Updated: Jun 4
Ever notice how sometimes you can feel so good you start tingling all over? I’ve heard different expressions about it throughout my life. I’ve seen and heard references about that feeling in many places. Business advertisements, songs, the list goes on. Yet it’s one of those ideas that we use while most often not thinking about what it really means.
The tingling is energy
Yeah, talking about the tingling energy might sound cheesy or even a bit nuts, but I think it’s more nuts to ignore it.
First off, we need to stop adding such a stigma to the word “energy” when it’s used in a spiritual context. Things like fire, light, thunder and heat, they’re all forms of concentrated energy. When we hear someone say they’re going to throw a log in the fireplace, we don’t think “Oh, one of those people. Next he’s gonna start talking about angels and kittens having a tea party.” (sorry, I have no photo for that).
We’re used to seeing and hearing about fireplaces and logs. We might, however, expect someone to be dancing around in tie-dye and sandals if we hear them say “the energy of the soul”. But basically, energy is everywhere. If something moves, glows or makes a sound, it either is, has or produces energy. It’s a simple, technical way of describing something within our normal every-day lives, or, something spiritual.
So back to the tingling (are you tingling yet?). Because that feeling is physically there, an actual tangible thing that you can feel, it’s safe to officially call it energy. So if you still think I’m a bit nuts, go talk to Faraday, deGrasse Tyson or Hawkings.
What is it?
For starters it’s one of those things that’s been around for who knows how long, but often gets overlooked. A lot of useful things are like that, covered in plain sight. Somehow we’ve learned to say something quick or sarcastic about it or not say anything at all, then let it sink to the bottom of the abstract pile.
Some people just call the tingling spiritual energy. Some call it a presence. Christians call it The Holy Spirit. In any case, as with many aspects of the soul, as humans it’s difficult to completely understand what exactly makes up this energy. When you specifically call it The Holy Spirit, which is the theory I subscribe to, even pastors struggle to completely define it.
The not so great news is that even the Bible is a bit unclear (it was written by people). The good news is that this energy, this wisdom is usable, powerful and the fact that it only relates to positive things, to me, means it’s safe to work with.
When is it present?
As usual (when it comes to spirituality), I spent a lot of time gathering data about this before I ever let someone else tell me what’s what. I’ve been back and forth countless times between feeling this energy and not feeling it. For years I’ve been mentally benchmarking my experience, noting times when the energy is there and when it’s not.
It runs through me many times when:
I’m happy, often doing things like singing positive songs,
I’ve been helping someone through a tough situation and I can tell my words are uplifting,
I’m reading positive, deeply moving articles or books about things like people helping people,
Attending certain churches that have energetic, artistic, upbeat music and messages,
In crowds that are taking part in positive activities like fireworks and celebrations,
I'm praying, mostly when I do it out loud,
I’m thinking about gratitude for the things I have,
In many other positively oriented situations.
When is it gone?
There are certain times when I have an almost absolute guarantee that I’ll not feel this energy. They happen:
When I’m angry, especially if I’m not being nice about it,
If I’m doubtful of my own, or someone else’s ability to accomplish something,
When I’m in a hurry and frustrated,
When, in the past, I’ve consumed alcohol,
If Im dwelling on a bad situation,
Generally any time I’m in any negative state of mind.
Based on the data above, and much more that is not listed, to me it’s safe to say that the energy I’m highlighting here is positive, uplifting and often present, only when I’m actively engaged in positive thoughts and activities. This data is in alignment with some of what the bible says about the Holy Spirit.
What can we do with it? Playing a positive roll.
Again, it’s complete explanation is a bit like a greased worm... I can hold it, I can feel it, but I don’t know what it’s like inside and it slips away easily if I’m not extremely watchful.
The human soul is incredibly powerful. I think most of us don’t know how strong our presence can be. Take the idea from a theoretical experiment. Imagine the removal of every conventional mode of communication we use. I don’t mean internet and cell phone. I mean only what’s carried naturally inside the human experience. Imagine no speech. No body language. No touch. No facial expressions. Would there be anything left? We would have to have some form of language in order to function as a group.
I think that’s one use for the energy that is often called The Holy Spirit, basic communication. Not just the communication of information, but that of positivity, hope and compassion.
I firmly believe the Holy Spirit is a body of wisdom. I know it’s what Christ meant when he explained that his physical absence would open a place for the final piece of the Trinity. But I think everything has a technical side, and I think one technical aspect of the Holy Spirit is to connect us all together, based on the common ground, being the ability to recognize one another through wisdom and through the sacrifice that Christ made.
If we’re keeping ourselves spiritually healthy, we can carry that energy everywhere and light up the lives of others. We're communicating hope, renewal, love and fellowship just by transferring that positivity and wisdom.
What can we do with it? Gathering information.
Okay here comes crazy me, telling you that The Holy Spirit is a teacher, a deep and full trove of know-how. But again, my belief is based first on experimentation, then on what I learn from other humans. It’s the subject of an entire, future write up, but for now I’ll just say that I get information that I couldn’t possibly know from a divine source. I then confirm it soon after through research and collaboration.
I don’t often practice learning a subject from just one source. That leaves too much room for manipulation and control. My suggestion to you is to listen then confirm, with one exception, God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit... If they’re the ones truly speaking, they will NEVER tell you to hurt yourself or someone else.
You can read about how to do this in my article, Can we Really Talk to God?
Does the Holy Spirit leave us sometimes?
The answer you get will depend on who you talk to and what situation you’re in. Personally, I think all of us are always under divine care. We do have the ability to push it away, hide from it and maybe even sever the connection, but I don’t think God ever wants to give up on us.
As to when the Holy Spirit is with or not with us, I couldn’t tell you. All I know is that I can actually sense it when I’m at my best, but not when I’m at my worst. If you’re not sure, then take this piece of fall-back advice, just to do everything you can to keep it as strong within you as possible. That’s more important than trying to figure out every detail of how it works, or who's right or wrong about what or who it is.
How do we keep it flowing?
Simple fact to state. Hard idea to live out. We keep The Holy Spirit flowing and energetic within us by being positive, using the energy to uplift others and keeping our bodies, hearts and minds as natural and healthy as possible.
I’m struggling with this one myself. I find plenty of opportunity to be angry, sometimes for things that happen to myself and my family. They’re unusual and difficult to process. Many things in life are. Therefore I can’t tell everyone “just keep your chin up and don’t let things bother you” ‘cause that advice, honestly, it’s pretty weak in my experience.
Today’s world is running backward. Anyone who knows that is going to feel it through anxiety, frustration, anger or sadness. Sometimes those bad feelings are occasional. Sometimes they’re constant and unyielding.
I have a way to work around that. I know I can’t rely on my emotional side to run the show. That part of me is useful, but not very smart. I refer to the logic that the choice is just cold hard fact. Either I constantly work to keep passing off good energy, or I lose that nice tingly feeling.
The energy and wisdom of The Holy Spirit holds immense amounts of power. We don’t get to work with it unless we’re highly respectful of the opportunity.
To me the reward of having Divine energy and wisdom far outweighs the work it takes to get it. That work involves staying calm, controlling my mind, body, anger and my words. So I learn. I take meditation classes. I go to church and other holy places so I can take part in the energy of a spiritual community. I stick my nose in the Bible on a daily basis, and, most importantly, I listen to divine sources of information.
Other, specific ways that can also help invite positive energy into your life
Read. The Bible is not the easiest read. Sometimes I can’t put it down. Sometimes I struggle to finish a small chapter in a day. Yet it’s full of important, practical and useful information on how to be positive, productive and work toward a spiritual future. I’ve also written an article called The Art of Calm on my portfolio site. It details some effective and useful techniques for the control of the self.
Sing from the center of the prison. Force positive activity to come out of you. Use positive words, sing, pray, say thank you for what is positive in your life, even if you’re not feeling it. It’s such an effective technique that I’ve written three articles about it:
Be aware, but be ignorant. Know what disturbances are around you, but let them pass. It’s your choice, it can be difficult, but logically it’s simple. Pay too much attention to the opposition, you won’t be paying enough to the best paths in front of you (or how to make those paths if they’re not there).
As I’ve said before, I am the driver, not the machine. I’m working toward a spiritual future more than any other. And when I leave this machine and go away from this world, I aim to already have some deep connections to my destination. Having practiced the gathering of this divine energy, The Holy Spirit, will be one more step into living that philosophy.
My path is still littered in some spots and completely overgrown in others. Sometimes I just need a small trash bag and a pick-up stick. Sometimes I need a bull dozer.
The following are resources that can help the reader reenforce the concepts covered in the last two articles.