Underneath the solid matter that we encounter on a day to day basis—our floors, our cars, the desks upon which we work, the coffee cups we use—exists what we cannot see with the naked eye: Pure energy.
Human beings, animals, plants, even objects—all are made, for the most part, of vibrating energy. Believe it or not, but everything you see around you is vibrating at one frequency or another. We don’t see it, and many hardly think about it, because we are accustomed to relating to things that our senses can prove “actually” exist. This is particularly true for Westerners, who are habituated to believing that anything beyond what we cannot see, touch, smell, hear, or validate through empirical data is sheer myth.
And yet. That chair you’re sitting on as you read this is vibrating. And within that chair are millions of subatomic particles running around and popping with energy. The table upon which you eat your dinner is as well—it is energy, movement; a quiet force.
Need a better example? Consider electricity. We know for a fact that it exists—it charges the very device you’re using at this moment—but we can’t touch it or smell it (and rarely do we smell it or hear it!) For those of us who aren’t physicists, we vaguely understand how it’s generated, but, because it’s evidenced to us daily, we wouldn’t dare object to the fact that it exists.
Unlike our familiarization with lights that turn on with a mere flip of the switch, we’re seldom attuned to the vibrations within us but energy is what shapes us. It reveals itself as strength and stamina. It’s the power by which our bodies move, our minds think, our hearts ache, and our senses are come alive.
There is more than meets the (naked) eye
If you’re still dubious, consider this:
Max Planck, one of the founders of Quantum Physics, gave a talk that addressed, in part, the continuous spectrum of frequencies of light emitted by an “ideal heated body.” Planck proposed that a piece of matter is equivalent to a collection of oscillating electric charges and went on to prove that solid matter is comprised of energy—even if those wily electrical charges aren’t readily seen by the naked eye. Professor John Hagelin defined this energy as the Unified Field of Energy—meaning, quite simply, that we all share the same plateau; we all derive energy from this source.
The hidden consciousness
Hagelin went on to report that “cutting-edge research in the field of neuroscience has revealed the existence of a ‘unified field’—a fourth major state of human consciousness, which is physiologically and subjectively distinct from waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. In this meditative state, aka Samadhi, the threefold structure of the waking experience—the observer, the observed, and the process of observation—are united in one indivisible wholeness of consciousness.”
While it might be quite a mouthful, think of it this way: Do you know that feeling of unity you feel in savasana in yoga? Or the clarity and self-compassion you experience after a massage, a Reiki session, a reunion with nature, or meditation? Such is the fourth state of consciousness, where divisions merge and distance is replaced with cohesion.
By and large, we live in a world of solid matter. This is even more pronounced in our consumerist society, which creates a dependence on and desire for what is tangible: Money. A house. Clothes. Accessories. A flat screen TV. These tangibles, however, have a remarkable way of making us feel that we’re closer to something—success, the right social status, acceptance, love—when in fact they push us off the main path of centeredness and contentment. The more these tangibles incite us, the more the energies within us become chaotic and tumultuous, like a lamp with a faulty wire.
For example: A colleague gets upset because she isn’t given the promotion she believes she deserves. With the promotion, she believes she’ll reach a higher level of admiration and greater access to the material things she wants. Instead of contemplating the factors that led to the decision—tardiness, resentment in the workplace, poor performance—she creates a negative field of energy around her. This field produces particles in her body that eventually may produce illness. Without deconstructing this negativity, anxiety and depression builds and builds until it manifests in a physical response.
Think about it. How often, in your personal life, is a serious illness a side effect of stress? Stress, the emotional response to pressure, catapults us into physical wear and tear. A simple cold or infection suddenly becomes something much direr.
As children, we are taught to brush and floss our teeth daily to prevent cavities and disease. Similarly, we learned that fresh foods ensure health and vitality, and are given antibiotics to cure infections. But, as a whole, we have not learned to “cleanse” our energy from the drama, dependence, negativity, and traumas that can easily translate into foul emotional responses and sicknesses.
To put it plainly, underneath the junk we eat, the drama we create or embrace, the beliefs others impose on us, and the pessimism we observe or participate in, is a brilliant field of energy from which we can all till. But until we learn to remove the debris—the sticks and weeds and garbage and rocks of what we ingest, literally and figuratively—we are vulnerable to tripping, or falling into a dark hole.
Cleanse the body and polish the brain
The question is: How do we cleanse our internal field of energy?
To some, the question may sound preposterous—an inquiry reserved for those who spend their days cleansing their chakras and lighting incense to ward off evil spirits. But those who partake in these actions are onto something: When they’re centering themselves while we’re getting distracted by that glittery object in the distance, they’re giving their consciousness a good scrub. But before you bust out the theoretical exfoliator, consider these six suggestions to maintain health and find a unified sense of being:
- Spend fifteen minutes in silence. You could be at home, on your commute, on a run—wherever you find yourself, at one point in your day, make a commitment to yourself that you’ll do nothing, nothing, for a stretch of fifteen minutes. Put the newspaper down. Shut off the TV. Turn off your phone. Close the shades, if you must. Let your mind wander in this space. Don’t allow it to veer into the musts that might creep in—or the I should haves, I wish, or if not fors—as that will completely undermine the purpose of this practice. Turn off the ticker tape of the mind, if you will, and enjoy the quiet. When those fifteen minutes are up, note how you feel. Freer? Fresher? More enthusiastic to take on the rest of the day? More often than not, you’ll feel all of this at once.
- Start your morning with a cup of coffee—for the soul. Our morning routines usually pass by at a feverish pace—coffee, news, emails, breakfast, shower. Rarely do we pause when we wake up to consider things that are beyond the day in front of us. Select a spiritual book (for ideas, see Books & Media) and read a few passages. It’ll nourish your soul, and get that energy within you blinking just right.
- Move your body. Yoga, running, cycling, martial arts—whatever it is you choose, commit to consistency. Natural antidepressants exist within us, and by breathing right and awakening your endorphins, you’ll notice a stronger sense of unity between your mind, body, and soul.
- Avoid drama. It’s everywhere—your co-worker’s relationship woes, your spouse’s angst, your teenager’s hormonal outbursts—and it’s tempting to dive into other people’s turmoil because it distracts you from facing your own. But like a blown socket, it will create layer after layer of pressurized energy within you, which inevitably leads to poor decisions and a weariness in the soul.
- Form an intention. Mentally decide on the adjective you’d like to describe your day when all is said and done by the time you go to sleep. Is it happiness? Serenity? Productivity? Picturing that word in your mind compels you to continue aspiring to it as the day rolls on, which will steer you towards a deeper connection between your brain, your body, and your heart—thereby reinforcing the intent.
- Just say ‘om.’ Chanting ‘om’ need not be reserved solely for the yoga studio. Saying it creates a vibration in our bodies that ascends us to a higher state, anytime, anywhere. Gabriel Axel, in Your Brain on Om: The Science of Mantra, confirms that “performing (om) can create an event inside the nervous system, which can then become an object of concentration and meditation, and thereby a focal point for expanding physical and emotional awareness.” The vibratory sensation, in fact, “has a funneling effect, narrowing the consciousness into subtler sensations such as thoughts and impressions, approximating the dream state.” And it is in this dream state that the tangible desires around us—food, sex, money, possessions—fade in importance, achieving enlightenment and soul-fulfillment becomes paramount, and success arrives in the soul.
Indeed: “Success,” writes the great Paramahansa Yogananda in Man’s Eternal Quest, “is not a simple matter; it cannot be determined by the amount of money and material possessions you have. The meaning of success goes far deeper. It can only be measured by the extent to which your inner peace and mental control enable you to be happy under all circumstances.” Consider your quest not eternal, but electric. It’s just a matter of accessing the right switch.