And God said,
“Let us make man in our image,
After our likeness.”
It is a wonder-filled experience to deliver a baby. At first there is a limp, seemingly lifeless form. Then, with the first breath, comes animation! What happens in that moment? What is the nature of this sudden change? From where did this life energy come? Our human minds are quite incapable of comprehending the source of life or life as a whole. Of necessity we look at its various dimensions from different perspectives, depending very much upon our background and training.
According to Albert Einstein, every energy system in the universe is a localized condensation of energy of specific form, linked to every other by the psi factor in a unified field.
Even a human being is made up of an extremely complex series of interrelating energies. This is indeed an energy universe. As we establish a living, daily relationship with it, it becomes a constant source for renewing our own energies.
It has been estimated that there are approximately five octillion atoms in the human body and approximately a quadrillion cells. These figures boggle the imagination. To make them a little more comprehensible, imagine each atom to be the size of a pea. Five octillion peas would stand four feet deep over the entire face of the earth, and over 1,250,000 other planets of equal size.1 A calculation shows that if the cells in one body also were the size of peas, they would fill all the buildings in the city of Philadelphia from cellar to roof.
There are certain things we must take on faith if we truly want to progress along the path of life. The most important of these things cannot be written; they can only be experienced. I know that a perfect sunset drives deeply into my soul, but anything I might say about it cannot possibly convey completely to anyone what I feel.
I have never composed a piece of music in my life, but my life is richer for my exposure to the inspiration of such musicians as Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. I know I have gathered a certain strength after listening and entering into the musical experience of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor or Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Many psychiatrists are of the opinion that they must be quite uninvolved with the consciousness of their patient. The effectiveness of this approach is open to question.
A retired musician came into my office quite irate that on the top of the medical history questionnaire, he had been asked to specify his religious faith. He informed my secretary that it was none of my business, that his chief complaint was insomnia-and what did that have to do with religion? He told me that as soon as his head hit the pillow at night he would be wide awake.
It seemed very possible to me that, unconsciously, he identified sleep with death. Now retired, and with no real outlets, he was frightened. I asked him if, in his career as a violinist, he had any favorite composers.
“Most assuredly,” he said. “Mozart and Brahms have a special meaning to me.”
“Isn’t that something of a religion to you?” I asked.
“Oh, yes,” was the reply.
With this as an opening we had meaningful discussions about ways to get back into his creative life. He clearly had great need to reestablish his roots in the universe, and it is doubtful that the prescription of a sleeping pill would have done the same thing for him.
When we limit ourselves to the outer shell of life and its processes, we miss the very center where these processes originate. There is much evidence that science now is attempting to penetrate these depths, and let us hope that medicine will follow.
Man is a product of the evolutionary process. It is an interesting fact that the growth of every embryo mirrors each stage of the evolutionary development of man.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the great Jesuit priest-paleontologist, posits the presence of two distinctive types of energy involved in the process of evolution.
We shall assume that, essentially, all energy is physical in nature but add that in each particular element this fundamental energy is divided into two distinct components: a tangential energy which links the element with all others of the same order (that is to say of the same complexity and the same centricity) as itself in the universe; and a radial energy which draws it towards ever-greater complexity and centricity-in other words forwards.
Radial energies relate to consciousness and very possibly, in the subtler forms, they may well relate to the various levels of “love energy.” The late Harvard sociologist Pitrim Sorokin referred to this powerful energy in the following way:
Everywhere in the organic, inorganic, and psychosocial worlds the integrating and uniting role of love functions incessantly. Untiringly, it counteracts the dividing and separating forces of chaos and strife. Without the operation of love energy, the physical, the biological, and sociocultural cosmos would have fallen.. apart. No harmony, unity or order would have been possible. Universal disorder and enmity would have reigned supreme. As a creative energy, love unites what is separated, elevates what is base, purifies what is impure, ennobles what is ignoble, creates harmony in the world of enmity and peace in war. Love raises man as a biological organism to the level of divinity.3
Through the centuries the great philosophers, seers, prophets, and poets have caught glimpses of this man who is created in the divine image. Before Christ, Pythagoras was conscious of the harmony of the universe and described its inherent music. The seventeenth-century poet John Dryden writes, “From harmony, from heavenly harmony this universal form began….”4
Several years ago I stood in front of Tintoretto’s Madonna amazed at the master’s understanding of the inner light that shines out of the human soul. Tintoretto must have been conscious of Mary’s supporting light and perceived the heavenly host that accompanied her.
The Light was again present about the Christ in Tintoretto’s Deposition.6 This “light” was not the stylized aura of an earlier period of painting, but a scintillating light, portraying a power and strength that supported and surrounded the figures as only he could have observed it. This seems to me to be the actual “force field” that supports the human body.
Neurologist Shafica Karagulla has made a study of energy fields as observed by “sensitives” and comes to the conclusion that there are three or more such fields. When observed, they reveal different color patterns depending on the individual’s consciousness and state of physical, emotional, and mental health. She says,
Many of the more intelligent and integrated sensitives with whom I have worked describe interpenetrating fields of energy around the human being. One of these is the vital field or energy body closely related to the physical. Much of my experimental work so far has dealt with this field in its relationship to physical conditions. The emotional field, extending a foot to eighteen inches beyond the body, and the mental field, extending an average of two feet or more beyond the periphery of the body, are a part of the unified field surrounding the human body.7
Dr. Kargulla goes on to describe the nature and characteristics of these auras, showing that their intensity and color vary with the intensity and nature of the emotions and thoughts as well as with the general state of physical health. Enthusiasm brightens and intensifies the aural color, while depression shows up as a muddy color.
I have never personally experienced these colors or auras, yet I have met many who have and would not wish to deny their experiences. My understanding of life processes is more complete because I have shared with others-and thus have made more valid for myself-certain related phenomena that I have come upon in the course of my studies.
The Aim of Yoga
The body is the reflecting mirror of the whole cosmic process. This fact has long been known in India, where meditation has been an essential part of life through the centuries. Much benefit can be derived from a sharing of insights derived from the Western study of endocrinology and the science of yoga, since the aim of both is integration of the individual. The former approaches integration from the physical and emotional perspective; the latter from the spiritual perspective.
Yoga has been defined as the mystic reunion of man’s spirit with the one Eternal Soul of the universe. The yogi is the practitioner of yoga. There are many diverse systems of yoga. The form most commonly practiced in the United States is hatha yoga, which concentrates on attuning the body through physical postures and breathing. Raja yoga the yoga of right action; jnana yoga takes the intellectual pathway. And bhakti yoga moves to God through love and devotion.
The aim of all forms of yoga is to make man the master of his body rather than its servant and to arouse recognition of his true spiritual nature. Its study is very demanding and necessitates great discipline and the guidance of an experienced guru (teacher). The disciplines include such practices as the following: the avoidance of all stimulants, a largely vegetarian diet, moderation of sex life, expecting much from oneself but little from others, truthfulness, noninjury to others, and simplicity of living on a small and often shared income.
The various systems of yoga are staged to unfold step by step the basic sources of man’s energy-physical, mental, and spiritual.
Today the great majority of people are quite unaware of their potentials and live life in a rather routine and unimaginative way. The student of yoga sees himself in relationship to great reservoirs of energy that are all about him. If he is to avail himself of these energies, he must tune his body instrument. This means developing the control of certain energy valves, referred to as chakras (see figure). Seven of these are of major importance, and it is to these alone we refer. These vortices of energy selectively suck in cosmic energy and relate it directly to one of the endocrine glands. These latter, which are guardians of health, exert a strong regulatory control, through hormones and the involuntary nervous system, on the body organs.
There is a latent source of power, figuratively pictured as a
coiled serpent, located at the base of the spine, which is referred to as the kundalini. When the kundalini is fully awakened, the power ascends and activates, one after another, the chakras and thus brings about progressive enlightenment.
If the centers are opened before the student is prepared, the energy release may be so great as to cause a psychotic break with reality. Through the practice of yoga the sleeping serpent is aroused and starts the ascent toward the thorax and brain as visualized in the caduceus.8
The serpents in this symbol are seen to cross at five points, which are the five chakras of the abdomen and the chest. In their center is the spine and at the upper end are a pair of wings, symbolizing the ascent of the forces: the male (positive) referred to as Pingala, and the female (negative) termed Ida. In yoga these forces are aroused by breathing through the left and right nostril with a deep concentration on the power of the inflowing breath.
Speaking in the terminology of psychosynthesis, the arousing of the lower centers is the personal synthesis that must precede the spiritual synthesis. This is accomplished through self-discovery, through recognizing our ego and accepting ourselves just as we are. Having recognized our sensual life and given it expression, there follows a period of raising the consciousness through character-building, clean living, and controlled emotional life so that we become masters of our emotions rather than servants. The solar plexus, with its close connection to the adrenals, is the master center in this area of building and purification as it is a center of strength. The adrenal hormones are our primary source of body defense.
As this stage of life nears completion, personal desires are raised to the heart chakra in the chest area, and, through sublimation, they are transmuted into a higher form of love energy directed away from personal concerns and toward humanity in general. Meditation then becomes a vital part of everyday life, and one’s life takes on an organized purpose. Through further meditation, the forces rise eventually to the highest head center of the pituitary and pineals. At this point one no longer lives for himself but finds his life is live through grace. Saint Paul describes this state as:
I (the ego) am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me….9
N.L. relates the story of her own kundalini experience:
After a two-year bout with increasing depression, I surrendered myself totally to God, not knowing or believing consciously in God-like casting oneself into an abyss of unknown. For six months following this surrender I simply lived without concern and worry or particular desire for anything, but awareness of my duties in caring for our children and other family activities.
At the end of the six months, my husband became quite ill and was hospitalized so that the demand on my energies was much greater than normal, yet there was no feeling at all of stress, rather more like a stimulant to keep all things running as smoothly and the children well cared for as possible.
One afternoon between two and three P.M, the house and surroundings were very quiet and sunny. I sat alone reading Peter Marshall’s sermons, when one particular phrase mentioning the Pearl of Great Price took hold of a higher emotion. I felt it in the heart center like a white bird taking wing and flying upward through the head center. Somehow, I went completely with this feeling, and there was a rush of energy from the base of the spine flowing up through the center of the body and out the top of the head. It was like golden-white liquid light fire that does not burn.
It took no more than three seconds for this rush of light to envelop the body and “take” everything with it. It flowed out the top of the head and down over the whole body. I thought briefly “this is ‘my cup runneth over’ ” before all-house, landscape, world, and universe-became this same light everywhere. No forms at all and no separation of being. All this oneness was God, without words.
I do not know how long it lasted, perhaps only five or ten minutes before a filtering-back-down process slowly proceeded, taking another few minutes. The first thing I was aware of was the phrase “All in One,” and then the rest of the usual scenery and place was apparent again. I felt great joy, peacefulness and marvel at understanding through experiencing the basic divinity and unity of the entire creation, a blessing which by its nature desires to be shared and known by everyone.
The effect of lightness and transformation stayed on in diminishing degrees for several months, and the basic “contact” with God has never left. Not long after the experience (within the hour) I again felt such joy I said, “Soul, come forth,” and a lovely rush of joy and lightness flowed up from the heart center to the head, making all the landscape look bright and shimmering (I was then driving a car and had to keep from losing that awareness, too).
I had never read or heard of this experience before, but later read of similar ones in many books, largely Eastern philosophical ones.
Light in the Spirit
There is nothing new about this idea of music and light flooding all the interstices of the universe. Three thousand years B.C., we find this statement from the Bhaghavad Gita: “The glory and amazing splendor of this mighty being may be likened to the sun rising at once into the heavens with a thousand times more than usual brightness. ., .”10
According to Pythagoras, “There is One Universal Soul, diffused through all things, eternal, invisible, unchangeable; in essence like truth, in substance resembling light.”
For a moment on the Mount of Transfiguration, three of Jesus’ disciples were permitted to see the light energy that is the true building material of man:
And after six days, Jesus taketh with him, Peter, James, and John, and leadeth them up into the high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so no fuller on earth can white them….ll
Looking at these radiation phenomena from the vantage point of today’s research, Dr. Donald Andrews informs us
. . . the light streams into the person from all the organs and also from the universe and the different planets. It is also radiated outwards. The essence of the stars is in this room. The music is broadcast out in different wave lengths. Every heart beat and thought goes out as a wave into the universe. We are in contact with the Eternal, embraced by it and in it.l2
Ervin Seale, in a recent lecture to New Thought students, gave definitions of Body, Mind, and Spirit.l3 He envisaged the world as a realm of unity, proclaimed by all the great world religions. Out of this he saw a stepping-down of energies to the level of Mind, where for the first time, duality makes its appearance, in that we are dealing with both the universal and the individual minds. As these energies are stepped down still further, there is the appearance of the physical body.
In further unraveling these divine harmonies as they apply in the plant world, George Adams and Olive Whicher have done a masterful piece of work described in their book The Plant Between Sun and Earth. With the acknowledged help of leads provided by Goethe, they have discerned something of the great symmetry underlying plant structure and illustrated in geometric forms involved in the plant’s growth patterns. Once again in this book we are conscious of the interplay of two worlds of energy: one, physical and “tangential,” and the
other, spiritual and “radial.”
What is the magical secret which is spoken silently yet eloquently from the heart of every flower? Hidden in the undergrowth or flaunted high upon the hedgerow, a message is forever being sounded if we could but hear it-a thousand modulations of a mighty theme…. through the centuries, Nature-above all Plant Nature-has spoken to the heart of man. In the glory of color and individuality of form the plants speak. In the past, man listened to Nature as though in a dream; in recent centuries he has determined to become more consciously aware of her secrets.14
Following this thread from the plant life into the animal world, the research work done at Yale Medical School by Dr. H. S. Burr is particularly outstanding. He has made a study of energy fields of the animal world, noting that electromagnetic fields regularly determine the pattern of organization in biological systems. This being the case, certain parts of animals (including man) must carry a positive charge, whereas other parts must be negatively charged.
Dr. Burr proved this to be the case. Studying frog eggs, he found there was always one point on the egg where a higher potential difference could be registered. Keeping with this mark, it always turned out to be the point where the head was to appear. Thus he established the relation of the electrical field and the form and always found the field preceding the form.
Dr. Burr further discovered that in 90 percent of the cases, the right side of man’s body carried a net positive charge, and the left a negative charge. The reverse was true in 10 percent of the cases. This, incidentally, was not correlated to right- or left-handedness.
The loss of our natural relationship to Nature has been a gradual result of the so-called progress of civilization. It seems to be the penalty of an overdevelopment of the personal ego that sees itself as existing by itself alone, in competition with Nature at large
In Tune with Nature
Through the ages there appear to be cycles of man living in very close contact with his environment, and then in times of isolation, each man fending for himself. This past century has been one of the latter periods. The physician and the priest have now long been separated. It has generally been forgotten that the father of medicine, Hippocrates, was a priest.
While not suggesting that priests start practicing medicine or that physicians take on ecclesiastical orders, each needs to be something of the other. The priest needs to realize the needs of the physical man, and the physician needs to be; aware of the sanctity of a human being. Scientific advances in this century have exceeded the wildest stretches of imagination-radio, television, radar, computers, and all the rest But what a price we are paying in terms of the dulling of our own inborn sensitivities!
The physicians of the past century had much more acute clinical acumen. Their fingers, ears, and eyes had to take the place of X-rays, electrocardiograms, blood chemistry profiles, and radioactive scans. The young medical student and resident physician of today never hear the sounds audible to the ears of their predecessors nor feel the slight skin temperature changes nor see the peculiarities of the tongue that were so important in the diagnoses of former times.
Medical physicist Francis Woidich, a profound student of latent human energies, refers to man as “the cosmic resonator” and declares that the human being is capable of conscious response to any type of energy. Griffith Evans, M.D., believed that we human beings resonate on a harmonic system of vibrations tending to give a basis for our establishing rapport with another individual by tuning in his field of consciousness.
The research of G. W. de la Warr in his Oxford laboratory illustrated the power of thought on cellular growth and on photographic emulsion. He has also designed a number of diagnostic and therapeutic instruments that have aided him and his physician wife in diagnosing and treating patients at a great distance through a drop of the patient’s blood to which they mentally tune in.
The rapidly growing field of parapsychology is piling up evidence of this type. In this connection I recall an example told me by the well-known student of psychic research Harold Sherman, who described his daily logged mental communications with an arctic explorer. One day Sherman awakened with a severe headache that he was at a loss to explain, inasmuch as he was not subject to headaches. Comparing diary notes on the explorer’s return, they discovered that the timing of the headache coincided perfectly with a severe bump on the head his friend had suffered.
There is basically nothing new about these ideas, which we are rediscovering, since they are practiced unconsciously by all forms of life. An amateur naturalist for most of my life, I have been deeply impressed by the cosmic resonance theory as I have listened by the hour to the rhythmic chanting of frogs or the friendly whispering of crickets or watched the instantaneous departure of every member of a flock of cedar waxwings as they received some signal quite imperceptible to me. Many are the stories of this relationship of man to Nature, as told by the Kahunas or the American Indians.
Recently, J. Allen Boone, author of Kinship with All Life and The Language of Silence, described an experience of his that took place in Africa when he was traveling with a group of game hunters. He had heard of a place in the interior where a large band of monkeys frequently congregated and indulged in amazing acrobatic performances for which they had become famous. He set out for the place with the intention to arrive well ahead of his party. Picking a quiet spot under the shade of a tree, he sat down, identified himself with his surroundings, and waited.
After a reasonable lapse of time, monkeys seemed to arrive from everywhere. The out-of-doors became a great stage. They were climbing, swinging, chattering in a performance more remarkable than any zoo or circus could possibly provide In the midst of this rare spectacle, all motion suddenly ceased, and there was a silence so profound it was practically audible. In another moment every monkey had disappeared.
Boone glanced at his watch, for he wished to test a theory that had suggested itself. When the hunting party arrived some hours later, he queried them as to the exact time they had left camp. It was the same time that the monkeys disappeared!l5
Captain Hounsell, the skipper of one of the Newfoundland coastal steamers, was well known to me during my time of medical service with the International Grenfell Hospital at St. Anthony, Newfoundland. Icebergs and heavy fogs were everyday hazards to these skippers in the days before radar. My wife tells of a trip with the captain to St. John’s from our home port of St. Anthony. They were plying their way through White Bay in a dense fog one morning. Mrs. Loomis asked the mate how the captain knew where they were going. The mate replied that he had no idea but knew that the captain had another sense that most of us don’t know how to use. Shortly the boat’s whistle blew, and the anchor was dropped at Seal Cove. Nothing could be seen but fog and water. Then the motorboats from the shore began to arrive at the ship’s side. The trip was completed as if there had been no fog, but how?
A close friend who has spent much time on the Arizona Indian reservations tells of a personal experience he had while attending an intertribal council meeting. He and the Indian chief walked silently together to the meeting place at a distant secluded area. They sat down in a circle while the other chiefs gradually assembled. After an hour of silence, my friend inquired of his host when the meeting would start. The reply was that it had started an hour before. As time went on, the pipe was passed around in ceremonial fashion. Then, of one accord, all got up and walked off in their various directions.
“What did this accomplish?” my friend asked in wonder.
“All has been decided,” was the reply. Nearing the home village, an Indian ran out to meet the chief, exclaiming how happy he was with the success of the meeting!
In conclusion I am reminded of a few simple lines of the great English poet William Wordsworth, who had the sense of awe and wonder:
The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers, Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! The sea that bears her bosom to the moon; The winds that will be howling at all hours, And that are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers; For this, for everything we are out of tune; It moves us not.-Great God! I’d rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
1. Donald H. Andrews, The Symphony of Life (Lees Summit, Mo.: Unity Books, 1966), p. 42.
2. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man (New York: Harper Torch Books, 1961), p. 64.
3. Pitrim A. Sorokin, The Ways and Power of Love (Chicago: Gateway Edition, Henry Regnery Co., 1954), p. 6.
4. John Dryden, “A Song for St. Cecelia’s Day,” Oxford Book of English Verse (Oxford; Clarendon Press, 1939 edition), p. 479.
5. Concerning the work of Tintoretto, art critic B. Berenson points out that his paintings give a great sense of power and immense energy. Tintoretto had that great mastery of light and shadow which enabled him to put into his pictures all the poetry there was in his soul. Bernhard Berenson, The Venetian Painters of the Renaissance (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1906), pp. 52-53.
7. Shafica Karagulla, Breakthrough to Creativity (Los Angeles: DeVorss and Co., 1967).
8. For further discussion of the symbolism of the caduceus see Manly P. Hall, Man, Grand Symbol of the Mysteries (Los Angeles: Philosopher’s Press, 1932), p. 305.
9. Gal. 2:20.
10. Bhaghavad Gita (London: Temple Classics, 1905).
11. Matt. 17:2.
12. Donald H. Andrews: notes taken at a lecture in Los Angeles, 1970.
13. Ervin Seale: notes taken at a lecture in Los Angeles, 1970.
14. George Adams and Olive Whicher, The Planet between the Sun
and Earth (Worcestershire, England: Goethean Science Foundation, 1952), p. 1.
15. J. Allen Boone, The Language of Silence (New York: Harper and Row, 1970).
16. William Wordsworth, “Sonnets,” A Treasury of Great Poems (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1942), p. 650.
Special Note: For those individuals wishing further information about the chakras or yoga, I can recommend the following: Esoteric Healing by Alice Bailey; The Chakras by C. W. Leadbetter; Fundamentals of Yoga by Rammurti Mishra, M.D.; Man Made Clear for the Nuclear Age by Roland Hunt; and Scientific Yoga for the Man of Today by Sri Surath.