When our physical body dies what happens to our lifetime of learning, our experiences and discoveries, our intelligence? I have had two teachers from different vocations describe very similar beliefs on this question. The first was Masakazu Ikeda Sensei, a Japanese acupuncturist. In 1997, when he already had 35 years practical experience, Ikeda Sensei described a stream of consciousness that flows around us and connects us together. This can happen at the level of partners and families, communities, and industries. He believed we could tap into this flow of thought/intelligence/consciousness as healers to learn from the past masters. He said we could also connect with patients via this stream to find empathy for their condition and suffering, to decide an accurate diagnosis, and provide effective treatment.

The second time I heard about this idea was from my Sifu. After training Kung Fu and Tai Chi for nearly four┬ádecades he would periodically have vivid dreams where he would be fighting, often using techniques and energies that were not familiar to him. It would be like lucid dreaming. He would be very aware of the action and new abilities used in the dream. It would go on and on through the night, during which he would often open his eyes, telling himself to sleep. Immediately on closing his eyes the images would begin again. Sifu describes it as watching a movie on the big screen. This would happen two or three times a year for the next twenty years. The upside to these sleepless nights was the discovery on new training methods, new energies, and new techniques! Recently it stopped and hasn’t recurred for several years. His last dream like this ended on the steps of a temple with 5th generation Tong Long Grandmaster Ip Shui. They shook hands and Ip Shui turned and walked away up the temple steps. Sifu has taken this to mean he has learned and absorbed all there was to take from the past generations and their stream of consciousness (or as he calls it – intelligence). Now he is on a path creating material that is completely new and will be added to this stream on his passing.

So how can we tap into this Central Intelligence Agency for ourselves? I agree with Sifu’s view that we need to be in a place in our life that sees us at peace, balanced mentally and emotionally, with a healthy body. We need to reduce stress, both external and internal causes. I would add that taking specific time out to be still physically and mentally, by practising Qigong and Meditation, to accelerate the connection to and the downloading of the intelligence stream. My current goal is to try and achieve the peace of mind level. So removing financial and career pressures are a priority. This would lead to more time to focus on the Yin practices to open the correct channels for software downloads while maintaining the Yang practices for upkeep of the hardware. I look forward to one day becoming an agent for the CIA, I hope many of you do too!