You cannot manipulate what you cannot sense, so we begin learning to manipulate energy by learning to perceive energy.
Just how does one go about sensing something they have experienced their entire life, but never noticed? After all, you have always had an energetic body, and it has always interacted with your environment and with others in that environment. The first thing to make clear is that you will be using senses other than your five mundane ones. People rarely physically see subtle energy, except under fairly rare circumstances. You may often hear of people who feel energy. This is usually for one of two reasons. It is certainly possible to feel the effects that energy has on your physical body. An excess of energy passing through the energetic body will affect the physical body, sometimes resulting in an increase in temperature. The other way of feeling energy is by focusing on the energetic body, and feeling the effects energy has upon it. There have been times where I’d swear that my temperature had risen dramatically due to energy work, and checked my temperature only to find that it was perfectly normal. Changes to the energetic body can be felt readily, once the practitioner has learned to place their focus there. The resulting sensations can feel a lot like something is occurring within the physical.
Until the subtler senses are identified and trained it is easy to mistake input of an energetic nature for something else, so don’t be alarmed if you feel some pretty weird things. Sensations can range from hot and cold to buzzing, tingling and even crawling, and the sensations can occur anywhere in your body. Use common sense here and seek medical attention if you feel unwell.
This is the most commonly taught method, both in terms of sensing energy and manipulating energy. The practitioner often forms a picture in his mind’s eye, directing the energy to take on the visualised shape or pattern. After a time the practitioner will find that he can use visualisation to perceive what is occurring visually. This is useful, but to do so is to run the risk of mixing fantasy with reality. It is exceedingly easy to come up with a mental picture of what you want to see – or what you may dread seeing – rather than what is really there. Subtle input is interpreted by your mind, and the images you visualise will often be symbolic rather than literal. For example, it’s common to associate heat with the colour red, or illness with the colour black. These are not literal in an energetic sense, but your mind’s way of displaying an attribute.
This is a little harder to describe. Imagine that you are running your fingers through somebody’s hair. Imagine the soft feel of it against the skin of your fingers. The individual hairs separating as you let the locks pass through your hand. This is an example of tactile memory. At many times in your life you have run your fingers through your own, or somebody else’s, hair. You have touched many different surfaces and textures, and as a result it is a simple thing to imagine what most things would feel like to the touch.
Spatial awareness is simply the awareness of where something lies, either in relation to yourself, or to its surroundings. Imagine that a ping pong ball is resting in your hand. You know where that is without looking, as your hand is a part of you and you are aware of where your various parts are at all times. Now imagine that the ball is hovering a small distance above your hand. Now imagine that the ball is hovering a few feet away from you, at eye level. Don’t merely see the ball in your mind’s eye, but try to maintain an awareness of where the space is that the imaginary ball would be occupying if it were real. Focus upon the texture of the imaginary ball’s outer surface, where it hangs in the air before you. Feel the seam that joins the two halves. Next try to feel both the inner and outer surfaces of the ball, while maintaining your awareness of where the ball would exist in relation to you. Then in relation to the floor. Then the ceiling, the walls, and to the doorway. This is tactile and spatial imagination at work.
You’ll no doubt have noticed that both of these methods of perception and manipulation use the practitioner’s imagination. There is a good reason for this, though it’s not always explained. My favourite way of explaining it is with this analogy.
Imagine that you woke up one morning with an extra limb. Not something as mundane as an additional hand or a third leg, you’ve somehow sprouted a long, sinuous tentacle. You decide to keep your new appendage, rather than sawing it off, and set about learning to use it. Here’s where you hit the wall. You’ve no idea how. You ask it politely to move, but it remains stubbornly still, curled up next to you on the bed like a flesh-coloured snake.
Now consider this:
If you lie down and imagine yourself running, really imagine your legs pumping, the road under your feet, your toes springing off the asphault and your calves stretching into the next stride, your legs will eventually begin to twitch. You are, by imagining your legs moving, giving a rather vague instruction to your mind. Of course you’re not operating every tendon and muscle as you do when actually running, but you will find that your body will respond to this sort of instruction.
With this in mind you return to the task of moving your tentacle. You close your eyes, calm your mind, and focus on your awareness – however as yet unclear – of your tentacle. You imagine it writhing and uncurling, with the intent that this be so. You feel the unfamiliar skin and muscle moving toward its purpose. You focus completely on the feel, the image, the imagined awareness of your tentacle moving. Lo and behold, the tentacle gives a little twitch. As you continue you gain familiarity with how your tentacle feels, you will eventually gain an awareness of position the same as you already possess with your existing parts. With time and practise, you learn to use your tentacle.
A fun and silly analogy, but I hope an illustrative one. When we use imagination in psionic training, we are signalling to our minds what we wish to do. By maintaining focus upon the desired result, we use imagination as a tool to get that first twitch of the tentacle, so to speak, and learn to consciously use those faculties which have remained dormant or unused for so long. Unlike your more physical parts, you will continue to use imagination as a way of communicating specific things to your mind. The shape of your construct, for example. Your mind will also, if you so desire, provide information to you using this same medium. Always bear in mind that your imagination is a tool to be used.