As an enthusiastic amateur photographer I’m often struck by the parallels between light-chasing (photography) and light-building (energy healing). Chasing the ever-shifting patterns of earthly light and shade with a camera, the photographer seeks to capture a moment in time and space. Energy healers seek to assist clients in receiving more light into their auric fields to promote personal and spiritual growth. The conditions of light falling onto the physical world – over a landscape, onto a pet, or around our friends and family – define an emotional experience for us. That’s why we take photographs: to freeze an event, so we can look back on it from the future, and remember. But while chasing light is about fixation, building light in a chakrais an act of co-creation. In my reflective moments I see camera function and the chakra function as analogous.
Catching light with your camera requires three things: lens aperture (the size of the opening of the lens letting in light), the speed of the shutter (which regulates just how much light falls on the CMOS sensor), and the amount of light available to you out in the world when you take the picture (the exposure). When the photographer manually sets these three parameters, and composes an interesting picture, we know the results can be wonderful. But if one of the three are not aligned the results will be a failed opportunity. Everything needs to be set up right.
Similarly, the chakra needs three things to function well, and build an enlightened reality: a receptive (and healthy) chakra (equivalent to aperture size) that takes in all kinds of light, not just a limited frequency, an attentive mind/body (equivalent to shutter speed) that awakens to all input, and opportune life experience that can stimulate personal or spiritual growth (equivalent to exposure). Unlike the camera our chakras both interpret (intake) and co-create (output) events in the outer world. Increase the amount of light available to us (say, through a spiritual practice) and we will “see” things in a new way. Open our receptivity to the world (through energy healing or other modalities that assist personal growth) and new options suddenly open up to us. Put ourselves into a new experience (e.g., a course of study, a spiritual journey, a different kind of relationship) and we expose ourselves to previously-unexpected possibilities.
Manually operating our camera forces us to think about all three parts of how our camera works in order to catch light in a singular moment. Similarly, personal growth asks us to break down how we function in life, and offers us the opportunity to step outside of habitual patterns that will always bring us predictable outcomes.
Of course we can leave our camera – or our life – on automatic, and let the in-build programming make all the decisions for us. We’ll still get some nice snaps … but to make art with our camera (or with our life) we have to turn the don’t-want-to-think-about-this function off. We have to go manual all the way. We have to study, and see what does what, and why. Because with our automatic settings switched off, anything is truly possible.
© 2013 by Dean Ramsden. All rights reserved.