From beneath you it empowers

From which direction does the spirit come? Does the living force of the universe fill us from above, or does it come up from underneath us?

I’ve been discussing healing energies with a friend recently. Reiki, chakra healing, and a number of others are all healing methods from different traditions that involve the practitioner holding their hands just above a person’s skin. The practitioner intentionally channels energy through their hands into the person’s body. They often ‘feel’ where the healing is needed by getting a sense of hotter zones from the patient’s body. The patient often feels a deep heat radiating from the practioner’s hands. I’ve had this done to me several times and the feeling is amazing, a  kind of resonant, buzzy heat that feels very very good.

In yoga there are several techniques which involve scooping energy from the ground, and pouring it into your head (or crown chakra). In aikido your energy comes from your ‘hara’ your centre of gravity, about four centimetres below your tummy button, but it requires that you are ‘grounded’, that your centre is closer to the earth than it would be when standing normally. 

The name Reiki derives from ‘rei’ (meaning ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’) and ki (meaning breath or ‘life force energy’). Some schools teach that Reiki energy enters the practitioner through the crown chakra, some that Reiki energy enters through the root chakra at the base of the spine, before becoming centered in the heart chakra, and flowing out through the practitioner’s hands. Regardless of which direction it comes from this living energy “knows what to do” and goes “where it is needed the most.”

In the 7th season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer the ‘big bad’ they have to deal with is the ‘First Evil’, the most primal and original essence of evil. The Buffyverse is deliberately theistically vague and doesn’t say much about god or the devil. The First though is very very bad. It starts appearing in dreams in the forms of deceased people delivering the message “from beneath you it devours”, or to two of the characters who are in Mexico and so have to translate the message “it eats you starting with your bottom”.

In conventional Christianity we have this notion of bad things coming from underneath (hell) and good things coming from up above (heaven). The eastern traditions seem to place more emphasis on energy from the earth, on being grounded and connected to that underfoot. It makes some sense, it’s where all our food comes from, and therefore our life energy. Of course the energy that makes our food comes from the sun. So maybe we need to reach and connect both up and down.

I don’t know the answer to my question, but I do think it’s worth exploring. I do like the notion of the ‘living force’, something that surrounds us and flows through us. That we are projections of this living energy that chooses to collect and arrange some atoms in such a way that we can move and act in the world. That we can be conduits for good.

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2 Responses to “From beneath you it empowers”

  1. peggy senger parsons Says:

    My Tai Chi teacher talks about earth and sky both being repositories of Chi, and that the human task is, in fact, to connect the two and facilitate a dynamic movement of energy.

  2. Sarah Says:

    Another culture that acknowledges the energies/ importance of both is of course in NZ with Papatuanuku (earth) and Ranginui (sky). Although they acknowledge other forces or Gods these are all born from Rangi and Papa. Rangi and Papa provide the lifegiving energies of the universe.

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