Reflexology, – Nay, Massageology

Many among the world population take Reflexology as an alternative system of medicine. Reflexology is one of the most used alternative therapies in Denmark, Great Briton and Canada. Despite its being practiced in several Countries, modern medicine take reflexology as quackery. They equate Reflexology with the disproved curative impact of Acupuncture, European Faith healing, Japanese Shamanism, Indian Siddha, Chinese-Korean-Mongolian-Tibetan Unani, Naturopathy and Homeopathy, – supposed curative effect of which are considered as of placebo effect.

The method of treatment in reflexology is gentle touching and pressing certain points on different parts of the patient’s foot to produce a purported effect elsewhere in the body. For this, reflexologist examines the emotional and physical conditions of the patient and if it affects the health and wellness of the person concerned, then certain areas in the foot will be pressed using the thumb of the therapist supposedly to “stimulate energy”.

Threads of historical evidence indicate that massaging the surface of foot and hand as a form of treatment was prevalent in China about 4,000 B.C., so also was it practiced in Egypt during that period. However modern    reflexology based on the perceived theory that body of a person is reflected on the feet of the person, was introduced in 1920s by American physicians, Dr. William FitzGerald and Dr. Joe Shelby Riley.

Researchers have scientifically proved that reflexology is not at all effective for any type of medical condition. A systematic review conducted in 2009, through a number of randomized controlled trials made the following conclusion:

“The best evidence available till date does not convincingly demonstrate that reflexology is an effective treatment for any medical condition.”

There is no consensus among the practitioners of reflexology as to the method of treatment meted out and also as to how it works. Similarly there is no specific or unifying idea about the particular points on the foot which correspond to the specific area in the body and also how manipulating the points on the foot can relieve the patient of the illness and thereby improve the health by foot-pressing methodology.

According to the acclaimed practical theory of Reflexology, human body is divided into ten similar zones out of which five are on the right side of the body and the remaining five on the left side. The theory postulates that the zones which are weak causing the malady get stimulated and thereby the patient gets solace. Reflexology is therefore nick-named as Zone therapy because the pressure imposed on the foot is believed to produce effects on perceived zones in the body via the flow of the so-called “stimulant energy”. Whatever it is, In that context, the therapists and the patients including their dear and near ones shall have to remember that treating potentially ill people through reflexology would delay proper medical treatment leading to irrecoverable loss.

Despite the truth as it is, people approach reflexologist to resolve problems relating to relaxation, stress, tired feet, pain, blood circulation, overall well-being and mindbody conflicts. Because of the so-called placebo effect perhaps patients may randomly get some relief or so for these traumas through reflexology.

Modern life is increasingly demanding and stressful. Reflexology followed by appropriate counseling, may be effective in helping patients to relieve daily stresses and maintain good health and well-being. However, it should have to be used in tandem with medical care.

It has been explained that the so-called curative effect of reflexology is of placebo effect. As for patients who undergo the therapy, if ever and wherever they experience curative impact, so far so good.   But use of the word ‘Reflexology’ for the treatment is unethical as well as unscientific.

What is done by Reflexologist is simple massage of certain parts of the foot or any specific area in the body. ‘Reflexology’ has nothing to do with “Reflex” action.  Scientifically put, according to neuroscience, Reflex is an action that takes place automatically in response to the stimulation of a nerve. The action is without conscious effort. This explanation conveys the essence of a reflex action. In reflexology, pressing the part of foot is not automatically taking place. The pressure is thrust upon the foot by the therapist. How then can the process of the treatment are linked to or linked with reflex action! At best, “Reflexology” can be called as “Massageology”. Yes, it is Massageology, and the therapist is “Massageologist”.

It is therefore logically and ethically prudent for Reflexologist to rename himself/herself as ‘Massageologist’ and what they perform in the name of the therapy as ‘Massageology’.

 

 

Aliens,- They Are There, Everywhere.

Aliens are defined as ‘extraterrestrial life, life which does not originate on or from Earth’. The word also has another contextual meaning: ‘A person living or moving around in a country who is not a national of that particular country’ is also an Alien.

The second meaning confirms that an Alien need not necessarily be an extraterrestrial individual. Take for example the case of Indian citizens who live or move around in Countries like America, Great Briton, Canada and other Nations with or without valid visas, seeking pastures in the field of employment and jobs. They are certainly Aliens in those Countries. But, as far as India is concerned, it is not only the foreign nationals who stay in India who could be Aliens for India but there are millions of Indians who are Aliens in their own beloved Nation.

In India which is the citadel of Casteism under the banner of Chatur Varna Vyavastha, except for the upper-caste conglomerate, all the others are Aliens and therefore untouchables for the toppers in the ladder of Chatur Varna Vyavastha.  Similarly, for the so-called North Indian Aryans, black-colored South Indians are Aliens, too.     

As per general concept, Aliens are “residents” of Planets other than the Earth; it means that aliens are inhabitants of planets which are outside Earth. Not only that: For some evaluator-clans, Aliens are equal or more intelligent than the earthlings called humans.

A few years back, a section of Western News-media had reported that some people had seen Aliens landing on Earth, moving around for some time and then quickly disappearing from the visibility-circuit of the earthlings. If that report is to be taken as true, then, may be, those Aliens which had landed on Earth, might have fled away quickly from the perimeter of Earth in order to reach their own Planet without giving any clue to the Earthling-spectators about their shape, structure, style of movements and looks.

In the context of the above featured story of alien-landings, one thing apparently remains relevant:  That is about the reporting style of modern news-media: Whatever that gets reported in the media need not necessarily be true, factual or reliable. That is the modern way of media reporting on one side and the stand of the readers and the viewers on the other side of the spectrum. Sensationalism is the strongly held motto of modern reporting style of the media. The most important principle of inquiry and confirmation before reporting has been left behind by reporters for the purpose of enhancing readership, circulation and viewership. In the said background, the stories about the appearance of Aliens from other planets on earth and selected people having seen them cannot naturally be given any credence.

Any living organism with mass cannot disappear from the surface of Earth bypassing the gravitational pull. So far there has been no authentic proof of evidence to establish the truth of Aliens landing on Earth and disappearing in no time. Therefore whatever has been reported about the Aliens visiting Earth frequently cannot be taken into account as true. Whether true or not true, it does not matter because the extraterrestrial siblings are bound to leave the Earth immediately without creating any hiccups for the earthling-human species. However, the Aliens who are of the Earth, who wander around on the same Earth seeking employment or playing mischief in other Countries are real problems for the nations concerned.

Going back to the Indian context, though that Country wears the robe of secular-democratic-republic status, the alienated citizenry belonging to the lower-caste strata, painfully bear the burden of being treated as Aliens by the upper-caste communal forces. They are therefore real hiccup-problem for the Secular, Democratic Republic of India. The alienated lower-caste black-colored citizens of the Country are no extra terrestrials who landed on the soil of India. Neither are they migrants from other Countries. They cannot fly away from the surface of Earth like the Aliens which landed on Earth from other planets. Therefore they are real hiccup for the Holy Land of Bharat called India, the secular-democratic-republic as portrayed in Text Books of the Nation.            

Trauma: Drive it out, the Simplest Way

Human race has moved far, far, far away from Nature. As humans, we were evolved as a species to live according to the ways of Nature, among the nature, along the line of Nature, using resources available in Nature. However, as years went by, with its superior brain power, human race made rapid progress in almost every conceivable area of activity. The progress that the humans made in agriculture, industry, trade, science and technology resulted in, –

-> Polluting air and water-resources

-> Depleting forest areas by deforestation   

-> Increasing the value of time.

As a result, the individualistic, the social, the cultural and even the political environs had to undergo tremendous changes, changes that have slowly and steadily driven the human race far, far away from the path of Nature. The consequences of the Changes were so serious that the external environs thus created simply could not match with the internal environs of the Homo sapiens species of the modern times. Now the Individual human beings are at war with themselves to catch up with the changing social, cultural, economic and other existential situations all across.

The inevitable consequences of all these situational trends resulted in people becoming less and less composed; they lost self-control and faith in themselves. At the face of demands of modern life, people stood perplexed, confused, stressed and helpless. The uncontrollable strains and stresses people face and experience are attributable to the trauma let out by and through modern life-style mechanism of tuning orchestrated by the newly formed environal set up.

Escape-route for those maladies lies in making the internal environment of the individual mental mechanism equilibrated with the changing external environs of the modern set up. It sounds as if the process called in for the remedy is so tiresome and time-consuming: No, not at all! Through regular practice of very simple routine exercises, one can get adapted to the vagaries of modern living and free oneself from the scourge of stress and strains.

Let us look at what are those simple routines for regular practice aimed at freeing oneself from the ills of modern life-style system and thereby to embrace calm and composure.

-> Proper breathing

-> Relaxation

-> Balance and rhythmic rest

-> Auto-Suggestion

-> Imagination

-> Responsibility Sharing

-> Generating interests in more activities than one

-> Good, trust-worthy, limited friend-circle

-> Free surroundings from pollutants.

That’s all there is to it. Wear the suite.

Mid-brain Activation Technique

An invisible, mischief-laden misty cloud called Mid brain Activation Technique has started spreading its tentacles for quite some time, over the Indian sub-continent and from there over other Countries, enticing gullible parents of school and college going children in the age-group of ten to fifteen years. The parents are attracted towards the so-called mid brain activation program because of the bold promises made by the organizers of the training program that their children becomes super-intelligent in studies as well as in other operational areas of their life once they undergo the training.

An institute in India, named Genius Mind Academy, reportedly the first of its kind in the Country, started Mid-brain activation training program during the year 2005. Another institute in Mumbai began providing training of its own Mid Brain Activation technique in the year 2010. Apart from Mumbai, almost all other cities and towns including Bangaluru (Bangaluru) are also leading the race. These institutions have extended their activities to more than twenty States in India and also to foreign Countries like Dubai, Yemen, Africa, New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

The minimum monthly fee these institutions charge on the parents of the children varies from Rupees Fifteen Thousand to Twenty-five Thousand per month. Naturally therefore only super-rich parents go after the super-intelligent-building program for their children. The truth behind the whole drama, however, is that the only motive and purpose of the organizers is to make money without any efforts and investments.

Propagandists of the mid-brain activation technique assert that the program intended for children is directed at making the children super-intellectuals endowed with extraordinary skills. For that purpose they first purportedly equilibrate the functions of both the right and left brain sectors of the subjects. The left-right mid-brain equilibration, according to the Visionary-trainers, increases the depth of memory pool; improves self-confidence; builds up higher imagination capability for planning and creation; brings stability of emotional force and increases learning prowess of the trainees. In that back-ground it is quite natural that the parents would go to any extent to make their kids the super-best. That is certainly the compelling force which pulls the parents to queue up before the promoter-trainers to get their kids admitted for mid-brain activation training irrespective of the fact that they have to shell out huge sums of money every month.

For outsiders, however, mid brain activation training looks very simple but the trainers and propagandists claim otherwise. The latter group asserts that the technique creates ‘Intuition’. The intuition enables children to see and undergo sensory experiences even when their eyes are tightly covered with cloth. With eyes closed they can read books, tell the page numbers, locate different objects and name them, identify colors, read news papers, tell what is behind a wall, walk safely, and do cycling, carry out shooting, play games on a PC; all of course with their eyes tightly closed.

As stated, for igniting mid brain activation, the children are blind folded before they undergo the training. Then they are directed to do certain type of crude yoga steps like bending legs and hands to different directions and up and down, take long breathe-ins and breathe-outs. That is all the basics of the training. Thereafter, with eyes blindfolded, the children are directed to read titles and page numbers of some book, identify color and keep things like plastic cubes in line with shapes and sizes.

There ends the training; there starts the subjugation and loot endured by the misguided, irresponsible, gullible parents for the sake of a jugglery-show. In order to make mid brain activation technique attractive, the loot-monger clan of trainers propagate that the training is based on neuroscience. According to the postulation, inside the cerebrum of human brain there is a section called the inter-brain that lies between the left and right hemispheres. That part of the brain is the ‘third brain’. Third brain when energized through their training program improves the capabilities of the human thoughts and actions including consciousness and intuitions.

Intuition is projected as the cardinal factor behind mid brain activation technique meant to create advanced levels of intelligence. For the proponents of the training program, the most important force that is generated through the third brain activation is ‘intuition’. According to their propaganda, intuition enhances consciousness both of which help the trainees to become ’super-intelligent’ in their existential pursuits.

Intuition is a subjective imagination postulated by believers long before the Middle Ages and it continues to be a part of all major religions across the world over. According to the belief system, intuition exists in the spirit world and it traverses through sixth sense. Concepts of the spirit-world and sixth-sense are absurd ideas which have no scientific basis. There is no spirit pervading the universe to create or to destroy anything in the World. Since there is no spirit world, the ideologists’ claims about intuition have also no space in the physical plane.

Similarly, the story of sixth sense is also a fallacy. All humans and all higher animals have only five senses. These senses represent the faculties of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. These abilities of human brain owe its functionality to the excitation and inhibition of nerve cells in the five sensory centres like, visual center, auditory center, olfactory center and motor center located in the cerebral cortex. In the absence of the existing five senses and sensory centres, no one including the people of the extreme religious faiths and the persons of the deepest spiritual achievements, can have any sensory experiences. Non-existent Sixth sense cannot help anyone to receive or perceive any information.

On the other side, Consciousness is a mental faculty of knowing the surroundings and matters of existence. While consciousness can be part of memory, concept of intuition helps memory to carry subjective imaginations and blind beliefs and faiths. Un-controlled ill-flustered subjective imaginations and beliefs create illusions, hallucinations and delusions the result of which is diseases of mental retardation and derangement.

At no stretch of the track, the training program helps build intelligence. Intelligence is the ability of human brain to reach correct conclusions about what is true and real for resolving issues and problems being faced by individuals; it is the capability of the human mind to know generality and intricacies of situations to decide ‘course of action’.

Mid-Brain Activation Technique is certainly a mockery meant to cheat the public. Mid-brain has no role for development of intelligence and memory. Sensations, perceptions, conceptions leading to memory take place through excitation and inhibition of nerve cells in cerebral cortex located at the forefront of the brain. The so-called mid brain activation training is injurious to brain development of children and it may later lead to mental retardation and cerebral damages.

Black Hole in Human Brain

Black and White are well known, well identified colours, even though science does not recognize them as colours.  Right from its origin, VIBGYOR had deep-rooted enmity towards WHITE and BLACK. Certainly that might be the reason why VIBGYOR denied membership to WHITE and BLACK in their group. But that did not matter the least for the duo. They founded permanent dwellings in Space, more specifically in Galaxies and also in human brain. Major part of the human brain is in the custody of WHITE codified as white-matter. The rest is occupied by black: Black created imaginary holes here and there inside white matter. It nicknamed the imaginary hole on the white-field as BLACK HOLES.

Scientists have confirmed that there are so many BLACK HOLES in Galaxies. These holes are totally different from the holes which are abundant on the surface of Earth. They are full of darkness and thereby black even during day time as they are during night as it ought to have to be. But the black holes in galaxies have inexplicably mysterious reactions as compared to the black holes on earth. Nothing, not even light can escape from black holes in galaxies. Whatever matter, including light rays, pass by or try to enter the black holes, they get sucked in, crushed and then get dissipated to nothingness.

Black Hole phenomena in the Space can reasonably be called as miracles because, till date, Scientists could not make even an inch of progress to find out anything about Black Holes except for their getting excited over the phenomena. They continue to be clueless as to how black holes are formed, what happens to matter including light which get sucked in when they happen to pass by, how they exist and how long they will continue to exist in Space.  No answers to these questions. The phenomena of Black Holes remain as mysterious as ever. Despite decades of research, these monstrous cosmological phenomena remain shrouded in mystery. Let it be so, for now, till scientists find something crucial with tangible evidence about the basics of Black Holes.

Wait for a moment:  Just ponder over the Black Hole phenomena in Space: As soon as one tries to ponder over the phenomenon, there comes in  a serious thought about human brain. Just like in the case of the black holes in Galaxies which swallow everything but never allows anything to escape, there are large number of people among the denizens of human race who take in abundance of knowledge during their day to day engagements with people around, newspapers, magazines, books and periodicals  as also what they hear from public platforms.   Whether these persons are intellectuals or ordinary people, nothing comes out of their mouth from the knowledge-pool they stored in their mind, either in the form of words or by signs and symbols. They do not undertake lectures or do not address public meetings or elocution competitions. Neither are the knowledge and information used for self acclamation or for appreciation. They are the people whose brain and sensory centres can be taken as carriers of BLACK HOLES similar to those in Galaxies except for the fact that unlike the black holes in space, the black holes in human brain do not dissipate and destroy whatever knowledge and information they contain. Similarly, unlike the space-centric black holes, black holes in human brain are neither black in appearance  nor are there any holes, presumptive or otherwise, in their sensory areas or the brain as a whole.  The term ‘Black Hole’ in human brain created by researchers, is just a synonym to emphasize the nature of a set of people and personalities who keep mum despite their being the store-house of information, knowledge and intellectual ism.

Kudos to all the black hole-bears: But for them the human habitats on earth would have become   soundly and nightmarish for the residents.  They deserve all the appreciations for maintaining normalcy in ecological, social, cultural and political arenas for the Good of Nations.

Signal Systems and the Role of Words

‘Word’ is the path-maker for human to human Communication System. Word is deployed in the communication system either through speech or by writing down on material surfaces. These are well-known facts which need no specific mention. However, when it comes to spoken words, there comes something worth noticing: Spoken words entail sound and that makes the difference. Sound cannot be written down in normal, known platforms. Both word written and word sounded are symbols of signals.

Human Brain is capable of handling two Signal Systems through which ideas, information and knowledge are received and conveyed to self and to others respectively. The two signal systems are categorized as the First Signal System and the Second Signal System.

During the course of evolution, Homo sapiens developed an extremely important addition to its nervous activity. In animals reality of the surroundings is signalized by situations and the traces they leave behind in the cerebral hemispheres of brain which come directly to the nerve cells through visual, auditory, olfactory or other receptors. This process belongs to the category of First Signal System which humans too possess by way of impressions, sensations and notions in relation to the world around, – the world that represents both the natural and the social environs. As far as humans are concerned there is a well-laid path of communication system constructed by and through ‘word’ that is heard or ‘word’ that is seen in writing. That path of communication falls within the category of Second Signal System.

The Second Signal System is the special capability of human brain. The special capability of second signal system is of words written and or of words spoken. The knowledge the word conveys may be of impressions, sensations and notions in relation to the world around. Process of understanding the meaning and knowledge that the word conveys, either separately or jointly, depends upon the working condition of the sensory centres in the cerebral cortex of each individual human being: Idiots, imbeciles and morons may not understand the meaning and or knowledge that word represents or conveys. But an intelligent person whose sensory reactions to signals from the environs are sharp, might in all probability, understand the meaning and knowledge a word conveys  with consistency as compared to morons, imbeciles and idiots.

Humans cherish their additional capability facilitated by Second Signal System of communication through spoken words or written words while they overtake animals, birds and every other lower specie to maim them and to succeed. Humans think, evaluate and invent through the magic wand of Second Signal System along with the support or help from First Signal System.

Phobia – Fearsome, but Protective as well

Word phobia also known as phobism, owes its origin to the Greek word ’Phobos’. From Phobos, there arose ‘phobia’ and ‘phobism’ in English linguafranca. Phobos in Greek means morbid fear which goes on haunting the subject repeatedly.

In the initial stages the word phobia or phobism was used in spoken and written language to mean a mental attitude of aversion or experience of morbid fear and the physical reaction connected with those feelings. But as time passed by, the scenario too got changes as is usual in all human perseverance: Today phobia carries on its head serious fearful thoughts and actions. It includes persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear connected with certain things or situations that compel a person to avoid the things or situations. And that disorder continues to persist even if proper awareness and reassurance that the things or situations are not dangerous is imparted.

In sum and substance, phobia is a combination of fear and dread in connection with certain things and matters which the phobic tries to avoid despite being lobbied that the things and matters concerned are harmless. In that backdrop phobia can be described as 1. An emotion containing persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels the inflicted person to avoid the thing or situation despite the awareness and reassurance to the effect that it is not dangerous;   2. The impairment of phobia is of serious nature, sometimes leading to very strong and severe repulsive dislikes and aversions.

Don’t take Phobia as a minor or temporary disorder: In fact it is a persisting mental aberration; it is difficult to bring the victim of which back to normalcy.

The disorder has been a serious subject for in-depth studies both by soul-searchers of psychology and by bio-neurological researchers of physiology. While the former remained in subjective conclusions about the onset and removal of the disorder without tangible results, the latter had made significant progress in diagnosis and treatment of the disorder. For diagnostic purposes, they classified phobias into two categories and thereby resolved major issues of the problem scientifically: Specific Phobias and Agora Phobias were/are the two categories which the researchers identified.

Specific Phobia relates to fear and aversion to particular objects or situations that induce acute anxiety and at times panic attacks. Such phobias fall under different types such as animal type, environmental type, situational type, injury type et al. The types are created on the basis of fear-objects and fear-situations that make the patients panic stricken. Agora Phobia is related to fear of leaving home, departing familiar and safer places and also while encountering thoughts of open spaces, social embarrassment, contamination, germs and so on. Such fears and aversions sparingly or otherwise follow obsessive-compulsive reactions as well.

The severity of phobia varies from individuals to individuals depending upon biological, genealogical and neurological factors. Mentally and physically strong built persons with the support of powerful conditioned reflexes developed during their childhood days where no blind beliefs and unwanted fear-situations were ever allowed can simply ignore objects of fear situations in their grown up years of existence. They are the individuals who can resist the pull of phobia and can feel comparatively milder fear and aversive reactions. On the other hand there are lot many people who suffer full-fledged panic attacks associated with disabling symptoms of phobia. Such persons feel totally powerless to override their panic reactions. The main reasons for such disablement are the environal influences they had undergone during their childhood mental development. Blind beliefs and obscurantistic persuasions exerted by parents, relatives, neighbours, religion, faith, social and cultural engagements, all of which jointly or isolatedly, in some way or the other, created fear and aversions in children during their upbringing days. As a result, the people who were born and brought up in the described tardy background become prey to different types of phobic reactions.

Psychologists have recently come out with a finding that women are more prone to fear than men. Their views are mischievous and untrue because of two scientifically proven facts. For one thing, there does not exist any difference between men and women in matters of brain-size and cell to cell communication faculty pertaining to intelligence and reasoning. Secondly, women are straighter forward in revealing what they are and what they know whereas men-folk tend to hide many truths relating to their personality which may force them not to reveal that they are prone to phobic reactions. Therefore, it is better to ignore the conclusion of the Psychologists on this score as the so-called soul-searchers are deeply into subjective pursuits rather than objective research with the support of empirical evidence.

Whatever be the pros and cons of phobias, in normal conditions, it is a protective reaction especially while viewing it in the context of evolution. Phobia plays a role of warning in advance to save the living organism, more importantly the humans, from harm or destruction from dangerous objects or situations. However, in abnormal conditions where phobia leads to panic attacks and serious repercussions, appropriate medico-clinical and psychiatric treatments should have to be sought for. Hypnotherapy is a suggested method of treatment for phobia. An appropriately trained hypnotist with adequate knowledge of neuroscience can help cure phobic maladies. Here, Pavlovian (Dr. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov) theory of deconditioning is put into operation by the Hypnotist to restore normalcy.

Stigmata – The Bleeding Wounds

Divine Miracles are part and parcel of every religion and its belief system: Every religious text contains stories of divine miracles. It is irrevocable, proven fact that the stories of Divine Miracles keep the religious followers firmly and unshakably attached to their   faith and these stories help the faithful to offer timely prayers to their gods and deities. Above all, divine miracles are irreversible boost for the strength and might of every Religion. There is therefore no need for exhaustive research to find why divine miracles form integral part of every religion.

The most revered Divine Miracle of Christianity is appearance of “bleeding wounds of crucifixion” on the palms, chests and feet of notified Saints of extraordinary faith. These wounds are called stigmata: The number of stigmatics who had been anointed with sainthood in the whole history of Christianity, spanning over twenty centuries, is hardly around sixty. The bleeding wounds of stigmata are very rare occurrences and they are regarded as the greatest of all miracles in the history of Christian belief system.

The wounds on the body of the stigmatic are believed to represent the wounds sustained by Jesus Christ at the time of crucifixion. Christian literature has made very reverential references on divine men who had stigmata, the Holy Wounds of Crucifix on their palms and chests. The latest among the Holy Stigmatics were the French religious fanatic Louise Lateaue and Italian priest Padre Peo. While both are no more alive, Padre Peo was the twentieth century Stigmatic who left for heavenly abode on 17-9-1968.

Stigmata are spontaneous local bleeding ulcerations. They are symptoms appearing on certain persons who suffer from hysterical neurosis. In religious cults these local subcutaneous bruises develop on the body of persons of highly susceptible religious fervour during ecstatic states. The life story of Padre Peo will be of immense help to illustrate the sequences leading to the development of stigmata.

Padre Peo’s parents were highly religious. Their great ambition was to send young Padre to monastery and to equip him for priesthood. They planned everything conducive for the boy for a religious and priestly upbringing. He was not allowed to play with neighborhood boys. Prayer and study of religious texts were his only pastime. A grownup Padre was not different, he became a priest and he spent all his time in penance and prayer. He knelt before the crucifix and prayed for hours unending. He cut short his food and sleep. Christ and the great sacrifice were his only thought process. He spent long sixteen years in this way during the period, AD 1902 to 1918.

On one fine morning in early 1918, Padre Peo was in his prayer room: Tired and exhausted, suddenly his sleepy eyes twinkled as he could ultimately meet the fruition of his ambition, nay the ambition of a generation: Blood was dripping from the cross-like wounds developed on his palms. To add to his delight, he further observed ulcers on his feet and also on top of his chest. All this was unforgettable moments for him; it was the moment of the great miracle, the miracle that proclaimed Padre Peo as one of the most glorified Saints among the rank holders of stigmatics.

In the foregoing context, it becomes very much necessary to trace the scientific explanation for the appearance of bleeding wounds in the body of stigmatics. The ulcerous wounds of stigmata are not created by or through any external instruments like knife, stones, sticks or wood as we have seen in the case of Padre Peo?

In the summer of 1927, in the erstwhile Soviet Russia, famous scientists V Finne, M Chernorutsky and K Povarin conducted a very detailed study to trace the path of stigmata.  The relevant portion of the research paper on the experiment is reproduced below:

“Subject M. 35 years old, easily suggestible, was put under deep state of suggested sleep (hypnosis): Once she was under Hypnosis, the scientists placed a copper coin on the inner side of her left forearm and gave strong suggestion that the object was a burning hot metal disc. Within a short while the subject sustained a heavy burn inside her forearm and she felt acute pain.

“The subject M was then woken up from Hypnosis and was kept under observation by the scientists: According to the records, 25 minutes after the aforesaid hypno-suggestion and after awakening from sleep, the subject’s skin at the point of the “burn” became reddish; after 55 minutes a swelling was observed; after 2½hours, a white spot appeared in the centre of the burnt spot. And after 3 ½ hours later, a blister was formed on the spot. “

Yes, under deep hypnosis any suggestion to the effect of “burning” makes a second degree burn on the body of the subject where the hypnotist or the operator-scientist wanted the burn to occur. This is the result of extraordinary reactions of the paradoxical phase of hypnosis.

When the devotee during rituals surrenders totally to the one and the only thought process of salvation, then he passes through extreme ecstatic states. In such ecstatic state the same phenomenon as observed in the development of second degree burn, can take place. It should however be clearly understood that appearance of stigmata hardly occurs during common prayers and rituals. It takes place in very, very rare cases of extreme religious practices arising out of acute, dedication which is nothing short of self-sacrifice.

During the long spells of prayful sessions, the dedicated believer becomes completely exhausted, the exhaustion being the consequence of excessive excitation of nerve cells due to strained body postures and concentration on certain specific thought process. The believer-subject thus enters into deep hypnotic phases. His delusional beliefs of “holy wounds” that has strong rooted images in his memory turn out to be powerful suggestions: He develops blisters and wounds in his palms and on his chest, just like the second degree burn that had developed in F Finne’s experiments. It is nothing other than hysterical neuroses.

Kuttichhathan – The Mystic Poltergeist

This is the story of Kuttichhathan. Kuttichhathan is a tiny but mischievous spirit. In local linguafranca the name Kuttichhathan sounds like a male bastion who is invisible and untraceable. He belongs to the family of Poltergeists: Since he is a poltergeist-family-member his dubious doings are crystal clear. Kuttichhathan is very small in size, but his actions are as dangerous as those of the mighty ghosts of Poltergeist clan.

Once upon a time there existed a small kingdom which the Britishers called Travancore and the locals revered it as ‘Thiruvithamcore’. The kingdom was situated on the southernmost tip of the present day Kerala State in South India. In olden days, Kuttichhathan was the dread and scarce of every one in villages, towns and all across the Kingdom; the Kuttichhathan was notorious in every sense of the term. Whatever Kuttichhathan did, its impact had material presence in the real world situations. His dubious actions were nuisance for everyone. The nauseating deeds he carried out were primarily targeted at houses and its residents. A few of his actions, shortly put were as follows:

When a house wife was in the kitchen, cooking food for the day, Kuttichhathan intruded into the space, threw dirt and filth into the boiling food and disappeared in no time. The house wife became perplexed and cursed Kuttichhathan for the misdeed: Within a few seconds, she cleaned the vessel, removed the filth and started cooking afresh, again.

When everything in the kitchen seemed to be in order, Kuttichhathan appeared from behind: He displaced properly kept vessels and plates here and there and quickly disappeared from the scene. The house wife started cursing the evil spirit again and again and soon rearranged the things in its proper places.

At dead of night Kuttichhathan sneaked out, picked up stones and started pelting the stones at house-tops and walls of residential buildings: The hapless residents then woke up and ran shelter-swelter to trace the wicked Kuttichhathan but failed to trace him out. Tired and trembled, they went back to have a nap.

Those were tolerable incidents to some extent. But there were unbearable and painful actions too that Kuttichhathan inflicted on others. He intruded into the living rooms of people when there were no one around, set fire to clothes, bed sheets and valuables. At other times Kuttichhathan unlocked cupboards, took ornaments and currency notes and fled without getting noticed. The owners became restless and pain struck. Despite every effort they could not find a trace of Kuttichhathan. Ultimately they approached sorcerers to trap the Kuttichhathan. Despite paying huge fees, the Sorcerers utterly failed to catch the Kuttichhathan and the victims found solace in blaming their wretched fate.

Close scrutiny of such incidents and investigations carried out by experts have proved that the mischief attributed to Kuttichhathan were in fact the handiwork of someone among the home dwellers or home-workers. The persons concerned did the mischief during an instantaneous attack of memory loss that lasted only for a few seconds, not even twenty seconds at any rate. During that spell the person became victim of petitmal which belongs to a peculiar type of dementia.

Petitmal is a mild form of epilepsy characterized by brief spells of unconsciousness without loss of posture. The deranged person carries out the mischief as schizophrenics’ do at certain times. When memory returns and persons become normal, they realize the damage and wonders how all the nauseating things had taken place. Because of the blind belief about the reckless evil spirits, everyone around including the victims of petitmal, attribute the mischief as perpetrated by Kuttichhathan who wanders around the vicinity of residential areas.

According to neuroscience, petitmal is an ‘absence seizure’. Petitmal patients lose awareness of their surroundings for up to 20 seconds. During that period, the victims suddenly stop what they are doing. In rare cases they unconsciously do things similar to those mentioned in the case of Kuttichhathan.

In normal situations nerve cells in the brain of a person communicate with one another through reflexes or through the so-called electric signals. Such nerve to nerve communication gets blocked abruptly for a few seconds during absence seizure. Such seizures rarely cause convulsions or collapses despite losing consciousness.

Scientists are clueless about the underlying reasons for petitmal. The reasons may vary from person to person depending upon genetic factors, neuronal infection or accidents which may cause brain damages. Chances cannot also be ruled out about mischief makers who may act as Kuttichhathan, the mischief monger Poltergeist for the sake of fun or for taking revenge.

Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell, – very familiar concepts, they are. While both are familiar, the former is the aim of every believer all across the world while the latter is dreaded by everyone nay, every believer, around the world.

Both Heaven and Hell are words which belong to extreme religious centric beliefs. According to the belief heaven is the dwelling place of God and is shared by Angels and the Spirits of the righteous people. However, outside belief, the word heaven is used to refer the sky or the firmament. May be, drawing a parallel to the concept of heaven being the blissful abode of God, literary enthusiasts use these words to express feelings of extreme happiness and joy.

Hell, in every sense, is the opposite to heaven; hell is the place for the wicked to live after death. The place is the epicenter of all evils; it is pervaded by condemned spirits and is full of miseries. Just like the word heaven, hell too has slang referring it to someone who has been victimized for harsh reprimand and or punishment. In yet another context, making uproar and creating uneasy situations is hell for the nascent genre among the general public.

There is no proof of evidence to cite as to when and where the belief of heaven and hell started. It is said that the belief originated from Greek philosophy. Ancient Greek philosophy belong to the period around the 6th century BCE: Greek philosophers like Plato had talked elaborately about soul and spirit: Soul-spirit conglomerate plays pivotal role in the matter of entitlement for entry either into heaven or to hell. Greek philosopher Plato’s firm stand was that salvation takes place when the soul is set free from the body at the time of death. Even then, attributing the origin of heaven and hell to Greek philosophy does not seem to be correct.

Even before the birth of Greek philosophy there were ancient belief systems which flourished in the East. Those belief systems had many explanations on the subject relating to soul and spirit and after-death habitats. Taoism of China and Hinduism of ancient Bharat were the prominent belief systems of the yore. Hinduism was epicentre of all subjective imaginations including the dwellings of heaven and hell.

Complexity of human brain has no limit: It enabled prehistoric nomads to believe in supernatural powers and their thought process concerning belief grew with innumerable imaginations. That enabled them to build residence in the Skies for the super natural powers, much above their own habitats on the surface of the earth. In those habitats there were no miseries and calamities. Those were, no doubt, imaginations which underwent further refinements: The improved version concluded that when one dies, the life-force of the individual escapes from the body of the person and it moves towards the dwelling of the supernatural powers to be accommodated there.

As years passed by, all these pagan thoughts got modified in the form of organized system of beliefs as Religions, the supernatural powers as Gods, the dwelling of the God as Heaven, the life-sustaining force of the living as Soul or Spirit which leaves the body of the persons at the time of death. Formation of Hell was in the same trajectory but in the opposite direction: At the time of death the soul of all who do good things be accommodated by God along with him in heaven while the spirit of those who do bad things be accommodated by God in Hell which is full of miseries.

The concept of Heaven and Hell is part and parcel of every religion: Even the so-called non-religious philosophies of Buddhism and Jainism are no exception.

According to Hindu system of faith, entitlement to Heaven or Hell depends on Karma: Doors of heaven will be opened to the spirits of the ones who did Good Karma while alive. On the other hand, the ones who did bad karma will be dumped into the ditches of hell; their spirits will become prey to rebirth in continuum. In Buddhism, heaven is temporary habitat for the soul; the soul is entitled to incarnation. Not only that, as part of Samsara which is an illusory reality, there are many heavens for soul to habitat depending upon Karma. Jainism also holds the same concept about heaven: As per the concept there are several layers of heavenly abode for the souls to enter but the entitlement depends upon Karma.

Ancient Chinese mythology philosophizes that heaven observes, sees, hears and keeps close watch over all humans. The great philosopher Confucius asserted that belief in the quote: “He who offends against Heaven has none to whom he can pray.”

All organized religions of modern era have specific concepts about heaven and hell. All their preachings are aimed at achieving heavenly habitat of bliss; all the places of worship, all the religious heads, all the preachers devote time for prayers for the followers to help their souls attain heaven and to save the souls from going to hell. All followers of the religions attend prayers regularly on weekly congregations on time for the aim to be fulfilled.

Outside religion, there are some think-masters of materialism who are still unable to keep out of the belief in heaven and hell: They argue that belief in heaven keep people away from committing crimes for fear of hell; they do good things with love and compassion for their soul to get a place in heaven. These arguments of the stake holders are absurd if not nonsense. Criminals never stop their illicit activities for the sake of heaven and for fear of hell. Because, even the believer-criminals have all means at their disposal to use the path of confessions before priests, prayers before the Almighty god to save their soul from going to hell but to allow their soul easy entry to heaven.   Amen! Let the Soul of all rest in peace.