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14th installment of Gary Lindorff's memoir, "Finding Myself in Time"

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Energy is more basic than matter. It can exist without it, but it is the dance of matter and energy that births form. You can see into matter (as I did at the beginning of this memoir, when I saw through my book), but you can't see beyond energy. There is nothing beyond energy to see or to sense! (Perhaps other forms of life have the ability to do this but for us human beings, where energy stops, consciousness falls off.) We should learn to trust our feelings about the energy of the people and places in our lives. And we should learn to read energy fields. Our souls are good at that. This is one sure way to bring our destiny more under control.

There is nothing wrong with living in a primarily material universe. A contractor who makes his or her living by mastering tools and materials, reading blueprints, defining, maximizing space is living in a physical universe. (A good carpenter is not even dependent on electricity.) But matter cannot exist without energy. Energy is the real clay of creation because it is, by nature, formless. Water, even though it is material, retains an energetic character in that it is itself formless. The water molecule is so complex that the real nature of water is still a mystery. (There are infinite forms of water. Stephen Buhner speaks of a kind of water that he associates with early memories of walks with his grandfather - "wild water".) We are 70% water. Water is matter that has not forgotten its energetic genesis. So, liberating water from our limited perspective of it (as resource or something we drink, cook with or bathe in or flush down the toilet to carry away our waste or enjoy seeing in a view as a river, lake or waterfall or as weather), to experience it as the wild and untamable "element" that keeps us primed for living, is an important step toward opening ourselves to an energetic universe.

Energy is what makes all matter so mysterious and wild and alive. But, as we learned in high school chemistry / physics, it is the dance of matter and energy on the atomic level that births form. Some forms are stable and some are ephemeral, but lets not confuse form with matter. Form is matter existing in linear time. When you look into form you see matter (a house, my book), when you look into the essence of matter you see how it dances with energy. When you look into energy, or try to go beyond energy it quantumizes, becoming something more basic than energy. The reason it is useless to try to see beyond energy is, what we are seeing stops existing in linear time or in time as we know it; out of time there is no meaningful context for anything so (unless you are a quantum physicist) there is no sense in making it conscious. I find that relating to the universe energetically is adequate for explaining things shamanically and making sense of how the psyche functions.

[1] In Volume 8 of his Collected Works, Jung introduces the term "psychoid" to distinguish how the nature of archetype is not just psychic, but it is rooted in the stuff of the organism, and of (objective) matter. It is his attempt to push language to make room for the very human experience of meaningful coincidence when inner and outer realities converge.

[2] We do know, thanks to what people have reported about near death experiences and out of body states, that the energy body or subtle or soul-body remains tethered to the physical body, or the vitality of the physical body until that life leaves the physical body at which point the tether lets go and the soul is free of the physical world. So how long does the soul retain a physical appearance? Each religion has its own answer to that but this is when psychology bows out of the discussion, or at least it should.

[3] Beta to alpha to theta to delta (in deepest dreamless sleep).

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Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger  and author of several books, the latest: 13 Seeds: Health, Karma and Initiation. Over the last few years he has begun calling himself an activist poet, channeling his activism through poetic (more...)

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