Concept of Energy & Spirit
Remember longevity has been the most cherished virtue in the eyes of great masters, for them, a long life meant that one had successfully integrated himself with the ever-flowing vital energy, a short life meant failure. Therefore, the primary goal of all system of exercise is to prolong life. According to western science, the source of our body’s energy mostly comes from the ingestion of food. Using oxygen as fuel, the food is “burned up”, and through a complex chemical reaction the food energy is stored as ATP (adenine tri-phosphate) in the cells’ of mitochondria. But this energy is usually only sufficient for maintaining life’s basic functions, and cannot supply extra energy for reversing a disordered state. Going from order to disorder is usually accompanied by a consumption of energy. Therefore going from disorder to order requires extra energy. Creatine phosphate is responsible for the basic work done by the body, and this comes in small dosage, depending upon the strength and elasticity of the muscle tissues, etc. When fatigue comes in, the body goes from order to disorder state, and then one requires different types of supplement to bring it to order.
Concept of Energy in Eastern Science: it says Chi/Qi (in Chinese), prana (in Indian), ki (in Japanese) or pneuma (in Greek), the internal energy is described as a HEAT in the human body. Human body can be compared with car engine. Fuel vaporizes & generates chemical heat, which is converted into mechanical heat. Due to friction some of the energy remains as heat in the mechanism. The delicate human physiology is more complex than this mechanical process. Heart, Brain, Lung, Blood circulation, respond to outside environment, and consumes certain amount of calories. This heat comes from food, consumed digested and assimilated & undergoes a certain process of chemical change as does the fuel in the engine. It combines with Oxygen & Glucose molecules, which have been absorbed from the food into the blood, & becomes heat. Thus Qi is not separate from BLOOD, (the blood is not an isolated drop of blood but rather a dynamic process related to the activity of the blood & the physiological process as well) & BLOOD is not separate from Qi. Thus Qi transfers the oxygen which is inhaled by the lungs & nutrition which is absorbed from the digestive system to each & every cell of the entire body & allows oxidation & generation of heat, at the same time it eliminates the ‘WASTE QI’. Qi has a wider and more general definition; it does not refer only to the energy circulating in the human body, it can be generally defined as any type of energy, which is able to demonstrate power and strength. This energy can be electricity, magnetism, heat or light.
Analogy of body and machine: If one looks carefully, one can see that the elements of one’s physical body such as the organs, nerves blood and even every tiny cell are all like separate machines, each with their own unique function. Just like electric motors, if there is no current in them, they are dead. If one compares the routes of the blood circulatory system, the nervous system, and the lymphatic system with the course of Qi channels, one can see that there is a great deal of correspondence. This is simply because Qi is the energy needed to keep them all alive and functioning. The body is like a factory, inside the body, there are many organs, which correspond to machines, which required processing the raw material into finish product (life). The Qi is analogous to electric current, which the factory power plant obtains it from coal or oil. The factory has many wires connecting the power plant to machines, and other wires connecting telephones, intercoms, and computers. There are many conveyer belts, elevators, wagons, and trucks to move material from one place to another. So also in human body, there are intestines, blood vessels, complex network of nerves, Qi channels to facilitate the supply of blood, sensory information, etc. Unlike the factory, different machines require different levels of current, same with one’s internal organs, when the Qi level running in them is either too positive or too negative, then it will be damaged or it will degenerate more rapidly. When the organs are supplied with the proper amount of Qi, they will not be overheated. Qi is much more complex than just power supply in a factory, since humans have feelings and feelings have major influence on the Qi circulation, whereas a machine cannot influence its power supply.
Electromagnetic Force: (In order to have electric circulation, there must be an electromotive force (EMF). Without EMF, the electric potential in the circuit will be the same throughout, and an electric current will not occur. Hence the same principle applies with the EMF in the human circuit. In Qigong training or pranayam, one is training to increase EMF through proper intake of food, air, Qigong exercises and relax, natural and focused thought).
- 1. The influence of natural energy: the EMF generated in the human body circuit can be affected by external energy interference, e.g. the sun, the moon, planetary transitions, eclipse, etc. Alternatively one may expose one’s body to radioactive areas or even an electromagnetic field (such as computers, laptop, microwave, etc.) which can influence the electrical circulation in the body.
- 2. Conversion of food and air essence: Whenever food and air are taken in, they are converted into bioelectric energy. This increase of electricity will generate EMF for circulation.
- 3. Exercises: Whenever one move his/her muscles, part of the stored essence in the body is converted into electricity and generates an EMF in the exercised areas.
- 4. Mind: The mind plays an important role in the generation of EMF. The mind leads electricity to the limbs to energize the muscle tissues.
The flow of electricity can be reduced when the muscles are tightened or the structure of the channels (conductive tissue) is changed, this is called Qi stagnation. Tightening the muscles increases resistance to the flow of electricity and thereby causes an increase in temperature, due to biochemical reaction generated by the mind, or possibly a change in the conductive tissue. The electric circulation can also be significantly affected when the conductive tissue is contaminated with material of low conductivity such as fats or toxins. Hence relaxation is able to increase electrical circulation, or acupuncture. When a needle or a magnet, is placed or inserted, the electrical field in that area is stimulated or sedated. It may also convert fats and toxins, into heat and therefore open up the clogged path, allowing the energy to flow smoothly.
Relation between Heat and Electricity: If Qi is electromagnetic energy circulating in the body, and the body’s resistance to the electrical flow causes the heat. This heat felt during acupuncture treatments and Qigong training is not Qi, but rather a symptom of the presence of Qi, hence while training one should circulate Qi so smoothly that it does not generate any sensation of heat. It is like running a current through copper wire with low resistance instead of iron one with high resistance. If one generates too much heat, especially in the organs, the tissue will begin to degenerate faster. It is better to feel an electrical sensation, than any heat, never make the body too hot. In Qigong one often learns to relax and lead Qi to the limbs. The Qi or electricity will pass easily through the muscle and connective tissue, but when it reaches the skin the conductivity is suddenly lower. This means that resistance to the flow is increased. In combination with the fat (also of low electric conductivity), which normally accumulates between the skin and the muscle, the electricity is stopped and converted into heat. Hence one of the purposes of Qigong is to reduce the heat and to open up the electrical blockages between the muscles and the skin and therefore increase the Qi flow to the surface of the skin. This will ensure that the skin, hair, & nails, will receive an abundance of electricity to maintain health and increase growth. The average person can move only a limited amount of Qi through his body and can bring only a very small amount to the surface of the skin. However some Qigong practitioners can move Qi easily to the surface of the skin and beyond and even affect another person Qi. They can supply energy to the area that have low Qi, and withdraw excess energy from the surplus area. This explains the phenomenon of healing just by placing hands on other individual by mere touching.
Concept of Spirit: In Chinese terminology the spirit is called as Shen, but many take it as mind, whereas the Indian term it as ‘atma’. We won’t divulge into philosophical mind game, but to a commoner or a layman, the spirit is the force which keeps us alive and gives us buoyancy and expression to life. It is also the control tower of energy, the guiding force of the breath and the development of the physical body. But the fallacy is, the spirit which is the spiritual part of a being, is controlled and generated by the mind. In fact the mind generates the will, which can guide the wisdom mind and the emotional mind. Hence many of our masters, from many spiritual disciplines, kept on guiding us to control the monkey mind, but controlling this monkey mind is a tedious job. That’s why we have so many disciplines and philosophies, to control this monkey mind, like Vipassana (Mindfulness’), Ashtavakra (Being in the NOW), Tai chi, Taoist Yoga, Raja Yoga, Zen meditation, or any other form of meditation, and so on.
The nature of the spirit: The spirit, no doubt is controlled and generated by the mind, but it depends on various factors, such as the food we intake, the environment in which we move about, the company we keep, and the thought processing which goes on during the rigmarole of life, are all responsible for enhancing the spirit. The various product which are consumed, through the various orifice (nine opening) of the body, gives an ultimate product which is either hot, cold, or neutral; light, heavy or neutral; fire, water, or neutral; and so on. The Chinese and the Taoist term it as the yin, yang, and the Wu chi; whereas the Indian term it as vata, pitha and kapha or to simply state the twin dualities of life, with a neutral factor. The fire, heavy or hot element will energize the emotional mind, while the water, light or cold element will energize the wisdom mind, and the neutral state will just observe the happening or be a witnesser in the phenomena of life. The wisdom mind is controlled by the will, and this will restrains us and put us on its right path. Whereas the emotional mind, will confuse the mind and makes us go astray. The root source of the emotional mind lies in the heart, whereas the wisdom mind resides in the kidney. Hence any activity done with jest, gusto, or in a vibrant mood, either planned or unplanned, but always done with emotion, are all governed by the emotional mind, that is we are ruled by the heart for that moment. On the other hand any activity done without the thought process or done intuitively or it just happen, without we knowing or realizing the outcome, is done by the wisdom mind, that is we are ruled by the energy of the kidney, whose characteristics is to just flow. Many creative activities are done through the process of wisdom
Residence of the spirit: The Chakra’s and the Tantien are called the furnace, where the energy is purified and distills the elixir of life for longevity. The conversion of air, water and food to energy is similar to the process of burning wood and fuel to generate heat. During this process, the coarse energy, goes for maintaining and preservation of life, whereas the fine distilled elixir energy goes for development of the spirit or building discriminating wisdom, and the remainder or the degradable fuel is thrown out of the body through the various orifice of the body. According to Chinese medics, the Lung and the Heart is where the air gets converted into energy, and is controlled by the upper burner/tantien or the third eye. The Stomach and the various Digestive systems is where the food is converted into energy, and this is controlled by the middle burner/tantien or the solar plexus. The final conversion of air, food and water to energy is done in the lower abdomen region, which is also called as the lower burner/tantien, which is located three inches below the navel and three inches inside the body. It is here the pure food gets separated from the impure food, through elimination process. The spirit tends to reside in each and every cell nucleus, of the body.
The enhancement of the spirit: the spirit could be enhanced by the following Taoist method:
1. Refining the vitality and convert it into energy: the vitality resides in the kidney, through various soft, gentle, and well-coordinated exercises one can start converting the vitality into energy by regulating and coordinating the body, breath and mind. By retaining the semen and converting this semen into energy.
2. Purifying energy and nourishing the spirit: the energy, which resides in the Lower tantien start moving upward towards the skull region via the Central channel. Regulating and coordinating the breath, mind, emotions and energy one can achieve this. By doing this all the channel will open all the 10,000 passes and keep the body in tone and a feeling of totally filled up sensation. In this stage, spirit and energy will combine to originate the holy embryo, by controlling the emotion and breath.
3. Refining the spirit and returning to nothingness: This is done by using the energy to nurse the baby spirit or spiritual baby, and feed the baby and teaches it to be independent. To reach this level one must get rid of emotions, detach from society and find a quiet and peaceful place to cultivate the wisdom mind. By focusing and meditating one can activate the Upper tantien and becoming one with nature – nothingness through the opening of the third eye. Nothingness also refers to the absence of emotional feelings and desires. One gets used to staying with natural energy, and slowly one forgets the physical body.
4. Crushing the nothingness: means destroying the illusion, which connects the physical world with the spiritual plane. To reach this level the spirit must be stronger and be neutral. This may take from one lifetime to many lifetimes, depending on individual to individual. In order to enable the spirit to leave the physical body, one should meditate very deeply, the heartbeat must slow down, and oxygen usage must be reduced to the bare minimum, this will take one to hibernation stage. In this stage one can leave the physical body for several months and come back to the body to awaken it back. There is much more between heaven and earth, spirit and energy, than we think there is. Much of this is forgotten, rejected or denied by the rational and intellectual culture and mind, because it’s impossible to comprehend it with the mind only. There is life, energy and consciousness, and all three words describe one thing: the spirit, the essence of our divinity. This essence exists in many worlds or dimensions. We all come from the inner worlds, and are embodied in an outer world, which we call the physical world. One slice of another dimension is what we call dreams, one step further to control the dreams is called lucid – dreaming, another step is controlling the pass – over from awakened – state to sleep – state to full – consciousness, and one such state of consciousness might be called out – of – body experience (OBE) or Spirit – Travelling. There are innumerable concrete techniques, like meditation and so on which has different meanings. Anyway, this all prepares our awareness and inner knowledge to become conscious of some planes within our conscious mind, remember that we exist simultaneously and multi-dimensionally on all planes, and that it is only our attention that relates us to one or another reality or realm. As we grow spiritually, we are on a wonderful journey of self-discovery. We will increasingly understand the mysteries of the universe and learn tools of personal transformation. Connecting to the higher self will allow our life to become effortless and joyful. The higher self is that part of us which is continuously connected to the light, or the Supreme Almighty. Then our sensitivity can be turned towards the inside, It is the same sensitivity with which we smell the fragrance of a flower. It is the same sensitivity that now has to be turn inwards. With the same sensitivity we going to taste ourselves,
Then our sensitivity can be turned towards the inside,
It is the same sensitivity with which we smell the fragrance of a flower.
It is the same sensitivity that now has to be turn inwards.
With the same sensitivity we going to taste ourselves,
Once we become sensitive to the world around us,
Towards our very own inner being.
Smell ourselves, see ourselves and feel ourselves.