The term “singularity” is used to denote the point where an extreme or transcendent change becomes possible. So there are mathematical, gravity, and technological singularities. They all mark break-off points, openings to new realities. I want to introduce the idea of a human singularity—a person whose life has features that point to new dimensions of function, of being, and of value.
For example, Ze Arigo, the Brazilian healer, died in an auto accident in 1971 at the age of 49. An overwhelming mass of facts suggests that this man may be described as a human singularity. (Similarly, I reported the case of Joseph of Copertino in The Man Who Could Fly (2016). )
Arigo was a poor working man of peasant origins who began to have headaches for no apparent reason. Something was trying to get through to him, and he was unconsciously resisting it, hence the headaches. It was “Dr. Fritz” calling on Arigo, the spirit of a German Doctor said to have died in 1918.
Dr. Fritz took possession of Arigo’s body and spoke with a guttural German accent. Arigo ultimately came to regard Dr. Fritz as Christ consciousness. Whatever “Fritz” was, it had one task, which was to use Arigo’s body to heal the sick and needy. And this is exactly what came about for the remainder of his life.
Take the event that led to Arigo’s immediate rise to fame. A distinguished Senator Lucio Bittencourt had stopped in a hotel in Congonhas do Campo where Arigo lived and the two men met, Arigo on behalf of the local miners. Bittencourt was so taken with Arigo that he invited him to take a room in his hotel, so they could carry on their talks. When he retired, Bittencourt was unable to sleep; he had in fact recently been informed that he had lung cancer.
Dozing restlessly, suddenly a man broke into the Senator’s room, turned on the light, brandishing a razor, and announced that an operation was necessary. It was Arigo, eyes glazed and speaking with a pronounced German accent. The senator felt no fear but blacked out. When he woke up he found blood on his pajamas and a healed incision on his back. He rose and staggered toward Arigo’s room, looking for an explanation. Arigo was as surprised as the senator. He had no idea that he had just cured the senator suffering from lung cancer. But, in a state of entrancement, he did. It was in the newspapers the following day, and Arigo was suddenly known all over Brazil.
This was the beginning of a public career of twenty years made famous for his healings. His office consisted of a few tables and chairs in some shacks with long lines of indigent, as well as distinguished, patients, all waiting their turn. Arigo treated about 300 patients a day, and most of the treatments lasted about three minutes. He treated all kinds of conditions, from cataracts to cancer. There were two kinds of treatment--operations and prescriptions.
The prescriptions were preceded by diagnoses achieved almost instantly, with a glance. And with a glance, Arigo gave exact blood pressure readings of patients. The prescriptions were written with lightning speed, and in the suitably scientific pharmaceutical lingo. They were completely original and strange, mixtures and quantities of drugs that no physician would conceive or dare to prescribe; nevertheless, they worked.
Arigo had no medical knowledge, training, or experience whatsoever. And he had no recollection of writing them. This process of diagnosis and prescription writing was performed and observed thousands of times. For all the weirdness of the prescriptions they never caused any harm or ill effects. And they brought positive helps and cures, often of fatal diseases. Clearly, these are impossible performances, in manner and effect, unless we posit some extra mode or dimension of reality unknown to present science.
The second type of treatment were operations. John Fuller called Arigo “the surgeon of the rusty knife.” His operations were positively surreal. Nothing could be more wrong, indeed, horrific, as to how he performed surgery on his patients. To begin with, septically: Arigo would take his penknife, or any handy blade lying around, however filthy, and roughly plunge it into the flesh of his patients, rapidly carving and pulling out diseased tissues.
Patients never felt pain (although they sometimes appeared uncomfortable) and, incredibly, were never infected. Bleeding was minimal and Arigo could stop the bleeding with a command. The wounds rapidly healed, without stitches.
Once the operation was over, the gruff martinet, “Dr. Fritz,” became the amiable, easy-going Arigo with his pious wife and brood of handsome children. How all the rules of reality can be broken while producing such healing marvels is a mystery—signs of a human singularity.
Arigo was singular in his purity of purpose. He never took money or gifts for his healings; he had no choice in the matter; the force compelling him was transcendent. To profit from his gift would be sacrilege; during his whole career he worked at menial jobs to support his large family.
Arigo gained a vast following, a grateful populace, and a no less grateful class of distinguished people. He restored the sight of the son of the famous singer, Roberto Carlos. He cured a kidney disorder of the daughter of the President of Brazil, Juscilino Kubitschek, who was himself a surgeon. The condition that Arigo cured in her had stymied doctors in Europe and America.
But besides friends and admirers, Arigo also acquired enemies, powerful ones, too; the State, the medical profession, and the Catholic Church were all against him. The State would try and jail him twice because he was patently guilty of breaking the law, which forbade “the practice of illegal medicine.” He had no degrees, diplomas, or certificates; he just performed miracles.
The medical profession was against Arigo for legal reasons, and for reasons of incredulity and jealousy and perhaps fear, when in fact a little curiosity would have been an appropriate response; fortunately, many physicians did observe him on the job.
The Church decided that only bona fide Catholics are allowed to perform miracles. If you’re, say, a Kardec-style Spiritualist (popular in Brazil), or keen on some other spiritual discipline, miracles got you into trouble. The Church attacked Arigo and accused him of witchcraft and profiteering, both lies.
Arigo always asked his friends to pray for his enemies, and he served them and strangers for free and with love. Arigo actually behaved like a saint is often said to. Judged and jailed twice, his better friends prevailed, and he was back playing the part assigned to him by the mysterious Dr. Fritz. The tide turned. Plans and appropriations were in motion to expand his facilities and bring in a team of scientists to study Arigo, who welcomed the idea.
But fate here took a sinister turn. It was early January, 1971, and President Kubitschek and Arigo had a meeting. Arigo explained, as he had to others, that for the past weeks he’d been dreaming of a “black crucifix,” and that this was their last meeting. He predicted he would soon die a violent death. On January 11, his car skidded on a rainy road into a truck that killed him.
The story of Dr. Fritz gets weirder. He apparently needs to keep working for the poor and unattended, and has taken possession, reportedly, of at least three other men to carry on his posthumous crusade of supernormal healing.
Two of those also predicted their violent deaths and died violently. A third is alive today, performing impossibles—but also awaiting his violent curtailment. It gets curioser and curioser. One way to look at it. “Dr. Fritz,” a compelling entity, operates from outside our reality-system; the persons it uses to accomplish its ends are then disposed of—their reward?
Without delay, they are dispatched to the world of Dr. Fritz: a planet we can call Transcendent X. Arigo’s life was a full-blown singularity; in other words, a transition point to a new dimension of creative being.
The book to read here is John Fuller’s Arigo: Surgeon of the Rusty Knife. Also, Google Arigo and Henry Puharich, to observe some of the operations and Puharich’s stunning talk on Arigo.