Franz Mesmer Healing Session

I just watched a remarkable metaphysical film called “Mesmer” starring Alan Rickman (he didn’t look anything like Professor Snape). It was about the life of Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer , the father of animal magnetism. His name is where we get the word mesmerize. Mesmer was controversial, far ahead of his time, and he taught that we could heal our own bodies, afflictions come from our emotions, and that the planets and especially the moon affect us physically (not to be confused with astrological medicine). Mesmer was all about being in harmony with earth in order to be in harmony with ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. His colleagues didn’t agree and even brought him to trial as a fraud and a charlatan.

My favorite scene is when Mesmer is mirror gazing (scrying!) and has a revelation. We see a flashback to his youth, and it isn’t until he tells a patient about the revelation that we understand its magnitude. He shares that, when he was a little boy, he would climb high on a rocky hill and put his ear to the earth. He could hear the earth spinning, and had the realization that all things on earth–plants, animals, trees, rocks, birds–are in harmony: except Mankind. This was the reason, he believed, that we have sickness of the physical body, the spirit, or mental health issues.

His boyhood revelation took him on a lifelong study of medicine, the discovery of magnetism, and how our health relates to our harmony with the earth and others. Some of the gestures in the film during his healing sessions were very much like Reiki or other kinds of energetic healing, albeit quite a bit more theatrical.

The Wikipedia article says it best, “Mesmer understood health as the free flow of the process of life through thousands of channels in our bodies. Illness was caused by obstacles to this flow. Overcoming these obstacles and restoring flow produced crises, which restored health. When Nature failed to do this spontaneously, contact with a conductor of animal magnetism was a necessary and sufficient remedy. Mesmer aimed to aid or provoke the efforts of Nature. To cure an insane person, for example, involved causing a fit of madness. The advantage of magnetism involved accelerating such crises without danger.” There are several modes of healing that agree with this philosophy.

Mesmer was controversial and ahead of his time, and I wish the film had highlighted more of his many successes. The strongest message that I took away from the film was that we are all Pioneers in one way or another, and that to be unique is to be in harmony with ourselves. Being in harmony with ourselves allows us to find our tribe, to be in harmony with those who support and love us, and that in turn allows us to give our unique gifts and revelations to the world.

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