We are all composed of pure energy – reiki – and coordinated by it, yet we struggle to understand what that energy actually is. How can that be so? How can we not understand the very thing that we are composed of?

reiki energy

For thousands of years, people have pondered the subtle energies of the universe – the universal energies which compose the planets and the stars, and also our own flesh and blood. That universal energy is also referred to as rei-ki. But it has been referred to by many names by different races and civilizations, all f them wishing to understand the very substance which unites God, matter, and all living beings. Below are a collection of those historical points of view.

This post explores a history teaming with gifted physicians, scholars, and masters of reiki and the laying on of hands.

Avicenna Ibn Sina

Overview: In the year 980 AD, there lived a wise man named Avicenna Ibn Sina. He left two great legacies: The Canon of Medicine and The Book of Healing. In the latter book, book he detailed the power of healing with magnets.

Persian philosopher Ibn Sina or Avicenna (c.980-1037) was born in the village of Afshana near the present-day Bukhara (in Uzbekistan) then a leading city in Persia (Iran.) His mother Setareh was from the same village, while his father Abdullah was Ismaili, who was a respected local governor, under the Samanid dynasty was from the ancient city of Balkh (today Afghanistan). His real name is Abu Ali al-Husayn Ibn Abd Allan Ibn Sina, however, he is commonly referred to under his Latinized name Avicenna. In the Muslim world, he is known simply as Ibn Sina.

At an early age, his family moved to Bukhara where he studied Hanafi jurisprudence with Isma‘il Zahid and at about 13 years of age he studied medicine with a number of teachers. At the age of 16, he established himself as a respected physician. Besides studying medicine, he also dedicated much of his time to the study of physics, natural sciences and metaphysics.

Theophrastus von Hohenheim, aka, Paracelus.

Overview: Paracelus took advantage of his knowledge as a doctor and alchemist, to re-shape the idea that was explained by Avicenna. He developed a theory that referred to the magnetic influence of the stars or cosmos, in relation to wounds and the different parts of the human body. He was a famous physician, alchemist, and astrologer of the German Renaissance.

Early Life

Paracelsus was born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493-1541), in the village of Einsiedeln, Switzerland. His name referred to Aurus Cornelius Celsus, the celebrated Roman encyclopaedist, one of the greatest medical writers of his time. Paracelsus’ father, Wilhelm Bombast von Hohenheim, was a Swabian (German) chemist and physician, and his mother was Swiss, presumed to have died when Paracelsus was a child.

Major Accomplishments

Paracelsus was a German-Swiss alchemist and Renaissance physician, whose main interest included alchemy, botany, physiology, astrology, science, and the occult. His personality was seen as stubborn and independent, an embattled reformer, and a revolutionary who insisted in using observations of nature rather than looking to ancient texts, a radical defiance of the medical practice at the time. He preferred experience and experimentation over knowledge.

Jean Baptiste van Helmont

Overview: Paracelus had a student (a disciple of Paracelus), named Jean Baptiste. He established the difference between animal magnetism and internal or spiritual magnetism in the 16th century. He was a brilliant chemist, physiologist, and physician, from the Spanish Netherlands. Lived 1580 – 1644.

Jan Baptist von Helmont was one of the early brilliant minds in the modern period of Flemish chemistry, physiology, and medicine. Sometimes, he is considered as the “founder of pneumatic chemistry” and today he is remembered by modern generations in the field of medicine for his thoughts on spontaneous generation, how he introduced the word “gas” to the scientific vocabulary, and his famous 5-year tree experiment.

Early Years and Background

Born on the 12th day of January in 1580, Brussels, Belgium, Jan Baptist von Helmont was a member of one of the noble families. He was the youngest of the five children of Christiaen van Helmont, a public prosecutor, and Maria van Stassaert. He obtained his education at the Catholic University of Louvain and gained his philosophy degree in 1594. There, he also explored the many different fields of science. However, he found no satisfaction in them and in the end he focused his works on medicine. He obtained his medical degree in 1609 after ten years of travels and studies.

Alessandro Cagliostro, alias Giuseppe Balsamo

Overview: A contemporary of Frans Mesmer, Alessandro Cagliostro was an Italian wealthy man who went around the world imposing the energy from his hands in treating hundreds of patients, leading them back to good health. He only had one request for them, and that was that they believe in him. Cagliostro, after giving the best of himself to healing, died as a victim of the Spanish Inquisition. A great mind who pursued various occult arts, including psychic healing, alchemy and scrying.

Count Cagliostro (pronounced “kally-o-stro”) was an 18th century occult mystic/conman/faith healer who ranged throughout Europe, claiming a noble, exotic, and mysterious origin. A political loose cannon in an age of revolution, he was implicated in the famous French “Affair of the Diamond Necklace”, and was ultimately condemned to death by the Roman Inquisition for practising freemasonry.

People (including prosecutors and particularly jail guards) wanted to know if Cagliostro was a real sorcerer. They also wondered if he really could extend life, and if he was really the head of an Egyptian Masonic cult. Some speculated that he was really a Jesuit spy, others suspected that he was really an agent for an international revolutionary conspiracy. They were curious to know where he came from, and especially, what he was capable of. It is a question that has intrigued researchers for centuries.

Philippe de Lyon

Overview: Philippe de Lyon was not afraid of the Spanish Inquisition. Since the middle of the 15th century, he practiced medicine through the use of the energy that surged from his hands, re-establishing and restoring patients with disabilities, and saving people suffering from congenital illnesses. He had a very special student, named Gerard Encausse.

Philippe Anthelme Nizier was born in 1849. From a very young age, he was known for his “strange powers” and some even pondered whether he might not be the returned Jesus. After his death in 1905, he would be seen as a master – “Maître Philippe”. Mastering his powers came naturally, and from a young age; there is no evidence that he ever studied with or under anyone to refine or control them: “I was not even six years old and already the village priest was worried about certain manifestations, about which I was not yet aware. At the age of thirteen, I acquired the powers to heal, even though I was still incapable of taking account of the strange things that went on inside of me.” But despite no total understanding of what he was, it meant that “Master Philippe” had begun his life as a healer.

Gérard Encausse

Overview: Gerard Encausse was a special student of Philippe de Lyon. He was known as Papus – a doctor and occultist. He founded the School of Mystery, which was more important in Europe. He divided illness in 3 types: Physical disease (fever, trauma, fractures) treated with allopathic medicine; Astral (tuberculosis, cancer, nervous conditions) that he would cure through the use of homeopathy and magnetism; and Spiritual maladies (hysteria, epilepsy) that he alleviated through prayer.

As a young man, Gerard Encausse spent a great deal of time at the Bibliotheque Nationale studying the Kabbalah, occult tarot, magic, and alchemy. He joined the French Theosophical Society, but resigned soon after joining because he disliked the Society’s emphasis on Eastern occultism.

Encausse was also a member of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn temple in Paris, as well as Memphis-Misraim and probably other esoteric or paramasonic organizations, as well as being an author of several occult books. Outside of his paramasonic and Martinist activities he was also a spiritual student of the French spiritualist healer, Anthelme Nizier Philippe.

Gérard Encausse, usually known by his pseudonym “Papus,” was a Spanish-born French physician, hypnotist, and popularizer of occultism.

Encausse’s pseudonym “Papus” was taken from Lévi’s “Nuctemeron of Apollonius of Tyana”  and means “physician.” Papus is primarily remembered as an author of books on magic, Qabalah and the Tarot, and as a prominent figure in the various occultist organizations and Parisian spiritualist and literary circles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Edgar Cayce

Overview: In the last 3rd of the 14th century, Edgar Cayce became famous on the world stage. He was a North American citizen. Since his childhood, he showed an innate gift to utilize paranormal powers and carry out paranormal activities. He used that power on thousands of people, following one law that is common among healers: “Be loyal to yourself. Help the poor and afflicted. Never profit from your capacity to assist with the suffering of others.”

reiki healing

Edgar Cayce (/ˈkeɪsiː/; March 18, 1877 – January 3, 1945) was an American self-professed clairvoyant who answered questions on subjects as varied as healing, reincarnation, wars, Atlantis, and future events while allegedly asleep. A biographer gave him the nickname, The Sleeping Prophet. A nonprofit organization, the Association for Research and Enlightenment,[1] was founded to facilitate the study of Cayce’s work.

Some consider him the true founder and a principal source of the most characteristic beliefs of the New Age movement. Cayce is also notable for his contributions to the notions of diet and health, particularly the issues of food combining, acid/alkaline diet, and the therapeutic use of food.

Semyon Kirlian

Overview: A very significant Russian citizen, was Semyon Kirlian, who developed a special camera to capture the magnetic fields that circulate within, surround, and encapsulate the human body.

Semyon Davidovich Kirlian (1898 – 1978) a Soviet inventor and researcher of Armenian descent, who along with his wife Valentina Khrisanfovna Kirlian (1904—1971), was a teacher and journalist, discovered and developed Kirlian photography.


Monist theories reflect the fact that there is a single, unified energy which encompasses all of creation, including consciousness, soul, spirit, mind and matter. Some monists differ in their view of the ‘unified energy’ found in the universe, believing there are at least three versions of monism: theories in which only matter (i.e. mass/energy) ultimately exists, theories in which only mind ultimately exists, and theories in which some third type of substance – neither mind nor matter – exists. 


Animism (the term derives from the Latin ‘anima’, soul) is the belief that everything in the universe has a soul or a spirit, and in this sense it is superficially related to panpsychism, which claims that energy, mind and consciousness are unified, and that consciousness is an integral part of matter. Typically connected to pre-Christian or tribal religions, animism has a strong air of superstition and mystery.  It is most commonly used in a primitive, pre-scientific sense in which objects have “spirits” – e.g., the “spirit of the tree” inhabiting an oak or the “water spirit” inhabiting a lake.  These spirits typically have a human-like nature or personality that exhibit all the properties of a rational person, perhaps including intelligence, belief, memory, and agency. 

Furthermore, such spirits usually are not bound to the physical realm; they are immaterial and supernatural beings. This dualistic and highly anthropocentric nature characterizes animism and distinguishes it from philosophical panpsychism, which generally does not attribute high-level capabilities to non-human entities.  Animism thus is taken as having little if any philosophical standing.


Hylozoism (from the Greek hyle, matter, and zoe, life) is the doctrine that all matter is intrinsically alive with a universal, intelligent energy. (It is sometimes used, incorrectly, as a synonym of vitalism.)  Under hylozoism, every object is claimed to have some degree or sense of life. Introduced as a philosophical term in the seventeenth century, ‘hylozoism’ has more recently been used in reference to the early Greek philosophers.  But even into the late 1800s, the philosophers Ernst Haeckel and Friedrich Paulsen openly described themselves as hylozoists. This ‘conscious universal energy’ worldview continued into the early twentieth century as certain prominent scientist/philosophers – including Agar and Haldane – argued for a hylozoist worldview. 


Panbiotism is essentially identical to hylozoism.  It was apparently introduced by the philosopher Paul Carus, editor of the journal The Monist.  Carus (1892) defined panbiotism as the view that “everything is fraught with life; it contains life; it has the ability to live.” 


‘Pansensism’, meaning everything senses, is typically associated with the panpsychist views of Telesio, Campanella, and Mach.  The word ‘sense’ is generally associated with consciousness and spirit, and therefore implies that all things can be said to be sentient, feeling, alive, and part of a shared universal .


‘Pantheism’ means literally that all (pan) is God (theos) – that God is identical with everything that exists, i.e. the universe and all energy within the universe. It means that the Cosmos has a divine quality that is expansive and all inclusive; that all material objects (including humans) are part of that divinity, and that the divine is an unbroken continuum experienced by all things equally. It also implies that God cannot be thought of in human form (a man or a woman), and exists only as pure creative energy. 

Courtesy of Pansychism in the West, David Skrbina (2005): https://www.bookdepository.com/Panpsychism-West-David-Skrbina/9780262693516?ref=grid-view&qid=1632306904364&sr=1-2

Leave a Reply