I work with clients every day; they call from locations as far-flung as Japan and as close to home as Iowa. The reason I can provide this long-distance service as an energy medicine healer and intuitive specialist is the support of a vast network of satellites, electrical lines, and Internet connections.
Empathy works in a similar way. Typically defined as the ability to sense what's happening to another (person, animal, etc.), empathy relies on an amazingly complex set of linkages. Most researchers point to interchanges within and between the brain, various neurological systems, and psychological programming. If you back a scientist in a corner, though, they'll admit that there are unseen forces at play. I believe that these are the more interesting and productive factors to study, and that understanding the more "unusual" aspects of empathy can help you embrace the true power of being empathic.
And that's exactly what empathy is supposed to be: a power.
The "limited edition" version of empathy says there are two main types of empathy: emotional empathy and cognitive empathy. Most of us have experienced how helpful it is to sense what others are feeling or thinking. What if I were to inform you that there are actually six, not only two, types of empathy? Not only that—empathy isn't just about walking in the shoes of another. The subject of your awareness might be a person; then again, it could be a dog, plant, object, or otherworldly being. This is because empathy is actually a supersonic phenomenon that alerts us to spiritual or psychic information. As such, it can attune us to all sorts of animate or inanimate subjects, and also work for or against us.
As an example, consider the following six individuals, each of which showcases a particular type of spiritual empathy:
What do all these individuals have in common? They are "spiritually empathic." In other words, they are keenly able to sense spiritual information, also called subtle or psychic energy, which I believe is the core of empathy.
Energy is information that moves or vibrates. Everything is made of energy, from your coffee cup to a thought. As well, everything is made of information and everything vibrates—hence my definition of energy.
From an energetic point of view, there are two main types of information. There is information that moves relatively slowly. This is sensory information; and it is perceived through the everyday senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. We hear what someone is saying and we can then respond. We touch a child and know whether or nor they have a fever. There is also "extra-sensory" information, however, and this information moves faster than our five senses can track. This "psychic stuff" is comprehended through our five senses, but it enters and exits in immeasurable ways through energy centers called chakras.
Chakras are subtle organs that operate in ways similar to our physical organs, with one exceptional difference: they process information that moves quickly and slowly. Because of this, they attune us to information that we can't see, touch, hear, taste, smell, or prove with our five senses—even though it registers within our body. In other words, chakras make us spiritual or psychic.
There are many chakras. Each is linked to a different bodily region and receives and sends a specific set of information. For instance, the chakra in your hip area manages information about physicality. The chakra in your abdomen handles information about feelings. In summation, every chakra relates to a set of messages that allow you to communicate psychically or spiritually with the external world.
Chakras are the basis for the spiritual gifts, ways of knowing on the extrasensory level. There are three main families of spiritual gifts. These are verbal, visual—and yes, empathic.
The verbal gifts are often described with terms like clairaudience, telepathy, and mediumship. These aptitudes are auditory. Individuals with this gift might also be adept at speaking, writing, musicality, or intuitively understanding the written word. The main chakra related to the verbal gift lies in the throat.
The visual gifts allow pictorial communication, the visionary often seeing images, such as colors, shapes, or visions, in their mind's eye. Frequent labels for this ability are clairvoyance, prophecy, and seeing. The chief chakra related to this aptitude is located in the forehead.
The empathic gifts occupy most of the other in-body chakras and constitute the majority of subtle abilities. While the empathic gifts, and I believe any sort of empathy, involves the sharing of subtle information, the main instrument is the body. In other words, empathically sensitive individuals feel, sense, taste, smell, or simply "know" what's occurring outside of themselves.
At first blush, the empathic gifts are incredibly exciting. Wow, who wouldn't want to know everything about everyone else? Some individuals are too empathic, however. When we take more spiritual information into our bodies than we know what to do with, it's hard to separate from it. We might sense the illness of another, but it's only one more step to actually become ill as well. Because of this, empathic individuals often feel too sensitive.
What are the various empathic gifts? I organize them in six categories, and I've already introduced you to examples of these six gifts earlier in this article. Following is an overview of each gift, the person exemplified, and the location of the related chakra. As you read through my descriptions, pay attention to which categories might best describe you.
How do you assure the positive and uplifting use of your empathic gifts, rather than their potential downsides? I recommend taking the following steps:
Finally, enjoy your empathic gifts. Every day look for new ways to use your empathy in glorious ways. It's the finest network you'll ever experience, and as shared by C. JoyBell C.: "Not to be overlooked are the senses of our souls: intuition, peace, foresight, trust, empathy."
It is these that enable our divinity, not only our humanity.
Cyndi Dale (Minneapolis, MN) is an internationally renowned author, speaker, healer, and business consultant. She is president of Life Systems Services, through which she has conducted over 65,000 client sessions and ...