• Lorie Dechar

    April 20, 2022 at 11:41 am

    I like where you are going with this question / observation, Anita! As a way to enter into this conversation, I would begin with the reminder that the Big Shen is pure light, the light that illuminates the sun, moon and stars and all the heavens. it is a light that is so vast and absolutely pure that we cannot see it with our ordinary eyes … only the eyes of the heart can know this light. The small speck of shen that comes down into you or me from the stars at the moment of conception is an activating, awareness-inducing, spiritual aspect of our being, a form of pure light that ultimately becomes our own unique “North Star” – that shines forth from our eyes and our hearts when we are present and aware.

    When we are around a healthy, whole young child, we experience the shen as a kind of infinite radiating joy … a brightness that extends beyond the child to illuminate the world around the child. But this light of the infant is not a “conscious illumination” rather, it is an unconscious channeling of heavenly shen.

    In answer to your questions: Does the light of spirit age? Can we actually “help it” in anyway to become more whole? In and of itself, shen does not age or tarnish or lose its shine. It does not suffer. This is why shining, untarnishable gold is chosen as one of its metaphorical expressions. It is also why the shen spirit must come down to matter, to inhabit a corporeal body, in order for it to enter into time and space and become a part of the spiritual transformation of the soul. What then generally happens is the light gets covered over and dimmed behind a veil of phlegm, worry, excess emotions or it may fly off back to the stars in cases of extreme shock and trauma. Over time, even in the best of cases, the light of spirits gets covered over by the concerns of daily life and the demands of the maturation process. And yet, the light is always there, as is the imprinted energy of the “child.”Ultimately, the goal of the work is to return – to reconnect with the light of the shen to also “know it consciously for the first time” – to be conscious of the light and allow it to radiate from us in intentional ways.

    In response to your question:

    Can (connecting back to our childhood and the light we knew there) be a way to transform stagnant qi to tap into the things that brought us joy in our youth. (To heal suffering?)

    I would say, yes! Reconnecting to that light, particularly being in communication with the inner child who may have been split off from consciousness bc of trauma is definitely a way to reconnect with our own spiritual illumination. It is a way to unblock emotionally driven qi stagnation. It can be a kind of needle in its own right, a way to activate the healing power of the shen.

    One caveat is that it is important to avoid the trap of “nostalgia” – not to idealize childhood but to really care about and relate to the young parts that we have lost touch with. This is one reason why “telling the story of our childhood,” as well as amplifying our stories with myths and symbols can have such a healing effect on our adult selves.

    Also, as we discussed at the last gathering, it is important not to focus only on the painful parts of our story but to recognize, describe and honor the magical places, the people who loved us, the moments of peace and play, so that we activate not only the spirit but also discover places of refuge that we can install in own hearts to protect the shen and bring joy to the Monarch of our Heart.