GENIUS LOCI: The Spirit of the Place
June 17, 2023
We’ve all had the occasion where we’ve entered an environment and we felt a push, a pull or feeling of movement in which we were “encouraged” to acquiesce to. An easy and very tangible example of this is to imagine standing waist deep in ocean water and being shoved toward one side or the other while it appeared that the water barely moved beneath us. In this we can easily comprehend the cause and effect of the feeling because it touches and activates our physical senses. But there are other more subtle “senses” we have that are not dependent on physically confirming evidence.
When we are tuned to what we feel beyond our physical senses, there are forces that move around us that don’t register on scientific measuring devices in the form of heat, sound, sight, touch or taste. They come to us much more subtlety than do our physical senses and give us a feeling that we might be able to recognize but are likely unable to explain their origins.
We’ve felt these feelings when we’ve arrived at a carnival and were suddenly inclined to laugh or felt an irresistible urge to go on the rides. We feel them when we enter a library or funeral and feel the need to become quiet or almost invisible. We feel them when we walk through a crowded and busy city street and feel the urge to walk faster and speak louder. Some of us may have even been caught in a riot or an angry mob and felt a sense of fear in being propelled toward what seemed to be a destructive end. All these circumstances contain something that might register with us in our physical responses yet touches us on a deeper level like an invisible wave urging or carrying us toward some kind of action that hadn’t even occurred to us before our encounter with it. I will let your “memories” and their associations percolate with you a bit while we move on to explain a few physical and metaphysical tenets.
Let’s start with vibration and then induction. According to scientific axioms, we know that everything vibrates. That is, everything is moving but so fast that we might not perceive it. We know this because scientists have observed everything on an atomic level and confirmed that everything is composed of moving atoms, even gas. But we know that things also vibrate at different speeds. When we feel a vibration, it’s because its speed and ours are different and the difference gains our attention. Each of us vibrate a little differently. Some of us might recognize this because when we put on someone else’s clothing, we “feel” the difference from our own. We sometimes can also “feel” the person who owns them. If we wear them long enough, we may even start to move or speak like them. This is called induction. Case in point, imagine a young boy wearing his older brother’s jacket and starting to act like him. We’ve also put on a relative’s clothing we didn’t care for and couldn’t wait to take it off. All we can say is that it was just something about the feeling that “disagreed” with us.
Objects like our clothing, favorite chairs, our beds and car seats all pick up the vibration of the people that contact them. We literally charge these items with our energy. The longer and more intense the contact, the longer and more powerful the charging and retention of the vibration. All living beings channel and emit energy including humans. If you doubt the fact that we emit what we channel, ask yourself, what is it in our brain that we measure with an EEG (electroencephalograph)? Our muscles also generate measurable piezoelectric energy through their movement. We also emit a photographable energy field around us called an aura.
Where our thoughts go, our energy follows. These energy waves create what metaphysicians call a thoughtform. The stronger the focus, the stronger the thoughtform. When we do this, consciously or not, many sensitive people feel and may even recognize it through empathy. We all have empathy. It’s our emotional radar and we receive it involuntarily. Empathy is where we pick up the vibrations of an object or the feelings of another person and unknowingly assume that they are our own feelings and automatically react to them. Whether we are conscious of it or not we all feel and react to the vibrations around us.
So, now we know that we humans both project and receive energy through thoughtforms and empathy and that we unknowingly deposit it on furniture, clothing, environments but mostly on each other. A large part of how we deal with each other is on an unconscious level. Our most complete exchange of energetic “interference” occurs through sex and fear. Secondarily, any additionally strong emotion that might hold our focus opens a channel between two interacting people also.
So, the interaction of two people can produce a projection and a reception of energy in both directions. What’s difficult for most people to comprehend is that this exchange can happen consciously but, more often than not, occurs unconsciously. It’s also important to understand that when this exchange happens between only two people, they often develop a solidified pattern of rapport between them that creates a sense of predictability. We call this rapport a relationship. In it we can easily get locked into a comfortable yet immovable pattern. But when we add a third person, like a child, something curious happens. The “third wheel” creates a contributing influence that doesn’t let a comfortable pattern solidify. It forces everyone into continually adapting to a revolving third person influence. When a fourth person enters, it may move toward taking sides and locking the pattern again between pairs. But when a fifth arrives, it inevitably encourages movement. Odd numbers of people encourage movement. Even numbers encourage a solidified or static rapport. Empathetic energy constantly moves between groups of people in relationships like families, clans and work groups. When an “outsider” enters, they find themselves dealing with this composite of combined energies.
Let’s now move back to my first set of examples of a carnival, a busy street and an angry mob. A family living in a home will “deposit” their rapport of energy and vibrations on each other and the furniture throughout the rooms they live in. When we enter their space and if we are sensitive to what we are feeling, we will feel the pushes and pulls toward the feelings and the moods that they’ve generated in that space. If we are not sensitive to what we are feeling, we will simply react to their energy their space thinking it is our own. If the family is an angry one, we will feel angry and not know why. If they are a loving family, we will empathize that and react similarly as well. If members of the family are present, we will feel their inter-rapport even more strongly. If we are not aware of our own feelings, we will empathize the family and their environment and simply react without understanding why or even recognize that we are reacting.
Spaces that have been repetitively populated with the same kinds of people accumulate aggregate vibrations. Every one of us reacts to these energies whether we are conscious of it or not. This is why it is so dangerous for an unaware and sensitive person to get caught up in an angry mob or even in nefarious groups of people. Think of what happens at political rallies. The “group mind” takes over. If we are unaware or weak-willed, we can easily be swept away with it and not even realize what is happening to us. A space that has had a constant accumulation of a specific kind of energy, like a carnival or a sports stadium, takes on the vibration of the culture of people that has inhabited it. This aggregate vibration is called an egregore. It is, essentially, a group thoughtform. It is a vibration or energy that seems to have a mind of its own. A family has a family egregore. A town has a town egregore. And every clan and culture generates an egregore. When we enter its space and if we’re sensitive, we feel the push to behave as the group generating it does. We unconsciously empathize their urges, restrictions and emotions. And we do this through our empathy, most of us are completely unaware.
One of the biggest challenges to our spirituality is to get our empathy under control. Because empathy occurs involuntarily, most times we have no idea that we are empathizing a vibration. The challenge for us is to recognize when we are empathizing otherwise, we will simply be reacting to whatever we pick up from others while thinking it is our own feeling. This creates chaos in our emotional grounding and distracts us from assessing which feelings are of our own making.
One of the difficulties in knowing that we must discriminate empathized feelings is that many of us have no belief in the fact that they might come from someone else. This is something that we must simply accept as fact. Those who are strictly oriented only to the tangible world will refuse to do this let alone accept a belief that it is even possible. They will simply assume that what they feel is of their own making and react accordingly.
Since the feelings are intangible, we have no reference point to use as a “separator.” We must find another way to separate our own inner feelings from those that come from outside of ourselves. I have an exercise that will enable us to do this.
We can begin by planning to attend a personal event that might affect our feelings. First pick an event that might have an emotional impact on you. This may be an anticipated family gathering, toxic or not, or perhaps a career meeting which has the possibility of creating stress for you. Minutes before the event find a quiet space to be in, like your car, a quiet waiting room or even a quiet space outside the building away from people. The idea is to retreat into your own quiet space. When you do, slow your breathing and when you have done so pay special attention to how you are feeling in the moment. Do your best to be able to verbally describe your feelings to others as if you had a necessity to do so. This will solidify your thoughts and become your personal emotional baseline to reference against what you might empathize in the imminent event. Now, proceed to the event.
Participate in the event like you normally would and acclimate yourself to your surroundings. After you feel that you have become “saturated” with it, remove yourself and find a quiet space like an unoccupied bathroom, or step outside to an area where no one will disturb you. You might even return to your car again. Most of us find our car our safest space outside our home. Close your eyes, slow your breathing and conduct the same assessment you did before arriving. Do your best to be able to verbally describe your feelings to others as if you had a necessity to do so. Compare what you feel now to the emotional baseline you established before the event. The difference of what you feel between then and now will allow you to discriminate what feelings you have empathized from the event. Be careful not to confuse your reactions with what you are feeling. Pay special attention to how you now feel in the moment. You now can sense the difference between your own feelings and what you have picked up from the event. The more you practice this, the quicker and more adept you will become at separating your own feelings from those you pick up from others and the environment. Don’t rule out environments as generators of what you might pick up. Environments that have had strong emotional experiences embedded in them or that have recently occurred in the space will temporarily retain an imprint of emotional intensity until it is either replaced by a different vibration or wanes off due to the naturally changing daily energies. Those energy changing times are sunrise, high noon, sunset and midnight.
This simple exercise should do a great deal in allowing us to emotionally settle into our own vibrational space and recognize when we’re picking up from others or The Spirit of the Place. Disconnecting from the outside world’s emotional chaos will do wonders for our efforts to tune into the subtler vibrations in the universe thereby making our path toward awareness much shorter and eminently more enjoyable.