When people ask John of God what they can do to heal themselves he usually responds: “Love God above everything else.” Sometimes it is hard to hear this answer because we want practical tips, but that is the ultimate tip.
In a remote corner of the Brazilian rural state of Goias is a small village called Abadiânia. With a population of roughly 7,000 people this village is very different from other Brazilian villages of the same size. Every week thousands of visitors come from every corner of the globe seeking healing. They come to visit a man they call John of God. Joao Teixeira de Faria is a farmer and miner who people say was born with a profound spiritual gift. He has established a healing centre to welcome the thousands of visitors that seek his help.
Reports abound of people being healed of terminal illnesses, but is this really possible? How can a simple farmer be able to heal people of illnesses when modern medicine throws up its hands in defeat? John of God will be quick to tell you that he cannot and does not heal anyone. He says it is God that heals. Still, every week for three days, he surrenders his life to the will of God for the benefit of others.
When I first visited Abadiânia almost 14 years ago I was curious to learn how someone could manifest spiritual healing with consistency. I had practised spirituality for decades and I knew in my heart our spiritual energy is senior to physical illness, yet I had never seen anyone who could manifest that truth with any consistency. What started as a journey of exploration has become a mystery-filled adventure that spans more than a decade.
A few years after my first visit to see John of God I moved to the town of Abadiânia and I have been working beside him as a translator during the healing sessions he leads. During all this time I always attempted to gain some insight on the principles that govern this healing process and how we improve our chances of healing.
One thing that is most striking about the work of John of God is that it mostly takes place in silence. Unlike most spiritual leaders, John of God rarely talks about his work. He just sits in his chair and sees everyone individually. Everyone receives an instruction or a blessing. In his healing centre called the Casa de Dom Inacio is a bust of St. Ignatius of Loyola inscribed with the words. “For those who believe no words are necessary; for those who do not, no words are possible.” Although our first reaction is usually to decide to which side of that equation we belong, there is a deeper message. Since no words are needed or possible, the truth lies in silence. It is only as we silence ourselves that we become aware of the spiritual reality and we are able to participate in the healing process.
When people ask John of God what they can do to heal themselves he usually responds: “Love God above everything else.” Sometimes it is hard to hear this answer because we want practical tips, but that is the ultimate tip. John of God is pointing to the fact that we must make God our first priority. Beyond every other desire we must desire God; we must love God. We must acknowledge the fact that we have a creator and we must be humble and ask for help. We also must be willing to undertake the journey of fulfilling our part in the process.
In our busy lives full of commitments and requirements, it is sometimes hard to become still enough or to always put God first in our thoughts and actions. That is why being in the presence of someone who can steadily hold that commitment to placing God above everything else can help catapult us forward in our ability to love God and manifest our own healing. Doing that with hundreds or even thousands of other kindred spirits only enhances the experience. John of God was given a profound gift of spiritual discernment and power and he has honed that gift by dedicating the last 60 years of his life to helping people heal. He also has the assistance of elevated benevolent spirits that accompany him on his mission. Everyone that spends time in his presence, regardless of their spiritual experience, acknowledges being touched in a way they many times cannot explain. They often report new activity in their dreams and new visions during meditation.
Diego Coppola is a native of Peru who after a 26-year career in California’s Silicon Valley has dedicated himself to spiritual pursuits. He currently works as a volunteer and translator for John of God in Brazil.
George and Christine Neo of Yogaplex Yoga School in Upwey, Victoria, recently joined the pilgrimage of millions of people worldwide to this place of spiritual cures. They personally experienced an ‘operation’ (spiritual surgery) that heals conditions considered impossible with modern medical science. They also witnessed physical surgeries where the entity, through medium Joao, slices open a recipient’s abdomen, pushes his fingers in or uses surgical implements that have not been sterilised, all without pain, and just a little blood. Then the wound was stitched up, according to surgical procedure, normally a very painful experience without anaesthetic. From their adjacent vantage point, they report that this was no trick.
Physical surgery is quite rare, as spiritual surgery is adequate, but helps bolster the ‘belief system’ of those who doubt, and is often a public display (there are many John of God ‘surgery’ videos on YouTube). Christine also witnessed an astonishing physical surgery, where a hemostat (a six-inch surgical tool) is thrust into a person’s nose, seemingly into the brain of all places. Again, healing rather than ill-effects and pain are reported from such a procedure. They suggest that, if you can stomach it, watch examples of this surgery, but they remind us that such procedures are not necessary for you or anyone, and are never performed outside of Brazil.
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