The luminous energy field (see last week’s blog) is shaped like a doughnut (known in geometry as a torus) with a narrow axis, or tunnel, less than a molecule thick in the center. In the Inka language it is known as the popo, or luminous bubble. Persons who have near-death experiences report traveling through this tunnel in their return voyage to the light. The human energy field is a mirror of the Earth’s magnetic field, which streams out of the North Pole and circumnavigates the planet to reenter through the South Pole. Similarly, the flux lines, or cekes, of the luminous energy field (LEF) travel out the top of the head and stream around the luminous body, forming a great oval the width of your outstretched arms. Our energy field penetrates the earth about 12 inches, then reenters the body through the feet.

Although the strength of the Earth’s magnetic held drops off very rapidly the farther it travels from the planet, it never actually reaches zero. It extends for hundreds of miles into space before diminishing in strength, and travels at the speed of light—about 186,000 miles per second—to the edge of the Universe. The human energy field appears to extend only a few feet beyond the body since, like the magnetic field of the Earth, it diminishes in strength very rapidly. Yet it also travels at the speed of light, connecting us to the luminous matrix of the entire Universe, known to the Inka as the texemuyo or all-pervading web.

The flux lines that run along the surface of the planet are similar to acupuncture meridians, connecting the major chakras of the Earth. The meridians of the Earth traverse the globe, transporting energy and information from one part of the planet to another. Shamans claim they can communicate with each other through the luminous matrix formed by the flux lines of the Earth. The medicine person is able to sense and sometimes see the luminous grid of the Universe extending beyond the Earth into the galaxies themselves.

Many people in our technological society are disconnected from the matrix of the Universe. I often find that people who come to see me with symptoms of chronic fatigue have become totally disassociated from the natural world. They do not go for walks in the woods, plant tomatoes in their gardens, or even stop to smell the flowers. This is not to say that walking in the forest will cure chronic fatigue syndrome, which is a complex medical condition. Yet people who suffer from this condition require vital reconnection to the natural grid as part of their healing.

Like the cekes that run along the body of the Earth, the acupuncture meridians run along the surface of the skin, connecting acupuncture points (which are in essence very small chakras) to each other. These energy meridians are analogous to the circulatory system inside the body. They are the veins and arteries of the LEF. Medicine people of the Americas know the meridians as ríos de luz, rivers of light that flow within the luminous body. Shamans throughout the Americas rely on their ability to perceive the energetic realm. For them, the rivers of light in the body are tributaries that flow into and draw their substance from the great luminous rivers that course along the surface of the Earth. By sensing where energy is blocked and where it is flowing vigorously, they are able to diagnose health or disease.

Nearly twenty years ago, while visiting the city of Cusco, the capital of the Inka Empire, I had the opportunity to observe a healer named Maximo as he ministered to an Indian woman. The old woman suffered from asthma and was beset by coughing fits upon even the slightest exertion, such as climbing a flight of stairs. After the usual greetings and introductions, Maximo asked the woman to sit down and unbutton her blouse. He circled to her back, where he began to trace with his forefinger an invisible line on one side of her spine. He would stop, push the fingertip deep into her flesh, and instruct her to relax. The healer continued to trace lines down her back, applying pressure at various points as the woman flinched with pain.

Maximo had stimulated the exact points used by acupuncture for the treatment of asthma. Afterwards, I expressed my amazement and the healer’s reply astonished me even more. He claimed that he had never heard of acupuncture or of any such points. He explained that he had learned this technique from his grandmother, who taught him to see the rivers of light along the surface of the skin, and to massage the points where they were blocked so that the light could flow freely again. As his last patient for the day was leaving, I asked Maximo if he could describe these rivers of light so I could better understand them. He smiled, asked me to strip down to my shorts, and with a bright red lipstick belonging to Anita, his wife, proceeded to draw the rivers of light on my body.

I was standing on the dining-room table while Maximo took my photograph when Anita and their two daughters walked into the room, screamed, and ran out of the house. I would later learn she was not as shocked at the sight of a half-dressed man on her dining room table as at the fact that we had used her only lipstick. On my return to California I compared the photographs with charts of the Chinese acupuncture meridians and found that they coincided exactly.