I have been sensitive to and worked with subtle energy all of my adult life. What I mean by subtle energy is what is called Chi in China and Prana in India. Although I work with it I still do not have an understanding of what it actually is, in physical terms. So I have this question which does not go away, and it is this “What is the nature of subtle energy”. Is it part of the electro-magnetic spectrum, is it a quantum level effect, or what is it. Some pointers to areas of interest around this question are below.
Rupert Sheldrake developed the concept of the Morphic Field and Morphic Resonance which is an explanatory model that has much to recommend it.
James Oschmann has done a lot of work into the fields of Energy Medicine.
The HeartMath Institute
They have been researching the nature of the heart since 1991 and what they have discovered is very much in line with what many people have intuitively felt about the energetic importance of our hearts in relationship to our physical, mental and emotional health and what has been taught in spiritual traditions. They have developed techniques for personal practice and for supporting a positive consciousness in the world.
Their Quick Coherence Technique is their fundamental technique and can be used as a form of heart-based meditation practice. It is what I do these days. They sell simple bio-feedback devices to help you to achieve and stay in this heart coherent state.
Near Death Experience
Near Death Experiences lead to some very interesting ideas being explored that are at the edge of our current ideas of consciousness and notions of mind/body. Have a look at the Near Death Experiences Research Foundation.
A programme that explored this topic was “The Day I Died” which was shown on BBC2 on the 5th February 2003. This programme included research work of the following people.
- Near death experiences in cardiac arrest: Visions of a Dying Brain or Visions of a New Science of Consciousness an article by Drs Sam Parnia and Peter Fenwick. They have a book called “What Happens When We Die”
- Dr Michael Sabom’s Research of life and death experience in operating theatres.
- Dr Stuart Hameroff has collaborated with Roger Penrose to produce a quantum level theory of consciousness called “Orchestrated objective reduction” or Orch OR, which is said to occur in the microtubules in the cells of the brain. I personally find this latter particularly exciting as a possible model of consciousness.