By Luis S.R. Vas
Broadway Book Centre
Review submitted by: Ernest Pereira <email@example.com>
I have always been fascinated by the story of this eminent Goan and could identify with him since, like him, I too was uprooted at a young age from Goa. Faria sailed to Lisbon in his mid-teens in mid-18th century and then to Rome where had to learn Italian and Latin while studying for the priesthood. He did well enough in his studies to be invited by the pope to preach to him in his private chapel. No wonder he was tongue-tied when, back in Lisbon, he had to preach to the Portuguese royalty and had to be rescued by his father with the whispered command: ‘Kator re baji’.
Racism ensured he could not advance in his ecclesiastical career in Portugal and decided to flee to France where he was caught in the French Revolution and did research in hypnosis, first earning plaudits, then ridicule and ostracism, dying in penury but not until he had published a defence of his theories in a book on Lucid Sleep.
Alexander Dumas turned him into a character in a novel but had the gall to insist tha Faria dis not exist except in Dumas’ imagination. But Faria had his revenge: when Dumas died he was buried in the same cemetery as Faria.
I can recommend this book to anyone for the following reasons: firstly, it is based on reliable sources like D.G. Dalgado ( Faria‘s original biographer) Noizet( Faria‘s disciple) and Faria himself. Besides it makes several contributions to a better understanding of Faria – a) it features Faria‘s sermon delivered before the pope, translated for the first time into English; b) it incorporates a summary of Faria‘s book on Lucid Sleep in Faria‘s own words. This is important because Faria‘s book is very difficult to wade through even for a specialist, but the summary contains the essence of his theory and practice and is accessible even to a layman; c) this book shows how the Kator Re Baji incident led Faria to discover the power of hypnotic suggestion. This has never been done before. And lastly if you want to try to hypnotise yourself using Faria‘s methods you can do so by following instructions on pages 78-80.
Also, the book has quite a few pages of interesting photographs, some rare.
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