Shakti, or Prana, is the universal stuff from which it all comes. Everything here is shakti; it’s all just shakti, patterns of shakti. It’s the stuff of the universe, finer than quanta of energy in the physical, scientific realm. We can ignore it if our method does not involve focusing on energy, or we can work with it, draw it in, mobilize it, direct it, and use it as a force. We can use it in the same way we might use electricity – we can collect it in the same way. It feels the same, except it is much finer. We can draw it in and draw it in and draw it in, and we will experience new realms of perception and new powers.
Before we are done, we will be subject to, or must surrender to, intensities of energy that grow and grow and grow, until they are nothing short of all of the energy of the universe, and to the extent that there are impurities within us, or paranoia, or a body that is not kept in a good shape, when we start to tune in on these higher energies, we can really blow our circuits, or shake ourselves very badly. When we see people shaking, all that bouncing energy stuff, that doesn’t have to be. That is because the person is trying to put 220 volts into a 110-volt system. The process of purification is preparing ourselves as containers to handle more and more energy, more and more love – and for that we need quieter and quieter minds, and stronger bodies, and more open hearts.
There are a lot of different traditions, some of which are very much oriented around shakti – Kundalini Yoga, for instance. Others recognize and use these energies in another manner. When we just work with shakti, we get great power. But unless that shakti is perfectly balanced with wisdom, and the empty mind, and love, it can be extremely destructive. Similarly, if we only work with our intellect and with the emptying of our mind, as in some yogas, and we fail to open our heart, our journey becomes very dry and brittle. Ultimately, no matter what our methods, we have to get a very even balance between our energy, heart and mind.
– Ram Dass