The long story of human investigation into our singular world has arguably been about making the invisible visible.
We might reflect on the recent breakthroughs wrought by the international teams of scientists working with the Large Hadron Collider, who finally confirmed the existence of the Higgs Boson. For decades, physicists had acted as if this particle existed, and yet, truly, there was no evidence. Only theory. The tools of observation did not exist to “see” the particle, even though intuition, calculation, and experience suggested it must exist. This extraordinarily complex machine and its extraordinarily complex experiments were all designed to reveal, in the fractions of a second before it winked out of existence, the Higgs. To make something utterly invisible, visible.
Understanding the Natural World
Our earliest ancestors tried to understand what was happening when the bears went into hibernation or the rivers stopped flowing, and they drew images on cave walls that reflected their understanding. They imagined or experienced powerful natural spirits at work.
For thousands of generations we have looked up into the night sky and tried to make sense of the celestial bodies. We turned to stories of heavenly deities and assigned constellations to the stars that fit with our myths and connected their motions to our earthly experiences. Later, aided by Galileo and his telescope, we began to unravel the true happenings of the cosmos.
The Age of Enlightenment, and with it the systematization of the scientific method, brought new capacity to our ability to deduce and understand why things happened in the world around us. Isaac Newton posited a mysterious and invisible force called gravity that we now know has truly comprehensive powers in our universe. The “germ theory of disease” was promulgated, and in the 1670s, Anton von Leeuwenhoek first confirmed the existence of microorganisms, ushering in a new era of medicine, as well as heralding the true power of the microscope. Again, making the invisible visible.
Looking for the Invisible in Our Minds
But the task of peering deeply is not confined to the physical world and biology. Psychology and philosophy are implicated, too. Humankind has long been fascinated by the workings of our own minds and our own communities. Indeed, in English we may call our spiritual elders “seers.”
We have developed myriads of ways of investigating and explaining interior human life. We have shamanic systems that perceive the role of natural forces, guiding spirits, and even malicious human magic in affecting our thoughts. Traditional Chinese Medicine speaks of ch’i that flows through our meridians. In the Judeo-Christian tradition prayer and contemplation are used to look deeply within, and measure our “character” against the redemptive ideal. Those same Enlightenment philosophers would apply logic and rationality to help us understand the patterns that govern our thinking and the dynamics at play in our of societies.
And then, just 100 years ago, the work of Freud and Jung truly unveiled an entirely new understanding of the processes of mind. Deep, unspoken and even unconscious desires and forces act upon our lives in profound ways. Turns out the stuff of dreams may also be the stuff of waking life. Through modern psychology, we have learned how the human psyche is comprised of “parts,” personae layered upon personae, developed throughout life. Even more recent neuropsychology and biology would help us understand how the brain is segmented, and that different anatomical structures are at work on different parts of our lives.
And thus, the science of mind brings with it a slightly different construction of the making the invisible visible: making the unconscious conscious. *(credit to my wife Joy, a counselor, for regularly reiterating this principle)
To make the unconscious conscious is, I will venture, is the incredibly complex task of contemporary social sciences and the nooetic (spiritual, consciousness) sciences. It requires – imagine this – investigating that which we cannot possibly see. There is no material “stuff” to interpersonal dynamics, and there is no material “stuff” to expansions and contractions in your own consciousness. Indeed, this is the great work of meditation – to slow us down long enough to see beyond the workings of the daily, active, mind, into what really is (or isn’t) happening. It is the work of the great sages: to point out to us what we cannot yet see.
And thus, we come to one piece of the wonder of Reiki. Over and over again, in my own treatments and in sessions with clients, I have seen how the power of Reiki brings to light something that might not have been known. A memory from childhood that brought us great joy. The guardianship of a long-dead ancestor. An old injury that unbeknownst to us, still lingers and affects us. A vision of a fully realized self that does not yet exist, but is pure potentiality. Even an answer to, “Why is this happening in my life right now?
Reiki energy, when we invite it in, reaches deep into our bodies, minds, and spirits draws out into the light that which was unseen. It is like a large fire lit in the depths of a deep cavern. Chased by the currents of rising hot air it causes, just ahead of the flickering tongue of its flame, emerge all manner of beasties, memories, and sacred truths. If we are willing, we can stand at the mouth of the cave and catch them. We can examine them in the light of day. We can try to understand with our conscious minds what is really happening down there.
Do you dare make the unconscious conscious? The invisible visible? That, my friends, is the work of personal science.
May Reiki be one tool among many to aid you on your journey to understanding your world and yourself.