Overview of Spiritual and Esoteric Healing

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Leoni Hodgson
PhDe Esotericism, PMAFA

September 2013

The perceived causes of illness and the Art of Healing, has been around since man began his journey on this planet and has evolved in its various aspects as the centuries passed.

In ancient times, illness was thought to be a curse of the Gods, and the medicine men of the day – witch-doctors, shamans and other primitive healers, practised their art from that angle. The goal was to placate the angry deity who was the cause of the illness though various means such as herbal treatments, protective amulets and variations of “spiritual” healing.


Although this belief in the cause of illness persisted into ancient Egyptian culture (some historians date this culture as far back as 11,000 BC), health and healing was put onto a more scientific footing. These priest-physicians received their training in the temples and taught that to maintain good health, three observances should be practised. Firstly Religion and supplicating assistance from the Gods. Secondly Medicine, for instance they advised people to wash and shave the body to prevent infection, to look after their diet and they practised basic surgical procedures. Thirdly Magic, or spiritual healing in its various early forms.


The Egyptian science greatly influenced the ancient Greeks who modified the three Egyptian observances to fit their culture and time. Asclepius, the Divine Physician, was worshipped as a god, and supplications were made to him for healing. Medicine revolved around the theory of “humours”, four body fluids (bile (2), phlegm and blood) that needed to be balanced. This theory was adopted by Roman, Persian and European physicians until the advent of modern medicine in the nineteenth century. Spiritual Healing was practised in Greece, primarily through supplication to Asclepius. However, from Roman times, as the science of medicine grew and from the lay perspective, spiritual healing began to be seen as a non-credible healing practise.
The most important figure from this period of Greek medicine is Hippocrates, known as the “Father of Medicine”. Some of his teachings remain relevant to present-day medical students. The Hippocratic Oath he created is still used by some medical students today, and the Greek Caduceus, a symbol of healing showing snakes entwined around a staff, is also still used.


Spiritual healing received a major resurgence with Christ, with many incidents of his healing exploits recorded in the New Testaments – including the laying on of hands. But by the time the Bible – and these recorded incidents became available to the masses, the roots of medicine in its current non-spiritual form were entrenched in the public mind. However, faith-healing as practiced by followers of Christ persisted quietly through the ages.


In the Middle Ages, ancient surgical techniques were improved and systematized by Rogerius (12th century), famous for his important surgical guide “The Practice of Surgery”. During the Renaissance, anatomical science improved and was assisted by the invention of the microscope. The germ theory of disease in the 19th century led to the development of public sanitation measures, and cures were found for many infectious diseases. Modern medical research began in earnest in the early 20th century and led to new treatments, such as antibiotics. Advances also in chemistry, genetics and medical technology led to modern medicine.


Spiritual Healing Today and in the Future

Spiritual Healing began its modern and popular resurgence in the 20th Century and continues to flourish today. A good definition for spiritual healing is “the healer is a vehicle for divine intervention, is a channel through which the force of God flows to heal. This force is invoked through prayer and faith; or in the case of the Esoteric Healer, through a spiritually scientific formula.”

The hypothesis upon which Esoteric Healing is based, is that, we are more than just physical and emotional beings – our true self is a divine soul. Disease we are told, is caused by insufficient soul energy circulating in our physical bodies; esoteric healing occurs when soul energy is released.

The following thoughts on Esoteric Healing come from a Tibetan Master called Djwhal Khul in his book Esoteric Healing, written on behalf of the Master by Alice Bailey.

1. There are 3 broad Healing Groups:
1. The many schools of medicine and surgery, for example:
Hippocrates (460-370 BC) the Hippocratic Oath.

Paracelsus (1493-1541) a pioneer in botany and medicine.
Henry Gray (1827-1861) anatomist/ surgeon who published Gray’s Anatomy.
Joseph Lister (1827-1912) who pioneered antiseptic surgery.
Naturopathy, acupuncture etc., fit here.

2. Psychological
Buddha (500 BC) 4 Noble Truths to heal suffering
Patanjali (unknown) Raja Yoga – Union through Mind
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), regarded as the father of psychoanalysis.
Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) founded analytical psychology

3. Spiritual Healing
A good definition for spiritual healing is “the healer is a vehicle for divine intervention, is a channel through which the force of God flows to heal. Examples are:
Jesus Christ: The Master Healer (Esoteric Healer).
Oral Roberts (Faith Healer). Roberts is probably the most famous faith healer from last century, with many radio and TV channels carrying his healing broadcasts to the world.

2. There are 2 groups of Spiritual Healers

The first rule in Esoteric Healing states “The healer must seek to link his soul, his heart, his brain and his hands.” [1]

Based on this rule, Spiritual Healers are divided into those who use soul energy (love-wisdom or Buddhi) and those who do not. The latter use primarily prana or chi, and sometimes a mixture with emotional force.

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The energies of the Soul and of prana are distinctly different.

Prana originates from the physical level of the solar system, from the Sun. It is physical plane life force, and vitalises all form life. Those who work with prana are indigenous cultures (shamans, witch doctors), those who use vibration via drumming, chanting etc. Reiki and similar modalities also fit here and so do Faith Healers, who work with both prana and emotional force, through faith and prayer. This group includes Christian Scientists. Prana is directed into the patient’s body, giving vitality to the form.

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Soul energy originates from “spiritual” levels of the system, higher mental, Buddhic and Atmic. To access this higher energy, the link between everyday consciousness and these higher levels needs to be in the process of being constructed by the healer. This bridge is called the antahkarana, sometimes the “rainbow bridge”. It is built through meditation and esoteric spiritual practises.

It therefore would be correct to assume that true Esoteric Healers are more spiritually advanced people. That is, they are intelligent, wise in esoteric and exoteric knowledge and demonstrate the spiritual qualities of selflessness, harmlessness and compassion. They are becoming ego-less and thus do not provide an obstacle to the downflow of soul energy. It must be noted that being a clairvoyant itself is not a test of true spiritually, as many who make that claim are lower seers, with ego, who work on the Astral or Emotional Plane of delusion.

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Healing occurs (if it is the karma of the patient to be healed) when the Esoteric Healer releases soul or love energy to flow through the etheric body of the patient. This balances and harmonises the underlying structure of the physical body, so that homeostasis is restored. However, there are times when the Soul Plan requires the experience of the illness to be endured, or that the time has come for death of the physical to occur.

3.The healer in the future

With the release of The Tibetan’s book Esoteric Healing, containing as it does the Rules and Laws of Healing, the foundation for the future Science of Medicine is now in the hands of man. Still in its infancy and practised by a few, these ancient healing protocols will gradually find their way into mainstream medicine.

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In the future (many thousands of years away), men and women of spiritual orientation will enter the medical profession and perfect themselves in the techniques of orthodox medicine and in an exoteric knowledge of physical anatomy and of pathological symptoms, plus the orthodox remedies and modes of handling disease. To this technical knowledge they will add a measure of esoteric learning (such as the etheric centres, the Laws of the Soul and Rules of Healing).

The healer will establish the cause of disease, using clairvoyance or spiritual perception, then seek by the power of his own soul to stimulate the point of soul life in the etheric body of the patient. He will do this with a view of attracting, if possible, a fuller inflow of the soul energy of the patient so that the patient’s own “livingness” will bring about the desired cure, so he or she will be enabled to throw off the disease.

The time when any nice, kindly and spiritually minded person sets up as a healer should be well-nigh over; any healing practice should be preceded by years of careful study anent the nature of energy, of the seven ray (energy) types, of the centres; a minimum of at least three years should be given to this; when to this is added the science of the trained medical man, graduating from our best medical colleges, you will then have a new and much better treatment of the human vehicle than is now the case. Then the healer’s orthodox and occult knowledge, his visualising capacity and his power of thought direction will be real and practically effective. [2]


[1] Alice Bailey, Esoteric Healing p642

[2] Alice Bailey, “Esoteric Healing” p601-2


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