One of the most fascinating things to me in Qigong has been the Chinese fascination with longevity and immortality. Immortality is not living forever in the body you have today, it is to be aware of your eternal nature – before you die.
Interestingly, Laozi addresses this in the context of light in his poem #52, “using your own radiance return to the source of all light, this is the practice of entering eternity.”
In Qi cultivation this process is initiated at the practical level of health and healing. However, in the more advanced methods that are explored in the Heaven Phases, healing, longevity and immortality are gained by returning to one’s primordial or pre-birth nature and by merging with the timeless field of universal Qi. Many Qigong practices are focused on reversing time and returning to your pre-birth when there was no stress, no complexity, nothing to know, nothing to plan, nothing to remember.
Very recently, scientists have determined that our usual perception of time is not entirely correct. The arrow of time does not just travel forward in accordance with the clock and the sun, it also travels the opposite direction. I found this out while presenting at the Esalen-Noetic Science conference noted earlier. My roomate was the distinguished physicist Helmut Schmidt, who developed the digital random numbers generator (DRNG) at Boeing in 1969. This device, produces sets of random numbers that allow scientists to investigate non-local and quantum effects. In our conversations I was amazed to find that his work reflected the concepts that were so prevalent in the world view of the ancient Chinese Qi Masters. Talking Dr. Schmidt is a little like talking to Laozi, “When exploring the science of Qi, emphasize the mystery – anything else that you name it is probably wrong.” In his research Dr Schmidt has demonstrated that mind or consciousness influence the chance process in nature so that an outcome can reflect your intention. (50, 51)
This was further confirmed by Russell Targ (52, 53) a physicist who conducted the CIA research on remote viewing and Dean Radin of the Boundry Institute. (54, 55)In the discussions with these three luminaries of science it became obvious that there is a significant amount of research data that suggests that an influence can travel from the present to influence the past or from the future to influence the present. It has been found that this influence is potentiated by coherent function, aligning inner resources through mind focus and intention.
The possibilities that arise from this research are amazing. Healing may not actually be simply physiologic. In the light of time reversal, healing could as easily be caused by an influence going into the past and altering the development of health status even before a disease had occurred. This is connected to our discussion on possibility, probability and actuality. The set of “probabilities” that were on track to cause the “actual” disease would be altered by a signal or message that travels into the past to trigger an alternative set of probabilities. This would prevent the disease before it began and established a new history, a new set of “actualities”, for the person which begins to manifest in the past but is reflected in the present.
In an applied sense this means that in our practice of Qigong we may be influencing the past to affect the future or that our practice in the future has an effect on our present. Let this sink in. Your practice today may influence the past to alter your future. As your practice advances in the future the more powerful influence may be having an effect on you now. This Qigong effect could translate into new choices or behaviors. Or it could simply inspire us to increase the quantity or quality of our Qigong practice. Essentially, as this picture formed up in the discussions with Schmidt, Targ and Radin it became apparent that as probabilities become actualities it creates what is called our “world line” – a sequential set of probabilities that actualized. The time reverse effect suggests that, through intention an alternative set of probabilities actualize creating a new world line – a new you. This is exactly what the Chinese promise in Inner Alchemy and the cultivation of the Golden Elixir which is a spiritual medicine that creates peace of mind and a direct association with timeless nature of life.
In the highest levels of Qigong it is an intention of the practice to become one with all life. Or as we havediscussed it may be more accurate to say — to realize that that you are of the One. Dissolving in Qi is essentially this, to melt into the universal field of Qi. To become one is to deeply associate with and accept oneness with everything. This is love. One of the most advanced states in Qigong is compassion and spontaneous service – love.
Interestingly, the writers in the domain of physics that I have drawn upon the most in my exploration of the Heaven Level of equivalents of Qi all talk about love. One of the first and most interesting things that I heard William Tiller say about the practical application of his findings in physics was, “We have an inherent capacity to resonate to the frequency of love, except for one thing – fear creates resistance in our circuitry.”
Love in all its forms – compassion, devotion, appreciation, gratitude, caring – create inner coherence. Love describes interacting with openness. Physicist Goswami suggests that the reality of quantum mechanics at the human level is love – where the “boundaries of the self are transcended through the experience of unity in spite of apparent separateness.” Shen, the Chinese word for Spirit is often translated as unconditional love – because in the ultimate sense personal spirit is associated with the One. In the most advanced forms of Heaven Qigong, sometimes called Shen Qigong, one enters into a form of practice where the self merges with the One.
These universal interactions — whether through fields, consciousness or otherwise — suggest that the Chinese idea of the One and the relation that you can elect to have with the One is feasible. We can not decide to make the universe more coherent. The universal field is already coherent. However we can, through our practice, align with or enter into coherence with the inherent power of the universe.
Consciousness, it appears, may be the primary or fundamental factor in our experience of what we know as as the cosmos or the world. It also appears that your own consciousness may actually be an aspect or a portion of a universal field of consciousness. In the Chinese tradition this is all consistent with the idea of the pervasive Qi of Heaven entering the individual and residing in the heart (Heart/Mind). This means that our heart reflects the One.
When the great masters who teach with life and compassion do their good work it is essentially, according to the Chinese, opening to the natural Yin force of Earth, opening to the natural Yang force of Heaven and allowing them to merge in the Heart/Mind center. By over coming the illusion of separateness that causes fear and worry the heart opens and the influence of Heaven and Earth pour through you and into your life, your work, your family, your community. When you purposefully cultivate Qi to eliminate resistance and the forces of the universe flow through you, it is an expression of the One. Complete surrender to all that is — that is openness to the One. Openness to all that is that is love and love resides in and expresses through the Heart.
Nesting — Embedding
The Multidimensional Human
Physiology – Earth internal, material, local
Bioenergy – HeartMind internal, non material, local
Biofield – Heart Mind internal/external, non-material, local
Quantum – Heaven Qi internal/external, nonmaterial, nonlocal
Of the four Western equivalents of Qi, only one is material. Yet, for most practical applications particularly in health and medicine, Western science has been completely focused on the material. Our science has definitely demonstrated the power to study, and apparently even control, the physical domain. The future of Western science is guaranteed to be awesome given only the smallest material portion of the multi-dimensional world and only a minor aspect of the multi-dimensional human has been explored.
The Chinese are contributing to our capacity to understand what looks like the limitless nature of our being. It appears that each of the levels of our self may be nested or embedded in the other levels. This can be viewed from bottom up as is typical here in the contemporary science of the West, or top down as in the more intuitive sciences of the ancients.
Bottom up – Western Science —
The body — physiology and biochemistry — is the conductive ground for the bioenergetic frame work which generates the biofield. These together provide the local framework for the interface of quantum/consciousness which is boundless and timeless.
Top down – Ancient Science —
The boundless and timeless ocean of Qi (quantum) creates the personal Qi Matrix (biofield), which infuses channels and centers (Dan Tian). This constructs and maintains the physical body ( structural and biochemical interactions).
This nesting integrates the parts into a whole. In our practice of cultivation we can either work from the Heaven Level down – which is not generally that easy to accomplish for people from our background in the material world — using Natural Flow Qigong, Circulating the Light or Guarding the One are examples of this. Or, fortunately, we can cultivate from the bottom up as well. This approach is the approach to Qigong that is open to everyone. Creating inner physiological coherence among the heart, brain, nervous system and other organ systems enhances the flow of the ions which maximize the capacity of the biofield. Western science has recently progressed rapidly toward understanding this. In addition, our coherent biofield very likely creates a positive relationship with or impact upon our interaction with the universal field of conscious or the quantum domain. While this aspect of the multi-dimensional human is going to be a big challenge for science, there are excellent Qigong tools for practice in this area that have been refined and improved for centuries.
Earlier we explored briefly the ancient formula for health and longevity. The emerging new formula that expresses the equivalents from the contemporary sciences of biology and physics for the knowledge of the ancients:
Inner Coherence = Information Exchange = Optimal Function
Western culture is experiencing a breakthrough to new knowledge about the fact that it is possible to purposefully enhance inner coherence through the methods developed by the ancients as well as some more recently developed self-improvement methods. The new formula for the use of personal practice to potentiate optimal function:
Practice + Intention =
Coherence = Information Exchange = Optimal Function
The ancient Chinese would declare that we can manage our relationship to the universal Qi to improve our lives through the practice of Qigong and Tai Chi. Western science is progressing rapidly to confirm this. The Chinese would declare that by doing the cultivation practices we engage our Heaven self (spirit, Shen) which enters into us to create the illuminated life. With current trends in energy medicine and quantum science we are, it seems, close to this same discovery in the West. Will we solve the Mystery in the West through our sophisticated scientific methods? The ancients would predict that there is quite a bit that you can uncover about the nature and benefits of the Qi, but that it is unlikely that we will solve the ultimate mystery known as Tai Xuan – Supreme Mystery.
Paradoxically, it has become apparent that way before Einstein, the ancient Chinese were doing medical research that was completely consistent with modern physics. This fact is having a major impact on contemporary science and causing a radical new trend to use the framework of quantum era physics to investigate medicine, healing and human potential. From its earliest history, Qigong has been associated with a mysterious and wonderful inner medicine, the Golden Elixir, which is based in Qi and the universal field of potential. The ancient theory that Qi is everywhere has both frustrated and stimulated Western science. Western science has a strong aversion to unsolved mysteries. To solve the mystery of Qi, Western science will have to experience a radical transformation. Research in Asia and Western countries has led to speculation that Qi could be a multi-dimensional factor that may link specific components of the local world with unspecific and immeasurable fields of cosmic proportion into a dynamic, unbounded and unified web of life.
I hope you enjoyed this article on Qigong?
The Healing Promise of Qi, Chapter 16, The Light of Science on Qi
McGraw-Hill; 2002 by Dr. Roger Jahnke ,OMD
48. Schmidt, Helmut. “The Mysterious Side of Psychokinesis (PK).” Esalen-Noetic Sciences Conference on Subtle Energy and Uncharted Mind. Esalen Center for Theory and Research (http://www.esalenctr.org/display/psi.cfm), 2000.
49. Schmidt, Helmut. “PK Tests in a Pre-Sleep State.” Journal of Parapsychology 64:317-31 (Sept. 2000).
50. Targ, Russell. “The Scientific and Spiritual Implications of Psychic Abilities.” Esalen-Noetic Sciences Conference on Subtle Energy and Uncharted Mind. Esalen Center for Theory and Research (http://www.esalenctr.org/display/psi.cfm), 2000.
51. Targ, Russell. Miracles of Mind: Exploring Nonlocal Consciousness and Spiritual Healing. Novato, CA: New World Library, 1999.
52 . Radin, Dean. “Time Reversed Human Experience.” Esalen-Noetic Sciences Conference on Subtle Energy and Uncharted Mind. Esalen Center for Theory and Research (http://www.esalenctr.org/display/psi.cfm), 2000.
53. Radin, Dean. The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1997.
[Dr. Roger Jahnke, OMD – has practiced clinical Chinese medicine for over 30 years. He has traveled to China 8 times to research Qigong and Tai Chi in universities, hospitals, temples and sacred mountain sites. He is a co-founder of the National Qigong Association and is director of training and research at the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi IIQTC, http://IIQTC.org and http://FeelTheQi.com. Dr. Jahnke is the author of The Healer Within, which is widely used in wellness and health promotion programs, and The Healing Promise of Qi, which became an instant classic of mind-body practice and energy medicine. He, along with his colleagues have recently published the most comprehensive review of the Qigong and Tai Chi research literature in the American Journal of Health Promotion (AJHP). The Integral Qigong and Tai Chi Teacher Training program at the IIQTC is considered by many to be among the most credible Teacher Training programs outside of China.]