by Patrick Quanten MD
We have talked a lot about the energy of Life in various ways. We have found science embracing the human energy field as a fact, although the Authorities prefer to hang on to the more economically viable model they are exploiting at the moment. We have explored mind and spirit, and have learned from ancient belief systems. But maybe it is still all a bit confusing to you. Maybe it is time to try and put a more Western intonation into the language of energy medicine.
Everything that is alive pulsates with energy and all of this energy contains information. Your physical body is surrounded by an energy field, which is both an information centre and a highly sensitive perceptual system through which we are in constant communication with everything that surrounds us. Messages travel back and forth between the individual and other humans as well as all living organisms, including plants, insects and "germs". But equally we communicate all the time with rocks, soil, air, planets and stars. We communicate with everything that is alive.
The human energy field contains and reflects each individuals' energy that has been created by all your personal experiences, starting from before the conception. It is this force that shapes and influences the physical tissue within the body. Experiences that carry emotional energy include: past and present relationships, both personal and professional; profound or traumatic experiences and memories; and belief patterns and attitudes, including all spiritual and superstitious beliefs. The emotions from these experiences become encoded in the biological systems and contribute to the formation of cell tissue, which then generates a quality of energy that reflects those emotions. Positive and negative experiences register a memory in cell tissue as well as in the energy field. As neurobiologist Dr Candace Pert has proven, neuropeptides - the chemicals triggered by emotions - are thoughts converted in matter. Our emotions reside physically in our bodies and interact with our cells and tissues. In fact, Dr Pert can no longer separate the mind from the body, she says, because the same kind of cells that manufacture and receive emotional chemistry in the brain are present throughout the body. Sometimes the body responds emotionally and manufactures emotional chemicals even before the brain has registered a problem.
In order to start understanding and exploring the human energy system, you must trust your gut responses. To give you a head start make sure you always remember and adhere to the following three principles.
1 Biography becomes Biology
We are all living history books. Our bodies contain all there is and ever was in our lives. As our lives unfold, our health becomes a living, breathing statement that conveys our hopes, fears, strengths and weaknesses.
All our thoughts first appear as energy. The thoughts that carry emotional, mental, psychological, or spiritual energy produce biological responses that are then stored in our cellular memory. This way no information is ever lost, and it is all written down in the state of balance the cells, the organs and the whole physical body appears.
Very often when we start to feel that something is wrong with our health the medical tests show nothing. We are told that everything is fine, yet we "know" that it isn't. We are sent home - not to worry - only to have to return because that feeling is not going away. More and more tests will eventually start to become abnormal, showing the physical registration of an energetic imbalance.
But equally, more and more these days doctors tell us that we are ill when we feel perfectly all right. "Your cholesterol is up; your blood pressure is high; your thyroid is low". The idea that a test, of which the result is compared with a statistical average is going to tell an individual whether or not he/she is ill, is ill-conceived. The only test that is going to give you a straight answer is the "gut-test". What does it feel like, to you?
Now then. It is very easy to learn something new and apply that knowledge only casually. The idea that biography becomes biology implies that we participate in the creation of illness. This is correct; but hey, don't let it blow your mind! People rarely choose consciously to create an illness. Illnesses develop as a consequence of behavioural patterns and attitudes that we don't realise are biologically toxic until they have already become so. Only when illness forces us to review our attitudes do we come close to comprehending that our day to day fearful or bitter attitudes are, in fact, biologically negative substances. In order to actually create disease, negative emotions have to be dominant; singular negative feelings do not cause biological problems. What accelerates the process is knowing the negative thought to be toxic but giving it permission to thrive in your consciousness anyway. For instance, you may feel extremely angry with someone. Instead of forgiving, you persist to be angry, telling yourself that you have a right to be angry for everything he did. Remaining obsessively angry makes you more likely to develop a disease. In fact, dwelling on the past in general makes it more likely, as you will be transmitting energy into the past which drains power away from your present day body. This could lead to a lack of energy and consequently illness.
Power is essential for healing and for maintaining health. Attitudes that generate a feeling of powerlessness not only lead to low self-esteem, but also deplete the physical body of energy and weaken overall health.
2 Personal Power
For any kind of therapy to succeed, the patient must have an internal concept of power, an ability to generate internal energy, such as a belief in his/her self-sufficiency. Power is at the root of the human experience. Our attitudes and belief patterns, whether positive or negative, are all extensions of how we define, use, or do not use power. Many people who lose something that represents power to them - money, or a job; or a game - or who lose someone on whom their sense of self or power is vested - a spouse or lover, a parent or child - develop a disease. Our relationship to power is at the core of our health.
Power mediates between our internal and external worlds, and as it does so, it communicates in a language of symbol. Consider, for example, the most common symbol of power, money. When a person internalises money as a symbol of power, its acquisition and control becomes symbolic of that persons health. When she acquires money, her biological system receives the signals that power is coming into her body. This generates health. But equally losing it, will result in illness. This is why there is a link between poverty and a higher disease rate. Poverty leaves a lot of people feeling powerless, and it is that feeling that, translated into biological terms, creates ill-health, not the lack of financial resources itself.
Our lives are structured around power symbols: money, authority, title, beauty, security. The people who fill our lives and the choices we make each moment are expressions and symbols of our personal power. We often hesitate to challenge a person who we believe holds more power than we do, and we frequently agree to things because we believe we haven't the power to refuse.
We need to become conscious of what gives us power. Healing from any illness is facilitated by identifying your power symbols and you relationship to them. Becoming aware of them and listening to any messages relating to them is an essential key to health.
3 You Alone
"I am responsible for the creation of my health. I therefore participated, at some level, in the creation of this illness. I can participate in the healing of this illness by healing myself, which means simultaneously healing my emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual being."
Healing and curing are not the same thing (See "Healing versus Curing"). Briefly, a "cure" means that one has successfully controlled the progression of an illness. Curing a physical disease does not necessarily mean that the emotional and psychological (energetic) reasons for the illness have been removed, which means that the illness, in some form or another, will return. The process of curing is entirely passive and external (it happens around you); healing on the other hand is a very active and internal process. It involves an internal review of attitudes, memories and beliefs with a desire to release all the negative patterns. This leads to the conclusion that a person can be healed, whilst continuing to suffer and maybe even die.
Conventional medicine has a very passive attitude towards power. The treatments do not require a conscious participation on the part of the patient, beyond the co-operation of actually taking the tablets. When a person is passive, he/she cannot fully heal. There may be a recovery, but no healing can take place as there is no active change in the field that has expressed itself in this particular biological way, the specific disease. In other words, the source of the physical disease, that which created it in the first place, has not changed. In the long term, that can only be changed by the person who has the power, and that is, whether you like it or not, yourself. And only you!
Matter and Spirit
We are simultaneously matter and spirit. In order to understand ourselves and be healthy in both body and spirit, we have to understand how matter and spirit interact. What drains your spirit drains your body. What fuels your spirit fuels your body. The power that fuels our bodies, our minds, and our hearts does not originate in our DNA. DNA is a material software programme which contains all information our system holds. It is the radio-receiver that picks up energetic information from our external and internal environment and transcribes it into matter (See "Life - but not as we know it").
The source of human consciousness, spirit, or power is considered Divine in most religious and cultural traditions, from the ancient Ayurvedic and Hindu teachings to the Chinese and Mayan. The thread common to all spiritual myths is that human beings are compelled to merge their bodies with the essence of God. In belief systems around the world, conceptions of the Divine's spiritual nature reflect the best human qualities and characteristics. And today many spiritual seekers are trying to infuse their daily lives with a heightened consciousness of the sacred, striving to act as if each of their attitudes expressed their spiritual essence. Such conscious living is a request for personal spiritual authority. As we become more conscious and recognise the impact of our thoughts and attitudes - our internal life - upon our physical bodies and external lives, we no longer need to conceive of an external parent-God that creates for us and on whom we are fully dependent. As spiritual adults we accept responsibility for co-creating our lives and our health.
Eastern religions teach that the human body contains seven energy centres. Each of these energy centres contain a universal spiritual life-lesson that we must learn as we evolve into higher consciousness. At each stage we gain a more refined understanding of personal and spiritual power. As a person masters each lesson, he gains power and self-knowledge that become integrated into his spirit, advancing him along the path toward spiritual consciousness.
The same seven levels are found in the Christian sacraments, the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah, and the Hindu chakra system. Merging Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and Jewish spiritual traditions into one system with common sacred truths constitutes a powerful system of guidance that can enhance our minds and bodies and show us how to manage our spirits within the world.
Level 1: We are interconnected with all of life and to one another. Each of us must learn to honour this truth. The Tribal chakra resonates to our need to honour familial bonds and to have a code of honour within ourselves. Your bond to your biological family is symbolic of your connection to everyone and all that is life. Violating this energetic bond by, for instance, considering those who are different from us to be less than us creates conflict within our spirit and therefore within our physical body. Accepting and acting according to the basic truth All is One is a universal spiritual challenge.
In the actual Christian sacrament of Baptism, a family makes a twofold commitment. First, it accepts its physical responsibility for the new life that has been born into it, and second, all members accept their responsibility to teach the child spiritual principles. Fulfilling these responsibilities creates a strong foundation of faith and truth upon which one can rely throughout life. For a spiritual adult the sacrament of Baptism as a symbol caries two other commitments. First, we have a spiritual need to accept fully our family of origin as having been "Divinely chosen" for teaching us the lessons we need to learn in this lifetime. Second, we commit ourselves to accepting personal responsibility for living honourably as a member of the human tribe, for doing unto others as we would have them do unto us, and for respecting all life on this earth. By fulfilling these commitments, we are, in essence, baptising ourselves and honouring our own lives.
Physical dysfunctions relating to this level include chronic lower back pain, sciatica, varicose veins, rectal tumours, depression and immune related disorders.
Level 2: From the partnership chakra we receive the power to act with integrity and honour within all our relationships, from marriage to friendship to professional bonds. This energy is particularly active because it resonates in all financial and creative activity. Integrity and honour are necessary for health. When we violate our honour or compromise it in any way, we contaminate our spirits and our physical bodies.
The sacrament of Communion radiates into our system the truth that each person with whom we share a union is a part of our lives by Divine design. That some of these "unions" are painful is a necessity. Everyone in your life plays a role essential to your development. Your challenge is to become mature enough to recognise and live by this truth. It is unnatural to view people as enemies or to be an enemy yourself. We cannot see the Divine in a union that we choose to interpret negatively.
Yesod represents our energy need to form sacred unions with other human beings, unions from which the continuation of life comes. We are spiritually driven to connect with the sacred within other people, to merge souls with a partner. We violate our own spirits when we fail to honour our vows to others within a sacred union or when we dishonourably break these vows. Life does sometimes require us to reconsider our covenants, and divorces in marriage as well as in other unions do occur. The act of divorce in itself is not dishonourable; but we are meant to be conscious about the manner in which we conduct ourselves during the process of recanting a vow.
Physical dysfunctions relating to this level include chronic lower back pain, sciatica, gynaecological and obstetrical problems, pelvic pain, sexual potency problems and urinary problems.
Level 3: This chakra contains our survival intuition, our sense that protects us when we are in physical danger and alerts us to the negative energy and actions of other people. We violate this energy when we disregard our gut instincts.
The symbolic meaning of the sacrament of Confirmation is the acceptance of responsibility for the quality of person we become. Part of the process of becoming conscious of ourselves is an initiation experience or a "coming of age" ceremony. The spirit requires such an experience or ceremony as a marker for emergence into adulthood; when this marker is absent, a conscious or unconscious negative impression or void manifests itself in psychological weaknesses. Some of these manifestations are: a continual need for approval of other people, which can give rise to unhealthy identification with gangs, cults, or other inappropriate groups; an inability to appreciate oneself; and an inability to develop a healthy sense of oneself as an individual.
Equally important is the role of self-esteem in healing and in maintaining a healthy body. When we lack self-esteem, our relationships with others are temporary and fragile states of intimacy. We continually fear abandonment because the terror of being alone drives our actions. To confirm oneself - to consciously develop and acknowledge a personal code of honour - is crucial to the creation of a healthy body.
The power to maintain strength and stamina beyond the capacity of the physical body alone awakens when we accept our life as it is. We lose this power when we focus on what is missing from life, or when we see life as empty and meaningless and need to learn to accept our personal responsibility for having created it. The energy of Hod is enhanced by developing an attitude of appreciation and gratitude for all one has, and for the gift of life itself.
Physical dysfunctions relating to this level include arthritis, gastric or duodenal ulcers, colon and intestinal problems, pancreatic problems such as diabetes, indigestion, eating disorders, liver dysfunction, hepatitis and adrenal dysfunction.
Level 4: This energy centre is the central power point within the human energy system, the symbolic doorway to our internal world.
The energy of this chakra communicates to us the knowledge that love is the only authentic power. Not only our minds and spirits but our physical bodies require love to survive and thrive. We violate this energy when we act toward others in unloving ways. When we harbour negative emotions towards others or toward ourselves, or when we intentionally create pain for others, we poison our own physical and spiritual systems. By far the strongest poison to the human spirit is the inability to forgive oneself or another person. It disables a persons' emotional resources. The challenge inherent within this chakra is to refine our capacity to love others as well as ourselves and to develop the power of forgiveness.
The sacrament of Marriage brings into our lives the need and responsibility to explore love. First we must love ourselves, and our first marriage must be a symbolic one: a commitment to attend consciously to our own emotional needs, in order to be able to love and accept others unconditionally. Learning to love ourselves is a challenge to all of us; none of us is born loving ourselves. We have to work hard at it. When we neglect ourselves emotionally, we not only become emotionally toxic, we bring that toxin into all our relationships, particularly into an actual marriage.
We are, by nature, compassionate beings who thrive in an atmosphere of tranquility and harmony. These energies are essential to physical health as well as to emotional development. When the heart is not filled with the vital energies of love and harmony, no amount of money and power can keep it tranquil. An empty heart creates an empty life, often resulting in illness - a concrete expression of disharmony that hopefully will get the minds attention. Violations of the heart must be rectified, or healing will be impossible.
Physical dysfunctions relating to this level include congestive heart failure, heart attack, mitral valve prolapse, cardiomegaly, asthma, allergy, lung cancer, bronchial pneumonia, upper back and shoulder pain, breast cancer.
Level 5: Everyone of us has some awareness that we were born for a specific purpose, that Life contains a Divine plan. The fifth chakra is the centre of that awareness and for our desire to make contact with the Divine plan.
As we mature, we all try to build our lives according to our own will. First we separate from our parents; we establish our own independence, and we seek a career. Then, inevitably, some event or crisis occurs. Perhaps an occupation does not unfold according to plan; or a marriage does not work out; or an illness develops. Regardless of the specific crisis, we find ourselves in a situation that forces us to confront the limitations of our own inner resources that prevent us from successfully completing our plans. Once we are in that inevitable situation, we ponder the question: "What am I meant to do with my life?". This sets the stage for aligning our will to the Divine plan - the most profound choice we can make. That one choice, made in faith and trust, allows Divine authority to enter our lives and reorder our struggles into successes and our wounds into strengths. While we may or may not consciously desire to surrender our personal will to Divine authority, we are sure to encounter numerous opportunities to do so.
The sacrament of Confession communicates to our systems the knowledge that it is against our natural design to distort truth. Lying is a violation of both body and spirit because the human energy system identifies lies as poison. Spirit and body alike require honesty and integrity to thrive. For that reason we inherently need to rid ourselves of all distortions we have created. Confession is symbolic of purging all that is not honourable within us. It heals the damage we create by the misuse of our will power.
We receive the natural instinct and the spiritual directive to speak in ways that do not harm others. Communication using this quality of energy is effortless; we violate it and poison ourselves when we do not speak the truth. Indeed, we must not confess our wrongdoings to others if doing so will hurt them further. We are meant to confess so that we can redirect our energy into positive actions and behaviour, and release ourselves from the burden of negative and guilt inducing emotions. We are not designed to be critical of others or ourselves; we think ill of others only out of fear. To release words that hurt others contaminates both that person and ourselves, and our physical body holds it responsible for this form of destruction. Our inborn knowledge of responsibility generates the guilt we often feel from our negative acts, which is why we are compelled to seek confession in order to heal.
We should never intentionally judge another person or ourselves negatively. Negative judgements create negative consequences, both in the body and in the external environment.
Physical dysfunctions relating to this level include a raspy throat, chronic sore throat, mouth ulcers, gum difficulties, temporomandibular joint problems, scoliosis, laryngitis, swollen glands and thyroid problems.
Level 6: From the Mind chakra we receive the energy to search for the answers to the mysteries we encounter. The energy pulsating from this chakra continually directs us to evaluate the truth and integrity of our beliefs. As we instinctively know from birth, to have faith in anything or in anyone that lacks integrity contaminates our spirits and bodies.
We mature in our beliefs, step by step, experience after experience. The energy form this chakra is relentlessly pushing us to let go of perceptions that are untrue. When we act against this energy, consciously blocking deeper truths from entering our mental field, our perceptual system clouds over.
The sacrament of Ordination, in the literal sense, is the act of being made a priest and officially taking up the life task of channelling the sacred. We all want our contributions to other peoples' lives to be valuable and meaningful. No matter our life's task - healer, parent, scientist, farmer, good friend - we can become vessels for Divine energy. Symbolically, we attain ordination when those with whom we live or work recognise that the contributions we make are beneficial to their personal or spiritual growth. Striving to become supportive and non-judgemental of the people with whom we live or work also creates a channel within us for Divine energy. Each one of us has the potential to become such a Divine channel, to be of service to others by reflecting sacred energy, which is a contemporary definition of priesthood.
Hokhmah helps us learn to balance reason and judgement, to keep us aligned with truth, and to make decisions that create the best consequences for ourselves and those with whom we interact.
The more we can release our learned tendency to judge, the more we open our minds to a quality of understanding that is Divine in origin. Human reasoning can never answer the mysteries of our lives. It can never explain the complexity of why things happen as they do.
Physical dysfunctions relating to this level include brain tumours, brain haemorrhage and stroke, neurological disturbances, blindness and deafness, full spinal difficulties, learning disabilities and seizures.
Level 7: The Spirit chakra tells us that our spirit is eternal. We are more than our physical bodies, a truth that can comfort us during the many closures of life that are part of the human experience. Our bodies' apparent relation to chronological time is only an illusion (See "The Flow of Time"), one that our spirits are tasked with revealing. It is unnatural to our Divine design to let our thoughts live for too long in the past; such an imbalance creates time warps that interfere with our ability to live in the present and receive spiritual guidance each day. That guidance will make no sense to us if we focus only on unravelling the mysteries of yesterday. If we live fully in the present moment, the mysteries of yesterday will gradually be unravelled for us.
The need to live in the present moment is supported by the sacrament of Extreme Unction. This sacrament was created to help people release their spirit prior to death. Symbolically, this sacrament recognises our need to call back our spirit, to finish our unfinished business, at various points in life. The energy of this sacrament gives us the ability to release our past experiences in order not to "carry the dead with us". The power and symbolism of this sacrament is therefore not limited to the end of life. Biologically, and spiritually, we need to bring all things to closure, and we can call on this sacramental energy to help us do so. After any painful and traumatic experience, we always receive internal guidance that can help us release the past and move on with our lives. When we choose to keep the past more alive than the present, we interfere with the flow of the life force. We distort the "present" because we begin to view everything happening "today" through the past, thereby weakening our bodies and spirits.
From our connection to the world of the infinite we receive the knowledge that there is no death, there is only life. No one has gone before us whom we will not meet again - that is a Divine promise. We are meant to rest in the comfort and power of that sacred truth.
Physical dysfunctions relating to this level include energetic disorders, mystical depression, chronic exhaustion that is not linked to a physical disorder, extreme sensitivities to light, sound, and other environmental factors.
We are born knowing these seven sacred truths. Indeed, each of us essentially is a "biological edition" of them. We are taught variations of these truths again as children through our tribes' religious practices. And even if we are not consciously taught these truths, they awaken in us automatically - in our guts, in our minds, in our sense of the natural order of life. As we mature, we come to understand the content of these truths with ever more clarity and depth, and we are increasingly able to respond to their messages.
The truths contained in the scriptural teachings of the different religious traditions are meant to unite us, not separate us. Literal interpretation creates separation, whereas symbolic interpretation - seeing that all of them address the identical design of our spiritual natures - brings us together. As we shift our attention away from the external world and into the internal one, we learn symbolic sight. Within, we are all the same, and the spiritual challenges we face are all the same. Our external differences are illusionary and temporary, mere physical props.
Our physical ailments are only expressions of imbalances and poisons within our spirits. Covering those ailments up or "curing" the disease on a chemical physical level will not bring about any useful changes within the spirit. It therefore cannot contribute at all to the enhancement of spiritual experiences which we need in order to grow to understand. Physical health and spiritual health are intrinsically linked, and cannot be separated.
Based on: "Anatomy of the Spirit" by Caroline Myss, Ph.D.