Saturday, April 18, 2009

Patrick, the faith healer

Faith in the mysterious – even miraculous - healing powers of an ordinary individual seems strange, even laughable, to those who don’t share it.

Patrick is a faith healer based in Goa, whom hundreds flock to everyday in the hope that he will cure them of their various ailments. ( I wrote about him briefly in an earlier post).

Are these people crazy? I used to think so, but now I'm not quite so certain. Crazily irrational, certainly, but most of all they are desperate. And perhaps only those who themselves have suffered as a result of some disease or other – which doctors and allopathic medicines could do nothing to alleviate - can understand this desperation.

I met a woman who, as a result of some dreadful injury, has been suffering from paralysis in one side of her face for the last fifteen-odd years. She has difficulty eating, and when she eats she drools in a way that has made eating in public a hugely embarrassing experience. As a result of meeting Patrick several times, she has some sensation at last in the dead side of her face and can eat without dripping saliva. Her faith in Patrick is immense. Every few months she goes to see him and she is convinced that she will soon be cured completely.

I met a man who had a hernia that required surgery. He told me Patrick healed him in one sitting. He also told me of an artist friend of his who had cancer of the liver. The doctors had told her she had six months to live. She went to see Patrick on two occasions. Subsequent medical tests showed no signs of the tumour. She was cured.

How does one account for this? Is there really such a thing as a miracle?

In one of his Unpopular Essays, Bertrand Russell writes that ‘there are a number of purely theoretical questions . . . which science is unable to answer, at any rate at present. Do we survive death in any sense, and if so, do we survive for a time or for ever? Can mind dominate matter, or does matter completely dominate mind . . .?’

Russell, of course, was not thinking of faith healers when he wrote this. And yet it is apt. He adds: ‘What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or of ignorance. Knowledge is not so precise a concept as is commonly thought. . .’

Of course, the world is full of people who will believe every kind of mumbo-jumbo, to whom blind faith is everything, and who never use reason to think things through.

Yet, even I have had to admit that faith healing is a mystery. I don’t believe, and yet, how can I not believe perfectly decent people when they say they've been cured?

The demand for certainty, writes Russell, is one which is natural to man, but is nevertheless an intellectual vice.

Sometimes it’s important to have the humility to say: I don’t know.

I don’t know how a man’s hernia can disappear so miraculously, but apparently it did.

There are mysteries we don’t understand.

Maybe it’s the mind and body connection. The mind is a very powerful organ. A person's psychology is not something we should dismiss so easily. Can a man psych himself into getting cured?

I don’t know.

All I know is that allopathic doctors often can’t help, that allopathic medicines usually take care of only the symptom and not the cause, that faith in doctors (particularly specialists) is increasingly on the wane, and that people are desperate to get cured.

Why laugh at them?

(For those who are interested in meeting Patrick, the faith healer, I’ve managed to get hold of the phone number of someone who can tell you when he is available and where. The magic number in Goa is: 9226387931.)

4 comments:

Ken said...

I have been there too.. I cant explain the way it works...but it does... imagine it this way... the world and everything around you came into being with your birth..it will cease when you die...we know this..but there is something more...focus on the sound of your breathing..and you will know.. more than knowing...you will be.. that is all which you need to be..

Anonymous said...

I have been there too. For clearance - I understand Dr Patric is a healer AND also a Dr of medicine. I beleive he is a special person with knowledge from both mystical and more since oriented.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Patrick's healing works. If you see his videos - there are larger than life statements like 'God Does it because I said so'. If it is as simple for Patrick, why are there so many people who have been visiting him for healing for years together? What is the point in prolonging a life which is already full of distress and misery ?
If God and Patrick are so pally pally with each other, why isn't cancer just driven away or a paralytic patient cured by just one command?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous :
Your remark about Patrick is a bit pathetic especially when you say his healing etc doesn't work?
So many people are negative about anything especially when they have not even had the balls to try it first, how can you pass comment or judgment on anything with out experiencing it!
I don't know Patrick or haven't even heard of him, however if he is doing good and has healed any living thing isn't this a good thing???
In response to god and cancer get your facts right google cancer cures!
It's been treatable for decades however YOU as a layman and a follower of black and white YOU who only believes in what Dr Sayes and is afraid to think for yourself won't be aware of this !
Cancer is a multi billion pound business and if you had a cure what would you have to go through in this world of pharmaceutical greed! How long would you last?
God has given US the resources to eradicate poverty etc
WE choose to WANT MORE and not share !