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Excerpt from the book Healing Spirits: True Stories from 14 Spiritual Healers by Judith B. Joslow-Rodewald, Patricia West-Barker and Susan Mills
Nature always has been a solace to me, the solitude, the quietude. The forces of nature are very active. I feel friendships with a lot of those forces. I don’t want to sound as if I’m putting human characteristics to these things; I feel that that’s a mistaken way to relate to these forces. But they are alive, and they do relate, and they respond to honor, just as we do. They respond to respect; they respond to generosity; they respond to awareness. Anything that is alive responds to those qualities.
Driving through the high desert country of southern Utah, en route to our meeting with Mitchell May, we were struck by the wild beauty and the power of the landscape that surrounds him. The natural world is still dominant here, we thought, still free, in large part, of man-made structures and influence. Winding along the Colorado River, through red rock canyons and over rugged cliffs to the secluded valley in which he has made his home for the last fifteen years, we thought we must have fallen into a state of grace and slipped into Shangri-La.
We first became aware of Mitchell May when we read an article about him and his extraordinary healing in Yoga Journal. We tore out the article and tucked it away for future reference. A year or so later, when we were actively collecting interviews for this book, a friend called to say she was going to a one-day healing workshop in New York City. Would we want to come along to check out the person conducting the program? His name was Mitchell May.
We couldn’t say exactly what it was, but as Mitchell stood there, telling stories, playing his flute and leading the group through breathing, movement and visualization exercises, something happened in that room. It became palpably lighter and brighter. Although we had driven ten hours in heavy rain and sat for seven more hours in the seminar room, we experienced no tension, no fatigue, no anxiety or irritation — just a gentle sense of relaxed awareness that persisted for days after the program ended.
The day the three of us spent with Mitchell in Utah was more intense. Hours flew by as we listened to his words and followed the rhythmic sound of his voice. We were impressed with his passion, his humor, and his willingness to take risks, to go out on a limb to make a point. Mitchell not only answered all of the questions we asked, he answered some that we didn’t ask. We realized, as we left that evening, that some force had been put in motion, some underground current stirred, some connection made that might not reach full consciousness until months after our visit. The experience was different for each of us; what we shared was the clear awareness that we had been in the presence of a master.
Mitchell May made medical history when, at the age of twenty-one, the Volkswagen bus in which he was riding was struck head on by another car. Pronounced dead at the scene and then resuscitated, Mitchell awoke in the hospital in excruciating pain. His bones were broken in more than forty places and his lungs were punctured; he suffered severe muscle, nerve, and organ damage, and a two-and-a-half-inch piece of bone was missing from his right leg. Told at first that he was unlikely to survive the accident, Mitchell was later advised that even if he did survive, he would never walk again and would be in severe pain for the rest of his life.
Several months later, after being examined by more than dozens of medical specialists who advised amputation of at least one, if not both, of his legs, May was transferred to the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, barely alive but still steadfastly refusing to agree to the amputation.
At that time, UCLA was seriously engaged in the study of such phenomena as ESP, clairvoyance, and spiritual healing. It was there that Mitchell had the good fortune to meet healer and Parapsychology Laboratory staff member Jack Gray. After working with Jack Gray for just three days, Mitchell’s unremitting pain disappeared, even though his wounds were still unhealed.
Continuing to work with Gray over time, Mitchell fully recovered from his injuries, regenerating muscle, nerve, bone, and organ tissue — a feat considered medically impossible, yet fully documented by X-rays and the reports of consulting physicians. Mitchell also became Jack’s apprentice in the healing arts, working closely with his mentor until Gray’s death seven years later.
Mitchell sees few personal healing clients these days, preferring to teach groups of people how to shift their consciousness and change their “stories” so that they can tap into their own healing potential. As founder and chairman of The Synergy Company, May is also engaged in making the superfood formulas that supported his own recovery available to larger numbers of people. His work as a healer and nutritional pharmacologist has been studied and reported in a number of magazines and medical journals, including Yoga Journal, Explore, East West Magazine, Natural Health and the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients.
My primary interest isn’t healing; it’s freedom. Healing just happens to be one doorway. To me, we’re here as a gigantic experiment. We’re not here to learn a lesson. We’re not here to get it right. We’re not here to get enlightened. We’re not even here to achieve world peace. As hopeful as I am that some of those things will happen, to me, we’re here solely (as well as soully) to experience what it means to be alive, to discover what it means to create.
I’m interested in people being free to join the experiment. Free to live who they are. Free to make all the mistakes and all the successes necessary to continue on, to see who and what we are, who and what this life is. For each person, that freedom is going to be unique.
Snowflakes, when they’ve had the opportunity to form completely, are always six-sided — always. That’s the nature of the physical parameters of water and ice and air pressure and gravity and whatever other forces come into play. However, you will never, ever see two snowflakes that are identical. Thousands of snowflakes have been photographed. They are all six-sided, but they are never identical.
So, within the limits, there is unlimited creativity, potential, and possibility. And, within what appear to be the limits of a human being, we have an unlimited capacity or potential to create and express. It has been reported that we use one-tenth of our brain. I think that is a very generous statement. We have the capacity to create so much and we’re just barely beginning to learn.
Coming To Utah
I could have never imagined myself being where I am today. And, to me, that’s one of the most wonderful parts of life: we have an opportunity to end up where we don’t expect. Many people want to end up some specific place, and my hunch is that they are, in many ways, limiting what life has to offer them by dictating what they think is a good life or a spiritual life or whatever. I don’t see anything wrong with that, but I’m much more into the surprise and the adventure of life. When I came to Utah, I really came, in many ways, to reflect on my life. When I was in Los Angeles, many hundreds of people were coming to me for healing. And, though a lot of wonderful, good, and meaningful work was happening, it seemed to me that, in a certain way, I wasn’t growing. There were a lot of assumptions about me, projections that somehow I was already complete, or I was enlightened or some other kind of nonsense. I didn’t feel as if there was room for me to explore the fullness of my humanness. I wanted to integrate the day-to-day experience of being fully human into the spiritual awakening that was unfolding in my life.
A Lifelong Search
Very early on in my life, I felt a deep need, a calling to connect with some source that felt larger — larger than a connection to family, or a connection to the community, or a connection to any of the social structures that we normally hook in with. Somehow, those connections alone just didn’t seem large enough for what life was really about. I still don’t know what it’s all about. I’m still discovering the vastness of life.
In that yearning, in that longing to connect and feel that aliveness, that Mystery, I began, in my early teens, exploring, searching out different ways that people had truly connected to something larger in life. But during that time, I was frustrated that most of the avenues that were available back in those days were woven into religion. So, even if certain individuals were plugging into a larger vision of life, what I noticed was that the collective consciousness of the people that gathered in those religions was not truly engaged with the Source and was certainly not in a “relationship” with the Source. Sure, I could get into some exotic or esoteric system, but I would, in some ways, just be trading one dogma for another. It still appeared to be a limitation of consciousness, not a pathway to freedom.
So I kept searching, but I wasn’t finding anything other than moments. I had my ecstatic moments. I’d have my moments feeling rapture. I’d have my times of feeling a deep, intimate connection to the Mystery of life. But I never really knew what it was that cultivated that connection. It just sort of seemed to happen. And I didn’t know how to make that a way of life.
In my search, I put out a request to life — the essence of which was, “I’ll do anything to know you.” And I meant it, even though I didn’t know the full ramifications of what I was saying because, at that time, I was just too young to know. So I put that communication out there — and whether my automobile accident had anything to do with that or not, I don’t know. But three days later I was in the accident that forever changed the meaning and focus of my life.
“Life is totally creative”
It’s my experience that life will use whatever circumstances are present to assist us in the experiment. Life doesn’t say you’re going to get into a car accident or you’re going to fall off a roof or you’re going to marry the most spectacular person in the world. Life is not so robotic. Life and the Mystery are not automated. Life is totally creative and will use whatever resources are there in the moment to achieve the fullest potential that is possible for who we are. We may have certain tendencies, because of our past conditioning, to realize certain possibilities in our lives, but the specifics of what happens are unpredictable. All the great teachers that I’ve learned from have taken advantage of circumstances that many people would have thought of as terrible or traumatic to propel themselves to the next step of their evolution. The knee-jerk interpretation of, “Oh, something’s bad, something’s wrong,” that we lapse into only reflects our own internal dynamics. And then we blame our disappointments, our misfortune, on life.
I don’t think life has that kind of a value system. To me, life just is. Life itself doesn’t judge us. Life itself doesn’t have a preference for hot or cold or fast or slow. To place our values, our judgments, on life is, in a sense, creating God in our image and likeness; it reflects just how limited and habitual our thinking is.
So the accident happens and the bottom line is that it’s such a major wipe-out that the medical synopsis is: “You are never going to walk again, and you’re going to be in pain for the rest of your life. You have to lose one, if not two, legs. You will lose most of your hearing and most of your vision. Your organ systems aren’t going to operate properly. Your immune system isn’t going to operate. You’ll be in a wheelchair the rest of your life…” and on and on and on.
Somewhere, somehow, I made a decision to use the situation. Making that choice is where the power is. I didn’t have a choice necessarily in deciding what was going to happen, what the outcome was going to be, whether I was going to suffer, whether I was going to walk. Where I did have a choice — and we all have this choice — was whether or not to fully be with what happened, and to take total responsibility, not for what had happened, but for what is happening.
I was fortunate. So many people have come to me burdened with a false sense of responsibility — that they alone are responsible for their circumstances, for their health, for their illnesses. People have come to me and told me that their anger caused a tumor, or a terrible accident happened to them because they had rejected their soul.
I find that there is no truth to this way of thinking. Certainly our consciousness, psyche, habits and patterns all have an influence on what happens to us — but we, alone, are just one of many influences. We are in a relationship with life. We are not autocratic dictators who decide how it’s all going to be. In my opinion, that form of thinking is based upon fear and a false sense of control.
Use what your life is — that’s where all the energy is that you need to do whatever your life is about. I didn’t know if I’d live or die. I just knew that what had happened to me was huge. I was terrified. I was in pain. I had high fevers. All of these things are signs that you are very close to something, very close.
When your life shatters, when you can’t hold the whole picture together of whom and what you think yourself to be, then and there is where you need to be. That’s what is so valuable about the experience of being so sick or so depressed, so discouraged or despondent. Yes, there is suffering and that’s a very difficult part of life. But it also means that there’s a crack in whom we know ourselves to be. And that’s when a genuine, gifted healer or a teacher or a wizard or a shaman or a lover or a friend can help crack it open further — not plaster it up. That crack, that opening, is an opportunity that, if taken, allows us to expand and evolve from whom we know ourselves to be to all that is beyond our imagination, to all that is possible.
I believe in luck. The reason I like luck is that you don’t have to be anybody special to have it. You don’t have to have your karma cleaned up. You don’t have to be a holy person. You don’t have to be a saint. Luck can come to anyone and everyone—it’s not about being worthy enough before it comes to you.
Don’t allow anyone to tell you, “Well, the reason God didn’t heal you is because you’re not pure enough,” or because “You don’t pray enough,” or some other inanity. Anybody who professes such, in my opinion, is a liar and is miscommunicating about the Great Mystery. And I don’t like that because it scares people. It erodes people’s trust in life and in themselves. Few of us think or feel that we are “good enough” to fit the standards of what most people say you need to be a good person or a holy person or a sanctified person, and many whose prayers have been answered were neither “pure” nor “good enough.”
With luck, you just have to be alive. That’s the only qualification. To me, luck is there all the time; the trick is to be aware of it. When you let yourself be open and aware of more possibilities, you have more options — and often you will choose a new, previously unknown option. People who don’t realize the options that exist may think you are so blessed, or you’re under grace — when really, it’s only because in their own lives they’re not looking for or opening up to all the options and all the possibilities.
Luck has to do with using the full spectrum of who you are: your senses, so you sense what’s possible; your intuition, so you have the inner guidance of where to go and what might be valuable for you; your logic, to explore the many possibilities. Your friends and family have ideas and can help you. A class, a tape, a book — really whatever comes before you can be lucky and can be of assistance. So I believe in luck. I just know the possibility is there, that there are things that I wouldn’t have thought of, things that I couldn’t even have imagined that are going to come into my life.
Really, my job as a healer is to help other people become aware of the truly unlimited possibilities in their lives. People may think I heal other people. I don’t. I have never healed anybody. When people become aware of new possibilities, new insights, new opportunities — Boom! Life unfolds and new opportunities and new resources surface. Now there’s more to it than that, but that’s the gist of it for me.
When the circumstances of my injuries required that I return to Los Angeles, I was dismayed. I didn’t want to go back to LA, because that’s where I grew up and I certainly didn’t want to be dependent upon my parents. But it soon became clear that I was going and that it was in many ways exactly where I needed to go. I didn’t have any money. I didn’t have health insurance. This was going to be a long haul and I was in a cast from my neck down to the bottom of my feet. At the time, it seemed so unfortunate that I had to go to LA and back to the care of my parents. But, at this point, I had to make a decision. I chose to trust the unknown. I chose to go to LA.
Well, had I not gone to LA, I wouldn’t have had the good luck to meet Jack. That’s the thing with life. When we want something, we usually want it to be a specific way. In wanting something a very specific way, we interfere with all else that is possible. We don’t allow for the Mystery of life to show itself when we’re fixated on how it “should” be, on how we want it to be.
Meeting my Healer
So, in Los Angeles, at the UCLA Medical Center, I met Jack Gray. He was being studied by the Parapsychology Department because of his extraordinary capacity to help other people heal, people who were in impossible medical circumstances, people whom the medical community had given up on.
I knew nothing about healing when Jack came on the scene. I grew up in a well-educated, very scientifically oriented family. Things of this vein, spiritual things, so-called psychic things, were not a part of my upbringing or my life — until my mother contacted Dr. Thelma Moss of the UCLA Parapsychology Department.
So, when Jack came on the scene, I had no idea what to expect. I’d seen healers on TV and in movies and I really thought a healer would be someone in a purple cape. Quite the contrary! Jack was just an average-looking 65-year-old. I hardly expected a “healer” to be someone wearing a tie and a polyester leisure suit, driving a Pinto. There was nothing exotic about Jack. I never imagined what I was seeking would come to me like this — and then he put his hands on me.
Touched By Life
I had never been touched like that before. And it was not because he had so much energy or anything like that — it was more the quality rather than the quantity of energy. His touch was as if life itself was touching me. There was no inhibition, no restriction, no — I don’t want to define it only by what it wasn’t. It was Life completely coming as him. I had never felt that in a touch before, or by simply being in someone’s presence. And I had no idea what he was going to do with that touch. But he went right to work.
At a distance of two or three inches above me, his hands traveled lightly, sensing areas of weakness, strength, and pain. And, as I slept, Jack talked to me, knowing that my subconscious would be aware of his voice as he continued to make magnetic passes over my body with his hands. Within three nights, the pain that had tortured me was gone. Within two weeks, I was off all the painkilling medicine. In the days and weeks that followed, along with the talking and laying on of hands, Jack used various forms of hypnosis, meditation, and sounds to shift my consciousness. He used colored lights and encouraged me to join him in strange chants and guttural sounds that took me into different trance states.
I knew that this man had the knowledge and the understanding and the passion of life I was looking for, but I didn’t know how to cross the bridge between where I was — desperate, sick, and full of toxic medicines — and where I yearned to be.
Jack met me exactly where I was. He met me with all my fear. He met me with all my longing. He met me with all my sickness. He met me with all the pain. And when I say he “met me,” I mean that he didn’t need or want me anywhere else, he didn’t want me to have any other experience than the one I was having.
He wasn’t afraid of it. He could touch it. And that’s so often what each of us needs: to touch that which has been untouchable in our lives; to touch wherever we have shame; to touch some part of our physical being that hasn’t yet been able to heal; to touch our relationships. And he touched me with no restrictions, no limit. In working with Jack, I realized that here was my golden opportunity to fulfill all the yearnings and longings and dreams and desires I had. I wanted a fuller, deeper relationship with Life, with no filters, without anything in between.
On one level, what happened to me was witnessed with horror. My life had been taken away. My leg, my health, my future was irrevocably changed. And yet, on another level, it was an opportunity to experience the unexpected, to experience a gift, a blessing, a miracle. My accident was the one opportunity for me to hold still long enough to be in Jack’s presence.
If I had met Jack walking down the street, I would have just passed him by. Had I attended a lecture by him, I would have said, “Who is this goofball? Look at him. What does he know? Some seventy-year-old coot!” Or, I might have thought that what he had to say was interesting, but I wouldn’t have given it my full attention. And, until you give something your full attention, it has no power in your life.
The Power of Attention
One of the greatest abilities we have as human beings is our attention, and the choice as to where we place our attention. Where do most of us place our attention? It’s usually scattered, often hooked into a lot of things from the past, or focused on our desires and needs. For most of us, 90 percent of our attention goes there. What we have left to live our lives with is 10 percent.
Jack was intense. But he also knew how to contain and modulate that intensity so that what would come forth from him to whomever he was communicating or interacting with was at the appropriate level. Wherever my attention was, Jack was right there with me, whether our attention was focused on a piece of information about Tibetan cultures, ancient foods, or facing habitual thought patterns that he could sense that I was in. Whatever and wherever it was, he met me there.
How often do we feel met, really, in our day-to-day experience with people? I don’t think most people feel met as an everyday experience. I don’t think people usually feel met with their partners. I don’t think people feel met in their religions. I don’t think people feel met in their work. I don’t think people feel met with their children. That, to me, is so very sad. Because that is what is really going to revitalize people: being met — being face-to-face with whatever is. That’s what is going to heal.
Jack understood all of this. I could see that he wasn’t afraid of what my circumstances were: he knew how to enter my experience and touch it and he knew that, together, we could transform it. We began to do that together. And it was in the “knowing” and in the “doing” that bone regenerated, nerves regenerated, muscle regenerated, organs regenerated, my eyes regenerated, my kidneys regenerated, my hearing regenerated.
Entering into my apprenticeship
After about three months of doing this very deep, powerful, and intensive work together, Jack told me he’d been waiting for an apprentice for many years and he felt that I was the one. He gave me three days to think it over. And I knew that this is what I wanted to do. It was what I wanted to dedicate my life to. I didn’t know where it was going to take me. I had no idea of what was involved or what the ramifications would be, but I knew I wanted it.
So I said, “Yes,” and the whole nature of our relationship changed on the spot. Boom! No longer was he going to heal me. I had to learn to heal myself. He would be there to coach me. He would be there to show me where I was going astray, but the responsibility, in a sense, was mine. I had to learn for myself because the only way I could help others was if I really learned and lived the experience from the inside out.
That was a very big shift for me, to really take that responsibility on. I had been doing the work, but I was really counting on Jack, which is very appropriate in many stages of healing.
A Healer’s Responsibility
There’s the popular premise going around that you “gotta do it for yourself,” that you’ve got to heal yourself. I don’t buy the premise that we are solely responsible for our circumstances, our illnesses, and our traumas. Nor are we solely capable of healing anything and everything. There are other forces involved. If you are not ready or don’t know how to take these on for yourself, then a healer can assist you in learning to do that. If the healer you’ve chosen does not recognize that there are forces beyond you, then I would suggest that you find another to assist you.
The field of psychology knows the value of transference and projection. You cannot transform what until now has been a nontransformable situation unless it is imbued with power, unless you give it some magic and a sense that “there is more than I know here.”
There are different stages in healing, just as there are in any other part of life — like learning to ride a bike. The first stage is learning to get on the damn thing. The second stage is falling off. The third stage is going for five or six feet with somebody holding on. A good healer, a mature healer, knows how to use that projection and knows how to guide you through the steps of the healing process. A good healer can recognize and help you to best utilize the magic, the abilities, and the power that you already have within you.
Trust is a tremendous responsibility and an absolute requirement to the healing process. For the healer, it necessitates being absolutely respectful and cognizant of what it means to have somebody who has a need come to see you. The incredible responsibility a healer has is that here is another soul, another human being, asking for your help. And to give that person anything other than truth isn’t fair; to give them your trip rather than truth isn’t fair. So, if someone is giving the healer a projection, it needs to be very skillfully managed. It needs to be honored and used, but not abused and not disregarded.
In the healing process, there’s a point where the healer can move with the energy or essence of a projection, and a time when the healer hands it back to the person. There is an appropriate moment when the recipient’s container, their being, their development, their maturity, is ready to reincorporate that part of themselves into their life. And that’s part of the healer’s work: taking on a projection and skillfully handing it back. You don’t want to dissipate that transference, because it has a lot of prospective healing energy. It is one of the components needed for magic to happen.
That’s how a shaman operates. People come to a shaman because they believe the shaman has contact with the unseen world, has contact with the forces that have a lot to do with how this world operates and can influence those forces or intercede on their behalf. Without that belief, that projection, that leap of faith, the magic wouldn’t occur. The shaman would lose his or her power and the person coming for healing wouldn’t receive healing.
Accessing the Unseen World
Usually, we only invest in what it is we know, not in what we don’t know. My job is helping people open up to what they don’t know and cannot see, so that ultimately they learn how to invest more of themselves in that place of the Mystery and in their relationship with it.
Jack was always pulling the rug out from under me. He taught me that whatever you think you know, you can be pretty sure you don’t, especially with matters that go into the vastness of life and being. We don’t really understand those laws and we don’t really understand the workings of the human soul and the spirit and all these unseen realms — we just don’t. What’s disproportional is that the unseen world makes up 99 percent of reality, but we place 99 percent of our attention upon the seen world.
A great deal of healing is helping somebody access that unseen world. You help somebody access it by being familiar with it yourself, valuing it, honoring it, knowing your way around it, and being comfortable in it. When people feel that you know your way around that unseen world, they feel safer with you and they are able to trust you as their guide.
The imagination is the doorway to the unseen world. There are other portals, but the unseen world and the imagination go together. That’s where mythology lives. That’s where our stories live. With the story we create the world, because from the unseen world comes the seen.
What’s an atom? It is unseen, and yet it creates us. It is this floor. It is this house. But you can’t see it. I’m also talking about the unseen beyond the atom. But even at that literal level, this whole world is created by a latticework and a blueprint of the unseen world. When you influence that unseen world, you influence the seen world.
An amazing example of this occurred during my healing. After eight months in the hospital, X-rays of my leg showed that the bone was healing — actually regenerating. Jack cautioned me not to place my weight on it, because what the X-rays were, in fact, showing was but a blueprint of the growth to come. Eleven months later, the bones had aligned and solidified enough to bear my weight — despite the fact that they had never been set and despite the fact that this was medically impossible.
There is so much going on in the unseen world between us, everywhere, all the time. One way to know the unseen is to recognize that every act of physical creation has its roots in the unseen world. So, if you’re not sure how to know the unseen, get to know the seen. Look at the creation, the form; learn to track it and you will trace its root back to its creative source, back to the unseen. A creation does not exist separate and apart from its creator. Everything that we see and everything that is — whatever facet of life created it, whether you call that God or gravity, whatever the creator is — it continues its involvement 100 percent with its creation. And the creation forever carries the creator’s imprint.
So we are 100 percent, fully invested with all the forces that created us. Everything is. And that’s what we need to tap into: the knowledge that what created us is still 100 percent here, with and within us. Creation didn’t “happen.” Creation is happening, and we don’t know where it’s going next.
Sir Laurens van der Post, the South African writer, once asked Carl Jung, “Do you believe in God?” It was at a psychiatric conference and all these psychologists were giggling because, of course, psychologists don’t believe in God. Many professionals in this realm have lost touch with the meaning of the word “psyche,” even though their work, day in and day out, revolves around it. Psyche is the root word for soul.
Jung reflected for about twenty seconds, and then he said, “No, I don’t believe in God…I know.”
My heart, even now, vibrates there. You just know. If you need to believe, you don’t know yet. And there’s nothing wrong with believing, nothing wrong with not knowing. You need to believe in the possibility to begin with, before you know.
I want people to know. I want people to know the Great Mystery directly. I want people to have the Mystery as their best buddy, as their lover, as their blood, as their breath, as their brain, as everything. I get a little concerned when I speak this way because it sounds real hifalutin, but this is the truth of the matter for me because I know what it has given me. This Mystery is my life source.
Strengthening Our “Spiritual Muscles”
There are practices or things you can do to help yourself understand and relate to the unseen world more. That’s what every system of esoteric knowledge or mysticism or spiritual teaching is really all about. They all have a different way of going about that. You should only follow a path that suits you. One is not better than another. It either works or it doesn’t. That’s where it’s at.
For me, the foundation of any daily practice must begin with the physical body. Taking care to nourish and train the body so that it can tolerate more and more energy—be it physical, psychic, or spiritual. I value life-force and vitality in my food, water, and breath. I want to feel the communication with that which has not been altered by unconscious behavior. Over-processing, chemical contamination, and pollution destroy the inherent life force and vitality of our food, our water, and our breath.
When chemicals are dumped into our water, that’s a whole system of unconsciousness that I don’t want. I want consciousness – water that comes out of the earth that hasn’t been contaminated has something to offer me. Food that is pure and that hasn’t been altered from its original state, genetically engineered, infused with chemicals and hormones, or over processed has so much more to offer me.
We have a need for spiritual nourishment, too, just like physical nourishment. There is a cosmic energy that we literally need to thrive. Most people are only surviving; very few people are actually thriving. When you thrive, you glow – and you can only thrive if you’re getting nourishment from the unseen world.
Sure, you can be healthy and vigorous and you can run a speedy mile and all that, but that’s just your physical energy and vitality. To really glow, to really be ecstatic, you need to have all of your other bodies nourished as well.
Beyond our physical bodies – which to me are the expression of our soul – are our other bodies: the emotional or psychological body that deals with our personal and tribal history; the mythological or imagination body, which is the realm of the unconscious and archetypal energies where much healing takes place; the spiritual body, where our deepest essence is and where we have our relationship with the soul; and, finally, the energy/luminous body that nourishes and informs us with spiritual energies.
You need “spiritual muscles,” so to speak, because there is so much to deal with which requires strength and stamina. There’s so much exploring and experimenting to do in our lives. If you don’t have your spiritual feet underneath you, every time a wave comes by, you’re going to feel knocked over. So you need practice in that unseen realm, just as in the physical realm.
Developing a Practice
The way to begin that practice is by first acknowledging the existence of the unseen; then begins the work of cultivating a relationship with it. Have a dialogue with the unseen just as I am having one with you. Ask it questions. I don’t expect it to speak as I do, to literally speak English. Remain open and alert because it may not always speak in words. It speaks Life. That’s the universal language here, Life.
Energy is another part of the language. Energy itself is not what heals; the energy carries the information. Energies bring forth information and, in a sense, we remember and that’s what heals us: remembering who we really are, what we are really about, and what we were doing before we were a part of this human experience.
When we take on this physical body, we seem to develop a kind of amnesia. We forget that we designed this show. We forget that we were part of the experiment long before there were physical bodies, long before the earth existed. We forget – meaning Mitchell forgets and Susan forgets and Judith forgets and Pat forgets. But there’s a part of us that doesn’t forget. It has never forgotten. We just don’t pay much attention to it.
In our culture, we are not taught to cultivate or foster this awareness in our lives. Few of us have daily practices where we can connect to this Mystery. Yet, as we begin to pay attention to it, the more we remember – the more all of us begin to remember. As we join our daily practice with our daily life, we begin to feel less separate – we don’t feel so torn, so split between realities. I don’t like to separate spirit from matter, or my daily life from my spiritual life.
Certainly, there are as many different ways of accessing the unseen world as there are traditions, and each has its own unique offering: martial arts, meditation, prayer, movement, dance, being in nature, and so on. Everybody needs to find what it is that helps you personally to connect to that greater sense of life, to what I call the Mystery. I’m more comfortable with that word than with “God.” The word “God” has been so misinterpreted that it actually limits our experience of God, rather than expands it. So “the Mystery” works a little better for me. It’s hard to put your finger on a mystery.
I practice every day by acknowledging and valuing that the unseen world is alive and real, as alive and real as what we’re doing here. And what you place value on in your life will grow in your life. It’s that simple. For me, breathing is a very important component of the practice because breathing really is that bridge between the conscious and the unconscious. Breath can happen automatically or you can have a mindful relationship with it. All day, today, we weren’t even aware we were breathing, but you can now be aware of it. When we come into conscious relationship with our breath, we can make contact with that place where the seen and the unseen touch.
In all cultures that I am aware of, the breath is in some way considered equivalent to the spirit: the Breath of Life, the Spirit of Life, Prana, Mana, and chi. God breathed Life into mankind. Many practices use the breath as a vehicle to enter altered states of consciousness. It is something we all have access to. It can be either conscious or unconscious.
By consciously using our breath, we can control our brain waves, our autonomic nervous system, and we can control the amount of oxygen to the brain. The breath is designed to fuel the brain and the body.
The brain feeds on oxygen, and most people are not getting enough. The brain will reduce oxygen and blood flow to the rest of the body to be sure there is enough oxygen in the brain. Not only does our breath take in essential nutrients, it also eliminates toxins from our bodies. In fact, 70 percent of all the body’s toxins are eliminated through the exhalation of our breath – and, if not, then other organs in the body will have to work harder to detoxify and eliminate the waste.
Yes, you can make an occult, esoteric, metaphysical science out of how you connect to the Source, and there are practices that will help you do that. But to not recognize, to not cultivate an individual and intimate relationship with the Mystery makes it mechanical.
When ceremony and ritual become habitual and mechanical, they don’t have the power to take you to a different state of awareness, a different state of consciousness – which is what they are intended to do. Unless they’re fully passionate, unless they’re alive, unless they’re fresh, they won’t take you any place. Or, if they do, it’s a place you’ve been to a million times before so you’re only going someplace you already know. I don’t really think that’s what it’s about. To me, it’s about going to a place or an experience that you don’t know, as well as to where you do know, having free access to go wherever you need to go, rather than where you only allow yourself to go.
A Healing Story
Before I built this addition to my house, I had a very tiny room upstairs with a ladder going up there. And a dear friend of mine fell down the stairs, really wiped herself out. She thought, and I did too, that she’d broken her wrist and her arm. She was bleeding and had lots of cuts. It was a bad fall.
I didn’t know if she needed to go to the doctor or not. So I said, “It’s your call; let me know if you want to try to work with this right here, right now, and see how we can use the energy that’s here – all the pain, all the fear, all the confusion.” And she said she was willing to try that.
The first thing she needed to do was to acknowledge all that was there for her, in that moment. She had to release the fear, which meant she needed to cry, which meant she had to look at the anger she had at herself. She said she was stupid. She was a massage therapist. How was she going to make a living? She had to really be honest, bring up all the concerns and fears and express them. The self-judgment, too, because she didn’t really like her body. “I’m too big…If I was more graceful…If I wasn’t so overweight,” or whatever it was. It took about ten or fifteen minutes to move through that. And that’s not easy energy to move for a person who is in the midst of it.
From there she needed to go to the place of forgiving herself, the place of really connecting to simply loving herself for what had happened right there in the moment, a place where there was no judgment that it should have happened or it should not have happened. “I love myself even for being a klutz. I love myself even for all my terror and all my fear…” – whatever was there.
And in the process of going deeper into that place, life flowed back through those areas that had been injured. Life flowed back through her body and you could see, before your very eyes, the black and blue marks literally disappear. We watched the swellings just go down. We watched her cuts begin to close. It was awesome. And it was because we were using everything that was present in that moment.
I don’t know if she actually had fractured her arm or not, but within twelve hours there was literally no residual sign of anything having happened. And this was a fall that, with “normal” healing, would have taken two to three months to reach that point, maybe longer.
Seeing the Divine Everywhere: Business As A Spiritual Path
The most challenging spiritual road I’ve ever been on is being in business. I had no intention and no desire to participate in the business world. But I came to realize that what I needed to do was to face it and embrace it in order to heal myself, in order to see the Divine everywhere.
When I was living and practicing my healing work in Los Angeles, I could go into hours of ecstasy – until I realized that, in some ways, I was really hiding from the world. I didn’t have to deal with relationships. I didn’t have to deal with what it really means to make a living. I didn’t have to deal with the rest of the world beyond my own work. I could use the spiritual path I was on to insulate myself from those things that I didn’t want to deal with in my life.
This realization was excruciating for me because I was afraid of the world; it hurt to put my physical body and my consciousness into the many places that people put their lives and minds into – day in and day out. It was at that point – when I realized that I was using my spiritual path to avoid life – that I left Los Angeles.
When I first came to Utah, this valley was exquisite. I was meditating and doing my daily practices; it was really splendid. But eventually I realized that what I really needed to do was to go where I was afraid. My spiritual work would be found where I was consistently afraid and resistant. Not the momentary fear of crossing the street with a car coming, but the fear that, in a sense, doesn’t give you freedom, the fear that interferes with where you can go in life. So, I’d think, “Where am I afraid? I’m afraid of business. I’m afraid of what I perceive as the lying and the deceit, and the manipulation and the ego and all the games that go along with that. And I’m afraid of what it means to really try to pour myself into business, into money. What does that really mean?
I looked at the world and said, “Sure, people can come to me and I can put my hands on them and I can do my hocus-pocus and maybe it will help; it seems to have helped many, many people. I love that work and some really magnificent things have occurred. But that’s within a small subculture.” My real goal was to reach out far and wide, to touch the whole world.
What touches the whole world today? Business and the people who are in business – IBM, AT&T, Nestle! When they make a decision, millions of people are affected.
Being in business – talk about the demonic realm! I love it! I have to confront it every day. Every day there’s a temptation. Every day I deal with somebody who probably isn’t telling me the full truth. Every day somebody offers me a deal that if I just slide a little bit here or there I can make a lot more money. All that has to be dealt with. It’s very demanding. It would be so much easier to be in business without my ethics. It would make life so much easier. That to me is where karma surfaces.
When you don’t know what you’re doing, that is really a very different kind of karmic situation. But when you know what your actions mean, that’s when you generate karma. It’s just cause and effect: when you cheat somebody, life responds. That’s how it is. It’s no different from when you touch a hot stove, you get burned. When you “burn” somebody in another way, you make a statement to life and life meets you exactly where you are. It’s not as if life is getting even with you. Life is simply responding to you. That’s all there is to it. There is nothing esoteric here.
I learned a lot of that from Jack. To him, one of the deepest teachings was to really live by your needs, not your wants. If you really go by your needs, your true needs, you will have everything that you need. If you go by your wants, you may get them, but you may not get what you need. I see that with people. They may be getting their wants, but their needs are not being met. And, in many ways, inadvertently, they’re interfering with other people getting their needs met. This is because their consumption and their wants are so great and so disproportionate to their true needs and to others’ needs.
One of the reasons why I got into business was because I want to generate enough resources so that I can help people whose full attention has to go into survival, into just feeding and sheltering themselves. I want to help people to meet their basic health needs, including their basic nutritional needs. If you don’t have the basics, you simply cannot truly pursue freedom, your own individual freedom.
I don’t have an answer to all this. I just know that my way of healing now, strange as it may seem, is to do business. That doesn’t mean I don’t also teach another side of healing, because I do both. But I need to bring the principles that I’ve learned from my mentor and from my own life experience into the world.
Part of my goal, on a truly literal level, is to support our human evolution. I want to support the full use of our nervous system and our senses and everything that we are physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I want to put together life-enhancing products and services that address these issues and assist us toward our highest capacity of function, our highest evolution.
Creating “Pure Synergy“
In my own healing process, I knew that I needed support on many different levels. Essential among these were the healing I received from Jack, the allopathic medical treatment I underwent, and optimum nourishment for my healing body. I wondered if there were certain substances that carried archetypal information that you could consume, that would pass that native information (meaning primal or cellular knowledge, cellular integrity) on to our bodies, on to our cells, at an energetic core level. I sensed the importance of what I put into my physical body would profoundly affect my healing process on many different levels.
Because Jack and I were at UCLA under the auspices of the Parapsychology Laboratory at the time, we had access to very sophisticated equipment. So we began looking at different substances, plants, mushrooms, and algae using electron microscopes, photomicrography, polarized light fields, cymatics, chromatography and Kirlian photography. Jack taught me that foods have a vibration, a frequency, a life force – and so we played with this concept. With these instruments, we discovered that each substance had a very specific energy pattern and structure that carries the energy or life intelligence, of the substance. And guess what?—when we ingest the substance, we also ingest that life intelligence.
Then I began seeing what would happen when I combined a variety of things together. It’s that relationship – the formula, or the alchemy, or the synergy of putting two or more things together – that creates a new dynamic. The first part is the science. The second part is the art of combining things, like arranging flowers or the feng shui, so to speak, of a good cook. These concepts went into the creation of Pure Synergy. Creating and refining the life-enhancing superfood formula that I called Pure Synergy was a fifteen-year project.
While still formulating Pure Synergy, I experimented on myself. I began eating it to see what would happen to me. I really felt terrific. So I took the experiment further. I stopped eating food altogether and began living on Pure Synergy. I wanted to see what effect it would have on my consciousness. I thrived. (Of course, it’s nothing I would recommend to others. Jack had taught me many techniques to consume energy from sources beyond food – from the air, from lying on rocks, from many different kinds of things. I meditated a lot. I did a lot of healing work.)
For almost two and a half years, I consumed only a small amount of sprouts, some carrot juice, water, and significant quantities of Pure Synergy. Long before Pure Synergy was available to the public, I specially prepared this green formula for friends, family, colleagues and many healthcare professionals. Without exception, the results were phenomenal and everyone wanted more.
What I really want to see happen with The Synergy Company, if we can continue to be as successful as we’ve been fortunate to be, is to create projects that are much more directly involved with meeting and alleviating human hunger.
Most Medical Problems are Preventable
To me, 80 percent of our medical problems are preventable or treatable without heroic means. Cardiovascular disease can be remedied by simple lifestyle alteration. Arthritis, certain forms of it, can be alleviated and remedied by lifestyle changes, as can many forms of cancer. What a waste of human creativity to wait until things get to the point of crisis before we intervene!
Almost everything that we need is already within us. We don’t need to look for answers beyond ourselves, beyond what we as human beings already are. The intelligence, the technology, the capacity to access the unseen world – all of that information already exists. We’re just not using it. I hope that I can help in that process.
I want to see all of our different resources being used wisely and collectively, synergistically. We must consciously choose to use the power of nutrition, the power of medicine, of surgery, of drugs, the power of medical intuition, the power of healers, the power of shamans, all together, in unison. We could then, in cooperation, resolve many issues that have proven intractable when any one of these systems has tried to deal with them alone.
Our consciousness is the fundamental building block of our experience. It is a wide-open arena complete with surprises, adventure, and, ultimately, an exploration of our freedom. That’s my goal – for people to experience freedom. Our bodies are designed to experience ecstasy, but we need to raise our consciousness so that we can sustain it.