global as well as local energy fields in response to the intentions and prayers of groups or of major events by the Princeton University research department, PEAR. (See my article, Prayer Versus God's Will.) This realization of living in a pervasive field of energy and that we humans are not separate entities in creation was shared by philosophers, medical practitioners, teachers, scientists, martial artists, therapists of centuries ago. The Renaissance instituted a period when the intelligencia of that time became more adept in manipulating creation and the elements, giving birth to modern science and to the illusion that, since we are manipulating creation so well, we must be in a sense separate from or above it. The outcome of scientific investigation brought us full circle back to that realization, once (and still in many circles) taboo in modern scientific thought.
There is as much art to modern surgery as there is science. The same is true in the therapy and healing arts and modern psychology. This decade just preceding a new millennium has been marked by a renewed interest and excitement in the application of ancient knowledge in new technologies, to the point of the need for a new category term understood by the most traditional therapists: "Energy-Therapies". Pioneered by people such as Dr. Roger Callahan (Thought Field Therapy), Dr. Larry Nims (Be Set Free), and Gary Craig (Emotional Freedom Techniques), applications of ancient knowledge are being refined and integrated into the traditional therapies, resulting in startling quick and permanent changes and enjoying increasing acknowledgement from conservative, "mainstream" practitioners and even from HMOs. One of the essential components of these physical, emotional and spiritual healing arts is the practice of "intention". Even placebo (fake medications and treatments) studies attest to the power of intention or faith. I participated in many firewalks, once with Michael Sky, author of Dancing with the Fire (1998). He writes, "A mind which wants very much to walk on hot coals and firmly believes that it is safe to do so is a body walking through the fire without burning. The work before us is to continue our exploration of this living energy world where body and mind merge and interact, where placebos work their magic and spontaneous remissions occur, where flesh, mind, and fire all come together to create burning or not-burning. We stand poised on the threshold of a quantum biology - a clear and practical science which understands and embraces the body's living bio-energy fields. The rewards of our study promise to extend beyond medicine to touch our whole world." (p. 98.)
The New Testament writers were eloquent and prolific on this practice and power of faith and intention. In the Greek Amplified Version, which provides the various shades of meaning in the original texts, faith is defined as " the substance of things hoped for; the substance of things which have come to pass; the evidence of things not seen For it is through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen came to be from those which are not seen." (Book of Hebrews, 11:1,3) If energy (unseen) is the substance of all matter (seen), then this suggests that faith is even more fundamental than energy. Christ is recorded as having asserted, "Have faith in God constantly Whoever says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea!' and does not doubt at all in his heart, but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you that whatever you ask for in prayer, believe - trust and be confident - that it is granted to you and you will receive it." (Mark 11:22-24) This is to suggest that faith and intention drives prayer and not the other way around. Faith can be considered the morphogenic (morph - body, genesis - beginning) field or context within which energy organizes itself. If the faith/intention is weak or absent, the energy is thus disorganized. (The energy-therapies talk about "perturbations" or misalignments in the person's energy field, leading to physical, emotional or spiritual dis-ease.)
The well known "Lord's Prayer" in the Christian community provides further insight into this realization of the power of intention, the basis of therapy and healing. Christ implies that God's will is not always done, as we humans do have free will. I don't believe it was the will of the Creator to perpetrate the genocides under Hitler, Stalin and Mao and the countless other sufferings and tribulations which occur to individuals and groups. The implication that we can influence the will of God through prayer, empowered by faith, lies in His prayer, "May your (God's) will be done on earth as it is in heaven." In teaching to pray that God's will be done on earth suggests two things to me: There are no perturbations in the energy field of the heavenly domain and so there is a perfection of energy flow resulting in a perfect state of being/consciousness (and the ancient ones taught one didn't have to die to experience that!) and that prayer, intention/faith, is crucial and does effect the course of events on this earth.
This article was written in gratitude to the practitioners and teachers, both ancient and current, who continue to teach me the art of integrating faith and intention into my personal and spiritual practice and growth and into everything I do and, also important, into what I choose not to do. God bless us all and continue to guide our work.
John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
Please visit our article: BioEnergy to view Kirlian
photographs of human energy fields.
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