Subtle Energies Viewed from Four Quadrants

Originally published at:

This article explores the discipline of subtle energies by using the four quadrants of Integral Theory as a central framework. It offers a way to integrate the disparate views of subtle energies from the traditional descriptions of mystics, saints, yogis, and healers with the leading edge research in the life and health sciences in regards to the subtle energies within and around the living system.

I enjoy the kind of exploration this article is working towards.

Just a few brief notes I took while reading this:
Energy: There are two fundamental types of “energy”. The one we might call Yang and the other we might call Yin. I think this article mostly side steps the actual subtle energies (actually non-energy) of Yin, which is not measurable except as it affects Yang.
This is important to point out because Chi - or Prana or whatever name we call it, is the measurable energy but also has a reverse counterpart. A chakra can have energy, or be lacking in energy but way way more important than that is that the channels or “nadi” between these not be blocked. While I hear most of Western Yoga talking about opening up the chakras or whatever (a favorite is the third eye), it’s far far more important for there to be a flow of balanced energy through the channels.

The concept of “negative” or non-energy is significant because it is the root of consciousness in, for example, Zen where focusing on “energy” only hinders the process.

A second comment I would add is to how we identify to the quadrants. Not to replace anything said, but to add to. One way to identify is “I AM me”. Another way to identify is seeing the body as “it”, and the mind as another “it”. Another way to see the quadrants is Jungian, where the Anima and Animus are “we” and the the collection of Jungian Achetypes we carry around as “its”. A Jungian perspective also adds in the question of the “collective conscious” and the “collective unconscious” and where to place these.