What You See and Feel is an Illusion, Everything is Energy
This is a followup to my previous post: How to See the Path of Chi (Qi/Ki) 氣. Just as with my The Key & The Lock post, the basis for this one also came to me while in Qigong meditation, Piercing the Matrix with Qigong.
Einstein’s famous equation from his Theory of Special Relativity, E = MC2, shows that matter and energy are but two forms of the same thing. Matter is really just a stable form of energy. Einstein’s equation showed that this stable form of energy, seen as matter, can be released and transformed into pure energy, as seen in a nuclear reaction.
This stable form of energy, seen as Matter, is further composed of atoms. At the atomic level, atoms are composed of infinitesimal specks spinning through 99.9% empty space. It is really the forces of energy between these particles and atoms that give matter the feeling of solidity. In reality matter is just a stable energy force field consisting of virtually all empty space. So, when you reach out and touch something, you are not really touching it. The stable energy force field of the atoms in your hand is being repelled by the stable energy force field of the atoms in the object, both of which are virtually all empty space. It is these energy force fields that you really feel.
Everything is Energy.
A quantum electrodynamics property of this stable energy force field, called matter, is that it “reflects” light. Light photons are absorbed by atoms and then photons are emitted back out by those atoms. When these “reflected” light photons enter your eyes they are focused on your retinas which generate electrical signals that are then sent to the brain. Your mind takes all this incoming electrical information and uses it to construct a 3D visual perception of reality. What you see is really just an illusion, a mind painting. It is not reality. It is your simplified visual interpretation of reality.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.— Albert Einstein
Re-Training Your Mind to Pierce the Matrix
So, what’s all this got to do with Qigong or the post How to See the Path of Chi (Qi/Ki) 氣? Well, one of the goals of Qigong meditation is to re-train your mind to go beyond your normal senses, to begin to perceive more of the underlying reality of energy that lies beneath your more limited conventional perception of reality. If you have seen the movie The Matrix, there is a scene at the end where Neo has a revelation and can finally see the underlying code that makes up the Matrix.
Similarly, Qigong meditation can help you Pierce the Matrix and begin to feel, see, experience and potentially control your vital energy or Chi (Qi/Ki) 氣 that is the foundation of everything.
A 3D Visual Constructed Perception of Reality, a Mind Painting
There are some readily available examples where your mind creates 3D visual constructed perceptions of reality that you may already be familiar with, Autostereograms, such as the “Magic Eye” example below.
Autostereograms are 2D patterned images made from two 2D images of a 3D object seen from two different viewpoints. The two 2D images are then interleaved together into a single 2D image. If you simply look at a 2D autostereogram you will first just see a complex 2D pattern, which is what it really is. But, if you relax your gaze, and look through the 2D image, focusing a few inches behind the image, as if looking through a window, your mind will decipher the embedded 3D information and use stereopsis to construct a 3D visual representation of the 3D object, a mind painting of a 3D object.
Before your mind constructs the 3D visual perception, you first see all the 2D pattern information in the visual input. But, once your mind interprets the embedded 3D information and constructs the 3D visual perception of the 3D object, the 3D vision becomes very powerful and the 2D image fades away.
As Invisible as the Nose on Your Face
One thing you are trying to do with Qigong meditation is calm the mind, let go of the locked-in perception of reality that your mind has created, and begin to see and feel the other sensory input that has been filtered out. Here is a very simple exercise that will show how what you see is not reality, but just your mind’s simplified perception of reality.
Sit calmly and stare straight ahead with a relaxed gaze. Notice what you see in your field of vision. Now put your finger on your nose, while you continue to stare straight ahead. Notice how you can see your finger impinging in your field of vision. But, notice that you don’t see your nose. Your nose is most certainly there, but your mind filters it out while constructing a 3D visual perception of your surroundings. Because your nose is always there, it does not provide any useful information for your mind’s perception of your surroundings, so your mind simply filters it out. But putting your finger on your nose does show up in your visual perception because it’s not normally there, so it does not get filtered out.
Just because you do not normally see your nose, does not mean that your nose is not there. It has simply been filtered out of your mind’s visual perception of reality because it does not contribute to that perception for day to day life.
Seeing the Aura Not the Trees
By calming the mind during Qigong meditation, you can drop your consciousness below the mind’s simplified constructed perception of reality. You can begin to awaken senses and sensations long suppressed and filtered out by your conscious mind.
Similar to the distortion trails following motions, as mentioned in my earlier post, How to See the Path of Chi (Qi/Ki) 氣, another filtered out visual perception is that of aura halos around trees. If you relax your gaze and stare off into the clear blue sky beyond the tops of the trees, while practicing Qigong meditation, you may begin to notice bright aura halos spring up around the trees.
While experimenting with these visual phenomena, I have been able to reproduce them on inanimate objects as well, though not as strongly. So, whether these visual perceptions are simply visual artifacts normally filtered out while your mind constructs its visual representation of reality, or something deeper, isn’t too important at this point. The fact that you are awakening to subtle perceptions normally filtered out, shows that you are indeed on the right path to Piercing the Matrix with Qigong.
By quieting your mind during Qigong meditation you become more aware of subtle perceptions like these that are normally filtered out. Over time, you may also begin to notice other physical and visual perceptions as you delve deeper beneath the simplified illusion of the perception of reality, deeper into the true reality under the surface, of pure energy.
This is part of attaining the Still Mind.
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-Renshi Mike Scaramozzino