Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A brain surgeon at home in nonlocal mind

A Vietnamese woman has a lemon-sized malignant tumor, ruled inoperable because of its location in the corpus collosum that connects the two hemispheres of the brain. Neurosurgeon Dr John L. ("Jack") Turner watches as seven Buddhist monks in brightly colored robes gather in her hospital room, apparently to pray over her. A mutual friend, a Zen priest, explains that the monks have come to do more than pray. They have come to escort her on a journey, a "guided meditation". She is required to travel through seven hell worlds and to see her possible future as a "hungry ghost", which will be her karmic destiny unless she can release a deep hatred she has harbored inside her for many years. This hate is focussed on another woman. She has neither expressed it not moved beyond it. Held in her body, it has helped to generate her illness. Held in her soul, it will guarantee a hellish afterlife. The Vietnamese woman is so deeply shocked by what she learns that she at last finds it possible to admit and release the hateful thoughts she has carried with her for so long. Five weeks later, her doctors are stunned to find there is no trace of her tumor.

This is one of the memorable stories of mind-body healing in Dr Turner's book Medicine, Miracles & Manifestations (New Page/Career Press, 2009). Jack is a neurosurgeon who is at home in the world of the nonlocal mind as well as the brain, and has been engaged in a quest to know and explain the multiverse and draw on multi-dimensional sources of healing over many years. I interviewed him on my radio show today and was delighted by his gifts as a raconteur as well as a dedicated healer and explorer of consciousness. Jack was speaking on the phone from Hilo, where he has practiced since he arrived from the Midwest as the first neurosurgeon on the Big Island in 1981.

One of the first cases that was presented to him involved a Hawaiian teenager, Jordan Kalapana, who suffered terrible head trauma when he was thrown from his dirt bike into a guy wire. After surgery, he was unable to breathe unassisted and appeared to be brain dead. The family could not agree on whether to cut off life support. Dr Turner dreamed that he visited Jordan's bed in the ICU and noticed a tear flowing from the corner of his eye. Then, in the dream, the boy triggered the respirator and demonstrated that he could breathe by himself.

When he went to the hospital in the morning, Jack learned that the boy had taken a single breath and noticed a tear at the corner of his eye. He wondered whether a miraculous recovery was possible. It wasn't. Two days later the family agreed to end life support.

Then Dr Turner received a visit from the boy's father who had just arrived from the mainland. "I understand that Jordan paid you a visit." Jack did not grasp this until the father made it clear that by "visit" he was referring to the dream. When Jack expressed his sorrow over the boy's death, the father interrupted to say that in the Hawaiian way of understanding, his son had appeared to the surgeon in his dream to make it plain he did not want his life to be artificially prolonged by a machine; he wanted to live and breathe free.

In his book, Dr Turner recalls “Jordan Kalapana’s passing jump-started my search for the meaning of illness, life and death.” As I thought about Jordan's tears - in the dream and in the ICU - I reflected that in the Hawaiian conception, the soul travels outside the body through the tear duct, which is known as the "soul pit".

Another memorable dream story in Turner's book involves a friend, Rosemary Clark, who had made a deep study of ancient Egypt. She had loaned Jack a copy of The Temple in Man by R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz, which unfolds the theory that the layout of a temple at Luxor corresponds, quite precisely, to the anatomy of the body and brain. After developing ptosis (a drooping of the eyelid) and pain and pressure above the eye, Rosemary underwent a series of medical tests. In the course of these, she asked Jack to return her copy of The Temple in Man. Later, she explained why.

The night before a scheduled angiogram, she dreamed she heard Dr Turner say to her, "Rosemary, it's in the transept of the temple." When she consulted Schwaller de Lubicz's book, she confirmed that in the sacred geography he attributes to the Luxor temple, the transept corresponds to the area of the brain known as the cavernous sinus, which contains the internal carotid artery and a venous plexus. When she met the team that was preparing for the angiogram, Rosemary announced that she knew the location of the aneurysm that was presumed to be responsible for her problems: in the cavernous sinus. The reaction was basically, "Yeah, right" - until the angiogram revealed a giant aneurysim right inside her carvernous sinus. This is a most interesting example of how dreams can provide exact diagnosis of physical conditions - and will present the information in a vocabulary adapted to our understanding. While the phrase "transept of the temple" might be incomprehensible to many dreamers, it spoke to Rosemary in a symbolic language in which she was deeply versed.

I finished Jack Turner's book expecting another chapter, and another - not because the book feels incomplete, but because it is clearly the work of a man who regards life as an ongoing adventure in learning and discovery. He writes with candor of experiments that failed (with Eckankar and Hemi-Synch) and some that many will find controversial (channeling light energy for healing from the deceased Japanese guru Mokichi Okada). What comes shining through is the author's humanity and humility - truly a great quality in a brain surgeon! - his hunger for meaning in life, death and illness, and the generosity of spirit with which he encourages all of us to be open to a universal power of healing, and the healer within.


Unknown said...

Robert, thanks for this book review. I will get it.

Interesting anecdote about the tear ducts.

When I last saw my father as he was dying and while I was feeding him water, his only available response was a welling of tears around one eye. Reading that anecdote just pulled at my heart a little.

As the skeptics of the world would ask: are these diagnosis varifiable before and after?

Robert Moss said...

Naomi, Wanda Burch and I have been working for years to compile a register of fully documented and verified dream diagnoses for which we can personally vouch. One of the most memorable of these is in Wanda's own book "She Who Dreams" as well as in a couple of mine. It is the dream in which her departed father appeared to her in a doctor's white coat, yelling "You must get to a doctor NOW! You have cancer."

I hope that it won't belong before a larger archive of documented cases of dream diagnosis is created and maintained not only to satisfy the skeptics (who can no longer dismiss evidence as "anecdotal" - though they'll try - when there are thousands of pieces of it) but to encourage both healthcare professionals and community helpers everywhere to scan dream material for clues to what is going on in body and soul, and what is required to maintain or restore wellness.

Wanda Burch said...

The story of the Temple of Luxor as a template for the body and as a template for healing, brought to mind a dream healing story shared with me this past weekend in which a blackboard played a major role.

A vivacious athletic young woman, Kelly, told me her own "Yeah, right!" story. Several years ago she was visited in her dreams by an elf-like little man who first appeared holding a pointer with the tip poised toward a diagram on a blackboard.

On the blackboard was a series of boxes, some elongated, some square, shaped in the general form of a body. The little man pointed to one particular box-like area where there was a dark mass that filled the space, the space corresponding to the location of Kelly's uterus and female organs. Kelly recognized the importance of the dream and immediately went to her doctor who told her she was the picture of health. Not satisfied she made appointments with two other doctors, and finally one performed the necessary exams, found a dangerous tumor "filling the space" in her body that corresponded to the space on her dream blackboard, and recommended an immediate hysterectomy and additional disforming surgery, along with radiation.

"No," Kelly responded. The doctor said she would die without these procedures. The little man appeared again in her dreams and carefully wrote a Tibetan healer's name on the blackboard. Having no idea who this person might be or where she might locate him, Kelly wrote his name on a piece of paper and carried it with her. In an incredible unfolding of synchronistic events, she met the healer in an unlikely social setting where he approached her because he recognized her from his own dreams. With his assistance, she began a regimen of diet, dream re-entry, visualization and meditation. As she progressed through her healing, the little man returned again and again in the night showing Kelly the progress of her healing on the blackboard template. Midway through her healing regimen, the little man showed her that the mass only half filled the square and was soft and plaible. Returning to the doctor she asked for tests that would show the condition of the tumor - sharing with him the dream. Condescendingly, the doctor complied and was surprised to find the condition of the mass exactly as she described. She continued working with the healer until her little "dream doctor" showed her the block completely light. Kelly returned again to the doctor and asked for more tests, telling him the tumor was gone. Still unbelieving, he performed the tests and discovered to his total surprise that there was no sign of a tumor. "A miracle," he said.

Dreams of diagnosis often present template forms that we can identify with in our life experience or in our personal passions. Rosemary Clark's dreams fashioned her diagnosis on a template familiar to her - the Temple of Luxor. Kelly's organized sports regimen brought her easily into a dream classroom with a blackboard, snagging her attention with an unlikely presenter. In my own first dreams of diagnosis, I was shown a large screen with my body projected in the center much like an x-ray, an image familiar to me but startling enough to get my attention. It would be interesting to study the forms and templates presented to dreamers in their diagnostic dreams. I suspect they would more often than not be presented as images that speak to their individual life experiences, except maybe with just enough of a twist to snap the dreamer to attention.

Robert Moss said...

Wanda, thanks for this wonderful story of a dream diagnostician who became a guide in healing. I love the fact that when a string of synhronicities helped Kelly to find a healer identified by the little man in her dreams, he was ready for her because he had had a matching dream.

Unknown said...

Wanda, what a story! It takes a lot of courage not to get on the treatment treadmill once a person has a diagnosis of cancer.

However, if a person does not have that help from dreams and dream healers, a good oncologist is a good thing!

It's always a question that is hard to answer....why do some people get a healing like that and others do not, even though they seek it through prayer, meditation or other means.

I'm going to on Amazon.com and get your books Wanda!

Unknown said...

I had a dream during radiation therapy after a cancer diagnosis:

I was suffering from depression and going through menopause and cancer treatment all at once!

I started taking a seretonin uptake inhibitor for the depression. After a week of taking the drug, I had a dream of being on an examination table and I saw a diagram of my brain, with various line drawings of each segment. A voice said..."the part that was Naomi is now in place"....

I started to come out of the depression and could create again. It was like my hands were totally useless before I was so full of sorrow and anger.

After a while, I found the drug was making me sleepy and fuzzy. So, I slowly stopped taking it. It was like my brain needed an adjustment and then I was fine.

Wanda Burch said...

Hi Naomi,
A good oncologist is often the advice given in dreams as well. Kelly and I talked about the courage it must have taken her to reject traditional medicine in favor of a healer, but she felt that her dreams directed her toward the healer and directed her to say "no" to radiation and surgery. The coincidence of the healer, shown to her in her dream, finding her and sharing with her that he too had visioned her in his dreams was the confirmation she needed to know that she was on the right path for her healing.

On the other hand my dreams clearly directed me to a combined therapy of visualization, using the imagery from my dreams, surgery, and the most aggressive chemotherapy available, a combination I described as my "healing cocktail." So, in my case, oncology was part of my dreaming; and I had the great good fortune of having an excellent surgeon and oncologist who confirmed my choices and permitted me space as a partner in my healing. My oncologist, Dr. Jaski [thinly disguised with another name in my book], wrote a lovely endorsement when my book was published.

So mine your dreams not only for imagery for healing but for direction on what route to take in healing. It would appear that you already have a good example of sound dream guidance in your seretonin dream, in which a voice advised you that the regimen you chose had worked and presented evidence that the time had come to remove yourself from that treatment. I found in my own dreams that some of the best medical advice came from the voices of strangers - and friends - in my dreams, who gave me direct instruction on the state of my health and provided guidance on the next path to follow in my healing.

So in dreams, as in waking reality, we are each shown the path that will work best for us and will bring us most clearly and decisively to a healing journey that we can follow with confidence and clarity.

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