Reiki and Mystical Theology

Christine BerryArticles, English Leave a Comment

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 As a Reiki student/practitioner and Theologian I wanted to share with you some of my personal thoughts and reflections in relation to God and the Spiritual Energy that we are working with.

As a Christian, the branch of Theology I am most drawn to is Mystical Theology particularly Apophatic Theology. This theology believes that our conceptual understanding of God only limits God and our experiences with Him. Any definitions we place on God are essentially judgements and impositions of our own humanity, our own ego, onto Him. Apophatic Theology leaves the door open by actually saying what God is not i.e. God is not hatred. Within mystical theology God is seen as Infinite; beyond being; the origin of everything and yet without origin; beyond duality because all things are contained within Him and He is beyond all things. To be in communion with this God we must remove all our ego orientated definitions and conceptualizations. This God is beyond our knowledge, our conditioning, our intuition or rationalization.

Traditional church has always understood this but has at the same time provided us with definitions of God (Cataphatic Theology), as a way of helping us on our journey. Within this approach it is believed that Gods’ energies are present in this world and through our experiences with these we can define certain things, e.g. God is Love. But, even though this can help and can engage the human mind, in my opinion, it does in effect place boundaries and hindrances on our spiritual journey. That is, God is not just Love. God is beyond Love, within love, beyond all creation, human concepts etc.

Working with energy for me has many parallels with the above. If I define this energy in any way I am imposing my human perception on the energy and in a way put demands and expectations on the outcome of my relationship with it. This for me is true whether we see this energy as God, or independent of God, or as the Holy Spirit or if we don’t believe in God at all.

Working with, and learning from Frans, I was glad to discover that he too tries to decline from any kind of self imposed judgements in his relationship and experience with the energy. It is the only way that he and Bronwen (and us), can reach deep into the ‘heart’ of the mystery of Life. Having said this though, we do experience a number of phenomena when we are working with Reiki and these are very real to us. For example we see colours, lights, spirits, feel other presences, bodily sensations etc. But, if we place expectations on ourselves to see and experience these and, or, focus on their interpretation, then our relationship with the energy can be reduced to just these experiences. If on the other hand we approach without judgement and expectation then I believe we can open ourselves up to things that are unimaginable.

New Age has resurrected many wonderful stories, experiences and practices. Things to work with and think about such as guides, angels, spirits, crystals, essences to name but a few. We practice Yoga, Tai chi, Qigong and study chakras and so forth. These are all good tools for healing but if we just stay within their space, and not seek beyond, then our journey will simply stay within their parameters. If for example I, as a yoga practitioner, am interested only in achieving asanas to perfection, my journey will be limited to this practice and experience and I will miss the bigger picture.

As human beings and as Reiki practitioners we naturally seek to understand, to interpret, to know the meaning of what we see and what we experience. And mostly we are tempted in providing interpretations. But we must always keep in mind the limitations these can bring, so that we remain open and in total surrender to the Infinity of the Creator, be it for some the Energy or God or just simply, Being…
It is within this space, the space of unknowingness, acceptance, of surrender and humility, that healing truly begins. And as we feel this within ourselves, we can bring it to all there is, in our lives, to our planet, to our clients, who entrust in us the power to offer them healing and wholeness. Amen

[1] There is no room within this article to explain in detail this particular approach but for those who are interested to look into it further, the writings of St Dionysius the Areopagite or Pseudo-Dionysius, a philosopher and theologian of the 5th & 6th century, are available on the internet and other sources.

[2] I will use the pronoun ‘Him’ to refer to God for the purpose of this article but I am in no way implying that God is in anyway masculine.

[3] Again interested readers can find ample information on the internet as a beginning to understanding this theology. It is a theology that acknowledges that God does communicate with us through His energies, scripture, nature etc.

[4] Unknowingness does not imply ignorance but the recognition of our human limitations and the willingness to go beyond


Christine Berry is a Shinpiden grqaduate of the International House of Reiki

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