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18 April, 2008


To transform the patterns of the past you must know what they are made of. Your body appears to be composed of solid matter that can be broken down into molecules and atoms, but quantum physics tells us that every atom is more than 99.9999 percent empty space, and the subatomic particles moving at lightning speed through this space are actually bundles of vibrating energy. These vibrations aren’t random and meaningless, however; they carry information. Thus, one bundle of vibrations is coded as a hydrogen action, another as oxygen; each element is in fact its own unique code.

Codes are abstract, and so ultimately is our cosmos and everything in it. Chasing the physical structure of the body down to its ultimate source dead-ends as molecules give way to atoms, atoms to subatomic particles, and these particles to ghosts of energy dissolving into an empty void. This void is mysteriously imprinted with information even before any information is expressed. Just as thousands of words exist silently in your memory without being spoken, the quantum field holds the entire universe in unexpressed form; it has been that way since the Big Bang, when billions of galaxies were compressed into space millions of times smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. Yet even before that infinitesimal dot, the structure of the universe existed in unmanifest form.

The essential stuff of the universe, including your body, is non-stuff, but it isn’t ordinary non-stuff. It is thinking non-stuff. The void inside every atom is pulsating with unseen intelligence. Geneticists locate this intelligence primarily inside DNA, but that is only for the sake of convenience. Life unfolds as DNA goes out into the cell and imparts bits of intelligence to thousands of enzymes, which then use their specific bit of intelligence to make proteins. At every point in this sequence, energy and information have to be exchanged or there could be no building life from lifeless matter.

The human body derives its primary energy by burning sugar, which is transported to the cells in the form of glucose, or blood sugar. The chemical structure of glucose is closely related to common table sugar, sucrose. But if you burn table sugar, you don’t get the exquisite, complex structures of living cell; you just get a charred lump of ash and traces of water and carbon dioxide in the air.

Metabolism is more than a burning process; it is an intelligent act. The same sugar that remains inert in a sugar cube supports life with its energy because the body’s cells infuse it with new information. The sugar may contribute its energy to a kidney, heart, or brain cell, for example. All of these cells contain completely unique forms of intelligence—the rhythmic twitching of a heart cell is completely different from the electrical discharges of a brain cell or the sodium exchanges of a kidney cell.

As marvelous as this wealth of diverse intelligence is, at bottom there is one single intelligence shared by the whole body. The flow of the intelligence keeps you alive, and when it ceases to flow, at the moment of death, all the knowledge stored in your DNA is rendered useless. As we age, this flow of intelligence becomes compromised in various ways. The specific intelligence of the immune system, the nervous system, and the endocrine system all start falling off; these three systems are now known by physiologists to function as the master controls of the body. Your immune cells and endocrine glands are outfitted with the same receptors for brain signals as your neurons are; therefore, they are like an extended brain. Senility cannot be looked upon, then, simply as a disease confined to our gray matter; when intelligence is lost in the immune or the endocrine system, senility of the whole body is creeping in.

Since all this happens at an unseen, unmanifest level, the losses go unnoticed until they have progressed to a very late stage and are expressed as a physical symptom. The five senses cannot go deep enough to experience the billions of quantum changes that create aging. The rate of change is at once too fast and too slow: too fast because individual chemical reactions take less than 1/10,000th of a second, too slow because their cumulative effect will not show up for years. These reactions involve information and energy on a scale millions of times smaller than a single atom.

Age deterioration would be unavoidable if the body was simply material, because all material things are prey to entropy, the tendency of orderly systems to become disorderly. The classic example of entropy is a car rusting in a junk yard; entropy breaks down the orderly machinery into crumbling rust. There is no chance that the process will work the other way—that a rusty scrap heap will reassemble itself into a new car. But entropy doesn’t apply to intelligence—an invisible part of us is immune to the ravages of time. Modern science is just discovering the implications of all this, but it has been imparted for centuries through spiritual traditions in which masters have preserved the youthfulness of their bodies far into old age.

India, China, Japan, and to a lesser extent the Christian West have given birth to sages who realized their essential nature as a flow of intelligence. By preserving that flow and nurturing it year after year, they overcame entropy from a deeper level of Nature. In India, the flow of intelligence is called Prana (usually translated as “life force”), which can be increased and decreased at will, moved here and there, and manipulated to keep the physical body orderly and young. As we will see, the ability to contact and use Prana is within all of us. A yogi moves Prana using nothing more than attention, for at a deep level, attention and Prana are the same—life is awareness, awareness is life.




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