This past weekend, I viewed the first of the Harry Potter movies for the second time. Watching it with grandchildren was even more fun than the seeing it in a theater as an unaccompanied adult.
Later, my son and I talked about one aspect of the Harry Potter movies: the interface of the world of magic and the world of Muggles (that’s you and me).
For example, in that first film, “Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone,” Harry boards the train for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by walking through a stone wall at Platform 9-3/4. Platform 9-3/4 is located between platforms 9 and 10, which are being used by Muggles who are coming and going in conventional fashion—and yet no one notices Harry and his fellow Hogwarts students disappearing into a wall.
Are the Muggles oblivious because they’re too wrapped up in their own world to observe signs of another world, or does some sort of magic spell keep them from noticing?
OK, I do get that the Harry Potter books and movies are fiction, and the point is scarcely worth getting worked up over.
But it struck me that there are similar issues around the “qi dimension” vs. everyday reality.
When I’m doing qigong, and sometimes even when I’m not, the sensations I attribute to the presence and movement of qi in my body are so intense that I don’t see how I could possibly have missed them back in the days before I began practicing qigong.
Was I simply oblivious, like a Muggle in a train station?
My guess is yes; I was a Muggle in my own mind. But somehow qigong has made my body and/or mind more sensitive; it has enabled me to tune in to things I couldn’t perceive before or has at least opened a window in the veil of obliviousness that keeps us humans from experiencing that matter is energy.
I’m able to hold to this theory because I have pretty much dismissed the notion that I have been teaching myself to imagine the presence and movement of qi, which would mean I was deluded, not more aware. To teach yourself to imagine something, you have to know what that something is—and my qi experiences can be a complete surprise.
For example, I had no idea that kidney energy might whirl prior to the day I felt two areas of whirling energy in my back and knew they were my kidneys, and that the left one was higher and larger than the one on the right (which I later learned is anatomically correct).
When it happened, I concluded that something that existed at the level of matter-is-energy had broken into my ordinary awareness, and that it had done so because I was practicing qigong for the kidneys and bladder at the time.
Unfortunately, I haven’t felt my kidneys do anything at all since that day, although I’ve certainly wanted to. Why did the window in the veil of obliviousness close? I don’t know.
The one thing I’m sure of is that if I’d heard someone say the things I just wrote 10 years ago, I’d have thought that person was loony tunes.
But because of my kidney experience, and others just as striking, when people in the Yi Ren Qigong community report seeing or hearing or feeling things I can’t imagine any sane person seeing or hearing or feeling, I stifle my tendency to think “loony tunes!” and replace it with “who knows?”
During my graduation ceremony from the Institute of Qigong and Integrative Medicine, at which I became certified to teach the three basic levels of Yi Ren Qigong, a fellow graduate saw a being of some sort, a guardian from the realm of internal energy cultivators, during the outdoor portion of the ceremony; the being was standing beside a pillar and then slipped out of view. I learned of this vision when we went back inside; it was announced from the podium by one of the graduation officials, who said it was a sign of support for our endeavors.
People in the audience murmured their delight, but I didn’t know what to think. Was a noble being really auspiciously present? Or was it my fellow graduate’s idea of a being, or perhaps her desire for a being to be present, that took visual form in her brain? Or perhaps beings and ideas of beings are energetically the same….
I have never experienced the presence of any sort of non-living being, although I know others who have, and in a variety of situations, sometimes visually, sometimes by “just knowing.” I doubt I will ever have such an experience. But who knows….
And meanwhile, it’s fun to consider the possible parallel between Harry Potter walking through a stone wall into another world without the Muggles noticing, and my kidney energy whirling away year after year without my conscious mind noticing….
Note: I viewed “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” in Canada. Apparently, if I’d viewed it in the States, its title would have been “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”