Challenging Mind, Magick and Healing! (plus tea and cake!)
15.10.23 Duchy Healers
Meet-Up and Talk by Dr Alan Jones
Maybe a lovely sunny day led to a smaller than normal number of members enjoying a social afternoon with a very interesting, sometimes challenging talk by Dr Alan Jones.
Alan opened his talk with the understatement of “We are living in interesting times!” He called out the unfortunate dogma’s all around the world, which sometimes also involve those who might regard themselves as ‘enlightened’ but may come from a place of commercialism or personal gain. He added that we all work with our own beliefs, but need to develop an acceptance that no one person has all the answers, we are all on a journey.
Alan calls himself a Rational Mystic. His rich and varied life has taken him on many of his own personal ‘journeys’ (not all were discussed in his talk) which include exploring everything from various Christian based churches, where he admits he found the dogma was stifling. He studied Earth Science, Astronomy and Theology at University. Travelled to Canada where he met and learned from a Native American Shaman. On his return the ‘New Age’ movement was encompassing complementary and alternative practices which challenged him to learn and try to understand the source material for all these new terms that were being bandied about in the West. Auras, Human Energy Fields and the like. All of which originate from the traditional Vedic teachings of the East, but have been limited and simplified for Western use, thus missing out some of the valuable spiritual concepts and leaving many Western practitioners with little knowledge of where their therapies have originated from.
He encourages us to be able to explain the philosophy that underpins our healing approach so that when sceptics or scientists attack our methods, we haven’t left any gaps in understanding the labels we might use to define to our therapies. Alan himself is a Reiki Master and he explains that Reiki was inspired by Buddhism and when it came to the West it was made into something more palatable for a Western mindset which included the introduction of the three degrees of Reiki. As it has developed people have put different slants on it, such as Crystal, Angel, Rainbow etc. Not that Alan suggests there is anything wrong in this, just as long as these modalities can articulate how they are underpinned. There is no simple black or white approach, we shape our world and perceptions based on our beliefs.
Alan then went on to explain the personal label he applies to himself, that of a ‘Rational Mystic’ – he regards it as a philosophical and spiritual approach to understand the universe and our place in it. Understanding that there may be unseen forces at work and embracing the mystery of the unknown, that there is more to life than what is seen and understood by our physical senses. He believes that spiritual growth is an essential part of understanding the bigger picture as it extends beyond the limitations of the material world. He emphasised the interconnectedness of all things to a greater source of knowledge.
This led nicely onto the concept of ‘The Mind’. Whether the mind is a product of the brain or is it ‘awareness’, which in spiritual terms would suggest that we are connected to a greater consciousness. In discussing these complex things, the act of using labels is inevitable while we attempt to explain things, this in turn can lead to misinterpretation and misunderstanding, while at the same time, often limiting something that is so complex and defies easy explanation.
Advancements in neuroscience and cognitive science have shed light on the inner workings of the mind. Various studies have revealed the intricate connections between different regions of the brain and how they contribute to our cognitive and emotional processes. However, there is still much to learn about the mind-brain relationship and how it influences our subjective experiences.
Is the brain the mind? The mind encompasses more than just the physical processes of the brain; it includes subjective experiences and the sense of self. While the brain plays a crucial role in creating these experiences, it cannot be fully reduced to physical processes alone. This distinction is evident in cases of individuals with brain damage or neurological disorders. Although their brain may be impaired, their mind and consciousness remain intact, albeit altered. This suggests that the mind and the brain are distinct entities.
From the subject of ‘Mind’, Alan went on to clarify the meaning of ‘Magick’, the idea of using our intent to bring about change. (The ‘k’ at the end of the word is to differentiate it from conjuring magic.) At its core it is the belief in harnessing natural energies to bring about desired changes or outcomes. It is a spiritual/mystical practice that is found across different cultures and religions throughout history. It can be as simple as a practice for personal transformation, healing and spiritual growth.
Its fundamental principle is the interconnectedness of everything, understanding that there is a web of subtle energy that binds everything together. Some practitioners use rituals, spells, etc or use tools such as crystals, cards or herbs to direct their intentions.
There has long been the misconception that is connected with ‘evil’, but as with all modalities used for the intention of well-being, there are codes of ethics to do no harm and respect others, understanding that every action has consequences. Magick does not fit in with traditional scientific understanding as a measurable phenomenon. But like healing it taps into the realm of the unseen and unexplained method of accessing energies that science has yet to measure. But Magick can happen when ‘The Mind’ is engaged and focused.
So on from Magick to Healing. Sometimes miracles may appear to happen, but most healers know that healing is about a journey, not a cure. Alan even brought up the subject of healing into death. Something that most experienced healers will be familiar with and can be a wonderful experience for the healer and their dying subject as they travel forward, finally accepting the end with peace in the knowledge that there is something far greater ‘out there’.
However, Alan challenged the use of terms such as ‘Quantum Healing’ when no one can explain what it really is. He did state, what I am sure we can all agree with, that healing goes beyond the absence of illness, it encompasses the restoring to balance and harmony, a state of ‘well-being’, which can sometimes be simply the acceptance that a person’s life is coming to an end, or that a dis-ease may be incurable, but it is possible to come to terms with anything and feel at peace.
The healer’s role is to first of all actively engage in their own self-healing journey and then empower others to make choices that support their overall well-being.
Our healing generally focuses on ‘energy’ (or chi, prana, etc.) to rebalance and restore the flow of this energy within the body. It also recognises the connection of the mind, emotions and spirit. For some of us in Duchy Healers, we might refer to using simply ‘subtle energy’ or ‘spiritual energy’.
Alan felt it important to differentiate between energy as understood in the scientific world which is- measurable, and the concept of ‘spiritual’ energy that is rooted in belief systems and the intangible aspects of human existence, associated with the soul, consciousness, connectedness etc. The energy that healers use is believed to be influenced through meditation, prayer or the act of energy healing. Being mindful of different belief systems, this spiritual energy is something that as yet, there is no scientific instrument able to measure it, even though we, or our healing client, may feel its effect. (Much in the same way that an electron is regarded as energy that cannot be seen, but it can be proved to exist due to its effect) This ‘spiritual’ energy is not to be confused with the energy of purposeful thought, although our thoughts of intent certainly do have an impact on healing and to an extent we might say that it ‘programs’ the kind of energy we sent out.
Speaking of energy, Alan went on to explain the current thinking by science about auras. While they are not recognised by mainstream science, researchers are exploring the electromagnetic fields around living things. (With that in mind we might argue that inanimate objects are also made of ‘energy’ and they also have an electromagnetic or ‘energy’ field – as many dowsers will confirm).
Alan continued on to present an interesting case study, where he helped his client using the same beliefs and understanding as the client himself to tap into and help his clients mental health problems. Using the clients beliefs as metaphors for his own self-healing. Thereby underlying that we are what we believe, so do beliefs matter?
I am sure Alan himself would agree that he challenged many minds and possibly upset a few! But he underlined his talk saying that ‘Beliefs are not truth, but does that matter?’ This has been a subject of philosophical enquiry for centuries. The important thing is that our beliefs do not remain stagnant, as we gain new experiences and acquire new knowledge, we constantly redefine our ‘truth’. It is only beliefs that are dogmatically held without room for critical evaluation or scrutiny that leave themselves open to rejection or harmful ideologies which impede any advancement.
After such a thought provoking talk, we were certainly ready for a cuppa and some cake provided by the committee and the reward of a raffle prize or two!
A full transcript of Alan’s talk can be found on his website: www.elynbres.com