This is actually the past. In the present, you used a time machine to come back to this point in time and correct a mistake you did. Unfortunately, your memory of events from this point to the present was erased in the process.

Month: March, 2008

Investigating the Power of Prayer


Dr Elizabeth Targ must be doing some very important work. The National Institutes of Health has already awarded her grants of $611,516 for one study, $823,346 for another. Even greater Federal largesse may be forthcoming before her studies are completed.

Targ is studying the therapeutic effects of prayer on AIDS and cancer patients. That sounds reasonable enough. The presence of a compassionate person reciting soothing prayers has apparently helped some patients, if by nothing more than a placebo effect. Measuring that effect might be useful, but Targ goes a step further. She is investigating what she calls “distance healing,” in which those offering the prayers are far removed from the patients, who themselves are not even aware that incantations are being recited on their behalf.

It’s an effect that would seem to defy reason — yet Targ reports striking results. In a 1998 study, after selecting practicing healers from a number of traditions — Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Indian shamans — she supplied them with the first names, blood counts and photographs of 20 patients with advanced AIDS. For an hour a day, over a ten-week period, the healers concentrated their thoughts on the pictures of these patients, but not on those of a control group of 20 other AIDS patients.

According to Targ, the prayed-for patients had fewer and less severe new illnesses, fewer doctor visits, fewer hospitalizations and were generally in better moods than those in the control group. The technique, she believes, can even work on nonhuman species. In a speech, she described an experiment performed by another group in which remote healing was used to shrink tumors in mice. And, she reported, the greater the distance between healer and mouse in that experiment, the greater the effect! The connection, Targ suggests, “could be actuated through the agency of God, consciousness, love, electrons or a combination.”

Mayo Clinic researchers have found no such connection. They reported last month that in their trials of distant prayer on 750 coronary patients, they found no significant effect. Why the difference?

Skeptics suggest that subconsciously, or perhaps consciously, Targ is emulating practitioners of the paranormal. With preconceived notions about the outcome of an experiment, they generate reams of data from tests that are not rigidly controlled and then sift through the data to find numbers supporting their original thesis, while ignoring anything to the contrary.

Then, there’s the circumstantial evidence. Writing in the journal Skeptical Inquirer, columnist Martin Gardner noted that Elizabeth Targ is the daughter of Russell Targ, best known for collaborating with physicist Harold Puthoff at the former Stanford Research Institute, where the duo was duped into believing that Israeli magician Uri Geller had paranormal powers. While a teenager, Elizabeth immersed herself in psychic experiments and developed what she claimed were powers of remote viewing — the ability to visualize events and objects at distances far beyond the range of vision. In a 1984 book co-authored by her father, she is credited with correctly predicting winners of horse races, as well as the 1980 Presidential victory of Ronald Reagan-feats that I modestly admit to having performed myself.

This might all be amusing if Targ’s research were not being funded at taxpayer expense by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a controversial branch of the NIH. The least we can demand in a time of growing budget deficits is that NCCAM appoint rational, qualified observers from outside the paranormal and quack communities to monitor the work of some of the eccentrics it so generously endows. Past experience suggests that under such safeguards miracles do not occur.

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Feng Shui and Space Clearing

Feng Shui and Space Clearing



It is a relatively simple process to change our own Chi if it becomes stagnant. Typical symptoms could include tiredness, depression, loss of appetite, moody or withdrawn. A bracing walk, a shower, a refreshing meal or some stimulating and strenuous activity all have the potential to change your Chi quite quickly. The Chi of a building can take longer to change as it absorbs stagnant energy much deeper. Concrete, bricks, stone and wood have the capacity over time to absorb stagnant Chi and because of their Yang nature, it takes longer to discharge. One of the major factors that is taken into consideration in Feng Shui is known as the “predecessor energy”. This is the vibration left behind by the previous owner – a reflection of their health, their moods and their Chi. Next time you leave an empty flat or home, notice the pathways that are ground into the carpet where the previous occupants have walked to and fro. It is easy to spot the main thoroughfares in the major rooms and areas where the furniture was and corners of the space that have been relatively inactive.

On another level, all of us have experienced walking into a room where two people have just been engaged in an argument. We can literally feel the atmosphere and cut it with a knife. Similarly, we are all aware of the energy of staff in a shop or an office when we enter. Sometimes the Chi is bubbly, efferevescent, enthusiastic and at other times you feel greeted by a wall of gloom, despondency, fear or complacency.

Space clearing is a ritual found in almost every traditional or native culture. It is the skill of changing the atmosphere in the home from one of stagnant Chi to one of vibrant, health promoting and spiritually enhancing Chi. Space clearing before moving in to a new home was considered a vital part of any move in traditional cultures and is still practised in some form today throughout the world. In the west, it is probably linked more to having a good spring clean and a house warming party to enliven the new home.

Since Chi is always changing, it is important to remember that this is reflected within our space. Here are some examples of when you could consider space clearing beneficial in your life:-

1. When you move into a new home to help remove what we call the “predecessor energy” in Feng Shui.
2. After physical or psychological illness. If you or a family member have been ill, then the vibration of the home is undoubtedly affected. We have all
experienced visiting someone who is ill at home and noticed how there is an atmosphere of stillness, caution and subdued expectation. Even after a full
recovery, it is worth considering brightening up the space.
3. After big life changes. Bereavements, separations, divorce or a change in job are all major stress factors in our lives. They all have the possibility of creating an atmosphere that can block your progress unless the Chi is changed.
4. Clearing conflict in the home. If you have been burgled or robbed this can
create a very negative feeling in the home. Many people report feeling
uncomfortable when entering their home after such an event. Admittedly,
some of this is related to their own fear but at the same time, their space has
been violated. Similarly, if you have had any violent arguments or quarrels
within the home, these undoubtedly leave their mark in the atmosphere.
5. Making a fresh start in life. What better way to initiate new changes in your life than to have your home cleared on a vibrational level. This can set the
tone for new enterprises, new relationships and a whole new beginning that is not embedded in the past. Good space clearing can provide a fresh new
space for your new adventures.

There are as many different methods of space clearing as there are cultures in the world. The rituals that have been used include the use of herbs, chants, potions, symbolism, spiritual ceremonies, rituals, blessings, sacrifices, gifts, fruits, plants, holy water and sometimes the timing to coincide with the planets or moon cycles. Space clearing can be drawn from the Native American medicine wheel, Celtic ceremonies, early Christian rituals and Balinese methods. For further insight into how to utilise space clearing in your life, I highly recommend Karen Kingston’s book “Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui” or Denise Linn’s book “Sacred Space”.

There are usually 3 steps involved in space clearing. Firstly, it is vital to give the home a really good clean. This involves primarily at each spring clean while at the same time removing all the clutter. Following on from spring cleaning your space is the use of ceremony in purifying the space further. The usual method is to use the 4 elements of:-
Water – holy water, energised water or purified water
Fire – candles or even an open fire
Earth – plants, flowers, crystals, salt
Air – essential oils, incense, feathers, Native American smudge sticks, bells, drums, music or chanting.

Offerings are usually made by placing these different elements in parts of the house. A skilled practitioner will usually start and finish at the front door moving from room to room using one of the air elements – incense, drumming, chanting etc – to move the Chi.

The second step, once the stagnant Chi has been moved, is to refine and lift the atmosphere of the home. This is usually done with a good quality bell or music, prayer or chanting.

The third and equally vital step is to set the “intention” of the space. Once the space has been cleared, it is raised to a higher vibrational level and rather like a void, it is ready to be filled. Here lies the opportunity to set the tone of your new space. Chi energy will naturally follow the intention. Some kind of ceremony is vital now to set the tone. Practically, this can be done by standing at the centre of each room and allowing your energy to expand fill the space while at the same time declaring your intention.

Space clearing is not recommended when your own Chi is low – you feel run down, tired or ill. It is never wise to space clear somebody else’s home – this is much better left for a professional.

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