Our Relation to Vital Energy
Written by: Michelle Belanger
So what is this all-important but nebulous thing, “energy”? Energy comes in many different frequencies and “types”.
Nearly everything that is physical has some energy about it as well, whether it has produced this energy itself or
picked it up from its environment. Energy is not specifically anchored to physical things, however. It also flows
freely throughout the subtle reality, moving in eddies and floes that are sometimes swept up in the currents of our
As far as incarnated beings are concerned, probably the most fundamental type of energy is life energy. Life
energy, also known as chi, ki, or prana, is within, throughout, and all around us. It is in the air we breathe.
It fuels our bodies. It has a significant effect on our environments, our mental states, and our health. While we
are constantly taking in chi to sustain ourselves, we are also constantly giving off a certain amount of energy.
This disperses from us like dust from our passing. This energetic dust usually resonates with our particular
energy signature for a while, although after a time this fades. The energy we give off can also be charged with
our emotions, and it is typically this emotionally-charged energy that we are responding to when we get a
particular feeling from a house or from a room.
Chi comes to us from many sources, including the sun, the stars, the earth, and every living thing. Every vital
component of the universe produces some kind of energy. Humans, animals, and plants all produce their own unique
kind of energy, and some of this is radiated out into the environment where it is swept away by the currents of the
subtle reality, recycled and transformed. This is a very dynamic cycle, and it keeps everything in the universe
interconnected - for just as everything in the cosmos produces life energy, so too does everything require life
energy to continue its existence.
We take in some life energy with the physical food that we eat. Predictably, fresh fruits and vegetables have a
good deal of energy in them in addition to their regular vitamins and nutrients. But food does not need to be
straight out of the ground in order to have a good balance of life energy to it. The very act of preparing food
with care and attention can imbue that food with energy. Ever notice how the food prepared for you by a loved one
always seems tastier and more fulfilling? My mother always claimed that she put love in her food, and although I
won’t dispute that, one thing is certain: by focusing her love and caring while preparing the food, she was
certainly adding some of her vital energy to the meal.
Sustaining Body and Spirit
Even though it helps our physical and spiritual well-being to eat food that has some vital energy to it, physical
food rarely contains enough energy to sustain both our physical and our subtle bodies. But there are plentiful
sources of energy available to us beyond our physical food.
Most ordinary humans are sustained by the energy produced by their natural environment - usually from the earth or
the heavens. Their connection to this energy is so fundamental that they can take it into themselves without
really thinking about it. It’s more natural and instinctual than breathing. Their bodies absorb the raw,
universal energy and attune it to the human frequency so it can be adequately used by their bodies. There are some
people whose connection seems broken or interrupted, and these often have to learn how to take energy consciously
in order to maintain their health. Such individuals are labeled “psychic vampires” because they typically need to
take vital chi directly from other people, making them nominally like the life-sucking vampires of myth.
As vital as life energy is to our overall health and well-being, it’s obvious that our physical bodies cannot be
sustained on energy alone. There are some esoteric techniques which occur in Yoga and some Taoist systems that
harness the energy of the subtle body in order to extend the amount of time the physical body can go without actual
food, but these are techniques best left to the masters. Most of the rest of us, deprived of food, will weaken and
But we should remember that our subtle bodies are a part of this healthy functioning system as well, and if we are
cut off from a regular supply of energy, that aspect of our selves will also weaken and grow ill. If we are
unaware of this aspect of ourselves, we might feel constantly sick and tired and yet have no real physical ailment
to account for this weakness. The problem may very likely lie with our energy. It has been postulated by a number
of energy workers that many systemic disorders such as Seasonal Affective Disorder and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are
caused by an energy deficiency. Psychic vampires, mentioned above, who have not learned to consciously take energy,
frequently suffer from a variety of illnesses due to their poor connection to other energetic sources.
We by no means have a healthy culture where our vital energy is concerned. Where homemade meals can prove to be
sustaining to both body and spirit, meals thrown together out of week-old materials which languish under heat-lamps
to retain some semblance of freshness are hardly rich in any kind of vital energy. In ways far beyond mere
nutrition, fast food meals are empty calories, totally lacking in any kind of energy to sustain us. Just because
the sensation of physical hunger subsides after that hamburger and fries, we assume that we’ve taken care of our
needs. We very rarely notice that our energy bodies are starving, simply because we don’t know what spiritual
hunger feels like anymore.