One of my most recent book acquisitions is entitled Way of the Ancient Healer authored by Virgilio Mayor Apostol. The book is published internationally by North Atlantic Books (Berkeley, California) and just to emphasize the stature of the author in the publishing industry, one of the book’s reviewers is Deepak Chopra who says, “In the Way of the Ancient Healer, Virgil Mayor Apostol brilliantly blends the art and the science of the sacred teachings of Filipino traditional healing to help people find their path toward health and happiness”
There is an interesting passage in the book which I think succinctly summarizes the subject of oracions and anting-anting and the inherent challenge the seeker must hurdle to give meaning to and obtain personal empowerment from the practices surrounding them. I’m quoting the entire passage here for your benefit:
“Some believe that the Philippines is one of the few places in the world that has retained the esoteric practices of the oracion to a high degree, which is very alive throughout the country. (Emphasis mine.)
“The oracion has a scientific counterpart in that sound in the form of spoken words carries a vibration that entrains on a molecular level. If this vibration is backed by intention, the spiritual meaning of the actual words will have a greater impact. The oracion is much stronger if you have a “direct” spiritual connection to the Universal Consciousness of God or Goddess. But how do you know if you have this direct connection? I offer an answer in the form of a question: What does it mean to be the light, as opposed to just being a mirror reflecting that light?
“Religious icons, whether symbolic through paintings, handcrafted or naturally occurring objects, were inspired by spiritual, philosophical thought. To the ancients, there was no such division between religion and spirituality. The loss of spirituality has degraded human thought to the denser, material level, so that when one sees a religious icon, they are biased into thinking in terms of the physical, which, to them, has no spiritual relevance. This, in turn, has limited humans into fabricating doctrines that demean such icons when people are not fully aware of what was once a harmonious perspective between the physical and spiritual realms.
“Although one may possess one or several amulets, the question of whether they work for the individual depends on their devotion to fulfilling the criteria that would make them so. The umber one criteria is the intention. An instrument may have the potential to play beautiful music, but without the intent of playing it, that instrument merely becomes part of the individual’s collection of material things. Likewise, if that individual does not posses the knowledge or understanding of the ways these amulets were treated, activated, and fed, or even a connection with the culture where they come from, that individual may develop a need for collecting amulets to simply fulfill the desire of obtaining the energy of what these amulets represents.” (Pages 191-192)