Energy Healing and Spiritual Transformation, New York: HarperCollins Quill, 2001
A Practical Guide to Vibrational Medicine by Richard Gerber is an excellent book, carefully written, very well put together conceptually, while I have to put a question mark behind one conceptual matter that I will discuss further down.
Let me first comment on the general conception of the book and the author’s unique contribution to a novel subject, that only increases in importance over time. Dr. Gerber’s main quality is his detached and careful approach to a matter that really is controversial. Let us not forget that Paracelsus who was perhaps the first in our culture who came up with energy healing had to stand trial before the Inquisition.
This being said, the book is perhaps not as practical as the title suggests it to be, not as practical as for example Donna Eden’s book Energy Medicine, which I will review further down in this volume. This is because this book is conceptual in the first place, and practical in the second place, and because it’s paradigmatic, and cutting-edge in its overall perspective. It’s well practical when you consider the abundance of references and the resource section of the book that comes with pages and pages of organizations that can lead you further in your research project. But the overall style of the book is academic, which is for me not a negative characteristics at all but may be for some other folks.
The merit of this book is the synthesis the author distills from his vast research referenced in the notes. For example, if you want to look up topics like acupuncture or Bach plants, or radionics for the first time, this book gives you a wonderful overview and introduction into each of these subjects. Then, in the notes and the reference part of the book you get the information you need for further research. A good idea is also the Recommended Reading section (pp. 424-432), where the author gives concise recommendations for further study. Very few authors have done that. All this is extremely valuable as a package when you are a researcher and want to have an overview of the whole of the topic. What is also very strong in this book is how the author connects our modern perspective of vibrational medicine with the old teachings, the medical tradition of Antiquity, the esoteric knowledge of the Mystery Schools, Chinese medicine and acupuncture sources, or Chinese QiGong. The author proceeds carefully to define what vibrational medicine is.
Vibrational medicine is based upon modern scientific insights into the energetic nature of the atoms and molecules making up our bodies, combined with ancient mystical observations of the body’s unique life-energy systems that are critical / but less well understood aspects of human functioning. Rather than seeing the body as a sophisticated machine, animated only by electrochemical reactions, vibrational medicine views the body as a complex, integrated life-energy system that provides a vehicle for human consciousness as well as a temporary hosting for the creative expression of the soul. /3-4
Modern physics tells us that the only difference between these forms of energy is that each oscillates at a different frequency or rate of vibration. Hence, vibrational medicine refers to an evolving viewpoint of health and illness that takes into account all the many forms and frequencies of vibrating energy that contribute to the ‘multidimensional’ human energy system./5
Another research topic in the transition to a holistic model of medicine are emotions, and how they impact on human health, or on illness. Gerber notes in a synopsis entitled ‘Major Differences Between Conventional Medicine’s and Vibrational Medicine’s Worldviews’ (p. 3) for emotions:
- Conventional Medicine Model: ‘Emotions thought to influence illness through neurohormonal connections between brain and body.’
- Vibrational Medicine Model: ‘Emotions and spirit can influence illness via energetic and neurohormonal connections among body, mind, and spirit.’
I would like to mention also how brilliantly, in a few sentences, Dr. Gerber describes the outdated mechanistic model, and why it’s superseded. I have never found this elsewhere in this condensed form:
The concept of the body as a complex energetic system is part of a new scientific worldview gradually gaining acceptance in the eyes of modern medicine. The older, yet prevailing, view of the human body is still based upon an antiquated model of human functioning that sees the body as a sophisticated machine. In this old worldview, the heart is merely a mechanical pump, the kidney a filter of blood, and the muscles and skeleton a mechanical framework of pulleys and levers. The old worldview is based upon Newtonian physics, or so-called billiard-ball mechanics. In the days of Sir Isaac Newton, scientists thought they had figured out all the really important laws of the universe. They had discovered laws describing the motion of bodies in space and their momentum, as well as their actions at rest and in motion. The Newtonian scientists viewed the universe itself as a gigantic machine, somewhat like a great clock. It followed, then, that the human body was probably a machine as well. Many scientists in Newton’s day actually thought that all the great discoveries of science had already been made and that little work was left to be done in the field of scientific exploration./7
Traditional medicine in the West was vivisectionist in that it had to kill an organism before it would inquire in its functionality; it was studying death, instead of life, for gaining information about life, which could logically not result in a functional medical system. This biased scientific approach was introduced by Aristotle’s reductionism that, absolutized by the Church, virtually annihilated anything even remotely systemic and organic in the observation of nature.
While early European physicians could analyze the human body only in terms of dissection of organs at the time of autopsy, today’s medical researchers have the tools to study our physical makeup at the cellular and molecular levels./7
The old–world, Newtonian model of medicine lacks an appreciation of the seemingly intangible things such as emotion, consciousness, and the energy and life force of soul and spirit./9
Dr. Gerber speaks of spiritual energy. What is this spiritual energy? Gerber very carefully discusses the various points of reference, including the Eastern tradition. But he ends up with different energies, a whole array of energies flowing through the human body, and not just one vital energy, one cosmic life force—and that really estranges me.
Of course, this one energy, early discovered by Paracelsus, appears in different vibrational octaves, such as sound appears in different octaves. But for Gerber, there are different energies, to be precise, four, a chemical energy, an electrical energy, a ch’i energy, and a prana energy.
Instead of seeing that different traditions named this one and only energy differently, the Chinese ch’i, and the Indians prana, he sets forth that ch’i was the ‘acupuncture energy’ and prana the ‘chakra energy.’
Well, I am not here to clarify any confusion that Gerber’s terminology might create, and I am not here to judge. Let us just note the fact that this otherwise very careful researcher and medical doctor came up with a view that obviously contradicts perennial science as the latter always spoke of one single spiritual, divine, or creator energy, and not a whole array of those energies. The future will show what is right or wrong here.