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Working with Subtle Energies

An Interview with David Spangler

By Maryn Spangler

WizardGrowing up in the Spangler household, I have seen countless classes fly by. I knew my dad, David, was teaching a class, but this concept lacked meaning for me. I saw him sitting at the computer, typing furiously away, but I never bothered to find out more about what he actually offered in these classes.

As he prepares for the new class starting in February, I got curious about it. A “new class” is an exciting phrase, like a beautiful unmarked piece of crisp white paper, full of limitless potential. To get a better feel for it, I sat down with him to ask a few questions about what this class, Working with Subtle Energies, would offer. Here’s a little of what he said.

MS: Is this an introductory course?

DS: Yes. There are three basic courses that I teach that cover the whole picture of Incarnational Spirituality.  The first is Journey into Fire and the third is Partnering with Subtle Worlds. Working with Subtle Energies is the middle class, but you don’t have to have taken any other class to benefit from it.  It is introductory in nature.  

MS: You say that it’s a part of three basic courses, but this is your first time offering Working with Subtle Energies, is it not? What prompted you to start this new one?

DS:  Though I’ve discussed energy hygiene and subtle activism in other classes, I felt that these were topics that deserved to be a focus in their own right. Offering this new class gives the opportunity to explore this topic in more depth than we have in the past.   

MS: In the class description online, you describe this course as having an emphasis “on the development and practical application of inner skills of consciousness, spirit and energy”. Could you describe some of the skills that will be explored in Working with Subtle Energies?

DS: Subtle energies come in three different “flavors.”  There are those that arise in our personal energy field and affect us as individuals.  There are those that are in our immediate environment, and there are those that are in the world at large.  Dealing with the first two involves skills of energy hygiene whereas the third uses skills of subtle activism.  These are related skill sets.  Both involve body awareness, centering, focusing, attentiveness, and blessing.  Each uses different modes of attunement, however, and subtle activism has a different mental component.  All of these skills and modes of attunement are covered in the class.

MS: Could you give me an example of the application of this knowledge? When would I use these skills?

DS: This depends on the kind of subtle energy you wish to work with.  If you are dealing with your personal energy field, then you use the skills to create or restore a sense of balance, calm, centeredness, and wholeness within yourself, perhaps after a stressful encounter.  If the challenge lies with the subtle energies within a particular environment, then you would use the knowledge of this class either to harmonize with or if necessary and possible, to change the nature of these energies.  If you are working with subtle activism, it is most likely because you wish to contribute positive and healing energies to some crisis occurring in the world or you wish to add to the store of positive qualities available for others to draw upon when needed anywhere on the planet

MS: You mentioned “subtle activism”. What do you mean by this, and what is its value in everyday life?

DS: Subtle Activism is a way of giving service in the world using non-physical means, often in complement with physical action.  In many instances, though, when we would like to offer help, we may feel prevented from doing so because we are physical removed from the people, the location or the situation we wish to assist.  However, distance is not a factor in the subtle dimension of life, so even though we are not physical present, we can still be a positive force in a situation that would benefit from such positivity.  Its value is that it helps us revision who we are as generative sources, it lets us experience that we inhabit a world of subtle energy as well as one of physical matter, and it enables us to bring helpful forces to bear upon difficult situations somewhere in the world. Subtle Activism, properly understood and applied, truly makes a better world for all of us.,

MS: What do you hope people will take away from this class?

DS: First, I would like them to experience themselves as inhabiting an energy environment as much as a physical one and to see themselves as generative sources able to positively influence that environment.  Then I would like them to take away specific skills and ideas to use in practical ways to benefit their individual lives and the lives of those around them.

MS: You have 50+ years of experience. How has your understanding of Subtle Hygiene changed over time?

DS: Just as there are different forms of physical hygiene, so there are different forms of energy hygiene.  Over the years, I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for these differences and how we might engage with them.  I’ve also learned more about the nuances of working with subtle energies.  These non-physical forces don’t come in simple black or white, positive or negative.  A positive force in one context might become a negative one in a different environment.  Energy hygiene isn’t simply about “clearing and cleansing” negative energies.  It’s also about understanding and working with the dynamic nature of subtle energies.

MS: How would my life be different before and after taking this class and learning about Energy Hygiene and Subtle Activism?

DS: I believe you would find yourself to be a larger presence living in a larger world than you had imagined before. I have to say, I’m particularly excited for this class to begin.

If you feel intrigued as well, then I invite you to read more about it here: Working With Subtle Energies