Global consciousness is not an objective belief that can be taught to anybody and everybody, but a subjective transformation in the interior structures that can hold belief in the first place which itself is the product of a long line of inner consciousness development.
- Ken Wilber, Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution
That quote is a mouthful, I know! But this phrase 'the interior structures that can hold belief' captures something about the kind of energy structures I wanted to write about in this post. When I say 'energy structures' I am talking about all of the various energy formations that shape our perceptions of the world - that shape our consciousness really, on personal and global levels. Everything has an energetic underside, a skeletal system or foundation on the subtle planes. Our chakras are one map of our personal energetic underpinnings - our subtle body - but there are many other types of energetic structures. The ones I am most interested in exploring today (and in helping you to explore) are those that shape our minds - those that shape the contents of our minds.
One way to begin to think about these kinds of energy structures is to ask yourself, 'what matrices am I plugged into?' You remember the movie The Matrix - all those bodies plugged into virtual reality machines, immersed in lives entirely created by software beaming into their brains, while their 'real' bodies were used as batteries. It was a metaphor (or seen that way by many of us anyway) for human consciousness, and how we are all plugged into matrices. We think we are independent, thinking, free-will wielding beings, but really we are shaped, conditioned, and driven by so many forces.
'Free your mind' is what the Morpheus character tells Neo, and freeing our minds is what this kind of energy work is all about. From my perspective all personal growth, healing, and spiritual practice is about freeing our being - freeing ourselves from that which keeps us from knowing ourselves as pure awareness, pure Source, pure light and love. We may or may not approach this freeing energetically, but the energetic shifts happen either way. The power of working energetically is that we are working down in the roots, in the foundation of ourselves and the world. We are working on the infrastructure level, instead of just making cosmetic, surface-level shifts.
There are many levels to the energy structures impacting us - familial, ethnic, social, cultural, political, religious. All of these project a matrix - a view of the world, a way of seeing the world, that is much deeper and vaster than the beliefs or philosophies that might be expressed in words. 'Gestalt' and 'zeitgeist' are words that attempt to describe these kinds of energy formations, but really these are just the tip of the iceberg. Many of the most wide-reaching energy structures - those that have been forged and shaped over time by powerful individuals and forces - take on a power of their own. In this way, they shape our awareness - they define the boundaries of it, our sense of what is possible and what isn't - and often we are very unaware of them.
Working with these energy structures is different from energy line or 'cord' work. Energy lines is the term I use to refer to the energy connections that form between us and the individuals in our lives - they are about our direct, one-on-one relationships. These lines also have an amazing impact on our awareness, as we exchange whole thought-forms and moods through them. It's especially important for most women to become conscious of these lines and begin to work with them (this is why I have energy line work included in both my healing from sexual trauma and abuse ebook and my DailyOm feminine power course.)
When we talk about energy structures as opposed to energy lines, we are talking about larger webs of energy, that usually were initiated by an individual or group of individuals at some point, but now have a life of their own, and are usually 'maintained' by current gatekeepers and stakeholders. It's tempting to equate these with institutions like religions, philosophical schools, political parties, and nations, and certainly all of these do generate and maintain energy structures of this type. But there are also many energy structures that do not have institutions we can 'see' here in the world, but that shape our perceptions nevertheless.
As with energy lines, some of these are helpful to us, some are not. Spiritual lineages are examples of supportive structures of this type - the idea is that enlightenment is kept alive in the world by direct transmission from awakened mind to awakened mind, so that the teachings are kept pure from generation to generation. When this happens, being connected to a spiritual lineage is a beautiful and powerful force in our lives. But when something goes wrong, when the teachings are thwarted or abused in some way, it can become a harmful and limiting force instead. This has unfortunately happened with all too many religious organizations throughout history.
Spiritual teachings are just one example. Throughout history we can think of formations that have shaped human consciousness for hundreds or even thousands of years at a time before eventually dying a slow death - I would argue patriarchy is in its dying throes at this point in history. Some believe we are in a phase of history where many such old formations are in jeopardy, and thus we're in the throes of a struggle between those that wish to maintain them and those that wish to replace them. And we are each tapped into much smaller, more personal energy structures too, often tied to our family, ethnic group, religion, or nation.
Ultimately, the foundation energy structure, the formation underpinning it all, is the one that shapes human perception itself. As spiritual teachers throughout the ages have told us, and physicists are now telling us in their own way, human reality is an agreement of sorts - a reality we shape and share with our own thoughts and energies. And thus we can change it, and create formations of greater happiness and love if we choose. We can also attempt to see beyond these structures entirely, and know ourselves outside these webs, as pure awareness and light. That is the enlightenment process. Some of us attempt both.
But it takes much more than simply thinking positively or focusing on controlling our conscious thoughts to do this. Really our thoughts are just the surface level layer of our consciousness. If you can intuit these structures for yourself, if you begin to 'see' them and how they shape your awareness, you can begin to free yourself from them - to change them or know yourself beyond them.
So, getting down to it, here's an exercise for beginning to develop your ability to see and work with these lines (for those of you who have done energy line work with me or in one of my courses, this begins in a similar way):
- List the most obvious familial, ethnic, social, cultural, and religious institutions that have shaped your development. Don't contemplate the actual beliefs that you have picked up from these - just list them, as you'll be trying to sense them as energy structures impacting your awareness instead. Also, don't only think in terms of negative formations - of those you think you want to be free of. List everything, without judgement. If you can think in more abstract forms, in terms of forces impacting your perceptions, try to do so. Don't focus in on specific psychological patterns though - emotional patterns you picked up from your mother, for example. You are focused here on larger bodies of energy/consciousness formations.
- Sit in meditation. Center yourself with breathing exercises or any modality you like to use. Once you are centered, picture yourself filled with white light. Imagine you are also surrounded by white light. Imagine you and this white light around you are pure, pristine, primordial - unshaped by any force, pure Source.
- Contemplate one of the energy structures you listed. Don't think about the 'story' of it in your life - the people or places associated with it. Instead, try to sense it as an energy in your awareness. What does it feel like? How is it shaped? How would you describe it in abstract, energetic terms?
- Imagine there is a line from this energy as it manifests within your awareness extending outside of you. Try to follow it - to the 'mothership', you might say. Allow your subtle sense to intuit this formation as a larger force and shaper of consciousness within the world. How would you describe this?
- Next imagine you are cutting the line between yourself and this energy formation. If you like, you can actually shape your fingers as scissors and pretend you are cutting the line with your imaginary scissors. You may want to repeat this several times.
- Now imagine that the white light within you dissolves the energy you felt from this energy structure within your own awareness or subtle body. Imagine the white light piercing the center of the energy, and expanding until it has completely dissolved the energy.
- Sit imagining yourself immersed in white light for awhile. Repeat this with as many energy formations as you like. Don't over do it though- this is heavy duty stuff once you get into it. Always end in the white light.
For those of you who have done energy line work, you can see this is very similar. In both cases, the visualizations are tools for directing you subtle awareness, for helping you develop your intuition. They aren't meant to be taken literally, but you might be amazed at what insights come up. And most importantly, you will develop your ability to 'see' the forces shaping your consciousness in a way you may not have before. And you will begin to sense what it might mean to really work to change these, to create new ones, or to experience yourself entirely unfettered by any of them.
The third point of reference is freedom of perception; it is intent; it is spirit; the somersault of thought into the miraculous; the act of reaching beyond our boundaries and touching the inconceivable.
- Carlos Castaneda, The Power of Silence
As always, your comments and questions are appreciated:-) Namaste-