By Joseph Selbie
Have you ever seen a glow of light around someone? It can happen when the ambient light is not too bright and especially when you are in a calm and mellow mood. Have you ever felt a shared electric thrill pass through you at a concert when everyone rises to their feet? It often happens when a crowd-pleasing piece is played. Have you ever been moved by sound that seems to come from nowhere and everywhere? It can happen when we are alone and in a quiet space.
If you have, you’re not crazy. The light you see is real. It’s not some afterimage like one caused by a camera flash. And what you feel is real. You really are sharing the feelings of other people, they aren’t just your own. Those sublime sounds you hear are real as well—unless it’s Elvis thanking you for writing all his best songs, in which case, yes, you need help.
For those of us not hearing from Elvis, the mystics explain these experiences as evidence of our subtle energy body. According to them we live in two bodies. One is our physical body, which our senses reveal to us, and the other is a subtle energy body, or astral body, that our intuitive perception reveals to us.
The mystics go further and say that the physical body is created, sustained, and controlled by the subtle energy body; that the physical body is the sock of a sock puppet and the subtle energy body is the hand inside the sock. Without the hand, the sock puppet is just a lifeless, well, sock.
You might think that science can give no support to the reality of such woo-woo concepts, but string theory, especially the branch of string theory known as M-theory, gives us a scientific framework to help us understand how such subtle energy can exist. M-theory suggests that we continuously and simultaneously exist in two realms—in our three-dimensional physical universe, and in a vast, hidden-to-the-senses, two-dimensional, pure-energy realm they call the “bulk” (as in, “the bulk of the cosmos”).
According to M-theory, the bulk, or energy-verse as I like to call it, is inconceivably vast—dwarfing the physical universe. In fact M-theory suggests that an almost unlimited number of other physical universes could also exist in the energy-verse. The energy-verse is filled with super-high frequency vibrating rings and strings from which string theory gets its name. These rings and strings vibrate at frequencies too high for either our senses or scientific instruments to detect. Further, M-theory suggests that this ocean of high-frequency energies invisibly interpenetrates the physical universe at every point, like water saturating a sponge. Thus the rings and strings are invisible to our senses and yet surround and interpenetrate our physical body and world at all times.
This is pretty much exactly the way astral or subtle energy is described by the mystics: we are surrounded by and interpenetrated with subtle energy. They tell us that our subtle energy body is the source of the light seen as our aura, our feelings, and much more.
More significantly yet, M-theory also suggests that our entire physical universe is a holographic projection—and that the hologram from which it is projected exists completely, and only, in the vast ocean of the energy-verse.
In our physical world, a hologram is a flat, two-dimensional film with which light can be made to interact to project a three-dimensional image. According to M-theory, our universe’s hologram is a two-dimensional, light-template with which the high-frequency energy of the energy-verse interacts to project our entire three-dimensional physical universe into being.
Got that? I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t. It takes getting used to. Try this: The hologram from which the physical universe is created exists as coordinated images of high-frequency light in the energy-verse. The high-frequency energies of the energy-verse then continuously interact with those coordinated light images to holographically project the physical universe into being.
Again, this is pretty much what the saints and sages have been telling us for millennia: the physical universe is created and sustained by subtle energy.
Everything was created of spirit matter [Intelligently guided high-frequency energy] before it was created physically—solar systems, suns, moons, stars, planets, life upon the planets, mountains, rivers, seas, etc. I saw this process, and then, to further understand it, I was told . . . that the spirit creation could be compared to one of our photographic prints; the spirit creation would be like a sharp, brilliant print, and the Earth would be like its dark negative. This Earth is only a shadow of the beauty and glory of its spirit creation.—Betty J. Eadie, near-death experiencer and author of Embraced by the Light
From the chapter, “An Experience of Cosmic Consciousness”: All objects within my panoramic gaze trembled and vibrated like quick motion pictures. My body, Master’s, the pillared courtyard, the furniture and floor, the trees and sunshine, occasionally became violently agitated, until all melted into a luminescent sea; even as sugar crystals, thrown into a glass of water, dissolve after being shaken. The unifying light alternated with materializations of form, the metamorphoses revealing the law of creation. –Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi
And not a few scientists have said the same thing:
We must liberate man from the cosmos created by the genius of physicists and astronomers, that cosmos in which, since the renaissance, he has been imprisoned. We now know that we . . . extend outside the physical continuum. . . . In time, as well as in space, the individual stretches out beyond the frontiers of his body. . . . He also belongs to another world.—Dr. Alexis Carrel, Nobel Prize winner
Our second body is far more that a scientific novelty, however. It’s not just an amorphous cloud of energy. Our energy body is the “sharp, brilliant print” that produces our particular physical body and it animates, controls, shapes, and continuously sustains the holographic projection our senses perceive as our physical body.
More importantly, most of who and what we are, in every moment, is not contained in the physical body. We are much more the (luminous) hand in the sock puppet than we are the (physical) sock.
In fact, according to the healers, psychics, seers, mystics, and saints who have highly developed intuitive perception, most of what we experience, most of what fills our awareness, most of what matters to us—our vitality and life force, our feelings, our creative will, our personality and character, and our experience of happiness, love or joy—is actually seated in our interpenetrating subtle energy body, not in the physical body at all.
More significantly yet, the mystics tell us that when we die these essential aspects of who we are continueto exist as they have alwaysexisted—in our non-physical, interpenetrating, energy body. The person we are today is very much the person we will be after death—only we will find ourselves existing solely in our luminous energy body in a luminous energy world—what most people think of as heaven or the astral regions.
The astral kingdom is a realm of rainbow-hued light. Astral land, seas, skies, gardens, beings, the manifestation of day and night—all are made of variegated vibrations of light. Oceans heave with opalescent azure, green, silver, gold, red, yellow, and aquamarine. Diamond-bright waves dance in a perpetual rhythm of beauty.—Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi
In this way, our lives in this plane of existence are encompassed, surrounded, by the afterworld already. . . . The body dies but the spiritual quantum field continues. In this way, I am immortal.—Dr. Hans-Peter Dürr, former head of the Max Planck Institute for Physics, Munich
You don’t die when you die. You shift your consciousness and speed of vibration. That’s all death is . . . a shift.—P. M. H. Atwater, near-death experiencer, NDE researcher, and author of Beyond the Light
Since much of who we are lives on after death, you might think there would be little difference between what we experience now and what we will experience after we die. There is, however, a profound difference. Our subtle body is innately closer to the experience of our full Divine potential. The saints and sages tell us that our natural state is Joy beyond imagining.
[During my near-death experience] I became more blissful, more rapturous, more ecstatic. I was just filling and filling with this light and love that was in the light. The dynamics of this light are not static at all. They are so dynamic and so much going on in there of love and joy and knowledge. As you take it into yourself, or as it goes into you and you receive it, your ecstasy level just becomes tremendous …—Jayne Smith, near-death experiencer
But we don’t need to wait until we die to come closer to experiencing our higher potential—we can meditate and tap into it in the here and now.
Since my return [from my near death experience] I have experienced the light spontaneously, and I have learned how to get to that space almost any time in my meditation. Each one of you can do this. You do not have to die to do this. It is within your equipment; you are wired for it already.—Mellen-Thomas Benedict, near-death experiencer
Meditation is a supremely effective tool for tapping into our joy-filled, peace-filled, and love-filled energy body because—through relaxation, breathing, concentration, and stillness—meditation methodically turns our attention away from the physical body and allows us to experience our subtle energy body more and more fully.
Meditation doesn’t make us calm and joyful: it allows us to experience the calmness and joy natural to our subtle energy body. In practicing yoga postures, it is not the act of relaxing the physical body through stretches and breathing that makes us become calm and joyful. Rather, the physical tension that was keeping us focused on the physical body has been released, allowing us to feel our natural state. Concentration and stillness similarly are effective, because they get us beyond our stream of thoughts and body sensations, freeing us to become aware of our energy body’s natural state of joy.
When Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is within you,” he meant it literally. The more our awareness becomes centered in our subtle energy body, the more happy, fulfilled, loving, compassionate, energetic, and calm we feel.
Expand your awareness of your subtle body. It’s the secret to health and happiness. Breathe in energy from your subtle body, then relax and feel. Concentrate on your calm, still, center.
And whatever you do, if you hear from Elvis, don’t believe everything he’s telling you…
Originally published on Science and Nonduality (SAND)