I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

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Bart
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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by Bart » 31 Aug 2011, 20:48

The study states it itself:
This review has noted limitations. Although systematic, this review is not a meta-analysis. One reason for the decision to approach the data from a systematic but not
meta-analytic approach was based on the fact that current studies are very heterogeneous with respect to study quality, types of treatment modalities, length of treatment sessions, and interventions. A formal meta-analysis would have necessitated a more narrow scope in study inclusion and may have excluded the assessment of within-subject designs.

I have done the distant healing search. 14 hits of which 11 on laser therapy, 2 on what a study/study model might be and 1 study which shows result in specific areas. If I at my job I will acces the 1. But I would not get my hopes up. I think touch is neccesary, also from own experience.

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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by Al Hakim » 31 Aug 2011, 21:07

Lily wrote:I think vitalism does not argue in terms of subatomic particles (quarks or electromagnetic (radio) waves) - "energy" is even more "subtle" (in German they say "Feinstofflich") - although the terminology of modern physics, if taken out of context, offers myriad options to try and explain it...
I don't think that we should try to explain energy by physical terms. In fact, it has nothing to do with physics. It is more a psychological term to describe a level of motivation in a person. Such a view enables you to "draw" some energy from the skies or soil. It is a belief and thus a strong self-motivator. It's nothing "feinstofflich". I do not like that expression because it implies tiny material beyond the known matter.
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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by LoneWalker » 31 Aug 2011, 21:32

@Bart - review of distance healing abstract only here is this the one you found? Again there are limitations to the review but again results tend towards seeing an effect, I'm cautious of this as I can't access the rest of the paper.

As far as the previous article goes I agree a meta-analysis would be nice but given that funding for research not involving nice marketable drugs is always limited I think it's a good start. I wonder what treatments we would actualy use if we held out for perfect evidence for everything...

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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by Lily » 31 Aug 2011, 23:08

LoneWalker wrote: given that funding for research not involving nice marketable drugs is always limited
not anymore
http://nccam.nih.gov/research

(well it's still limited - but the argument that it's being stifled doesn't count anymore)
bright blessed days, dark sacred nights

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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by treegod » 01 Sep 2011, 09:40

Funny, I've just been reading Mind the Gaffe by R. L. Trask and came across the entry for "energy": This word has a precise meaning in physics, and it may safely be extended to everyday use in the sense of ´vigour'. But the role of the word stops there. You should not use it as a meaningless piece of padding for 'something or other pretty amazing which I can't explain'.
Energy cannot be counted, and the plural of the word is not in common use. If you find yourself writing
an energy or energies, then you clearly have not the faintest idea what you are talking about, and you should give up.

There are also entries for 'New Age', 'spirituality' and 'empowerment' of a similar vein.

Before you use a word, look it up in the dictionary!!!

Or borrow other words, like awen or nwfre :wink:

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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by Bart » 01 Sep 2011, 10:19

LoneWalker wrote:@Bart - review of distance healing abstract only here is this the one you found? Again there are limitations to the review but again results tend towards seeing an effect, I'm cautious of this as I can't access the rest of the paper.

As far as the previous article goes I agree a meta-analysis would be nice but given that funding for research not involving nice marketable drugs is always limited I think it's a good start. I wonder what treatments we would actualy use if we held out for perfect evidence for everything...
Yes I found that one, but thats on all energy healing. If I put in distant energy healing I get:
Six pillars of energy medicine: clinical strengths of a complementary paradigm. Altern Ther Health Med. 2008 Jan-Feb;14(1):44-54. Review.
"Spooky actions at a distance": physics, psi, and distant healing. J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Oct;11(5):923-30. Review.
The psychophysiology of nontraditional prayer.

I can get them, but they are on paid sites. Hate to put up my employer with the costs.

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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by Muddy Fox » 01 Sep 2011, 10:48

Yes of course Treegod and I am sure that clients will listen patiently whilst you explain the meaning of such words as awen and nwfre. Whilst we are at it we could introduce them to the first obod booklet on Druidry and the roles of Bards, Ovates and Druids. And it won't matter that they will have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.And that they have only booked and paid for an hour. And have to get back to work whilst you both struggle to find a word which aptly describes the feelings they have just felt without a doubt.

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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by treegod » 01 Sep 2011, 11:51

Angelique11 wrote:Yes of course Treegod and I am sure that clients will listen patiently whilst you explain the meaning of such words as awen and nwfre. Whilst we are at it we could introduce them to the first obod booklet on Druidry and the roles of Bards, Ovates and Druids. And it won't matter that they will have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.And that they have only booked and paid for an hour. And have to get back to work whilst you both struggle to find a word which aptly describes the feelings they have just felt without a doubt.
Exactly. There's Standard English, and then there's the Inglish tha' ovreewun els talks. :grin:

There are words that express and others that explain. And sometimes sticking with what a words explains doesn't express a lot.

I like Cesar Millan's use of the word: Dogs use constant energy to communicate. Energy is what I call beingness; it is who and what you are in every moment. Dogs don’t know each other by name, but by the energy they project and the activities they share. They know humans in the same way.

As humans, we too are communicating with energy—whether we realize it or not. And, though we may attempt to persuade, explain, and rationalize all day long, these energy signals are the only messages getting across to our dogs.


And: Energy is a language in and of itself. You never have to tell an animal that you’re sad, tired, excited or relaxed because that animal already knows –it’s instinctual.

"Energy" in this way is a pre-verbal and instinctive way of communicating with the world, and it doesn't just work with dogs. It's gut instinct. Even here, in a very verbal context, there are ways of conveying this energy: certain words, expressions, sayings, grammar, punctuation marks and the smileys*. It doesn't always work, but it's interesting to notice the different energies people are trying to convey and where those energies may resonate with one another or where they clash.

*you may have noticed the Winker in my last post signifying that everything I was saying was intended to be tongue-in-cheek.

I think of this energy as a being's "personal atmosphere" or "aura", however the former is a bit wordy and the latter carries too much New Age/metaphysical baggage. So "energy" it is, in most situations.

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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by DaRC » 01 Sep 2011, 12:26

IMHO, in this particular instance, the fault is with the scientific community in hijacking a common word in general parlance for a specific scientific meaning. :???:
Collins World English Dictionary
energy — n , pl -gies
1. intensity or vitality of action or expression; forcefulness
2. capacity or tendency for intense activity; vigour
3. vigorous or intense action; exertion
4. physics
a. the capacity of a body or system to do work
b. E a measure of this capacity, expressed as the work that it does in changing to some specified reference state. It is measured in joules (SI units)
5. kinetic energy (See also potential energy a source of power)

[C16: from Late Latin energīa, from Greek energeia activity, from energos effective, from en- ² + ergon work]
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most sweet the sight of the sun;
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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by Muddy Fox » 01 Sep 2011, 12:33

Do you know Treegod, one would think that one would have learnt by now not to venture here, skeptics corner. The only reason I' m posting is because I can't afford a holiday, or a new keyboard that has properly depressing As :hug: :hug: bunch o buggas :) Mind you I have a debt collector on my side now.

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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by DJ Droood » 01 Sep 2011, 13:51

treegod wrote:*you may have noticed the Winker in my last post signifying that everything I was saying was intended to be tongue-in-cheek.
I like your energy, treegod. :wink:

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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by LoneWalker » 01 Sep 2011, 18:51

Bart wrote:
LoneWalker wrote:@Bart - review of distance healing abstract only here is this the one you found? Again there are limitations to the review but again results tend towards seeing an effect, I'm cautious of this as I can't access the rest of the paper.

As far as the previous article goes I agree a meta-analysis would be nice but given that funding for research not involving nice marketable drugs is always limited I think it's a good start. I wonder what treatments we would actualy use if we held out for perfect evidence for everything...
Yes I found that one, but thats on all energy healing. If I put in distant energy healing I get:
Six pillars of energy medicine: clinical strengths of a complementary paradigm. Altern Ther Health Med. 2008 Jan-Feb;14(1):44-54. Review.
"Spooky actions at a distance": physics, psi, and distant healing. J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Oct;11(5):923-30. Review.
The psychophysiology of nontraditional prayer.

I can get them, but they are on paid sites. Hate to put up my employer with the costs.
It's only non-contact forms of healing so should rule out the touch effect.
I wouldn't bother paying for the other 2 - the first doesn't seem to be a critical review of trials, the second is just looking at models for how it might work, models are fun but don't tell you whether or not something happens outside the model.

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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by treegod » 01 Sep 2011, 21:44

DJ Droood wrote:
treegod wrote:*you may have noticed the Winker in my last post signifying that everything I was saying was intended to be tongue-in-cheek.
I like your energy, treegod. :wink:
Thank you :tiphat: It was clean on this morning :innocent:

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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by Frog » 02 Sep 2011, 22:45

Davin Raincloud wrote:
Lily wrote: none of these have been proven to exist....
Thanks.

:)

I have no problem with working with them as a theory, but people try and ascribe all sorts of properties to it.

Like someone on the other side of the world saying: "Send me positive energies".

HOW?

Hi everyone.
This has been an interesting discussion. I'm going to get off the fence here, particularly in regard to Davin's post.

Let's say you get a post saying "I hope you feel better". Or better, you get a postcard or letter from a friend. It's nice, and you might think "ah, they're thinking of me; that's nice." I'd say that's a positive energy being sent. It wasn't a direct touch - but it had an effect. Just because we can't see it, doesn't mean it hasn't happened. But that's a disconnected energy.

Similarly, if you watch a TV programme - and it all gets very tense... surprisingly you find your pulse racing a little faster. No direct energy transfer there either and yet something is stimulating your senses to the fight or flight reaction.


There was a note about Chi energy. Actually, if you break down everyone and everything it is all energy - bits of stuff, whizzing around other bits of stuff, banging into each other and sticking to create other bits of stuff - and yet avoiding yet other bits so we're not all just one big blob of ... well, stuff. We clap our hands and we are told that the sound wave is energy that rattles the eardrums. Well, sound energy dissipates (it must or I would not be able to hear myself think from the milllenia of noise created) but it doesn't just run out.. so where does it go?

I think the issue is that we consider "energy" (in the "New Age" thinking) to be akin to the scientific theoretical exploration of the world around us. Personally, I think that this form of energy is just a "disconnected" energy - broken from the fight or flight brain energy that fires.


I know that this is the Skeptical Druid forum and that we should present factual understanding; but as our greatest scientific thinkers just put forward proposals and theories about how our world "might" be (I'd love to see them try their luck here!) it may be that this is just another energy that the great minds will turn to once they've solved Quantum Reality...)
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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by DJ Droood » 02 Sep 2011, 23:26

Frog wrote:I know that this is the Skeptical Druid forum and that we should present factual understanding;
No necessarily...as the "Read Me" says
Less than rational interjections will be challenged ruthlessly
so I think it is perfectly ok to present unsubstantiated opinions, "gut feelings", intuition, educated guesses, and BS dressed in a tuxedo....just be prepared to be challenged...perhaps "ruthlessly".... that is the only real difference between this forum and any other on the board...if you talk nonsense here (and honestly, the majority of posts here are just speculation with a couple of google links tossed on), you may be challenged...don't get all weepy about your hurt feelings....it is our own responsibility to read the introduction to the forums...I cringed a little bit reading a thread in the Astrology forum not long ago comparing astrology and astronomy....not the place, imo...let people have their sanctuaries...this is a sanctuary for people who (perhaps) have less "faith" than other druids, or at least less faith in the supernatural, and like to be challenged....perhaps that is why Davin posted his question here..he wanted the subject to be challenged, not mollycoddled...there are lots of other forums for that, and Davin has been around long enough to know that.

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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by Davin Raincloud » 03 Sep 2011, 15:23

Frog wrote: I think the issue is that we consider "energy" (in the "New Age" thinking) to be akin to the scientific theoretical exploration of the world around us. Personally, I think that this form of energy is just a "disconnected" energy - broken from the fight or flight brain energy that fires.
That is an interesting and honest observation, and probably one I could buy the most. But I don't think other New Age-ies share the same definition?
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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by Davin Raincloud » 03 Sep 2011, 15:25

DJ Droood wrote:perhaps that is why Davin posted his question here..he wanted the subject to be challenged, not mollycoddled...there are lots of other forums for that, and Davin has been around long enough to know that.
Hell yeah! I want the subject thoroughly challenged! When I was thinking about it, I knew the only place that had people who were Pagan/New Agey and sceptical was the OBOD sceptics area.

I also found an interesting old thread on the James Randi forum. It's interesting, because in the end the occultist abandons his belief in energy.

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php? ... ght=energy
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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by Frog » 05 Sep 2011, 20:09

Davin Raincloud wrote:
Frog wrote: I think the issue is that we consider "energy" (in the "New Age" thinking) to be akin to the scientific theoretical exploration of the world around us. Personally, I think that this form of energy is just a "disconnected" energy - broken from the fight or flight brain energy that fires.
That is an interesting and honest observation, and probably one I could buy the most. But I don't think other New Age-ies share the same definition?

Thanks Davin!
I think it really depends on which New Age-ies you talk to. I suspect that it almost comes down to whether the spirits you believe in are anthromorphocised (wow! I need to cut down on the mead! :oops: ) or not!
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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by brucethedruid » 07 Sep 2011, 18:04

I think it would be helpful to realize that most people use the word "energy" slightly differently than a physicist would. After all, Physicists didn't invent the word. If we look at the origin of the word, and how its used by the masses (the definition below is from the online Merriam-Webster) we can see that most people use definition 1 (probably why its listed as 1) and to a lesser extent 2.

Main Entry: en·er·gy
Pronunciation: \ˈe-nər-jē\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural en·er·gies
Etymology: Late Latin energia, from Greek energeia activity, from energos active, from en in + ergon work — more at work
Date: 1599
1 a : dynamic quality <narrative energy> b : the capacity of acting or being active <intellectual energy> c : a usually positive spiritual force <the energy flowing through all people>
2 : vigorous exertion of power : effort <investing time and energy>
3 : a fundamental entity of nature that is transferred between parts of a system in the production of physical change within the system and usually regarded as the capacity for doing work
4 : usable power (as heat or electricity); also : the resources for producing such power
synonyms see power

Scientists use "energy" in the sense of 3 and 4. In Asian thought, polarities exist in the subtle "energies". Much "work" can be done by exploiting the differences in these polarities. Many people have borrowed terminolgies from science trying to make these concepts relevant, since the language of "science" is what is respected and familiar.

Terms like chi, prana, pneuma, all relate to "breath", hence to spirit. Of course these are all metaphors themselves. Most Westerners have a limited understanding of these terms themselves (which is why one has to be careful with online resources). Just remember the language of Science was developed to describe natural phemonena observed primarilary by the eyes and ears (touch, taste, smell, play lesser roles). It does a poor job describing the experiences of life.

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Re: I don't believe in New Age term: "Energy"

Post by Bart » 08 Sep 2011, 09:54

You are totally right, so if they mean different things, they should use different words.

The problem usually is that you will find scientific words in fluffy texts. And your right they are different. Hence the suggestion to use other words.

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