I made this rawhide rattle with amethyst crystal points. It’s for directing energy, like a wand, but is also shaped to help me see energy flowing. I like it because it kind of looks like it does something, like a Star Trek prop.
About a year ago I began to see what I refer to as energy emanating from everything and buzzing around the room. I tune it out most of the time but it never really goes away. When I first saw it, I thought it was a physical thing — it looked a bit like long spider legs dancing on the underside of my desk. But there is no physical explanation; it’s not smoke or mist, though it can look like that. When I look at my hand and focus for a moment I begin to see sparks fizzing off my fingers, or even what looks like interference waves between my fingers. It’s not quite as dramatic as it sounds, but it is real to me and extremely interesting.
I am not a very visual person and certainly never thought I would be able to see energy, so it was a surprise. I played around with it for a while, then largely ignored it. Part of why I gave up on it was because everything I looked at had the same kind of energy streaming off it. To me, if that’s all I could see, it was a useless skill. I wanted to see variations, something that would tell me something about what I was looking at.
Recently I have begun to see two more phenomena, without trying: coloured auras around people, and visions of odd things when I close my eyes for a while.
Seeing colours in the energy is extremely intriguing to me. It is subtle and I think it will take some practice, but I like that too — the idea of having a real skill that takes time to master.
As for the visions when I close my eyes, they are more mysterious. I know what hypnogogic hallucinations are like and these are different — they really are visions, as in pictures that appear in front of my closed eyes. They are something my mind thinks it “sees” through the eyes, not in my imagination (which I tend to feel occurs in the back of my head). They happen before I get to the edge of falling asleep, but you have to understand that I fall asleep very very easily and slip into dreams instantly, which I think is connected to my shamanic skills and generally to the idea of having a foot in both worlds (the ordinary and extraordinary).
Anyway, so far I have seen some baffling things: faces I don’t recognize, images of chaos, some seemingly random stuff. I haven’t been pushing too much to practice or test my ability to experience visions (mostly because I’ve been busy), but I intend to. If anyone has thoughts or suggestions they would be most welcome!
Some people say that they charge money for spiritual work because of the necessity for an energy exchange, and I understand where they are coming from. It is important that one doesn’t end up feeling used and drained. But money isn’t the only answer if we’re really talking about energy. I think people should be up front about their needs and expectations and not refer to energy exchange as an explanation (or dare I say excuse) unless they are willing to accept all forms of good energy in return for their work.
It’s perfectly okay to say you’re charging money because you feel you deserve it, or you need it, or you want it. I’m not debating whether or not people should charge money for spiritual work. I’m just saying that the explanation about an exchange of energy isn’t striking me as authentic most of the time.
Why? Well, I think that energy is exchanged in lots of ways. If you do a spiritual healing for someone and they write you a letter of thanks and gratitude that really brightens your day and makes you feel awesome, then you’ve just received some great energy in exchange for your work. It might not put food on your table, but you didn’t put food on their table either. I find that the energy I get from sincere gratitude is so uplifting that it completely and utterly makes my work worth it. In fact, one letter of sincere gratitude is enough energy to sustain me through a few days of spiritual work (albeit part-time work – I have a full-time office job and lots of hobbies demanding my time).
And when I say sincere gratitude, I don’t mean ego-stroking. I’m talking about a quality of genuine loveliness that comes through in someone’s words. This is real spiritual energy beaming back at me in a beautiful exchange. If someone took the time to write me a haiku about falling leaves I would be completely fulfilled.
Gratitude can be expressed beyond words, of course. A few times I’ve been offered Reiki healings in exchange for readings. I accept these with great thanks and appreciation and have faith that the universe will aid in maintaining an energy balance.
I do have great faith in the universe. My wife and I have stopped actively selling our soaps and moisturizers and have been basically giving them away (admittedly we don’t completely refuse donations towards the cost of ingredients, but we expect nothing). My wife sees this as good karma. We don’t feel drained or used; we trust that the energy will come around. So far we’ve always managed to get through the month and our love is stronger than ever, so I think we’re doing pretty good.
Of course I’m not off in lala land either. I know what it’s like to be broke and I know what it’s like to be energetically drained. In fact, I’ve been struggling the last couple of days after briefly dealing with an energy vampire of sorts. (I’m not talking about you! That person has been told.) But I wouldn’t be feeling any better right now if I’d been paid. In fact, I’d probably feel worse – it’s harder to break off contact with someone who is paying you. Whereas I know my energy will bounce back the next time someone shows off their loveliness with a note or a smile.
Maybe I’ve been blessed with an excess of good energy to share; this is only my experience. But I maintain that money isn’t the only form of energy to exchange for spiritual work. It’s not even the best form of energy. If you want some help paying your bills, be honest and don’t teach a doctrine that equates spiritual energy with monetary gain. I daresay that if you are meant to be a full-time spiritual worker, the universe will oversee your survival.
Spirit and energy are, in my view, the same concept: the verb to be. They are pure existence, which is an action and not an object, and thus neither can be observed directly. However, they can be observed and known by their effects.
To be is what all things do, even if they do little else. Thus all things are spirit-infused.
When we ourselves do nothing but notice that we are being, we are spending time with spirit. It is as easy as that. When we add gratitude and awe, we are giving spirit our worship and devotion. To simply be is itself a prayer when we know the true wonder of being.
Matter and spirit are like the Everything and the Nothing. They intertwine endlessly, being interdependent, and at their core they are the same.**
There are only two forms of being. One is to be made of parts, which is matter. The other is to be without parts, which is spirit. Spirit can be just as complex as matter, but it is without the bits and pieces that make matter so…material.
Because Spirit is complexity without parts, we can never be apart from it. There is no disconnection. We are not separate selves in Spirit, though it may seem that way. We are like the field of mushrooms which all seem individual yet are connected underground as one entity.
I suspect that spirit is very close to energy insofar as energy is expressed as a wave. Waves also are complex and without parts. In fact, when things are not observed some quantum physicists have said they exist as wave functions only, and that observing them breaks the wave function and makes the thing “real.” This makes a lot of sense to my mind. What is spirit but the unseen sight, the unheard sound? To see it, to hear it, is to make it physical and material. But really they are one and the same.
Light is both particle and wave; even molecules are both particle-like and wave-like. It is likely that everything exhibits a kind of particle-wave duality. So too everything is both matter and spirit.
One consequence of this line of thought is that you cannot go looking for spirit in any physical way. You cannot ask spirit to reveal itself. You can only intuit it. You have to rely on a different kind of knowing than sensory-based knowing. Gut instinct, revealed knowledge…these ways of knowing have value too. The experience of knowing something is an unmistakeable feeling. I know things for which I have no sensory input whatsoever. These are spirit things.
Another consequence is that one really ought not to go looking at all. There is no gap between matter and spirit. Matter is. Spirit is. That’s all.
Now, some people cannot conceive of spirit at all — I have been such a person. To say that spirit can be a wave function might sound ridiculous. Isn’t spirit akin to the soul? Is there proof of life after death via the soul, or am I just talking of energy and matter in a roundabout way, and not “real” spiritual things?
I am talking about the soul. If you want proof of its existence, think of a piece of music in your mind. Can you hear it? Spirit is, among other things, unhoused thought.
Thoughts, like vagrants, own
no real estate but sneak
off through space and even steal,
unnoticed, into someone else’s brain
and leave all the lights on.
Part of my belief in the Everything and the Nothing makes me wary of the limitations of spacetime. Spacetime is an illusion, surely. Freed from spacetime, a thought can happen outside your head and separate from the causal connections of synapses. A thought becomes a thing in itself, standing alone. This thought is not made of atoms. What is it but spirit?
All that we imagine is spirit too, so imagine wildly, secure that everything happens. In this way we dream the world into being.
All is spirit and all is matter.
**I should note that I don’t actually think my ideas are superior to anyone else’s. Nor do I think anyone should believe in these ideas, despite the fact that I’m trying to sound convincing