Energy Part 1 - Introduction
By Colin Clayton
When we talk about energy it usually in reference to fuels that help us in everyday life such as Oil, Gas, Solar, and wind. If you are a student of Physics then you are probably aware of such things as Kinetic, Thermal, and Electromagnetic energy. On a personal level when a daunting task is before us we talk about not having the energy or feeling depleted or run down. What is obvious if time is taken to observe and feel within ourselves and around us is that everything is energy, there is no divide, everything is a connected energy stream. But things should be taken one step at a time. Lets look at some of the more obvious energy around us.
Take for example your car. It is a mass of energy transactions. You press your foot down on the accelerator and pull away, within the engine the combustion of fuel moves the pistons which via the gears turns the drive shaft and gives your car kinetic energy. When you push down on the brake pedal the brakes apply producing friction and slowing your vehicle down, giving off heat energy in the process. every thing about your car is an energy process. From accelerating, to braking, steering, even the radio is a set of energy processes that you take for granted. But this is just the tip of the iceberg, this process can be extended further outwards like a tree with other connected energy transactions like the production of your fuel or even your car. Fuel is brought to the petrol station in a tanker which expended energy to get there, the fuel was refined from oil which takes energy, the Oil was drilled out of the earth which takes energy. The Earth produced the oil over a long period of time which took energy. Also your car was manufactured in a factory which took energy, the metal for the car in the factory was mined and refined which took energy. The Earth formed the metals a long time which took energy. Take the refinery and factory as to what energy transactions were required to build them and you exapand even more. The expansion if extended far enough would encompass everything including all those people that work to produce the items in your everyday life. The tree can almost be expanded indefinately encompassing millions of energy transactions.
A persons energy transactions are like a cars in as that the ones that we observe on a daily basis are only the tip of the iceberg. As we are growing up we are bombarded with information about the more obvious energy transactions in our lives such as "Eating right and Healthily" and "Exercising and Relaxing" to name but a few. We have all been taught that Calories in needs to be balanced with energy usage, exercise is good for you; and you should try and relax to stay fit and healthy. This though is only the start of a persons energy transactions.
I would like to pose the question what are we made of? There are many answers such as Carbon, Oxygen, Water, Cells. But a good place to
begin would be with the atom. Because at the basic level we are all made of atoms in fact we could obviously say that everything is made of atoms.
The question that a lot of people dont know the answer to is how much of an atom is solid?
The answer can be found on many websites by typing the question into Google. Once you get past all the physics speak the answer in fact is that if you could magnify an atom so it was the size of an average two story house then the part of it that is solid will be the size of a grain of sand. So what I hear you ask is the rest of it made of? The answer again is all over the net and that is space. but not space on its own for this space has an awful lot of energy for the electrons that move through it, in fact an atom is 99.999% energy and the remainder which is the Nucleus in the centre is solid. So the answer to the question "of what are we made", is in fact energy. There are things like Electrons and Quarks and Strings and many other things that science uses to explain the energy around us. I intend to move away from these terms for the rest of my explanation, if you need deep science then you need to find a lot of Physiscs textbooks, a quite library and some headache remedies. For the purpose of this journey I will look at everything we are and do as energy and energy transactions using systems that are thousands of years old and a tool that has been billions of years in the making.
There are are many systems for looking at our energy, its cultivation and the transactions that we undergo. There are three that merge together,
complement each other and enable us to understand this energy around us. They are The Merridains, The Charkras and the Auric Field. The reason these three systems
work well together is because that is there purpose. they are different parts of one entity, you!!!
Meridians also known as Nadis in the Kundalini understanding are energy highways through our body that carry Qi or Chi, the lifeforce of the unviverse. In the Chinese understanding There are twelve standard meridians and eight extraordinary meridians. The standard carry Qi to the Organs and Glands and the Extraordinary are for Qi circulation. You will notice that most if not all stem from or are connected to the centreline of the body where two of the extraordinary meridians run. The Du Meridian runs up the back and down the front of the head to the roof of the mouth and the Ren Meridian runs from the base of the mouth and down the front of the body. This is why in Eastern energy arts such as Taiji or Tai Chi you are taught to rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind your front top teeth to connect the Du and Ren, this also assists in helping you to breath through your nose. The Du and Ren Meridians are important in energy arts as they form the circuit for the Microcosmic Orbit. Fore more information I suggest Google once again for detail. The digaram on the left shows the orbit and the path of the Du and Ren with the three major Tantien Labelled which we look at next.
Tantien or Dantien are thought of as the energy powerhouses of the body, there is the Upper that is connected to Shen or Spirit, the Middle which is for storing lifeforce or Qi and the Lower which is for cultivating the lifefore or Qi. The action of cultivating Qi through the Lower Tantien and sending it up the Du Merridian is similar to the Kundalini snake unfolding in Yoga. Energy is cultivated and sent upwards to the Crown. The main difference is that in Chinese thought the energy is circulated to the front and back down the Ren Meridian where as in the Kundalini the energy unfolding to the crown is the object and intention to reach a new level of conciousness. Tantien are very similar in nature to the Chakra thought and energy structure. In Chinese meditation or energy arts such as Taiji and Qigong focus is on cultivating energy at the Lower Tantien. The circulation of Qi in most classes is left alone as Qi will go where it is needed. Advanced Practioners that have studied for many years learn to direct this energy.
Chakra roughly means Wheel or Spinning Wheel. They are normally thought of as an Energy Vortex
with the spinning wheel at there centre, or a Globe of vibrant energy. Chakras can also be thought of as an Energy Nexus.There are Seven Chakras in the original concept. There are more in some schools of
thought which will be talked about at a future point. The seven Chakras are called Root (Muladhara in Sanskrit), Sacral (Svadhisthana), Solar Plexus (Manipura),
Heart (Anahata), Throat (Visuddha), Third Eye (Ajna), and Crown (Sahasrara). Each Chakra is a specific colour and has associated characteristics, a point worth
mentioning is that the Charkas have been know about for thousands of years by Masters who are able to see and balance them. The interesting part is the colours.
The lowest chakra; Root is red. Sacral is Orange, Solar Plexus is Yellow, Heart is Green, Throat is Blue, Third eye is Purple and Crown is White or sometimes violet. Bear in mind
these colours have been known about for thousands of years, and the interesting part is that running from the Root (red) to the Crown (violet) this is the exact order
in ascending frequency of the light spectrum that we are now scientifcally aware of and use everyday in many different applications. Something which lends credence to
to the Chakras even to the highest sceptic. As stated before each Chakra is associated with a Colour, but this is just the start, there are many other associations as
stated in the table below.
The chakra system is very much like the Tantien, The bottom three Chakras Root, Sacral and Solar Plexus could be the Lower Tantien split down into further categories. The Heart could be the Middle Tantien and the throat, Third eye and Crown could be the Upper Tantien also split down into further Categories.This can be further added to by adding the concept of Yin and Yang, or Earth and Heaven. Yin is the Earth side of the equation, Yang the Heaven. Yin is the Earth which can be associated with the bottom three chakras that are in turn associated with physical survival. Yang is Heaven and could be associated with the top three Chakras with the Heart being the bridge between the two. Our Hearts as humans, our spiritual hearts of course bridge the gap between Heaven and Earth. We are a conduit of Yin and Yang, of Heaven and Earth. Children of the two.
Finally we have the Aura. An electromagnetic field that surrounds us and is connected to our own wellbeing via the Chakras and Merridians. Your Aura can say a lot about you, the colours I would like to emphasise are open to interpratation and if you google them you will find as many different suggestions for each one as you will ones that support each other. The aura is of use as a tool as you project it through your Chakras which are fed by your Merridians. The key thing to recognise is that all three are linked to you physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. If any of these areas are causing issues in your life then it reflects in all three, your Merridians may be become blocked, your Chakras unbalanced and your Aura chaotic, dull or fragmented. As a rule energy has a way of releasing itself and situations will arise that can help with these things, there are also therapies such as Acupuncture, Acupressure, and Chakra Balancing to name but a few. There are also ways to cultivate and move energy such as Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong. The thing to remember about the therapies is that they do help and dissolve blockages and balance energy but unless you address the situation that caused them in the first place the chances are they will come back. In other words the same actions bring the same results, positive change is the only thing that will cure you. I will talk more about Therapies and Cultivating energies later.
In conclusion then we have discovered that everything is in fact made energy and we as humans have Merridians, Chakras and an Auric field that all interconnect and represent our Physical, Mental and Spiritual Wellbeing. In the next Part I will talk about what tools we have at our disposal to assess and work with this energy.
Next - Energy, How Can We Sense It?