After a two-hour flight from Toronto to Atlanta, followed by a nine-hour flight from Atlanta to Brasilia – the capital city of Brazil – Angela and I continued by taxi for 90 minutes to the small town of Abadiania.
This is Third World existence. Roosters and chickens wander the streets, stray dogs sleep during the hottest times of the day and buildings are hidden behind concrete walls and iron gates. But that doesn’t matter. We have come here to see John of God, also known as João de Deus.
He is a medium and psychic surgeon and he runs the Casa de Dom Inácio de Loyola ("The Casa"), a spiritual healing centre where he sees thousands of visitors each week from all over the world. The numbers are even more astounding when you consider that he only serves at The Casa three days a week.
On the days that John of God is there, Abadiania’s main street can take on a surreal setting. Imagine hundreds of people walking down the street to The Casa all dressed in white. It seems a little cultish, but according to the spirits – or entities – white provides a clearer view of the body’s blueprint.
For John of God, he has no recollection of his healing work. He gives over his consciousness and incorporates the spirits of past doctors and saints. Millions of people have consulted with John of God since 1965.
During morning and afternoon sessions, visitors are directed to various lines based on their history, experience and requirements. The Casa is a confusing mass of humanity. First-timers can become frustrated and the sweltering temperatures can make even the most dedicated follower a little impatient. But just knowing that each visitor will have an experience with the spirits makes it all worthwhile.
One option for some visitors is to sit in “current” and meditate. The current room is where you can receive healing and sessions can last three to six hours – a long time to keep your eyes closed while sitting motionless on church pews.
My first experience in current was powerful. My mother had died the previous year. She had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and when she passed, I had never felt the need to cry. Her suffering was finally over. However, while sitting in current, I finally grieved for my mother. I sobbed like a baby. I couldn’t stop the tears and I realized that for the first time I was willing to let my guard down. That is the power of John of God.
Next: Coming home with a crystal bed