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What Are Energy Fields? Lessons from a Moonless Forest Walk

Updated: Aug 28, 2022

The last recounted walks in the forest were on moon-inspired nights. Recall photos of the storied stump that marked the entrance and exit to the forest. She provided a time and space for acknowledging the beings present to this forest in past, present and future, as well as on both sides of the transitional veil between life and so-called death. Given her centering role for my forest walks, let’s give Her a name besides ”stump.”

I choose to honor this living stump by naming her “Omphalos,” the Greek word variously translated as “Naval” or “Center.” Our Omphalos is the Naval of this forest. Mystically, “Omphalos” was the Center of the world, in Greece at Delphi, in Jerusalem, Omphalos as the rock under the temple. Many tribal traditions around the world, establish a symbolic center of the world around which they enact their ceremonies. On the less mystical side, scientists who first went to the Hubble telescope, looking at an expanding universe, realized that wherever they imaginatively stood in the universe, the other celestial bodies would appear to be moving away from them, “the center is everywhere,” they uttered in amazement.

Our Omphalos is the center of this forest, but all centers are connected. Quantum physics describes how particles who are related, regardless of how far apart they are, affect one another in their movements through a nonlocal causality that can’t be understood through mechanical causality. Spiritually, we are all centers, connected, and influencing one another in ways of which we have slight consciousness and little understanding. (While the pr

ofound credibility of nonlocal causality in quantum physics is debated by some scientists, nonlocal causality has been a spiritual experience recorded for centuries and empirically verified through research on the healing effects of distant prayer on “unknowing” hospital patients. And, more commonly, we often speak of how loving relationships transcend distance as we feel close or feel distant and as how sadness or happiness in be experienced remotely in accord with our partner’s feelings.

I, walking in the dark forest and Bijii, running in the darkness, could feel the common ground under our feet, shared with all the beings around us. The illusion of separation that overtakes us in the light, disappeared on this moonless night.

Returning to the reflections that I shared after previous moonlight walks, they need an amendment, an extension. Soul-perception, I-Thou relationship, the attunement to the invisible organizing center of other beings, whether they be plants, trees, 4 legged or 2 legged animals, is a first step that needs to be extended to intuit a deeper reality. The challenge is to apprehend the common ground and invisible energy fields that connect us.

Spiritually, when Old Testament prophets or Jesus was talking about loving your enemies or welcoming the stranger (immigrant) at your city gate, or about “chosennes” being inclusive (image::}of other peoples and their beliefs, their heart centered perceptions were based upon common ground, energy fields that affect us all, shaping us into a common destiny. Isn’t this the case with how we address, for example, climate change or peace and war? Whatever we do affects us all. There may be partisanship in what we choose to do; but there is no partisanship ln the final consequences of what we do. Therefore, would not the energy fields emanating around us from Mother Earth be similarly prompting us all? Returning to the challenge of deepening soul centered perception of one another, we need to be aware of the common energy fields affecting us whether we be intimates and strangers, friends and enemies, White and People of Color or, distant neighbors living at the top and bottom of the same watershed or garbage-shed.

Please join me in anticipating my next moon-lit night walk in the forest. The moon will shine upon me; giving me delight in being the center. She will shine upon Bijii, even as he is running as a moving center :-). Everywhere around me the moon will light up centers of being. The energy field generated within a community of diverse species will exuberantly flow through me. Where I will be going, I might not know, but for sure, energy will flow :-). Where I am going, nobody knows, but around Omphalos, a loving energy field flows!

Part 2: Emerging from Omphalos’ dark forest

Omphalos, where are you? Where is the center? Did I leave you behind when I stepped out of the forest?

In the darkness, Bijii and I felt the common ground beneath the energy fields of the cedar, the maples, the rocks, the madronas, the frogs singing in the pond; many diverse energy fields, one common ground, Omphalos at the center.

Omphalos where are you now? And Bijii, where are you now? Do I have to call you again to get you to come out of the dark forest?


Bijii and I arise at dawn. Outside of the forest I see so many energy fields bound within themselves by homogeneity but separate from one another, clashing with one another. I see and feel Red versus Blue, Rural versus Urban, White People Versus People of Color, Rich Versus Poor, on and on. Is this Common Ground? These are some of the societal energy fields that are the groundwork of our broken political landscape. Before returning to our discussion of how to communicate across societal energy field boundaries, consider what we can learn from the more readily visible boundaries between types of agricultural fields, boundaries of soil reflecting boundaries and types of Spiritual practice between a traditional Native American woman and a chemical farmer raising commodities. ( 2 3)

Industrial Farming

The agricultural practices of Native Americans typically harmonized with the landscape while producing an abundance of food. Before the private property boundaries of the Europeans dominated landscapes, indigenous peoples often traveled seasonably to match gardening, hunting, and harvesting natural production with the rhythms of the Earth. European agricultural practices, on the other hand, endeavored to fence nature in and orchestrate Her production in accord with the control and order that matched private parcels of property. Distancing from the rhythms of nature and the needs of the soil was exacerbated when production became oriented toward producing commodities for the financial dictates of distant markets rather than the production of food.

A dramatic illustration of contrasting agricultural practices and fields is provided by Professor of Biology Robin Kimmerer, author Of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants. An enrolled member of the Citizen Potowatomi Nation, she tells the story of how she follows in the many centuries old tradition of planting the 3 Sisters: corn, beans and squash. Her ripened fields feature a diverse harmony with corn stocks supporting twisting and twirling bean vines, towering over squash that provide shade for the ground, each plant putting in and taking from the soil nutrients in balance. Her energy field is visible in the lush crop of food; beyond visibility is its extension into a present and historical community that cherishes her agricultural practices. By contrast, when Prof. Kimmerer looks across the way at her neighbor’s fields, she sees monocrops reaching out in endless homogenous rows, needing fertilizer to maintain themselves. The common ground of her crop and her neighbors’ crops had been separated into separate energy fields. The neighbor’s energy field also extended beyond visibility into a physical and virtual community of farmers who cherished their use of chemicals. Farm chemical companies annually brought kindred chemical consumers together for free dinners featuring PowerPoint slides and movies telling glowing stories about the latest in seed production and chemical farming bounties.

Pondering the broken landscape, I hearken to the calls coming from Omphalos in Her forest. Her being radiates a message,

“There Is a centered energy field to this forest that is within me. Each of the diverse forest beings are homes to living spiritual, self-organizing centers of their bodies and in turn the ecosystem of this forest shapes the diversity into a whole, which in turn is shaped by the centering powers of Mother Earth. You, Karl & Bijii, in your kinship have become an integral part of the diverse energy fields of our forest. The centering of diverse energies by our Mother, a.k.a. God, Great Spirit, Yahweh, Process Mind, Allah etc. makes us all a part of One. Even those homogenous fields you see outside of our forest are being planted by farmers with whom we share common ground – this is the secret to communicating across the energy field boundaries that separate you and your ideologically divergent neighbor. The soils and Mother Earth are prompting each of you toward harmony with plant beings and with all the beings that live in the soil. By empathically reaching out to those beings that underlie your farmer-neighbor’s homogenous rows, you can get in touch with allies that will support dialogue about the Spirit of farming. Your diverse energy fields are being shaped by a larger, energy field that encompasses both of your endeavors. You won’t enter such dialogue as one against one, rather Spirit seeks to harmonize both of you toward a future that defers to the harmonies of our planet on behalf of all beings, all our relatives! “ (This lesson goes beyond agricultural fields. Communication that crosses the boundaries of any conflictual societal energy field is best begun with developing allies from your common ground.)

An unfinished conclusion – lessons learned from Omphalos regarding the energy fields of the forest and its neighbors are applicable to the challenges we face in bringing together the societal energy fields that divide America

When Bijii and I enter our forest walks, we stop by Omphalos and greet Spirits of the past, present, future and on both sides of the transition veil between Life and so-called death. In gratitude, we acknowledge a lineage of ancestors and future beings who are united in a common energy field. This energy field played a role in shaping the purpose, the gift of genius embodied within our Self when we came into this world. This Spirit community is accessible to us to aid in the unfolding of our gifts amidst the challenges of Life. Gifts of genius are given to everyone along with an accessible Spirit community to aid in their unfolding. Hope for the survival of our planetary Life-systems has its foundation in the Process-Mind, a.k.a. Great Spirit energy field that encompasses all our lineages, all our energy fields, all our relatives, prompting us toward love, justice and living with ecological sensitivity.

The spiritual lineages with which we are born are marred by collective wounds of history as well as carrying gifts of promise for the future. Collective wounds that loom large in America include the traumas of slavery, Jim Crow, Native American genocide, labor wars, misogyny, epidemics and multi-generational poverty to name a few. We have ancestors with resentments and bitterness to be processed and overcome as well as wisdom to be imparted. Challenges we each face are the healing of the wounds within our personal lineage and empathic, active support to the healing work of others. Such work is integrated with promoting the cultural gifts that are within each of the diverse, collective energy fields that make up America. The tools we have for this work include our personal lives, voluntary service organizations, education and healthcare institutions, religious congregations, businesses, and inclusive government. Describing key leverage points in this work, including the healing and shaping of our common future are the subject matters for a book in process.

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