Investigative journalist Diane Goldner came to the Bodhi Tree Bookstore in 1999 to discuss her book Infinite Grace: Where the Worlds of Science and Spiritual Meet [Editor’s Note: This book is now out of print]. The book was reprinted in paperback in 2003 and its name changed to How People Heal: Exploring the Scientific Basis of Subtle Energy in Healing. We are sharing this talk because Goldner’s exploration of the healing work of renowned scientists shows that, with focused intention, spiritual healing can achieve remarkable results.
Diane Goldner’s Story
Diane Goldner grew up in Manhattan in an academically oriented family and graduated cum laude from New York’s prestigious Barnard College. She quickly launched a career as a journalist, eventually writing stories for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and many other national publications. Her investigation of energy healing began skeptically, but shifted as she soon discovered the profound results. She studied with meditation masters from India and talked to scientists and doctors, including Mehmet Oz, MD, a leading heart surgeon (now the host of The Dr. Oz Show), and Robert Jahn, PhD, former dean of the Princeton School of Engineering and Applied Science. When interviewing top healers in energy medicine, she would try their techniques, and to her surprise, she experienced the transformation of her understanding of the nature of reality.
A one-time magazine article turned into five years of intense and rigorous research for her first book. When Infinite Grace: Where the Worlds of Science and Healing Meet (Hampton Roads) came out in 1999 (reissued in paperback as How People Heal), Goldner planned to continue as a journalist, but soon realized she was being called to share her healing gifts. She has been helping people ever since, drawing on her expertise in both the scientific and spiritual aspects of subtle energy.
Her 2013 book, A Call To Heal, is the story of her transformation from investigative journalist to healer, following a dramatic initiation. Now a healer and medical intuitive, Goldner helps people around the world by adding energy and illumination to restore the body and soul to harmony, health and balance. She has given talks at hospitals and healing centers around the country, has appeared on radio and television to discuss energy healing, and has been a contributing writer on the subject of healing for beliefnet.com and other publications. She lives in Santa Monica, California, with her husband and son. —Justine Amodeo
What follows is an edited version of Diane Goldner’s 1999 Bodhi Tree Bookstore presentation.
“The thoughts we have are affecting not only our own bodies, but, also everyone around us.” —Diane Goldner
Diane Goldner: I want to begin with what drew me into science and spiritual healing. I was doing a piece for The New York Times on a person who had started a charity called God’s Love, We Deliver, which delivered hot meals to people with AIDS in New York, and she had had an awakening at the feet of a guru. After the story ran, she invited me to meet her guru and she said that this encounter would change my life. I knew that couldn’t be true, but I thought I would go because it might be a lead for my next big story. So off I went to meet the guru. I found the whole experience very scary because there were all these people who were devoted to this guru and I didn’t understand that. And at the end of the day, I turned to Donna, who had brought me up, and I said, “Well, I’m no different than I was.” She laughed and she said, “Why don’t you just wait and see what happens.” I thought that I had just wasted my day, or not gotten this big thing that was supposed to happen.
A few months later, I noticed that my meditations were really different than they used to be. Even if I was depressed before I meditated, afterward I was actually joyous. I wondered if there was a connection between meeting this guru and my meditations. My rational mind said there could not be because she hadn’t touched me and there’d be no way she could have affected me. But, there were all these synchronicities: In an interview with Michael Clayton, I found out that he had learned to see auras. Before I knew it, I was doing a profile of Barbara Brennan, one of the healers in my book. I started to feel that I had stumbled on one of the biggest stories around. I saw that people were being helped by healing, even if I didn’t understand how.
From Skeptic to Believer
The first time I saw a healing, I thought I might be watching a mass delusion. It seemed like a very mysterious process, but there’s actually a lot of science behind it. I went to a practicum given by Rosalyn Bruyere for her advanced students, and she asked me to participate in one of the groups. A woman came in who had cancer and she was very sick. When I laid my hands on her, I was stunned because I could literally feel the cancer running up and down her bones. I could feel how much pain her bones were in and how absent she was everywhere else. It was almost as if her spirit had already left. There was such a sense of merging and understanding about what she was going through. And I thought to myself, “My God, what would it be like if doctors were connecting to their patients like this? And what would it mean if we were all connecting to each other this way?” It would be a different world.
And, it took me a long time to understand what could possibly be going on and how this worked. If this is happening, even if there’s spiritual forces, it has to be scientific or have an explanation.
Studies That Show How Energy Healing Works
A good healer goes into a state of unconditional love during a healing, a measurable physiological state. We can’t measure love, but we can see what it does to the body, and one effect is that the heart wave becomes coherent. This isn't “woo-woo,” or some subtle energy. This is something everyone can measure with an EKG. There’s some very preliminary studies that show if you send this kind of electromagnetic wave through cancer cells, the rate of growth of cancer cells slows down. I find that incredibly moving and it boggles my mind.
There are some other studies that show that when a healer lays hands on a patient, there’s actually a resonance that goes on and the heart and the brain wave of the client will come into resonance with this higher state of energy. Resonance is like striking a crystal glass: when you hit one, the other one starts to ring. And as this happens, you can bring a person to a higher state of health. Interestingly, almost every major illness is correlated to a disruption of some kind in the heart wave. I have migraines sometimes and I am sensitive enough now to be able to feel that my heart rhythm isn’t right when they occur.
There are some 179 studies of healing that have been done so far, and 72.9% of them show significant results, which is pretty high. One of these studies that was just finished recently has to do with 40 end-stage AIDS patients. These were sick individuals and they had been ill for a very long time. Twenty of them received long-distance healing and 20 of them, as a control group, did not. The patients and the clients never met because they wanted to rule out the “power of touch.” And at the end of six months, they found that the people who had been treated had less illnesses, less significant illnesses, fewer hospitalizations, and when they were in a hospital, they had fewer days in the hospital. And they also had improvements in their mood. There was actually no change in their T-cells, so there was some mysterious force that was buoying up the treatment group and not the other group.
One of the other studies that has been done for a very long time is being done at Princeton. Robert Jahn, the Dean Emeritus of the Princeton School of Engineering, has been studying mind over matter. They use random-event-generating machines to try to determine if people can affect chance. And they found, over 20 years, that people did affect these machines. And they also found—and this is an analog for healing—that every person working with these machines had a “signature performance.” It didn’t matter what machine they were using, they would always have the same kind of influence on them. And it worked from long distance as well. They also found that you could affect the machines before they ran or after they stopped running. And, the most amazing thing they found is that the most successful operators on these machines spoke of a resonance or a bond with the machine of surrendering their identity, of merging with the machine, and even falling in love with the machine, which gets back to these heart rhythms. Robert Jahn wrote, “The successful strategy for influencing matter involves some blurring of identities between operator and machine and, of course, this is also the recipe for any form of love. There’s surrender of self-centered interest of the partners in favor of the pair. Even by the most rigorous scientific experimentation and analytic logic, it appears that we have come upon nothing less than the driving force of life and of the physical universe. Love, with a capital ‘L.’” I came away with an understanding that spiritual healing wasn't just for spiritual healers or for people who thought they needed healing. Indeed, this was a recipe for something that we could all use to improve our lives. If you are in a loving state, your whole day will go differently.
Living From the Heart
I once went into a Radio Shack to return a clock, and I had my receipt and everything was in order, but the clerk was really nasty. She wanted to give me a hard time and I was about to give her a hard time right back. We were going get into a real pissing war and it suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t have to do that. I stopped and started focusing from my heart chakra and the whole dynamic changed. I didn’t say anything. It was like I had flipped a switch and she became much nicer. The event went in a very different way than it was about to go.
This kind of thing is going on all the time, but most people are not allowing themselves to experience it or do it. We have a whole different way we can be in the world and that’s what we really need to understand. Do you have any questions?
Our Own Unique Signatures
Audience: What did you mean by a person’s signature?
Diane Goldner: Think about a musician or an artist. If you have ever seen Picasso, you know it’s a Picasso. That’s exactly what I mean by a signature. It’s that we each influence reality in an individual and unique way because each of us is unique. No two of us are going to order a room the same way, arrange a flower arrangement the same way. What scientists think is going on is that we’re literally able to influence the spin of subatomic particles and that then changes how the electronic system is running, and in your body, how your molecules are connecting. Molecules are literally vibrations and an energy. It’s all exchanges of energy based on vibrations. So, that’s the theory. It hasn’t been proved. Another way to put this is Einstein showed us how energy and matter were related, and the new theory is that energy and mass and information/consciousness are all equivalent in some way that we don’t yet understand mathematically; that is, we don’t have the formulas. Nothing in this world is created without thought first, even if you’re not conscious of it. There’s something about consciousness that really comes into physical form and physical action.
Elmer Green’s Biofeedback Study
Audience: Did you do anything with Elmer Green’s study?
Goldner: Elmer Green is one of the granddaddies of biofeedback. He did some of the first studies on healers and their physiology during healing. First, he wired up a group of ordinary meditators, and then a group of healers. He found that the healers had voltage surges during their meditation while none of the other people did.
But, these very big surges in electrical energy at the skin that were inexplicable from a physics point-of-view, where was this energy coming from? When he wired the healers during healings, there were even more, and bigger, voltage surges. He came to the conclusion that healers literally have an unusual ability to know energy-handling capacities. It’s not that healers are different, because it can be trained and we can all do it—and we all are doing it to some extent. For example, how do you see, clairvoyantly? It’s just a matter of quieting your mind enough to receive the information and to know what you’re receiving because it’s subtle, quiet and almost like a whisper and in our own mind. So, everyone has this ability.
I don’t think healers are a special breed, but it’s where we are all heading. A hundred years from now, everyone’s going to have these abilities. You won’t be able to think evil thoughts about people without them knowing it.
Transforming from Skepticism to Belief
Audience: How has “healing” affected your beliefs and being pragmatic today?
Goldner: Open-minded skepticism is great. What’s odd is when people don’t want to find out what the information is. I came to understand that the spiritual teachings are the most profound information about how reality works, and we’ve acted as if this stuff is irrelevant to our lives. I think the people who have the greatest gift to affect another person are the people who live their lives in a pure way, have faith and who are in a loving state. I came to understand that if I can be in a loving state all the time, my whole reality would be different. Some people think that when you finish a spiritual path, you get to leave this planet, but I think that if you really reach a place of ascension, you can be right here and everything would be complete bliss. I came to understand that every moment of my life is significant. The thoughts we have are affecting not only our own bodies, but also everyone around us.
Studying healing, I went through an excruciating process of transformation. Transformation means really looking at yourself, and there all kinds of emotional patterns we’re all carrying and beliefs of which we’re completely unconscious. When you start to come to consciousness, you feel like you’re being burned alive. It can be hard. I don’t mean to scare people. Maybe I just had an especially rude awakening.
Audience: Do you foresee a time that healing abilities will become more widely acceptable to change the conditions of the world?
Goldner: The spiritual realm will become accepted—it’s inevitable. And in addition, we’ll be able to measure more and more subtle levels. Right now, you have to be sick for so many years before your body actually manifests it and it can be measured. In the future, you’ll be aware of it when it’s a subtle disturbance. I think we’re always going use pills; I don’t think it’s going go away. Once you have a physical problem, medicine is great.
Why aren’t people looking at the research? Elmer said, “You know, people want to think that if they just believe in Jesus they are saved. The real teaching in there is that you have to become like Jesus.” And this is the most difficult thing in the world. A doctor isn’t going to learn spiritual healing in a weekend because it isn’t learning how to turn on a new machine or run something because you have to transform from within. You can’t even lay hands on somebody and experience them if you’re not clear on some level.
The Power of Intention
Audience: A healer told me that I have really great powers that I’ve not tapped into and it’s up to me to decide whether I want these or not. And, I just don’t understand.
Goldner: Studies show that intention is one of the most powerful forces. It’s the intention to make a result that makes a result. And this works on the physical level as well as on the spiritual level. So, if you want anything in your life, be clear about your intention. Now, this is not as easy as it sounds because we all have patterns that we’re not conscious of that affect our intention.
From a spiritual perspective, it isn’t whether you are physically pure or you achieve the success you want. The real thing is for your soul’s growth. The other thing is to try to be loving or to be in a state of love. You’d be surprised.
When you focus on love and gratitude even when you don’t feel any love and gratitude, amazing things can happen. I’m not saying it happens all the time and that we’re aware of the thing that is happening, but the situation can literally change into something else. There has to be a detachment in allowing that the highest good will happen and it may not be what you want at the personality level. When you wake up in the morning, you can focus on your entire day and send a ribbon of light through it, or you can bring light to each thing in advance. We’re talking about a different order of reality and literally creating more order. Thank you.
By Diane Goldner (Golden Spirit Books)
During a four-year intensive investigation into “energy healing,” journalist Diane Goldner explored what it is, who are the people doing it, how they are working, its scientific basis, and its efficacy. Through the intriguing stories of healers such as Reverend Rosalyn Bruyere and Barbara Brennan as well as corroborative scientific evidence, Goldner shows that “healing is not a panacea, but it is a doorway into a new paradigm.” This is a welcome, thorough introduction to the new and somewhat mysterious field of “energy healing.” We learn that energy healing can work from a distance, its significance and impact often unfolds over time, and it can induce profound changes in our health and psychology. The book has an extensive bibliography and an index.
“God does respond when you deeply pray to Him with faith and determination.… You don’t realize how wonderfully this great power works. It operates mathematically. There is no ‘if’ about it.” —Paramahansa Yogananda, as quoted in the book