Learning To See With New Eyes
An Interview with healer Elizabeth Stratton
An Interview with Elizabeth K. Stratton in Zurück zur weiblichen Weisheit (The Future for Womens’s Wisdom) by Irene Dalichow, Verlag Hermann Bauer, Freiburg 1990, pp.84-90. Translation by John Myrdhin Reynolds and Jacob Reinhold.
“We run around like crazy in a hurry to change other people—our sister, our boss, our other relatives. But we can take responsibility only for our own soul. If we harmonize ourselves with the shadows within us and thereby change ourselves, then we can live more effectively. As soon as we try to do this for ourselves, our relationships with others will become better, whether with our sister or our husband.”
These words came from a woman at the end of her thirties who is a world-famous healer and sensitive. Elizabeth Stratton works in New York City as a healer and as a pastoral counselor. In her work, she employs prayer, meditation, dreams, and the laying-on-of-hands. In her workshops, she teaches doctors, nurses, therapists, and others to find their own inner healer.
I came myself to a September weekend seminar with Elizabeth at the Open Center in New York City. Within half an hour I realized that I had done the right thing by trusting in my inner voice. This woman has a beautiful treasure to share.
“Learning to See with New Eyes” was a workshop offered by Elizabeth, together with her assistant Harvey Silverman, to about thirty others and myself. The topic of this weekend workshop was how to enter into a sensitive clarity and, according to her belief; we are all born with this ability.
The first exercise was similar to that found in Silva Mind Control, leading us into a more meditative mood. Elizabeth would admonish us to go back in time, back to find a place where we perceived the truth without falsification, using all of our senses including extrasensory perception. During this exercise many of the participants had an opening experience and got in contact with the unconditional love we had as children. We came to understand the interrelationships among things which were previously unclear.
The later exercise was done with partners. We came to perceive sensitive qualities that were unrecognized previously and this happened without using big words or making a big show. Elizabeth Stratton and Harvey Silverman simply created this space through their presence and in this atmosphere we became healed.
Question: Ms. Stratton, you say that all human beings are born with a high amount potential for sensitivity. How is it then that this later becomes lost?
ES: I believe we lose it because we have a fear of seeing the truth. We especially are afraid to see what is happening about us, in particular with our families and with our interpersonal relationships. There is so much pain around us in such events as divorce, child abuse, and so on. We see and feel how much pain is out there. Already as children, we loose the potential to see the truth because it is too painful. As adults, we cannot tolerate our own children seeing for themselves what is actually happening. Children tend to speak out and say what they see happening without any censorship. But even if there is no lying and deceit within the family, our children soon run into it at school. There they are confronted with lying and deceit. They are taught to behave themselves. They are not allowed to say anything that will bring difficulties to other people. Instead of speaking the truth, they are taught to control themselves. They are taught to say only what is expected.
Question: What can parents do to maintain the original truthfulness and sensitivity of children?
ES: They can tell their children to always speak the truth, no matter how painful that may be and to be open themselves with their children.
Question: How can we as adults regain our potential for sensitivity?
ES: The answer is manifold. There exist a number of ways to recognize these qualities within us. First of all, we need to be in contact with the truth of our own emotions. Sensitivity has a lot to do with our emotions. To look inside us is the first step. The second step is to open our third eye and develop the potential to see the truth again. I present in my workshops some methods to accomplish this. But this is also possible through meditation practice and within an intense relationship between two people. But our overly intellectual rationality must step back in this process. We must find the un-schooled pure childlike condition through which we once perceived things with perfect clarity.
Question: Are there people who would do better not to open their sensitivity?
ES: Yes. I think people who are psychologically unstable, such as schizophrenics, drug addicts, in general people who are mentally confused and unstable. They will find themselves in even more difficulty if they open up to see these dimensions.
Question: You underline in your workshop “Learning to See with New Eyes” the topic of developing the ability for sensitivity through compassion. Why through compassion?
ES: The head (that is, the mind) becomes quiet through compassion. Compassion represents unconditional acceptance and unconditional love. If we have compassion, then we don’t say about a person, “Oh, he has really dirty clothes. How awful!” Such thoughts are judgmental. Rather, we are in an open peaceful condition and in this condition we can let the truth be what it is.
Question: For many spiritual teachers, a central point in becoming healed is the ability to forgive someone who did something wrong to us. How do you define forgiveness?
ES: To forgive is to let go of what is painful to us. This doesn’t mean that it is simply saying to someone, “What you did to me was not really that bad. I forgive you. I won’t hold a grudge,” and then thinking that there will be harmony afterwards. It is not quite that way. Rather, it has more to do with clarifying things to the other person. We don’t want to live through this any more. We want to free ourselves of this and we want to free others. We must let go of the past. Many people hold on and cling to what has happened in the past. Often the memory of what has happened is quite unpleasant, but this memory is the only thing they have. For example, the memory of a lost relationship. There still remains pain, resentment, and so on. They could let go of that, but they hold on to it desperately because of the fear of the unknown. I have seen real miracles happen when people have the courage admit that they think, “It doesn’t matter what comes afterwards, I pride myself on my bitterness!”
Question: You give workshops on psychic self-defense. What do you do in them?
ES: The procedure in these workshops is that I show people how they can protect themselves against negative energies from other people. Or else, how to dissolve negative energy accumulated in a room or some other place. Generally, there are four steps here. First of all, we must recognize how we ourselves get hurt from the rage or sadness, or whatever other negative emotion that a person projects at us. Sometimes it may be a special type of person or a special type of situation. The second step involves the repairing of the damage experienced in a similar situation or with a similar person, that is to say, how to regain one’s own balance of energy once more. The third step indicates that we must release this old story and bury the past. The fourth and final step is to perceive very sensibly what is actually happening outside and around us, so that we know how to protect ourselves in the future.
Question: Is every one able to learn this when they participate in your workshop?
ES: Oh, yes. Of course, one must do the exercises, but after such a weekend, everyone can accomplish these four steps. But the most difficult thing is the protecting of oneself. As a child, I myself was like a sensitive sponge and soaked up all the energy I came into contact with. I recognized this problem. And so, later on I learned how to deal with my sensitivity and how to use it in a directed way, but also how to switch it on and off. I was able to develop my program of inner self-defense.
Question: Do you have a role model or a teacher? Or do you follow a special school?
ES: Nothing of this kind. I was always very sensitive. But the idea to make this into a profession did not come into my head at the beginning. I was originally working in publishing. But then, during one illness, I had a key experience. So, I decided to become a healer. After that, from many different people I heard many different things regarding healing, and I worked with a number of different spiritual systems. But I don’t have a particular role model or a particular teacher. My spirituality is over-all without a rigid system behind it. That is why I like to teach so much. I had to put in everything myself and find my experiences in terms of trial and error myself. I enjoy helping others who are proceeding in the same way. But I enjoy also giving them encouragement to listen to their own inner voice—the voice of God, or of the universe, if you prefer.
Question: Are women more open to this than men?
ES: In earlier times I thought, yes. But now I don’t believe it. I have met so many men who are open to it. But in our society, men are educated and conditioned more to be rational and not intuitive. Therefore, they have to break through more barriers first.
Question: Do you have a special method of meditation?
- (Laughing) I eat chocolates! Of course, I also meditate each day. I sit. Not especially in the Zen style or any other particular tradition. I simply go into quietness and a deep peacefulness. But such meditation practice can be active, yielding deep insights.
Question: In your work as a healer and a counselor and a teacher for some fourteen years, you have been very successful and become quite well known. Institutions that are established and well known, like the Open Center in New York City, for instance, and Esalen in Big Sur, California, are proud to include you in their programs. So, we have talked already about your background and what you do in your workshops. But what do you do when someone comes to be healed?
ES: Many people think that all a healer has to do is touch them and then—zap! —they are healed. But the matter is much more complicated than that. It can take months to heal an illness. Sometimes the healing doesn’t work at all. What I do is very concrete. First I look at why the illness may have developed, and how it may be possible to heal it. I can see what emotional stress exists under the surface, and I sometimes get impressions from the client’s childhood. Even pictures of the future may come. But I don’t like to give predictions. We all possess free will and should decide for ourselves.
Question: What do you do with the information you get?
ES: I sometimes recommend that they go to a psychotherapist, medical doctor, chiropractor, or body worker. Or I prepare the client to take a workshop in order to deal with repressed rage or some other negative emotion. Or even just to do sports regularly. Then, when I perform the healing, the effect will be more potent and effective. But usually it depends on whether the person in question deals with his other stuff, that is, one starts to take care of oneself.
Question: You say that the only instrument you use for healing is your hands? What do you do with them?
ES: I put them on the chakras and on the ill and painful parts of the body of the client. I let the healing energy flow through me and I understand myself to be a channel and a catalyst. Every human being has the potential for being a healer. We are all connected to the same higher source, whether we call it God or the Ultimate Reality. The only difference between me and other people is that I can manifest my energy. There is a beautiful saying of an author who wrote, “God can only work through you according to how much you let God into yourself.” This statement makes it clear how I see myself and my potential, and what I want to give in my workshops.
July 7, 2015
Touching Spirit Center LLC
845-217-7268 e-mail: TouchingSpiritCenter@gmail.com