What is Shen? You cannot perceive Shen through your ears. You must have excellent eyesight and an open and tender heart, so that Shen, spirit, communicates through your consciousness. Spirit cannot communicate through the mouth, but through the heart. To capture Shen, you must look very closely, and suddenly you will come to what there is to capture. But just as quickly you will again loose this kind of knowledge. Shen communicates with man just like the wind that suddenly clears all clouds. And that is why in this case we speak of Shen. Huangdi Neijing Suwen, Chap. 36
Just as the energy of the blue sky is at rest, Shen and the heart of those, who are pure and have attained peace, will be. And the yang energy is strengthened in those who are in harmony with nature. Huangdi Neijing Suwen, Chap 3
When the heart is empty, when it is free of desires and will (that both arise from the waters of material existence), when it is so free of earthly bonds, then it is able to absorb the heavenly energies for man, and simultaneously release them again, let them flow through. Lorenzen 1998, 195
…describes Shen as the constellating force, ie the force which generates form, animates and inspires, and thus represents the overall impression of a personality. Shen in itself cannot be perceived, it needs matter, Jing, structural potential, to act and to rest upon. This connection between Shen and Jing is the connection between fire and water, between identity and consciousness / awareness. If conscious perception is inconsistent with identity, then fire and water have separated, resulting in severe personality disorders or a psychotic schizoid character.
Shen – the vast, incomprehensible ways of the universe – are only then available to man if his heart is permeable, free and open for it. Man needs Ling, “magical potency”, to be able to use it. Ling is man’s ability to make a difference, to change something in this world. The more man is able to communicate with Shen, to practically materialize and secularize it, the more Ling is available to him. Craftsmen, artists – they change something, they act creatively in their respective areas. Lorenzen 1998, 197