(And, The Nature of Thoughtforms,
Their Effect on The Etheric Bodies,
 and The Role of Creative Will and Intent
 In The Use of Sound Healing)

                                                           ---Zacciah Blackburn

              Historically,  sound  has  been  used as a point of focus and invocation in  meditation, prayer,  healing,  and ritual throughout much of the world.  As with so  much that is mystical, our culture has lost touch with the nature of sound as a  healing  vehicle.  Yet more and more healers and musicians are focusing on the power sound has on our bodies and on our well-being.  There are  two  principal  aspects to sound, as I see them, in healing and ritual.   One  aspect  of sound, like a chant or mantra, creates a point of focus for  the  mindforce,  through  which  one's  intent forms  a basic structure, or energetic  grid,  through  which  energy may flow, be contained, invoked or built into  a  healing  mechanism.   The other aspect is the carrier force of the sound itself.   This  is dual in nature.  The sound becomes a river upon which, through which,  an  energy may  flow.  The  sound also has an intention, a vibration, an essence, or resonance, which can be a healing mechanism.
              As  one becomes involved with sound as a healing mechanism, whether through one's own  intuitive  guidance,  or some traditional manner, one sees the power, which  sound  creates, unfold.   We can see the traditional use of this power by  looking  at  the  Afrikan  or  Native American  shaman invoking celestial allies through  chant,  song, and prayer, drum or rattle in hand, healing the imbalances in  one of his or her people.  We can see it in an entire Native American village chanting  ancient  rites  to  the  corn  maiden  at  planting time, or an Israeli village  granting blessings  upon a newly married couple through song and dance.  We  can  look  at  an African-American  gospel choir pouring out their hearts in song,  reaching  remarkable states of ecstasy and joy.  Or we can look at an East  Indian  playing  citar, focusing through power of meditation and specific ancient scales,  invoking  the balance and harmony of a specific deity (or energy stream) into  the room.  With any of these examples, and throughout most native cultures, sound  is and has been used as a point of focus of creative intent and invocation of  divine energies.   Sound  is  a  vehicle  through  which one may carry one's message  to  the  divine,  and through which one may merge with, and express, the  creative divine.
              The  path  to  sound  as  a  healing  vehicle  begins  within the self.  By exploring  deep inside ourself, we can easily tap into our own ancient mysteries, unfelt  feelings, and creative energies through the use of sound.  That sound may come  out  in the form of "unchained melodies", improvisational "noise"' or cries of  an  infant unborn, but by paying attention to the sounds a particular wave of energy  within  our  body  wishes to make, we can create a truely healing process for  ourself,  and,  eventually,  for  others.   This  process requires a certain degree  of  trust  and release of inhibition, yet that doubt or inhibition itself is  a form of fear keeping our creative, expressive powers at bay.  Whatever form of  release  we  wish to use, the nature of healing and empowerment is to release the  fear or limiting process within the self, and walk into the creative impulse resonating deep within our seat of being.
              By  sounding  that  creative  impulse, which is our expressive self, we can walk  through  all of our agony and pain, fears and prejudices, and all limiting thoughtforms  we  have created within ourself, in this and other lifetimes, which bind  us from our creative, expressive self.  All of those devastating habits and self-agonizing  behaviors,  which  have  been built through years or lifetimes of reacting  to  traumatic  circumstances  or  lack  of  nourishment,  have embedded themselves  in our fibers.  They have been impacting on and diminishing the very core  of  our  being,  driving  us  in involutive  spirals  in upon, rather than expansive,  expressive  spirals  out from, that core of being.  The sound itself can  resonate  and  discharge  those emotional energies which have been locked so long  in  our  bodies,  within  our  tissue,  within  our  cellular memories, our emotional  and energetic  bodies.   Sound therapists can guide and nurture  us  on  the  path  to self-healing through connecting with our own inner sound, our own inner child, and help us express it.
              That  inner  child  holds  abundant  energy, abundant love and grace.  And, through letting the noise and confusion of the outer self, one can hear her/his deeper,  more  intimate  self sounding,  resonating,  at first ever so timid and quiet;  but with each breath, with each courageous expression of that child self, feel  waves  of  joy  and hope break through all the pain and doubt we have built around  us.   It  may be painful at first.  But with courage and determination we can break  through  the  pain  and fear, and find unlimited oceans of beauty and wisdom emerging from within ourself.
The Nature of Thoughtforms, and Their Effect Upon the Etheric Body

              To  help  us  understand  this  process  a little further, let us look more deeply  at  the nature of our energetic bodies and the creation of limiting forms of  energy within them.  We have often heard that we create our own reality.  The nature  of  that  reality is so complex it seems difficult to comprehend just how that  might be.  Yet, when we look at the nature of thoughtform, and how it works as  a  creative  force,  it  becomes apparent that the development of a positive, light-building  field  of energy around us, through our own thoughts and actions, with  our  own creative  will and intent, is a major key to our  continued well-being.   For  that  energy  field,  built as "thoughtform", is an electromagnetic grid  that  attracts  or  dispels  other  energies  around us, dependent upon the nature of its intent.
              Thoughtform  is  the elemental nature of the creative potential of thought.   It  is the energetic substance created by all thought, desire, and action.  On an energetic  level, we constantly tap into raw (pure) energy and mold it with the resonance  of  our thought/desires/actions.   We  also  tap  into  and "channel" lifestreams  of  energy  which resonate with various qualities of existence, both creative  (expansive),  and  diminishing  (contractive).  Intelligent forces work through  these  streams  of  energy,  whether  it  is  conscious  or  unconscious interaction.   This  is a highly interactive point for us with beings of the more subtle  spirit  realm.  These  interactions  may  take  place  in the emotional, astral,  or  other  fields  of  our bodies.  They may interact on a more tangible plane,  as  we  invoke  them  (consciously  or  unconsciously) in saintly acts of kindness  or  generosity,  or  in  debilitating  acts  of  alcoholism  or  abuse.
        Thoughtforms  are  the residual energetic effect of our thoughts/desires/actions,  and  of  our interactions  with  these energetic streams of consciousness.  These thoughtforms  will  create illuminating  flames  or  blinding  shrouds of energy within our subtle bodies, dependent upon their resonant quality.  If  the  residual  effect  of  the  thoughtform is of a binding or limiting nature,  it can  be  removed only by a compensatory action, energetic in nature, which  has  a quality opposing or balancing it.  Because the thoughtform's nature is  of vibration, or resonance, the sound healer may find a resonant quality with which  to  heal,  extract,  or  balance  it,  through the nature of sound itself.  However,  if  the  nature  of  the wound is related to these conscious negate-ive streams  of  energy,  a  more  skillful approach is required, in which the healer must  have  a  conscious  relationship  with healing energies of a divine nature.  The  potential  for danger  exists  for  the  practitioner,  no  matter what the modality,  who  interacts  with  these negate-ive energies, without the conscious awareness  of  these  processes,  or  the skills to complete them.  Indeed, these energies  interact  in  and  complicate our lives more deeply than most of us can imagine.   Because  of  the nature of thoughtforms, and these negating streams of energy,  we  each  need  to  focus  on  practices  of clarifying our thoughts and actions, and strengthening our energy fields.
              Through  previous  patterns of creative thought (energy), we are attracted, through  birth, to  parents  who  will  help  develop a grid of energy that will provide  a  maximum for potential in our own growth.  It is not until we begin to take  responsibility  for our lives and our choices that we can see this clearly.  But  by focusing on the content of our daily thoughts and actions, and seeking to fill  them  with the highest and most pure form of good we can imagine, we slowly gravitate toward  a  more and more light-filled body of energy.  We suddenly see new  credence  in  the old  adages  "love  thy  neighbor..." or "judge not, lest ye...",  etc.,  whether  it  be  of  the Eastern, Western, or Native templates of knowledge.

Why Heal The Etheric Body/ The Nature of Creative Will and Intent

                 The  sound  worker  sees  an  inextractible  link between sound, light, and creative  intent. Once  we understand the nature of our energetic self, we begin to  see the importance of the content and intent of our thoughts and actions, and how these interact.   The  physical  body  is but  one  level  of expression of our spirit-self.  Beyond  the  physical are primarily 6 etheric fields of energy which comprise our expressive  self.   These  fields  or  energy bodies are interwoven through our 7 major  chakras  (energy centers) within the body, and are interconnected with the divine  centers  of heaven and earth through spirals of light energy which course through  the body(ies) and these sacred centers.  These centers resonate more and more subtle levels of energy which radiate through the body in our light field.
              Thought  is  a  tangible  creative  field  of  energy  which interlaces our lightfield  and creates  grids  of energy resonating through the chakral centers and  about  our  body.   When  our thoughts  resonate  from  a  point of fear or inhibition,  doubt or confusion, anger or jealousy, we create through our thought itself  a  limiting  or  binding grid of energy about our light body.  We are not allowing  ourself  to  resonate in expressive, expansive forms of creative joy or love.
              These  grids,  or  patterns,  are  magnetic  fields  of  energy and attract potential  situations to  us,  to  allow  us to make choices to help us grow.  I emphasize  potential,  for we work within a school of free choice, and there is a high  degree  of  fluidity  due  to the interactions of all beings' free choices, which  create  the  ever-unfolding  formation of reality.  Psychics can read this potential  and  give us a probability based upon how definitively those grids are in  place,  but  the concept  of  free  choice is always in place, and rules our aspect of the universe.
              It  is  our  intent  and  focus of that intent (will) that are the creative tools  of  our expression of self (via our thoughts and actions, the choices that we  make).   Consciously  or unconsciously, we use that focus (will) and intent in the  creation  of  the  unfoldment  of our daily lives.  And we can use it at any given  moment,  to  alter  the  course  of  our previous choices within our daily lives.   If  we  do  not,  these  thoughtforms, which have become embedded in our energetic field, will eventually effect our daily lives.  For  most of us, they already have, effecting our clarity of consciousness, our  emotional  well-being,  our relationships, our successes.  Finally, they may emerge as  physical  symptomology...  repetitive sore throats for those afraid to speak  up  and  express their feelings or experiences, chronic fatigue for those who  have  had  non-nurturing  relations  with their  parent of opposite gender, ovarian  or  breast cancer for those subjected to sexual trauma, are but a few of the patterns which we may see emerge.

The Use of Creative Will and Intent in Sound Healing

              The  sound  healer  uses  the  focus of intent, to create a channel through which   divine energies,  or  "higher  resonances",  may  be  poured  into  the recipient's  energy  field.   The primary  focus  of  intent is on being a clear vessel,  to  allow  the  greatest  good  to  manifest for this individual's well-being.   Once  the  soundwork  has  begun,  the  focus  of intent may become more specific.   The  healer,  for  instance,  may see an ingrained pattern of thought (energy)  within the  energy field, which is constricting the recipient's energy flow,  and  may  call  upon  specific energetic tools to remove or transform it.  That  pattern  may  be  manifesting  in  a  limiting behavior  or illness in the recipient's  life.   Or  the  focus may remain more general, creating the doorway through  which divine energies may enter the more tangible planes and work within the recipient's field for the greatest good.
              The  sound  healer  may  also  be  working  with  thoughtforms or elemental energies which  are  not of this person's making.  These may be projections from other  individuals'  creative intentions  (repressive  parents, for instance, or hostile,   or   desirous   relations),  or  projections  from other  streams  of consciousness  of a lesser realm.  (Victims of alcohol or drug abuse, violence or sexual  abuse  often  have trauma linked to these diminishing patterns of energy, which  linger and eventually manifest through the energy body into the emotional and physical.)
              The recipient must be a willing participant, wanting to receive these light energies,  and to release/heal these unwanted thoughtforms.  The greater level of focus  and  intent  on  healing which the recipient can manifest, the greater the potential  for positive outcome will be.  And the recipient may need to take some tools  home  with  him  or  her  to  reinforce these new patterns of behavior, or energetic  qualities  within  the self.  Release and regeneration of energies are focuses  beneficial  to  the  recipient:   release  of  pain,  memory  of tragedy (through  expression or  forgiveness), self-limiting thoughts of unworthiness or confusion;  and  regeneration  of  purity,  of love of self and others, joy, or a state  of  peacefulness,  might  be  examples  of  thoughtforms beneficial to the recipient.
              In  my  work,  my  point of focus is usually either in the Ajna center (the third  eye)  or  the eighth chakra (above the crown of the head).  From the Ajna center  I can direct specific light-energies into the body through the vehicle of sound  (or,  in  some  cases,  through hands-on), utilizing specific tools.  The eighth  chakra  is  a powerful interdimensional point linking the primal soul and divine  seat.   Within  the  eighth  chakra,  the focus is more specifically upon illumination, opening  the  doorway  through which conscious divine energies may more  easily  enter, with greater power and awareness than my more conscious self can  unfold.   This  requires  much more giving of self, more surrender, thus the quality  of  light  pouring  through becomes more bright and pure.  I become more unconscious  of the specific interaction of energies with the recipient, but both of us are drawn to a higher, clearer state.
              The  point  of  intention  remains  the  same.   The  intent of the healing practitioner  is  to focus  on  the  most  pure,  most  worthy  energies for the recipient's  needs.  The intent opens the doorway.  The sound becomes the vehicle through  which  the  light  moves.  And it offers an extraordinary point of focus for  the  healer  to place his or her intentions upon.  In my work, the sound may come  with  the  use  of  an  instrument;   a  crystal  or brass bowl, a tingshaw (Tibetan  brass  cymbal),  a  flute, rattle, or Native ceremonial drum.  But more often  I am the sole instrument, opening the voice to a sacred mantra, a chant, a sound  or  series of sounds, a song, a prayer, or what I like to call "dialects".  These  "dialects"  are a form of divine invocation, or prayer, a sacred language, a speaking in tongues, in which the energy becomes most pronounced.
              Whatever  the  instrument  or  modality,  the sound itself, through its own vibration  or resonance,  rearranges  the  molecular  structure  of cells, lifts thought  and  energy  into  an elevated  dimension (through pure resonance), and invokes/carries  a  higher  energy  (intelligence, or quality) through it, which interacts  in  the  energy  field  in a variety of ways.  The sound resonance may function  like  a  set of tuning forks, in which the pure resonance of one tuning fork,  once set in motion, will carry waves of energy to the other, which, by its like  nature,  will begin resonating.  Or the sound may act upon the crystallized blockage  of  energies  in the energetic body as a pure tone might upon a crystal glass,  causing  it  to  shatter, or quicken and release.  The resonance of sound may  be sensed as a pure stream of energy, like a waterfall, cleansing the energy field, and re-energizing it, in a shower, or in waves, of peacefull light.
       Coupled with the intent of the sound resonator (healer), specific qualities of  light,  or specific energetic streams may be called upon, or invoked, to aid the  practitioner  in removing binding or shrouding energies, and to recharge the energy field with light.
              Again,  the  interplay  of  sound  and light are important to the conscious user.   In  modern physics, we find that the principal difference in sound, light and  matter is one of vibrational frequency, or resonance.  The interrelationship of these is more like a broad spectrum of energy than three separate forms.
              In  so many tales of Creation, it is sound which is the first and elemental form of Creation, and the vehicle which moves energy from the potential realm to the manifest world.  In Hinduism, it is the sound of "Om" which resonates as the elemental  causal  form  of  all creative manifestation.  In Australian Aboriginal culture, perhaps the oldest continual culture on the planet, the "Ancestors", defined as "fathomless, luminous beings of light and energy", dreamed of all forms of life in Creation, and "sung" them into existence through templates of thought energy, along "songlines", which are comparable to the ley lines, or electromagnetic grid, of the Earth.  In Judaism, the ancient mystical  Cabalistic  roots  of the culture teach us that each of the 22 letters of  the  alphabet  not  only  symbolizes,  but  carries  and  emits  through  its enunciation,  with  pure  intent,  one  of the principal aspects of the universal energy.   Their interaction in letter configurations (words) is significant as to their  interaction  in  universal  flow  and unfoldment.   This  was  so clearly understood  that  it  was  considered sacrilege to enunciate the cryptic word for "God", the Anglicization of which is Jehovah, or Yahweh.  In its cryptic verse, understanding of the meaning of the one word itself, in all its depth, potency, and purity, was a path to enlightenment.
              In Christianity, many sources indicate Jesus taught esoteric thought to his disciples  in  far greater  detail,  in  private settings, than his more popular metaphorical  stories  to  the public would indicate.  Many of these sources also say  he  was  an  initiate  in the ancient mystery schools of the East, receiving teachings  in  the  great  temples of Egypt, and travelling to India, where tales still  exist  of "Saint Issa", who returned to his people in Jerusalem 2000 years ago,  only  to  be crucified.  The Book of John, written by one of his principal disciples,  opens  with  the  verse, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."  (John I:1-2).
              To  me,  the  nature  of this verse is extremely specific.  The "word", the sound,  is the first manifestation of creative vibration, or intent, and holds in its  resonance, the very essence of the Divine.  In Greek, from which we get much of  the  New Testament script, and from which we get the origin of "word", "word" means  "to  say".   This  implies, further, an innate understanding that the very resonance  of  sound, of "the word", draws power to it, and carries power through it.   We have often heard of "the power of the spoken word," but we may not have given  much credence  to  it.   It is our thought, our will, and intentions that give  power to the spoken word, and to sound in all of its forms and uses.  Sound is  a  profoundly powerful tool.  The nature of its power rests in the conscious, and unconscious, intent of its initiator.


 C   1991, 2001  R. Zacciah Blackburn, The Center of Light
This article may be reprinted as long as all author and contact information below is provided.

              Zacciah is a  sound healer, poet, parent, musician, instrument maker, and educator.  He is founder and director of the Center of Light in Vermont, where he practices sound  therapy, and teaches meditation and the metaphysical nature and transformative process of our existence.  He has studied the nature of sound and light, and has been a maker of musical instruments since 1973.   He can be reached at:

The  Center of Light
Zacciah Blackburn
P.O. Box 389
220 Hidden Glen Rd.
Ascutney, VT  05030  USA

Phone & Fax:
(802) 674-9585
The Center of Light Home Page

C   1991, 2001  R. Zacciah Blackburn, The Center of Light

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