Inner Light

April 19th, 2015







 “Just as a painter needs light in order to put the finishing touches to his picture, so I need an inner light…”


– Leo Tolstoy




In 2012 I attended a conference held by the International Light Association. Among several inspirational speakers was Dr. Göran Grip. During his time as an anaesthesiologist in Norway he had documented the near death and out of body experiences (NDE’s and OBE’s) of patients who had lost waking consciousness or who’s heart had temporarily stopped during their time at the hospital where he worked.


Göran Grip


In particular Dr. Grip made a detailed list of observations peculiar to this state. While they all were remarkable in themselves – such as the ability to travel ‘outside’ the body and accurately recall detail of objects in other rooms the patient had not visited in their physical body and so on – one consistent observation stuck with me: the non-locality of the light source.


Regardless of whether the patient was recalling travelling through a physical space like the hospital building or in a multi-dimensional one they had never seen before, the exact source of the light surrounded them was never directly visible. It was just there.


This made a particular impression on me as it was a defining characteristic of many lucid dreams and waking visions I have experienced. While the light (and often wonderful colour) of these visions was abundant its source was elusive. Spaces were simply and evenly lit everywhere. Shadows, that would indicate a directional (or perhaps one could also say ‘conditional’) light source, were absent too.


So, is there possibly an ‘inner light’ source? If so, what meaning does this have for our health and consciousness?[1] Perhaps we should begin by asking: “What is light?”


 Light as energy and consciousness


The capacity of light to act as biological software that programs processes in the body is well known. The many therapeutic uses of light and colour, while established, are still being explored and developed.


Blue light being used to help a premature baby break down bilirubin.  The undeveloped liver cannot yet do this by itself.

Blue light being used to help a premature baby break down bilirubin.
The undeveloped liver cannot yet do this by itself.


In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) light is recognized as one of the countless expressions of chi or catalysing bio-energy. It is also considered a manifestation of consciousness. In the Five Transformations of chi (aka the Five Elements) in TCM, the Fire element encapsulates and describes our individual, inner light.



The Fire element describes:


  • Our internal resonance to outward stimuli : like the sun, therapeutic light, environmental radiation, touch and so on
  • The perception of internal light states that are the result of shifts in our conscious awareness


In the video below, renowned shiatsu teacher Shizuto Masunaga has just given a demonstration to a female student. Click at the 3.20 mark where she describes a growing perception of inner colour shifts as the treatment progressed:




Altered states of perception


Whether the stimulus comes from natural means like the example above or assisted by chemicals like the LSD experiments of the 1950’s and early 1960’s it demonstrates we have an innate capacity to perceive inner light. It is also inevitably linked with a shift in our conscious awareness. Pay attention to the words of the woman in the video below around the 3.07 minute mark where, while under the influence of LSD, she describes her perception of colour and light.




Is it any wonder that just such experiences of profound, inner revelation are called ‘enlightenment’ – to literally be filled with light?


We do not need to limit ourselves to one particular or preconceived enlightenment goal. We can experience it many times over in subtle and profound ways. It is quite common for my clients for example to report perception of colour and light shifts through their body and even beyond during a vision of themselves in symbolic form.


Case 1: ‘Colour pressure’


While treating a client she remarked how, when I applied shiatsu pressure to different areas she ‘saw’ different colours. Interestingly her description of the areas and their colours corresponded accurately to the colour associated to those element systems in the traditional Chinese medical model.


Case 2: ‘A handful of stars’


handful of stars


A middle-aged female with pain and limited movement in all the fingers of her left hand. During the treatment she ‘saw’ a sky full of stars. Five stars in particular stood out to her. She soon became aware that each one of them had a beam of light connecting down to each finger of her painful hand. The stars sparkled and reacted as she slowly moved her fingers. The pain had eased somewhat by the end of the treatment and had completely resolved by the next day.



Case 3: ‘The burning bush’


During a healing session a client had a vision. She was lying on her back and I was kneeling beside her – very much like how our actual session had begun. The scene however was very different. She was lying on the ground in a foreign landscape. I appeared to her as dark-skinned and dressed in ceremonial ornaments and feathers yet somehow recognisable and familiar. Glancing beside us she noticed and unusual bush. It possessed no foliage but instead had small balls of fire continually rolling down its twig-like branches until they fell harmlessly to the ground. She found the scene very calming.


Case 4: ‘Blinded by the Light’


The evening after a treatment a client thought they were awoken by someone turning on the light. He lay there for a moment before opening his eyes, expecting the ceiling light to be shining in his face. The room and house were in darkness.



Light, energy and consciousness


It has been stated many times in the Monday Conscious Health blog that energy also expresses as conscious awareness. While scientific laws, like the second law of thermal dynamics, demonstrate how energy is lost as an object or system disintegrates it says nothing about energy-consciousness entering a system.


Would not it be logical to assume that when this happens a higher level of integration occurs? In terms of conscious awareness we would say that we experience a higher level of consciousness. In terms of light energy we become more enlightened.



We are light beings


© Alex Grey

© Alex Grey


So much regarding the human body is fixated on just that: the body. One of the defining characteristics of a living human however (as opposed to a corpse) is that indefinable ‘software’ of life. The near death experiences catalogued by Dr. Grip always feature a strong attraction towards light.  Is it not possible that we ourselves are light generators and therefore attracted to other sources precisely because we ourselves are, in essence light beings?


The invention of Kirlian photography early last century demonstrated that every living thing emits light that can be measured. It is the subliminal shimmer behind and through form that secretly thrills and attracts us.


Kirlian photograph of two hands

Kirlian photograph of two hands


The inner light we experience in lucid dreaming, visions and meditation experiences, psychedelic drug or herb use, the halo of auras, healing sessions, near death and out of body experiences in trauma states may all amount to the same thing: us taking delight in seeing the beautiful light of ourselves regardless of the state of our physical body.


I am not alone in this fascination. 2015 is officially marked as the United Nations International Year of Light. As part of the festivities I will be a speaker at this years International Light Association conference on light in Tallin, Estonia – a country that has featured in these blogs before for its peaceful resolution of aggression and beautiful light-filled singing festivals. Future editions of the blog may well feature details from that event.


Slowly but surely we are shedding our dark, barbaric past and beginning to appreciate the role of gentle, supportive therapies aimed at our mind-body software more than gross physical interventions that leave us debilitated with side effects and pain. It is hoped that none of us need wait till a life threatening trauma makes us see the light. It is all around us and inside us already.



Till another near Monday experience lights the way of a new week,



[1] This is the Conscious Health blog after all


PS: For Stockholm readers, a reminder that the Conscious Health series begins tonight at Hälsans hus near Slussen. For details, click here


© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation:

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