MARY OF AGREDA
THE INTERCONNECTING WEB OF ALL LIFE
. . . all things
are the works of the Great Spirit [who is]
If imagination (rather than necessity) is taken as the mother of invention, then perhaps the mechanical means by which today our physical limitations are extended are indications of tomorrow’s possibilities for non-mechanically transcending these same limitations. Suppose the words, the similes, the discourses we use to describe communication inventions are an indication of the direction in which consciousness itself is expanding. Might this expansion, this comprehension and inclusion of more and more of existence into awareness, be how the human condition of separation and alienation is overcome? How might this work?
To be on someone’s wavelength would not have been a meaningful metaphor before the advent of radio in the early 1900s. Yet the frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum upon which the radio depended always had been the enlivening, all-pervasive "stuff" of the universe. But since discoveries and inventions are inspired by and build upon one another, before the radio could be invented the principles of electricity had to be discovered. The proliferation of inventions this brought led to the radio, and the radio to the other instrumentations by which the information explosion was made possible, and by which civilization’s accumulative knowledge was made available to any and all who would access it. With this, together with the picture of Earth beamed back from space, the people of Earth began to see themselves as one people. And the emergence of a new paradigm was well underway.
Even before the radio, there was the telephone, and before that the telegraph. Before sound was wirelessly transmitted over great distances, it was carried over wires. Then came the question: What if the wires aren’t necessary? Of course for tribal peoples they never had been. But speaking of the "civilized" world, even before the wires were strung from pole to pole, their obsolescence was being intuited as "a force field" by which all space is filled, but which "humans could neither see, hear, smell, touch, nor taste,"1 Even before this inkling, the poet Coleridge had envisioned an interconnecting relationship between all that is:
The universe is a cosmic web woven by God and held together by the crossed strands of attractive and repulsive forces.2
Leonard Shlain, from whom the above thoughts are taken, has pointed to the words commonly used to describe electromagnetism as "web," "matrix," "waves," and "field," with the last the most common synonym. As an image, field suggests an open expanse over which pathways can cross. A field is also an invitation to enter into a co-creative relationship with nature. To plow and plant requires human initiative, but for the harvest the farmer is dependent upon nature’s response. Action and rest, giving and receiving, transmission and reception, agent and percipient—at the heart of the electromagnetism upon which the web of all life depends is the principle of polarity. This same polarity is also elementary to electricity’s positive and negative poles. Equally essential is the principle of magnetic attraction. Could these universally applicable laws have been operative in Agreda’s teleportations to New Spain? and to the welcome she received once there?
Shlain characterizes an electromagnetic event as "interdependent and simultaneous," "mysterious and wavelike," "immaterial and insensate." He concludes that "electromagnetism resembles a spirit"—its two poles always striving to unite—"and it is only when they do that energy is generated," to which might be added, and things happen!3
Who is to say that the electromagnetic field (which is purported to have forty or more octaves of a literal infinite number of frequencies) is not how Agreda both communicated with and appeared to the Jumanos? In the story this chapter relates, she didn’t appear as she had before—to an assembled group—but to each family in the predawn of their individual tents. Nor did she come this time as their teacher, but as one bearing a message of divine interaction—a role traditionally assigned to angels.
Angel or teacher-from-the-sky, the Jumanos seemed to have been perfectly comfortable with the idea of spirit beings, and equally receptive to the manner in which their Lady in Blue now appeared. Perhaps it was because of the urgency of the circumstances that this time her appearance was over a somewhat higher wavelength, a difference such as that between radio and television frequencies.
Thinking about this, I was transported back to 1945 when, as Woman’s Editor of American Broadcasting Company in Chicago, I took part in television’s first commercially-sponsored programs. Vivid in my memory are the complexities of these live and experimental productions—the camera crews, the sound engineers, the lights, the microphones, the overhead and underfoot tangle of wires. And I smile to think of the simplicity with which Agreda pulled off an event with such obvious parallels. Nor can I help but wonder what inventions the coming years will bring which she already will have prefigured.
With the new terminologies of quantum physics and lightning-speed technologies, a new idiomatic vocabulary is on the tip of every tongue. And through its imagery a language for exploring consciousness itself is in place. As the universe is conceived of as expanding, so is consciousness. As a person’s consciousness expands so does that one’s perception of reality and what is humanly possible. And as our individual perceptions evolve, so the bar for humanity collectively is raised. The most fundamentally important realization presently dawning is that much of what previously was believed to be impossible is now taken for granted.
In just a few short years, global communication has become instantaneous. For a number of practical purposes, time and space have been transcended in ways inconceivable in Agreda’s day. Why then should further expansions of the humanly possible not be expected? What new developments even now are on telecommunication drawing boards? In terms of the adage that whatever the human mind can conceive it can achieve, where might the future be going? Or in terms of Plato’s archetypal "forms," what eternal blueprint is guiding the present transition from civilization to globalization? Could the World Wide Web have been conceived except for its preexistence as an universal pattern? In answer Peter Russell comments:
We, the billions of minds that make up this huge "global brain," are being linked together by the "fibers" of our telecommunications systems in much the same way as are the billions of cells in each of our brains.
Could it be the interconnectivity of the human brain that the Internet is replicating?
Through this rapidly growing network of light . . . . [w]e are moving into a world without walls, where distance is no separation.
Russell then relegates our present "Information Age" technology to "just the current focus of our development," beyond which lies "a final technology," with
. . . the next major transition [being] to what we might call the Consciousness Age—a period when the exploration and development of the human mind will become our major focus.4
Research ongoing at Belgrade University is seeking "a deeper, biophysical understanding of the nature of consciousness and transpersonal phenomena." Dejan Rakovic writes:
It is currently estimated that the problem of consciousness belongs to the ten most significant scientific problems, owing to its potential scientific implications, including a possibility for deeper understanding of some ultimate philosophical/religious questions.5
+ + +
In the early 1970s, when Agreda’s life first captured my interest, my goal was to understand her paranormal abilities. I was looking for answers as to what triggered her unusual gifts. I wanted to know how these were related to her spiritual life—how what she did arose from who she was. My interests were in psychology, parapsychology, and spirituality. I didn’t bother to find out who might be interested in her story. I only knew I was, and was willing—maybe even compelled—to follow where this led. Even so, I was unprepared for how readily the well-documented evidence of her paranormal activities was dismissed as "preposterous." Typical was a conversation I recall with a research librarian at the California State Library. She asked how Agreda had come to the Southwest, but in response to my attempt to explain, raised her brow derisively as if to say, "Come now, you don’t expect me to believe that"!
My brothers and other hard-science members of my family didn’t take my interests in the teleportations of a seventeenth century nun any more seriously. And yet it was surprising they didn’t. Even then the leading edge of science—at least physics—already had made the shift from a Newtonian to an Einsteinian worldview. But it would take another generation before the gap would begin to close and the rest of us begin to catch up. Someone once proposed that all truly new ideas appear in four stages: first to those considered on the lunatic fringe; second, to the artistic community; third to the geniuses; until finally the idea is acclaimed by nearly everyone. In Agreda’s case, who will be first to recognize the relevance of her life to our lives today? Will it be science or spirituality? Or will both come together in recognizing her relevance is to the study of consciousness itself?
In pursuing the enigma of Agreda, I believed the evidence would speak for itself. I felt her story needed to be told for what it had to say about the untapped powers with which all persons, in varying degrees, are innately endowed. But after years of research on both sides of the Atlantic, I finally concluded that where Agreda was concerned disinterest was as much a problem as disbelief. Those who were interested in her life as a mystic and a candidate for sainthood saw her gifts as inexplicable "miracles of God," and wanted it left at that. At the other extreme were those interested in the paranormal aspect of her activities, but for whom the highly religious context out of which her gifts arose was a stumbling block. It was as though I had hold of a tiger with two tails pulling in different directions! And so I set the manuscript aside.
Now, a generation later, the disbelief gap is closing as the study of consciousness is moving to the top of scientific inquiry. Emil Jovanov, among numerous others in the academic field, is researching the brain’s electrical and magnetic signals, and comparing how the different levels of consciousness are characterized by brainwaves of different frequencies. These range from low-end sub-delta and theta waves up to high-end beta and gamma measurements. He comments:
At the end of the 20th century, contemporary science considers itself capable to cope with the ultimate secret of Nature—consciousness. Philosophers, psychologists, neurophysiologists, physicists, engineers and other scientists investigate the problem from their own point of view, . . . but the answer must be one and unique, as consciousness itself.6
A chart in Jovanov’s paper suggests the lowest frequencies may indicate states where individual consciousness merges with collective levels. Presumably this could be the deep levels mystics experience as unitive consciousness, or that meditators report as an "oceanic" sense of gently floating in a sea of oneness. At the other extreme awareness may also be transcendent, but here, rather than deeply relaxed, the state is highly "excited" and intensely focused. A study of the charts of seven yogis shows that as their meditations progressed the mid-range waves of ordinary awareness gave way to extremely high or fast-wave activity, and then subsided and returned to mid-range. Compare this to Agreda’s sequence discussed in the last chapter, when, after receiving Communion, she would fall into ecstasy, and next find herself in the midst of the native peoples of the Southwest. On return to her usual awareness, she would be back at her convent in Spain fully cognizant of what had transpired.
Because the meditation practices of Western mystics have become something of a lost art, most current studies involve Eastern meditation techniques. There are, however, studies of Western individuals known for their abilities to transmit healing energies. In experiments conducted, their brainwaves slowed to low-end ranges during healing sessions, and then, at the conclusion of the sessions, returned to ordinary waking frequencies. Studies also showed healing states as significantly different from "meditation-based" states. Taken altogether, these and other findings appear to confirm both Eastern esoteric and Jungian psychology’s assertion that human consciousness is multidimensional.
As for Agreda, were the various levels on which she functioned an indication of what is more broadly possible? Relevant to the study of consciousness, could her gifts be an indication of the direction in which humanity is evolving? Does her life suggest how our abilities and our commitment to the higher good need to go hand in hand? Was she part of an advance guard of exceptional human beings beckoning all to follow? If so, how might expanded awareness such as hers revolutionize the dualistic thinking by which the Western psyche has been split in two? At some critical point, could the yogis’ and the mystics’ awareness of the unity of all that is become a new East/West collective consensus? And would this signal the healing of the great divide?
Agreda made a conscious choice to surrender her life and her gifts to the will of God. It was out of this choice that she was led to America. A long-standing belief in the East sees states of consciousness as relevant to a series of interpenetrating "bodies" of different frequencies. From this viewpoint, Agreda’s "impossible journeys" would have been in a higher frequency body in which her conscious mind could extend its awareness to distant places. But what seems equally important to consider is the makeup of the people to whom she was drawn, and how it was possible for them to perceive her presence. How did they happen to be on the same wavelength?
Joseph Epes Brown places Native American spirituality among "the great spiritual traditions" of the world, noting that the higher truth by which they lived was their "relationship to nature, and the profound values reflected [in their] many rites and symbols."7 As evidence, Brown offers the words of Black Elk quoted at the beginning of this chapter. The tribes Brown studied, and certainly those to whom Agreda appeared, were peoples with an innate understanding of what it meant to live in harmony and cooperation with the Great Spirit.
Agreda was of the lineage of Francis of Assisi who, as a nature mystic, would have been in tune with Native American spirituality. Both were known for regarding all of creation as animated by Spirit. Further back Francis’ lineage was the French Celtic spirituality of his mother. Similarly inclined was the fourteenth-century Meister Eckhart who understood God as calling us "from nothingness into being," and as having "created all things not in such a way that they existed outside . . . beside . . . or beyond," but in whom beingness itself was to be "found," "received," and "possessed."8
Perhaps the story this chapter tells—the mystery of our interconnectivity—is the next stride in consciousness we are poised and on the brink of making. In some ways it is a "hundreth monkey" story: Agreda’s presence in the Southwest was at first known to the few, then to the many, and finally there was that all-at-once gestalt by which the tribes of an entire wilderness region became aware of her presence and that of the Franciscans. What was equally surprising was the open-armed welcome both were given. How can this be explained other than the manner in which the gospel had been presented to them? My guess is that Agreda’s was not a message of fear because fear was something she had overcome. Rather it was a message of love which was the basis of her relationship to the divine. I like to think that the words she spoke were from her heart and not her mind, or that they were utterances of the one she knew as the Holy Spirit. And when I imagine her addressing tribal peoples, I imagine her words are being received as coming from the Great Spirit. Could the secret of their communication have been their mutual recognition of the one, all-pervasive Spirit?
We know Agreda won their trust, and that because of her they also trusted the Franciscan missionaries who followed. There are some who say this trust was misguided. But how will we ever know? Agreda followed both her heart and the will of God to the utmost of her ability. And for those she visited she may have made the inevitable easier. If the desire of her heart was to follow the gospel directive to take its message to the ends of the earth, in her day that meant New Spain. If from childhood she had understood souls as needing to be shown the Christ way to heaven, then this would have been her goal. But if the image of heaven in the minds of those to whom she came was not the same as hers, who is to say there are not numerous heavens? Even Saint Paul, in describing his ascents, experienced heaven as multileveled. As the cosmology and worldview of Agreda’s day both colored and limited her understanding of the scriptures, so are our perceptions as through "a glass darkly." For all we know, Agreda still may be teaching those attuned to her wavelength, or leading souls who today are lost in a nether world, and in need of finding their way to a higher, happier "hunting ground." Once consciousness is understood as multidimensional, or heaven as multileveled, the imaginable possibilities become infinite. But beyond all such speculation is the sobering realization that looking back we are witness to what was a great tragedy in the interruption of a way of life that had worked. It was a great tragedy, as well, for all of our lives in the Western world in that we didn’t learn from a people who knew the secret of how to live in harmony with all of life. Ultimately, for whom will the tragedy be greater?
+ + +
From so great a diversion let us return to the semi-nomadic Jumanos who were so influenced by their Lady in Blue that every summer, for seven consecutive years, they walked from what is now Louisiana and East Texas to the region near present-day Albuquerque. At Agreda’s request, they repeated the journey year after year in an effort to persuade the Franciscan priests there to come to their tribal homelands to baptize their people. Either the priests failed to understand their requests, or they were too understaffed to comply. In either case, since the Jumanos were unknown to the Franciscans, the language barrier would have been formidable. Agreda, on the other hand, appeared never to have had a problem in communicating with tribal peoples, nor they with her. Since the possible reasons why are the subject of another chapter, for now it is enough to assume that the level on which communication between them took place was not the usual one. The same, however, was not true for the Franciscan friars. There were those occasions when Agreda was in their midst and when Franciscans also were present, but whereas the tribal peoples saw and spoke with her, the Franciscans didn’t. To them she was invisible. How this is known is because back in Spain she reported what she had observed the priests doing, and which they later verified.9
From historical evidence gathered during Agreda’s lifetime, she was known to have covered the West and Southwest fairly thoroughly during the eleven years of her North American missionary career. The Jumanos (a name with many spellings) were the first to make her activities known to the small group of friars at Albuquerque. These few were the remnants of the original band of twenty-six priests sent to New Spain by the Spanish Crown. The small but faithful group now attempted to cover the immense area abandoned by the Spanish military when, after a century’s trial, they finally realized the fabled Cibola was but a cluster of buffalo-hide huts, and not the city of gold they had expected to discover.10
Two of the most dedicated of the remaining few were Father Juan de Salas and Father Alonso de Benavides. Two years after Agreda’s initial teleportations, Father Benavides was appointed Superior of the Franciscan Missions of all of New Mexico. Father Salas had been acquainted with several tribes whose dialects he spoke, but when the Jumanos arrived at the Mission San Antonio, recently founded at Isleta near Albuquerque, he was at a loss to understand what the Jumanos were trying to tell him: that a beautiful young girl, dressed in the same garment he wore but covered with a cloak the color of the sky, had become their teacher? and that she had directed them to travel toward the setting sun to the exact spot of his mission?
Perhaps the fault was not so much Father Salas’ linguistic ability but his failure to comprehend how a young girl could be wandering alone in the American wilderness. What puzzled him was that the tribal representatives who approached him showed knowledge of the Catholic faith. This, however, he was able to reason away by recalling that tribes sometimes told neighboring tribes what the friars had taught them. He talked the matter over with Father Benavides who agreed that this probably was the explanation. For this reason the Jumanos’ request went unheeded. Yet even had the priests been able to communicate with this distant tribe, there still would have been the matter of too few priests to cover the mission post and accompany the Jumanos back to their tribal lands.
Disappointed, the Jumanos returned to their villages, until at the insistance of their Lady in Blue, they came back again the following summer with the same request—and again and again and again—every midsummer between 1620 and 1628. Although Father Benavides had begged the King of Spain to send additional friars and Philip, in 1621, had allowed thirty additional religious for New Mexico, travel and communication was so slow the additional recruits still hadn’t appeared.
This, then, was the situation in the summer of 1629. Whereas the Jumanos previously had traveled as a band of twelve, their number this year was increased to fifty, including the head chief whose manner suggested he didn’t expect to be refused. When the band arrived, Father Benavides, by then custodian of all the missions of New Spain, was at Isleta waiting to be relieved by the newly-appointed custodian, Father Esteban Perea. From there, Benavides intended to journey to Mexico City for a new assignment. Trying to appease the Jumanos, whose request he still could not grant, he and Father Salas suggested that the emissaries camp at Mission San Antonio for a few days rest before returning to their tribal headquarters some three hundred miles away.
It was three days later, on the twenty-second of July, that the newly-appointed custodian arrived from Mexico City. With him were the thirty religious King Philip IV had promised. The first business on the agenda was to deliver a letter from the archbishop in Mexico City, Don Francisco Manzo y Zuña. The letter asked that the friars try to verify a story about a nun in Spain who claimed to be visiting the territories of the New World in some strange, supernatural manner.11 The letter requested that if, in penetrating undiscovered lands, any friars should observe tribal peoples who showed signs of having been indoctrinated in the Catholic faith, to report this information to the archbishop in Mexico City. The nun they sought had even named certain unknown tribes which might serve as a clue. One was the "Titlas," thought by the archbishop to refer to the Tejas. The other was the Jumanos!
The new custodian, Father Perea, discussed the contents of the letter with the friars stationed at Mission San Antonio, who, as you can imagine, received the news with great jubilee. So Father Salas’ ability to decipher sign language had not been at fault! It had been his lack of faith. In the excited conversation that followed, the friars decided that the Jumanos (who still were camped at the mission) had undoubtedly been taught by the nun in question!
The historian Vetancourt"12 recounted that Father Garcia de San Francisco, one of the newly-arrived friars, brought with him a small portrait of Mother Luisa of Carrion, known in Spain for her sanctity and reported to have received the gift of bilocation. It was agreed to show this miniature to the emmisaries to see if they recognized her as their Lady in Blue. After examining the picture, they shook their heads. Their Lady in Blue was dressed the same, but she was younger and more beautiful. Since Mother Luisa was of the Franciscan Order of Poor Clares, this at least told the friars that the nun who came to them "not on a horse, but flying through the sky," belonged to their own Franciscan order.
Father Perea, naturally anxious to expand the work of conversion in his newly-appointed territory, agreed to make the exploratory trip at once. He asked for two friars to volunteer to accompany him and the tribal delegation on their journey back home. He pointed out the dangers of the wide wilderness, informing the friars he could only spare three soldiers to accompany them. Father Salas was the first to volunteer—perhaps trying to make amends for having refused their pleas for so many years. Knowing several dialects, he also had an advantage over the newly-arrived friars. The party would have to cross through the unfriendly territory of the dangerous Apache. The other priest chosen for the trip was Father Diego Lopes. Within a few days, the three priests, three soldiers, and fifty Jumanos were on their way.13
They traveled in an easterly direction at first, inclining southward after a few days. After they had been on the road for ten days, they reached what is now Wichita Falls, Texas, located on the Upper Red River. It was here that one of the strangest events of the entire Agreda saga took place.
The band of Spaniards and Jumanos were met by twelve ambassadors of the Jumano tribe. On meeting the priests, they knelt before them and kissed the hems of their robes. They then venerated the crosses the priests wore around their necks, doing so in a manner that suggested they had been taught how to do this. They explained they had come to meet their travel-weary tribesmen and to plead with them to return home as swiftly as possible because the water holes the Jumanos depended upon had dried up and the buffalo had left. Because of this their village was threatened with starvation. What was worse, their shamans had grown impatient because the travelers had been gone so long. As a result, mistrust had been bred among some who were alleging the Lady in Blue could not be relied upon. Hadn’t her priests repeatedly refused to help them? Moreover, the tribal shamans had predicted that the fifty who made the long trek through swamp and wilderness would never return. Because of this, they had ordered the entire Jumano village to strike tents on a specified morning and seek new hunting grounds. Under these circumstances the tribal members had no choice but to follow the shamans’ advice. And they would have, except for what happened next.
It was just before dawn when the Lady in Blue appeared before each of the Jumanos and urged them not to leave. She promised the priests were even now drawing near. She pleaded with them to wait just a little longer—only a few more days. She instructed them to send a group ahead to greet them, and even predicted the exact spot where the two groups of travelers would meet.
+ + +
Apparitions are known sometimes to be seen by a number of persons at once. In this case, however, each one saw the Lady in Blue as she appeared to them separately, or in the family units of their own tents. Were the appearances simultaneous or in continuum? Or is this even a valid question for an event occurring within a differentent space/time framework? Perhaps the event was what Professor William Tiller at Stanford refers to as occuring within negative space/time which is magnetoelectric rather than electromagnetic in nature, and in which movement does exceed the speed of light.14 Tiller and others appear close to understanding the physics of some of the more puzzling phenomena surrounding Agreda.
Beyond the mechanics of how Agreda managed to project her image to each of the Jumanos separately, is the amazing fact that she not only did so but succeeded in communicating the urgency of the situation. The Jumanos’ immediate response was to call a meeting of the tribe to decide whether or not to strike their tents and abandon the territory as the shamans had urged, or whether to believe the Lady in Blue and heed her implorings. As it turned out, they voted to select their twelve most trusted men, who immediately set out to learn if, as the Lady in Blue had insisted, the priests were on their way.15
Three days later, the twelve met the friars face-to-face. Although Father Salas could not as yet inform the Archbishop of Mexico who the Lady in Blue was, he at least could assure him that the letter from Spain had indeed told the truth: In some mysterious manner, tribal peoples were being instructed in the Christian faith, and by a brown-robed woman who also wore the blue cloak of the Poor Clares.
The scouts were so joyous that their tribe was to be visited by the long-awaited priests that they ran ahead to pass the word along to the entire tribe that the travelers would soon be returning, and to assure them that what the Lady in Blue had predicted indeed had happened. When the camp received this news, it made immediate preparations for a hearty welcome of the priests’ party.
The Lady in Blue appeared again, this time to help them garland two large wooden crosses which they planned to carry at the head of the celebration parade. This done, ten thousand Jumanos marched out to met Fathers Salas and Lopez and the returning tribal delegation.
One can only imagine the enthusiasm with which priests and returning Jumanos were met when they were encountered by the entire tribe at the exact wide spot to which the Lady in Blue had directed them, and where they had constructed a bower of branches and flowers to serve as altar for their first masses. The priests and accompanying soldiers adored the crosses the Jumanos carried. And when the priests drew out the crucifixes they wore about their necks, the Jumanos came up to kiss and venerate them with the same devotional gestures. Father Salas reported that this made such an impression on the soldiers that ever after that they adopted the habit of placing crosses outside their tents and emulating the Jumanos’ example of devotion.
Using appropriate signs, Father Salas asked the Jumanos if they wanted baptism. In one voice all shouted they did. The tribal leaders communicated that this was the purpose for which they had assembled. The priests then told the leaders to pass among the tribe and explain that those who wished to be baptized should raise their hands from the place where they stood so that the priests would know. Not a few, or even many, but all raised their hands, with mothers holding up the hands of the infants in their arms.
The friars remained at this campsite for several days, preaching and teaching the people to pray. The Jumanos were exact in their attendance, never being absent, neither for the morning nor the afternoon services. While the instructions were being given and masses said, messengers from other surrounding nations kept arriving to request that the priests visit their tribes and teach them also. They assured Father Salas that the same Lady in Blue had been their teacher as well. Just how the news was communicated was left to conjecture, but then primitive peoples seem never to have needed telephones!
Knowing they would have to shorten their visit in order to return to the San Antonio Mission for assistance and supplies, the two friars called all the people together for a final mass, promising to return and establish a permanent mission. Father Salas addressed them, as he always did, through sign language. They should go every day, he told them, to pray before a cross that had been placed on a pedestal in their village. God would help them, he promised.
As news of the priests’ soon departure spread, the unexpected again happened. At three o’clock in the afternoon the Jumanos began bringing their sick to be healed, and they continued doing so until ten o’clock the next morning. There were so many sick that all each priest could do was pass among them, making the sign of the cross over them. As this took place, Father Salas read from the gospel of Luke about how Jesus healed the sick. How the Jumanos understood these stories we are not told. Possibly the Lady in Blue was again present to them but not to the priests and served as their interpreter. Or could the words themselves have been secondary to a spiritual anointing under which the priests were functioning? Or could it have been the Jumanos’ heightened faith by which a magnetic field inducive to healing—a healing environment—was created? Perhaps it was not any one thing but all things working together to create an atmosphere in which healing could occur. Will healings such as described here and throughout the New Testament be understood one day not as supernatural but as occuring according to natural laws not presently understood?
However the Jumanos were healed, according to Father Salas the sick rose immediately, well and healed, with "More than two hundred . . . cured in this manner."
1. Leonard Shlain, The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, Penguin (N.Y.,
1998), p 384