By energy I mean “subtle energy” which in various cultures and languages and traditions has a multitude of names like chi, ki, prana, mana, orgone, quintessence, azoth etc… But for simplicity’s sake, I’m going to just say energy.
The concepts of subtle energy seem primarily rooted in eastern systems of metaphysics and cosmology. In most western metaphysics and esoterica from before the occult revival, there wasn’t much focus on it. In fact I would say the only recognition of subtle energy is when Agrippa mentions quintessence, the fifth element. Moving into the 20th century, energy becomes the thing, with it’s heyday really taking off in the 60’s and 70’s with the Aquarian arrival and the widespread blossoming of new age philosophy, theosophy and other organizations that are more influenced by Eastern metaphysical systems being blended into Western metaphysics.
Some people really embrace energy metaphysics. Other people see everything as energy, which can be a useful frame of reference for some things. Other groups reject it completely and see everything through a different lens, like spirits, or information, or psychological context. I personally see them all as useful frames of reference to work through them all at different times depending upon context and necessity. To me it just makes sense and has a certain usefulness when dealing with different situations. I also find it interesting how they can all overlap and interact. But this is post is about energy.
Energy is something that is really quite useful to work with in the modern culture that we live in. For one thing, thinking about energy is something that most countries and regions need to think about. How to move it, how to supply it, to whom it is supplied, and what the energy is sourced from. As technology advances energy slowly becomes more available to more people, we can see the effect of how energy production from various sources effects the environment, people and culture. What is interesting to me is that all of these physical productions of physical energy that is used to power technologically advanced areas and nations can also be sourced into for the kind of energy I’m talking about here. If you don’t believe me, tap into the spiritual power of electricity around you. Take some of it into you, carefully, and see how it’s power is available. Other people have tapped into the energy production from nuclear power and fossil fuels, but as time moves forward we also have solar, hydro electric, and wind power (hopefully) becoming more available and widespread. Of course, most spiritual practitioners will already be tapping into energy of the Sun, Water and Wind, albeit in different ways.
Of course, once you have that energy, it’s all a question of what do you want to do with it. While flinging lightning bolts around sounds fun (cause that would be awesome) there is so much more to do with energy then just that. The obvious first one that many people turn to is healing. So much so that “energy healing” is the phrase for various types of metaphysical healing. Although I find the exact combination of words kind of humorous (cause you’re healing energy?) even though I know it means that you’re healing with metaphysical energy, it is still very amusing to me. The next common thing is using that energy to produce results. The energy of the elements, or the undifferentiated energy of creation, or other energies can all be focused on achieving results of a more material focus. Gaining wealth, drawing love, influencing people, encouraging crops, creating protection etc… are the second most common use of energy. This is usually done by visualizing the energy, putting the intention into it and then sending it on it’s way to do it’s thing. While some energies are easily recognized and accepted within various metaphysical communities, there are some that are more modern. Like the energy of money. How do you visualize that? What about the energy of Love? The energy of beauty? Maybe you could draw from Earth, or Venus, or Water, but what about just those energies themselves, on their own. What about the energy of a curse? Or the energy of harmful spirit? If you can visualize that and make it work, you can easily just manipulate the energy of those things in ways that other people might see differently coming from a more tradition perspective. If you are being followed by a spirit of the dead, being able to manipulate the energy of the dead, or death could be a useful trick to have to limit it’s effectiveness, or change it around and send it away (or back).
Of course, the other side of working with energy is that it is very personal. It’s much more about the ability and skill of the practitioner then anything else. At least in working in other frames of reference, like spirits, where it’s more about the relationship of the spirits and the practitioner and keeping the favor of the spirits then anything, energy is much more individual focus. I think that is why energy is more popular and acceptable means of working in this 20th century western culture because we are so individualistic. We want to be distinct and different and do things on our own. Having to rely on spirits is much harder thing to deal with then just being able to “plug in” and complete the circuit. It’s much more mechanical then other methods. Information and psychology can also do that, but there is still something about energy that is more accessible. Energy is much more fluid, free form, spontaneous, more natural gift and talent that people are more desirable to have. It can also be a great way to explain various extra sensory phenomena, from divination to psychic intuitive and mediumship, whereas looking at them from other models doesn’t always work well with everything. Explaining everything as energy is just a useful frame for many things, and one of those frames is that of the personal practitioner, and their personal energy, and being able to connect with external energy.
As an exercise, pick something in front you, right now, and draw it’s energy into you. Do it gently. Give some of your energy to it, again, gentle. If you feel like you’re going to get a headache, you’re pushing too hard. Feel how that energy of the object is different from yours. Feel how the object changes when you put your energy into it.
Another exercise is to examine your own energy. Stop, and feel your energy. How does it feel right now? Do you like how it feels? If not, why? Now change it. Change the energy to match up with a perception of how you want it to feel. When you have changed your energy, how you do feel now? Is it different from before? Now, reach out to the source of pure cosmic energy within you. Some people see it as just from the top of their heads. I tend to see it as coming from the center of my being, a pinpoint of shining light deep within. Let that pure cosmic energy fill you. How do you feel now? Do you like that feeling? How is it different from before when you first felt your energy? How is it different from when you shaped your personal energy into something more desirable? Now collect that pure cosmic energy and form it into a sphere or ball. You can use your hands if you want, but you have to. Let the ball fill up and become dense. Then turn that energy into any other kind of energy that you may want. Then take the ball and either send it to someone, or fill yourself with it’s energy to charge you with it. Notice how being filled with that energy feels differently, but also how you interact differently with the world while filled with that energy. Try this exercise with different energy at different times or different days. Maybe even stack energies together, to see how they mingle and what effects they have.