Not too long ago I participated in an Internet conference with a well known Reiki Master Teacher and author. The topic of asking permission when sending distant Reiki or when just working on others came up rather early on and her response was that if you were in court and a judge asked you if you obtained permission from the person you were sending Reiki to and you said, well I asked their "higher self" (meaning their soul) do you think that would hold up in court? At first I was taken aback by this response and admittedly swayed by this argument, but now, in retrospect, I'm not so sure I agree with this tenet.
Recently, when doing a self-treatment session in which I also intended that Reiki go out to several people I mentally named, asking their permission and intending that the energy go for their highest good, I had a download (a message from Spirit or my guides) that I could send Reiki to the souls of some of my crossed over loved ones as we are all eternal souls, occasionally having a physical existence in a human body (or possible other types of body per Brian Weiss and others who do past life regressions) I could always send Reiki to those in Spirit who I loved when they were in the physical with me at some time during my life. It was one of those revelatory moments for me and I wept tears of joy knowing that on the other side, I was helping to heal my loved ones souls by sending them the beautiful, miraculous gift of Reiki. I felt a tremendous wave of love from the other side while doing this.
It occurred to me yesterday that if we are all just eternal souls having a physical experience in whatever body we are in at this time, then asking the soul permission, if you had not literally been given permission by them to send them Reiki, made perfect sense to me. This generally comes up when someone else has asked for Reiki for a loved one or close friend but that person did not directly ask you or them for it and are possibly not even aware that that person has asked you to send it to them or you just hear or know of someone who is suffering and wish to help them because you know you can by using Reiki distantly. Why wouldn't a soul be the perfect one to ask? The body is just the vehicle in which the soul is having a physical experience in whatever life time. The soul is eternal, is here to learn whatever lessons it has contracted to learn this time around in a particular body at a particular time in history. Who better to ask then the soul? If the soul is resistant to the healing then you could assume that the lessons they contracted to learn this time around involve their going through whatever it is they are going through right now to learn whatever lesson/s they are here to learn in the body they are in now.
If we trust that Reiki is an intelligent energy, then between what the soul knows and Reiki knows, we can safely assume by asking the souls permission and allowing the soul to decide whether it is open to receiving the healing energy or not is the souls decision, as it should be.