Energy And Information
The Chinese talk about Qi as the fundamental energy in the universe. It’s also called Ki, chi, prana, and manna in other cultures., and in Star Wars it’s called The Force. No matter what it’s called, this building block consists of two main components. The first is force. This is the most common way of thinking of Qi because Qi was introduced to the west through martial arts… and let’s face it, breaking boards and bricks is all about power. The other, more critical part is information. Really, this is the most important component, and the way to understand it is to think of a television signal.
A TV signal may be sent to a TV from a variety of different sources. A broadcast signal, a cable signal, and a DVD player are all examples of different signal sources. On the one hand a broadcast signal has a lot of power. In some cases it has thousands and thousands of watts. On the other hand a cable signal is very weak, thousandths of a watt. The transmission media determines the strength of the signal, but has nothing to do with the picture and sound that you really want to see. That is the information in the signal, and it’s the same no matter what the power is. The information part of Qi is extremely important, because that’s the part that allows Qi to manifest as rocks, frogs, flowers, dogs, cats, and people, you can think of our universe as a huge three dimensional television set that plays the channels of information in the Qi.
The Human Aura
It’s surprising how similar the picture of the human aura is from culture to culture… and the model presented here is, for the most part, universally agreed to. As with the name Qi, the different portions of the human energy field are called different things, but the notions are the same. At the most subtle level, human beings are connected to the universe by a countless number of energetic threads. In ayurevedic medicine these threads are called the nadis. The nadis are literally our information tie to the universe. Humans are in a state of constant communication back and forth with the universe via the nadis… and actually, each person is fundamentally the same as the universe. They are more like whirlpools in water. They appear to be individual entities, but they are actually made of the same stuff as the water. From a modern physics frame of reference, at this subtle level people are constantly exchanging sub-atomic particles with each other, the world, and the universe.
The mental energy body represents energetic information at a somewhat denser level. The mental body can be detected at a distance from the gross physical body. It’s the world that is created by the ideas within your mind. This is a new concept for many people, but it is best articulated in the Buddhist idea of the mind as being another organ of perception. Your eyes see the photons emitted by an object, but it’s really just a collection of neurological signals. It’s the mind that puts these signals together. It says… this is flat, has four legs, and made of wood. It must be a “Table”. If you think about it it’s easy to see how strong these mental ideas are at influencing our view of the world.
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In fact, we live in a world of mental abstractions. Take the idea of “freedom” for example. This is a very powerful idea, yet it is completely abstract. There is nothing that we can grasp and say, “This is a freedom.” in the same way we can grasp a rock and say “This is a rock.” But look at the human effort that has been bound to the idea of freedom. Wars have been fought over this idea.
At a little denser level is the emotional body. As the name suggests, this is the region in which the emotions come into play. The emotional body can be detected a little closer to the physical body. But that needs some explanation. The nature of computer screens and paper diagrams is that these different components of the human energy field look like layers of an onion. That really isn’t the case. They all go all the way into the body, but the less dense they are, the further they extend out from the body. So, the emotional body doesn’t extend out as far as the mental body, and the mental body doesn’t extend out as far as the nadis. Yet, they all permeate the physical body.
The physical energetic body is energy at a still denser plane of existence. The best way to think of this part of the energy field is as an energetic mold for the actual physical body. You can think of the physical molecules and DNA as being poured into this energetic mold to form the human physical body.
The gross physical body exists at the most dense plane of existence. So, the subtle energy of the nadis actually descends into matter. Now consider for a moment that the western medical point of view is that the matter and DNA and body come first and any energy like that detected by an EKG or EEG comes from the body. This is really the opposite viewpoint. Western Medicine does not even acknowledge the human aura energy body.
It’s critically important to understand that when it comes to Qi, subtle energy rules over dense energy. The fact is that strong emotions can have adverse effects on the human body itself and can be an important factor in disease. In the same way, mental distortions like those found in what is called schizophrenia can influence the emotions and the physical body.
What is it that makes quarks and electrons and protons and other multi-dimensional vibrational constituents of the universe figure out how to become boulders, trees, trains, and people? Science doesn’t know. That returns us to the information component of energy. The thing that makes you manifest the physical body you have manifested is the informational component of the Qi manifesting through the nadis, the mental energy body, the emotional energy body, the physical energy body, and the physical body. You tune in to the network of your own universal blueprint. So in a very real sense, the energetic information is the precursor to the DNA code. The human energy field is a unified system for processing that information.
As one’s body commences to loosen up enable the great laid-back experiencing unfold throughout your system. Make it possible for it take in you from brain to toe. Tingling sensations sensing just as if your system is changing into lighter in weight and possessing the perception that you’ll be able to not sense your legs and arms can be a wonderful warning of whole peace.
The chakras each work with specific frequencies of information and act as the central circulation point for that type of information. For example, the heart chakra processes and distributes information related to emotions and the sixth chakra processes and distributes information relation to the mind. Each chakra functions in all the energy bodies, so, for example, the heart chakra distributes information related to ideas about emotions, actual emotions, and information concerning the physical heart. Chinese Medicine associates the physical heart and the heart meridian to the emotion of joy. Joy related information is processed and distributed by the heart chakra. At the mental body level, the heart chakra processes information concerning ideas like “playing with a puppy is joyful.” At the emotional level, the heart chakra processes the happiness when you touch or even think of a puppy. On the physical level, the heart chakra moves the right information into the heart meridian and produces physical reactions like increased heart rate when you see a puppy. Each chakra focuses on specific types of information. You can think of that as different stations on a TV set. Even so, the chakras are interconnected into the shushumna channel, which is the main energetic information conduit in the body.
The acupuncture meridians reside in the physical energy body. The extraordinary meridians are often called vessels. They provide energy to the main meridian rivers of energy as needed. When considered from an information point of view, they are buffers for the energetic information. Specifically, they buffer the information between the shushumna and chakra system and the main acupuncture meridians. Returning to the television metaphor, the chakras tune into the right station for specific physical organs, they process the energy and store it in the extraordinary meridians, and the extraordinary meridians provide it in usable forms to the twelve main meridians as required. In that way, each part of the physical body gets the specific instructions it needs to do its job correctly.
Theories of Disease and Treatment
The traditional viewpoint of Chinese Medicine is that the flow of energy in the meridians can be too weak, too strong, blocked, or reversed. That is what causes disease and physical ailments. That takes a strictly power viewpoint about energy. When considering the information that the energy contains the information can be received, not received, or distorted. Healthy energy would correspond to information received. Too weak and blocked would correspond to information not received. Too strong and reversed energy would refer to information distorted. The information theory of disease is that illness manifests when the correct information is not received. In other words, for an organ to work correctly it must receive the correct instructions.
Thinking of human energy from an informational instead of a force point of view may appear to be a subtle difference, but it allows alternative healthcare professionals to understand ailments in both traditional and new ways. Information that is received or not received fits nicely with both traditional acupuncture and chakra balancing. In those modalities, the problem is seen as an imbalance in the amount of energy and the healing task is to bring everything into a state of balance so that everything is receiving exactly the proper amount of energy and information that it should receive.
The intriguing additional insight in the informational viewpoint arises in the idea of distorted information. There really is no similar concept in either acupuncture or chakra balancing. The basic notion is that the flow and amount of energy is ok, but somehow the information the energy contains is corrupted. That means that an organ may be receiving the proper amount of energy, but the instructions it is receiving are somehow erroneous, and that causes the organ to function incorrectly. The information corruption theory applies anywhere in the entire energy field and the implication is that it can lead to an effective treatment strategy for problems ranging from mental illness to stress to emotional trauma. For example, consider a young child that has witnessed an extremely traumatic event like the death of a parent. Chinese Medicine associates grief with the lung meridian. So, you might see asthma or another lung weakness developing in the child. The Chinese Medicine treatment strategy would be to strengthen the energy flow in the lung meridian. Yet the child might develop other lung ailments or emotional or mental problems. Somehow the Chinese approach is limited.
Viewing the same traumatic event from an informational point of view results in the observation that such an event might leave a permanently distorting injury anywhere in the human energy field of the child. For example, it might be in the emotional energy body. Energetic information that flows from the mental energy body would be mistranslated in the emotional body and the instructions flowing into the physical energy body would be distorted and incorrect. That means the extraordinary and main meridians would transmit distorted instructions to the physical organs including the lungs. The informational point of view might seem like a small difference, but it has significant treatment implications. Instead of treating the amount of energy flowing to the lungs or, worse yet, treating the lungs with medications, the most effective treatment is to remove the effect of the distorting injury, called an impact event, from the emotional energy body. Unless that impact event is effectively treated, the child would continue to experience different physical, emotional, or mental symptoms throughout life.
The human energy field can be thought of as an incredibly sophisticated information processing system and provides a framework for an energetic theory that unifies the human aura, the chakras, and the acupuncture meridians.