Reviewing My Spiritual Life, Part Three: We Live in an Energy World in Which There Is No Separation
By Mariamne Paulus
In our January 2015 issue of Emerging I began a review of my Spiritual life to determine to what extent I have been able to embody the knowings to which I awakened 50 years ago. I am convinced that until we are able to live the truths we have come to know, further perceptions of truth will not open to us.
The first two truths I reviewed were “I Am Nothing” [Jan. 2015, pages 3ff] and “Death Has No Power Over Consciousness” [June 2015, pages 1ff]. In this article I will examine the truth that we live in an energy world and there is no such thing as a separate self.
Everything Is Energy
In my first moments of awakening to my real Self, which is No-self or nothing, my new perception of the “outer” reality was that everything was composed of dynamic particles of energy. Nothing was solid. I could see “through” the walls of my room and I knew that if I took a big in-breath, my own body, which was/is energy, would lift up and I would move right through the so-called solid wall. My knowing of that truth was so clear and strong that it never occurred to me to test it. Instead I stayed with the wonder of what I was seeing. Particles of energy filled the room and everything in the room was made up of those particles. I could see them.
Because everything was made of the same “substance,” i.e. energy, everything was also continuous with everything else. Everything was an integral part of one dynamic whole. There were/are different textures to the energy and different densities but the fabric of the energy was/is unbroken. There were no separations, no gaps.
Essential to the Whole
Many understandings were implicit once I realized that everything is made of the same energy. The first was that I am an essential part of the Whole and can never be separated from it. This means that the Whole would not be what it is without me. Immediately I experienced my intrinsic worth.
The concomitant perception was that everyone and everything else is equally essential to the Whole and of equal intrinsic worth. No one and no thing is of more or less importance or value than anyone or anything else.
This insight lives in me every day like an ongoing revelation. Today I was in the garden admiring a large, vibrant, red hibiscus. As I looked into the heart of the flower I noticed several small ants walking in it. My first reflex thought was, “I need to spray these plants to kill the ants,” followed by the accompanying thought, “How annoying that these ants live here.” But the third thought was, “The ants have as much right to live here as the flower and as I have. They are part of the Whole, essential to it. If I do not recognize the part they play, that is my shortcoming. It in no way diminishes the value of the ants.”
Any time I have a thought that tries to separate someone or something from the Whole I am aware that I have slipped into the limited perspective of objective consciousness. It is only in that state of consciousness that I would judge things by my preferences and opinions. This keeps me on my consciousness toes in the midst of political commentaries which appeal to my preferences and opinions, or don’t, and seek to have me choose sides.
One of the most challenging aspects of knowing that we live in an energy world is the fact that I have to live in two worlds at once: the seemingly objective world of differences, conflicts and clear separations and the all-pervasive energy world which I described above. I live in this dualism each day and consider it part of the challenge of being embodied.
When I am living in the seemingly objective world, making choices, taking a position on issues, discussing topics which touch on deeply felt values, experiences and feelings, and so forth, I remind myself to breathe through my Heart Chakra so that I can feel my connection with All at the same time. I also try to remember that separations are only apparent; they do not exist in the energy world. I look for ways to understand and appreciate the other person’s point of view, even when I have a different one.
I find that this makes it easier for me to keep my Heart Chakra open to those who appear to be “on the opposing side.” I recognize that we are in a continuum of energy. It is as if we are playing an energetic game of tug of war. Those who hold different positions on issues than I hold tug at me. I allow myself to be pulled across the apparent line of separation so I can see things from their perspective. Then I tug and pull, hoping that they will allow themselves to cross the line to my side to see my perspective.
But the important thing is that I respect them for “staying in the game.” They make it possible for me to see more than I would if I stood complacently on my side of the invisible line, pretending there is only one point of view, only one “right” perspective. I know that there is not. A balance is found only when both sides present their perspectives, and for the wellbeing of the whole body of humanity, balance is essential.
Without balance, we have stalemates. We have watched this at work in the Congress in Washington. When individuals refuse to enter into dialogue with those who hold different values and convictions, then no middle ground can be discovered. It has long been said that politics is the art of compromise. Without compromise there is only stalemate or tyranny by an individual or a group.
When living in a society made up of individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds, the governing bodies must be able to find the middle ground which satisfies the needs of everyone to some degree and of no one totally. Those who are not willing to support such a middle ground do not really want to live in a democracy. They want to live in an autocracy or a dictatorship.
But it is not just in the large picture of government and politics that such principles are at work. Also in our personal relationships we must be willing to find a middle ground if we are to live in peace and harmony. This means that no one always has her way. It is very unusual if two individuals agree on everything. When they do not, some kind of compromise needs to be found.
When OSO and I began to live and work together we made a commitment that we would never go ahead with any decision unless we both felt in harmony with it. This has meant that on occasion when one of us has felt strongly about something, she has had to let go of it if the other was not in agreement with it.
Personalities love to have their way about things. They feel strongly about being “right.” If you value partnership, or community, or democracy, then you have to set aside, on occasion, the preferences of the personality in order to seek a larger harmony. And, personalities can learn through this process that their own preferences are often myopic. The big picture takes in the wide diversity of “others.”
Understanding that this is an energy world makes all of this so much easier. Recognizing that we are all part of one indivisible Whole makes it easier to let go of my limited point of view in order to see the larger picture.
Not long after my awakening I was introduced to Eastern philosophy through the teachings of Yogananda. For two years I followed his correspondence course in which he taught how to live in the energy world. I became aware of the chakra system and realized that I could tune into the different chakras through my directed and focused attention. I quickly learned how to direct energy through the different chakras to achieve different effects.
One of the most dramatic instances of the importance of that process occurred when a gentleman approached OSO and me with his attorney and accused us of cheating him in various ways. He said he was going to sue us for damages. As he talked, and his attorney joined in, I realized that our friend was focused in his solar plexus and the attorney in his throat chakra. I consciously brought the energies I was registering from the two of them into my heart chakra, breathing into and through that chakra to create harmony between us. Very soon, without OSO and I saying anything, the energy changed and our friend told his attorney, right there in our presence, that he didn’t want to go to court over this. We then talked about the misunderstanding and we parted as friends. The power of the difference in the chakras couldn’t have been clearer.
I work actively with my awareness of the various chakras throughout each day, and I have become agile in shifting my focus in order to redirect energies. I feel knowledge of the chakras and how to work with them is essential to living consciously in the energy world.
Facilitating the Healing Process
The recognition that I can work with “energy” rather than just “physical” phenomenon has been incredibly liberating and empowering. I remember seeing a film soon after my awakening about a medical doctor who went to Lourdes to observe the phenomenon of “faith healing.” He reported that he watched wounds being healed almost instantaneously that went through all the stages of the healing process with which he was familiar, only much more rapidly. This left an indelible imprint on my consciousness and I began to apply it in my own life.
If there is a process called healing that is energy going through a series of changes, then if we feed more energy into the process we can speed it up. I remember the day I was home alone when I stepped down from a ladder onto a metal bookend, making a deep cut into the bottom of my foot. I recognized two things immediately: to get help I would have to walk to a phone, and to do that I would need to walk across the carpet leaving a trail of blood. I sat down instead and began to breathe deeply and move the energy over the bottom of my foot with my hand to speed up the healing process. Within fifteen minutes the wound had completely closed, leaving only a small scar-like line indicating where the cut had been.
We had a similar experience when OSO was cutting a bagel and sliced her hand with a sharp knife. Blood began to pour out and I offered to “move the energy.” I did that by passing my hand over the wound while breathing deeply. Within ten minutes or so, the wound had closed, leaving only a slight scar-like line where the cut had been.
While on an African safari with a group, a man’s hand was accidently closed in the door of a jeep. Knowing that I “worked with energy,” I was called over and immediately began to move the energy from his wrist down through his fingers and “out.” When I began, his fingers were actually flattened where the door had closed on them and he was in a lot of pain. In a very short time the pain eased, the color came back into his fingers, and soon all signs of the trauma were gone.
These are only three examples of how I have learned to work with the energy that I first perceived back in 1965. I facilitate the healing process on the physical level by working with the energy. It speeds up what subconsciousness would eventually work out anyway, so it is not “miraculous” but rather a cooperative venture with the natural order process of healing. I use this knowledge almost daily.
It is also possible to cooperate with the movement of energy by using sound. I remember one Saturday morning when I awoke with a terrible cramp behind my shoulder that was extremely painful. I got out of bed and headed into the other room to call my chiropractor on an emergency basis. On the way to the phone I remembered that I knew how to move energy with toning. So I sat down and focused on the area of pain which was beyond the reach of my hand. Then I found a tone that resonated with the area of pain, and I worked from just beneath that tone up through it and above it, returning again and again to move through the area of pain. I was inviting the blocked energy to move, and it did. In about ten minutes, the cramp released and the pain was gone.
I have often worked with pain in this way, with the healing effect of sound. It heals because it moves energy, and energy heals.
Sound is also very effective in moving energy on the emotional level. When there is disharmony or emotional upset, playing harmonious music or toning for harmony can return an individual or a group to equilibrium and harmony.
Mental distress can also be relieved this way. Chanting, toning or listening to high frequency music can smooth out the vibrations moving through the mind and bring back a tranquil state.
Over the years, OSO and I have sometimes entered a room where we were scheduled to conduct a workshop and found the energy in the room chaotic. Without needing to know what caused the upheaval, we have simply worked with toning to change the frequency in the room and smooth out the energy so that we could conduct a workshop focused on learning to live in unconditional love.
The energy world is very responsive to creative visualization. I use it daily. A simple and practical example is related to parking spaces. When I know I am going to need to park somewhere, I visualize a parking space opening up just as I am approaching. One time we were meeting a friend at a restaurant in La Jolla, CA where parking is always at a premium. I visualized a space right in front of the restaurant and as we approached, there it was! We pulled into it. When our friend joined us he said, “You took my parking space!” He had also visualized a space in front of the restaurant; he was just approaching as we pulled into the space. We should have both visualized two spaces!
But there are many other instances where creative visualization is helpful and practical. Before my hip replacement surgery my surgeon said, in passing, that it would be helpful to have a “dry wound.” The phrase was new to me, but I got the import of it: no excessive bleeding. From then until the surgery I visualized a “dry wound” at my hip. After the surgery the surgeon told me she could not believe how easy the surgery was because of the dry wound.
When traveling with groups, I have used creative visualization to influence weather patterns. Not wanting to interfere with the natural order balance, I will visualize clear skies or sunny weather for the first half of the day when rain is predicted, requesting that the rain not come until after our sightseeing. It has been amazingly effective. One day in Brazil I forgot to focus on the weather and it began to rain on us early in the morning and the fog was so thick we could hardly see the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer. I apologized to the group for falling down on my duty!
Working at a Distance
Knowing that there is no gap in the energy world, that we are all part of a continuous web of energy, I have been able to work with people at physical distance for their healing and wellbeing. In these instances I cannot work with my hands, but I can certainly work with sound, with visualization and with focused intention.
Not only has this been effective in instances of helping the healing process, but also in helping people to make their transition more easily at the end of their lives.
The Larger Will
In all these cases I am diligent about holding in my consciousness that I wish to work in harmony with the larger will. I usually add to my focused thought or visualization “If it is in harmony with the Whole.” This is an acknowledgment that I see only the small part of the Whole in which I am focused. I cannot know what is wanted in the larger picture, so I include that desire as part of my intention. In the case of parking places, I always add “if it is convenient for everyone.” These focused or intentional thoughts are my version of prayers. They are not directed to “someone;” they are put out into the Universe as my stated intention.
In summary, I would say that living in the energy world is one of the most all-pervasive results of my awakening. I have lived in constant awareness of energy these 50 years and couldn’t be more grateful for the knowledge that I can, with conscious intention, cooperate with the way things work in this energy world. I have tried to pass along to others this awareness because it is incredibly empowering. You, too, can live consciously in the energy world and cooperate with the natural laws in many ways.