Spiritual Energy: Halos & Ketones
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. [Exodus 34:29].
The aura of light around the head or surrounding the entire body of a saintly person is a universal symbol depicting spiritual enlightenment.
As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. [Matthew 17:2].
The glowing light depicts enlightenment and piety, and appears in ancient Roman and Greek art, as well as in Christian, Buddhist and Hindu iconography.
In Jewish mysticism, Kabbalists use the image of infinite light as a metaphor for divine revelation. The term “infinite light” (ohr ain sof) refers to something more than finite human perception can comprehend.
Obviously, we’re not speaking of light as something shiny that allows you to see objects, or as a spectrum of radiant electromagnetic energy. We’re speaking of the original, primal energy. That from which all energy, including physical energy, eventually results. [Tzvi Freeman, Infinite Light Made Simple].
The visual images and symbols used in a works of art reflect our inability to convey the concept of spiritual energy and the Divine Presence.
The experience of energy lines is also common in advanced forms of meditation such as Kundalini. In deep meditation, opaque objects are seen to dissolve into energy lines that radiate from the chakras along the central spinal channel. On a still more profound level of meditation, however, these lines further dissolve into a continuous field of formless vibrating energy. [Etzel Cardeña, Michael J. Winkelman, Altering Consciousness: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, pp. 332-3].
Saying that “God is light” expresses inexpressible thoughts and provides universal symbols to teach and transmit sacred wisdom.
Now, the light which shines above this heaven, above all the worlds, above everything, in the highest worlds not excelled by any other worlds, that is the same light which is within man. [Chandogya Upanishad 3:13:7].
Ketones and Fasting
What do fasting and ketone bodies have to do with auras and spiritual energy?
Ketones play an essential role in preserving life during periods of starvation. Normally, our body converts carbohydrates into glucose for energy. However, we when use up our glucose, our body can switch to ketonic energy.
And, when we use ketone bodies for fuel, instead of glucose, we obviously don’t function in the same way. The source of our physical energy has a lot to do with the nature of our spiritual thoughts.
For if our individual spirits and organisms live by dint of this spiritual energy, underlying the chemical energy by which organic change is carried on, then we must presumably renew and replenish the spiritual energy as continuously as the chemical. To keep our chemical energy at work, we live in a warm environment, and from time to time take food. By analogy, in order to keep the spiritual energy at work we should live in a spiritual environment, and possibly from time to time absorb some special influx of spiritual life. [F. W. H. Myers, Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death].
When our cognitive process relies on energy from ketone bodies, it functions on a different frequency. We are no longer poised to respond physically to our environment. Our frailty makes us more receptive to higher consciousness.
It can be argued that since ketone bodies are the only available alternative to glucose for brain’s energy, ketosis was a critical evolutionary development to provision man’s hypertrophied brain while sparing muscle mass. Richard L. Veech, Ketone Bodies, Potential Therapeutic Uses
Conductors of Spiritual Energy
The flesh is not a good conductor of spiritual energy. Its resistance to the flow of Divine inspiration prevents full illumination of our soul.
Our tongue, our stomach, our eyes and ears, and of course our sexual organs, can disrupt our spiritual conduct and interfere with our devotional activities. As a result, we often experience spiritual energy shortages, casting us into darkness for long periods.
Fortunately, every society has men and women who dedicate themselves to generating spiritual energy. They have the capacity to accumulate enough energy for themselves and others.
So as the monks become more distant from society, God hears their prayers with more and more sympathy. Therefore their prayers have a kind of power, a power to benefit others. This notion of power is like some kind of almost electrical utility. They’re building up an incredible amount of electricity, if you want to call it that, or let’s say spiritual energy to be more accurate. Way more than they need; way more than they can consume … the surplus … gets distributed [to] people outside the [monastic] world worried about the condition of their souls. [Professor Paul Freedman, The Early Middle Ages, 284–1000 Open Yale Courses].
Some exceptionally blessed leaders accumulate enough spiritual energy to serve the short-term needs of their followers or of an entire community. Others do so for long-term use that extends far into the future and influences entire civilizations.
We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms. Of some apostles We have already told thee the story; of others We have not;- and to Moses God spoke direct. [Quran 4:163-4].
Increasing Spiritual Energy
The role of ketones in preserving our bodies during starvation parallels their function in spiritual purification. By helping to correct our attitude, to elevate our mind, and to purify our heart, fasting reduces resistance to Divine guidance and increases conductivity of spiritual energy.
True, the will alone, however ardent and industrious, cannot of itself set up communion with the supernal world: this is “the work of only God, specially wrought in what soul that Him liketh.” But man can and must do his part. First, there are the virtues to be acquired: those “ornaments of the Spiritual Marriage” with which no mystic can dispense. Since we can but behold that which we are, his character must be set in order, his mind and heart made beautiful and pure, before he can look on the triple star of Goodness, Truth, and Beauty, which is God. [The Cloud The Cloud of Unknowing: The Classic of Medieval Mysticism, Evelyn Underhill, ed].
We need a daily charge of spiritual energy to fuel our soul, and to dispel worry, anxiety and fear. We need Divine Light to walk confidently along the path of sanctity and righteousness.
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” [John 8:12].
The physical purification offered by fasting prepares our heart for the flow of spiritual energy that can illumine our soul. The Light of God can be the spark that leads us to a life of true devotion and Divine service.
O Prophet – behold, We have sent thee as a witness [to the truth], and as a herald of glad tidings and a warner, and as one who summons [all men] to God by His leave, and as a light-giving beacon. And [so,] convey to the believers the glad tiding that a great bounty from God awaits them. [Quran 33:45-7].