the chi book: reiki from the roots, extract: the chi manifesto

Chi is life energy.

Literally.

It's the energy which makes the difference between a person, animal or plant being alive, and being dead.

Chi is not something apart from what we are.

Chi can't be owned, given or taken away. It isn't information, it can't be taught. It has its own intelligence.

Left to its own devices, it is in the nature of chi to flow. The flow of chi is quintessentially natural. It's possible, however, to partially block or interfere with the flow.

 

Then, skills are involved in creating proper conditions so it may move unimpeded, exactly as it is.

The brains of many, if not most, people on the planet are now constantly bathed in some form of electromagnetic frequency — quite a fresh occurrence in human history. People carry devices around like life-support machines as if to keep their brainwaves constantly attuned to those frequencies — frequencies of dissociation and scatteredness, of constant checking and constant reacting, rather than creating. Of addictive pseudo-action on the mental plane alone.

This maintains fear and anxiety as a constant state. Fear and anxiety held in the system, maintained permanently, create a sense of helplessness that leaves you open to exploitation, and uses up precious resources in your nervous system, leaving you depleted.

 

If you live in accordance with the natural flow of the chi, there's no holding on to fear. Fear's just a response to situations, which appears when necessary then goes away again. If the chi is not fully flowing, and a situation perceived to be life-threatening happens - you can't react. That's when trauma sets in.

 

You dissociate, split the life-threatening experience off from your memory, go dead to your own experience. This is all too common, it even seems normal.

 

So, in the present day context, with disconnection and trauma rife and institutionalised, with people making money from keeping your energy scattered, the function of Reiki or healing-with-the-chi gains a new twist. All the ancient traditions of energy healing — different ways of amplifying and transmitting the chi — are needed as never before. Reiki is one of them, and a simple one to grasp.

 

The world needs chi warriors now. Not to fight on one side versus the other, but to stand up and fight for what is all-encompassing, generative and primordial. Not just because we all deserve better than this, but because of the linear logic of capitalism, of endless growth, accumulation and consumption and a world view in which only the individual counts has led to a situation in which the planet may very soon become uninhabitable for humans.

 

Chi is primary, and it also encompasses technological forms.

 

Forces created by technological means are able to impede organic energy forms — to kill things. But they can't give birth. So I call technological forms relative forms of the chi. While they are interdependent with, and in a sense inseparable from the absolute, organic, generative chi, the relative is secondary. It can only replicate itself, or do as it's told.

 

The force of organic life is ultimately much stronger than the technological — because it's generative. The planet we live on, the universe which it's a tiny part of, and all the life-forms which live upon it, are composed of a generative force, and conduct it.

 

The balance is tipping, as ecosystems, animals and humans are dying from human stewardship of the chi as if it were something to be controlled and owned. Since the development of agriculture the concept that land, food sources and people are static, separate entities to be accumulated, traded, profited from, or forced into linear trajectories of development, has caused land, food, animals and people to be abused. This is how colonialism developed, and slavery.

 

The flow of chi is innately creative, free, and sexual. Sexual ownership, exploitation and abuse play a key role in the ill-health of bodies and systems. The flow, particularly of female sexual energy, needs to move freely. The same goes for the creative expression of the chi.

 

The flow of chi is innately about the dynamics of interdependency and a kind of fluid exchange. The act of exchange has become colonised into static units of accumulation, by the monetary system, and hyped up into a turbo-charged institutionalised machine of abuse by capitalism.

 

The spirit of exchange, apart from money, needs to be reanimated — a counter-move is necessary, the cultivation of more of the chi that comes alive in the interactions of soil and water, and in human hands.

 

So the ancient becomes revolutionary — but it isn't really old. And it's not really 'ancient things' but timelessness itself which is revolutionary — and revolutionary, at the root, means that everything goes around. All ancient indigenous understandings of time and space and humans' place within them are cyclical and multi-dimensional — they never were linear and it's only from the perspectives of linearity, progress and profit that understandings or techniques seem 'old'.

 

Timeless energy, unbound by any particular moment or place, working within the past and future, ancestors and future children, you and me, wherever we are, is both radical in our contemporary reality — within the systems we presently live in - and radically necessary.

 

Awareness and cultivation of pure, timeless, natural energy is needed right now, if we're to stop this ship from sinking, and it needs to be used with clear intention.

 

The chi is needed to heal — which means to induce a state not of balance but of unimpeded flow. In Taoist terms, chi (life energy) plus yi (intention) equals shi — oneness with the momentum of the universe, seamless manifestation.

 

Healing isn't a cul de sac, an end in itself, although certain cultures have developed around it, rendering it a loop of endless practices, aimed at maintaining a consistent state of wellbeing, or even perfection, digging through layer after layer after layer to get to it. The loop is both effortful and futile, because there's no such thing as a consistent state in nature, or a single destination to get to.

 

So if healing is inducing a state of unimpeded flow, a dynamic fluidity, and that state of flow is the state of the primordial chi itself, we might also call healing restoration of the natural state. The natural state is both behind and within nature (the dance of yin and yang, the forms). It's inherently dynamic and creative, it pushes on, up, down and around. It destroys things and makes new things. It consists of pleasure, and pain. What's consistent is that it feels good to be alive, the flow itself feels good, has a bliss-edge, even in grief.

 

It's important to remember this. While healing is about restoring balance and wholeness to fragmented or imbalanced systems, that balance is not a static state of affairs but a fertile, ever-shifting one. It isn't an attainment or a resting place, at least not for long.

 

This fertile, dynamic state is your experience of absolute reality, you could call it the Tao, in which time and space are not linear, people are not separate and everything is in fact happening at once.

 

In the Taoist understanding, though, everything has two aspects, the dark and light, yin and yang. So the state of fluid interconnection has two sides. While constant interconnection with others feels generative and energising in the realm of intuitive feeling, dreams, or practices such as calling upon the presence of the ancestors, it's also true that being in constant virtual communication with many people at once tends to drain the system. Scattering and dispersing energy rather than focusing it, this form of connection causes depletion rather than recharge. Hence it's disconnecting from screens that gives you a feeling of replenishment, not connecting to more of them.

 

In disconnecting from screens you can ground yourself in your biological being, and charge up from a source that works - the absolute, generative source that makes that small, crucial difference between life and death. It's in the nature of energy to move and expand, so once it has space to move within your brain and heart, you can start to use it to solve some of the problems people are facing/creating, right now, for example, war, starvation, pandemics, climate emergency.

 

The climate emergency is an energy emergency and we actually have energy at our fingertips.

 

Literally in our fingertips. Once you're flowing and not impeded by your own suffering (which is everyone's suffering), freed from the endless healing loop, off you can go with the intention of changing things, unblocking the natural flow wherever you go, be it empathy or clean water.

 

Here is the reiki way of doing it