Subtle Energy: Basic Principles

Excerpted from Subtle Energy: Awakening to the Unseen Forces in Our Lives by William Collinge, Ph.D., Warner Books, Inc., 1998 

1. We are beings of energy. When we think of our anatomy, we ordinarily think of our bones, muscles, organs, and other physical tissues. However, we also have an energetic anatomy. It is composed of multiple, interacting energy fields which envelop and penetrate our physical body, govern its functioning, and extend out into the world around us. This anatomy serves as a vehicle for the circulation of vital energies that enliven and animate our lives. 

2. The Earth herself has an energetic anatomy similar to our own, which influences our own energy field. The entire Earth and biosphere in which we live are one gigantic living organism, with its own metabolic and energetic qualities. Energy centers, energy channels, and energy fields emanating from the earth -- as well as plants and animals --  are in many ways analogous to our own. By understanding the energetic life of this vast system of which we are a part, we can learn to live in a greater state of harmony and balance. 

3. Our relationships with other people are shaped by the interactions of  our energies. Our relationships are based on more than just psychology and family history. The energetic states that we bring to one another can introduce dynamics that are even more profoundly influential. By simply touching another person, we influence what happens in their energy field. We can come to understand the impact of our own energy on others, and theirs on us, so as to relate with greater clarity and effectiveness. 

4. Through the simple act of breathing, we traverse the boundary between the physical and the spiritual every moment. There is no life activity more important that the simple act of breathing. It is our most immediate and intimate connection to the life force in every moment of our lives. It is a direct link to many expressions of subtle energy and spiritual attunement, and a doorway to profound states of harmony and peace. 

5. We are each capable of sustaining and cultivating our vital energy. Our vital energy has a metabolism which we can come to understand and work with. Through attending to the nourishment we take into our bodies, our patterns of rest and activity, and our practice of disciplines of energy cultivation, we can learn to become the stewards of our vital energy. 

6. Meditation, prayer, and healing are rich with subtle energy phenomena that represent contact with the spiritual dimension. Many experiences we have during these practices can be taken as direct evidence of a state of communion or communication with Spirit. Healing abilities are present within us all, and we have been unknowingly using them throughout our lives.