The use of the term "energy" in the paranormal.

    I hear the term energy used by paranormal investigators all the time. It is so frequently used and overused that I have come to the conclusion that most people who use the term have no idea what it means, or, even what they mean, exactly. In order to have a conversation with others, we need to have a basic understanding of the terminology used by both people. Communication is only possible with a common language. So, in order to all be on the same page, we need to define one term: energy. What is it, exactly? and how is it used and misused regarding the paranormal? I went to scientific sources and here is what I learned.

    Energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to an object in order to perform work on, or to heat, the object. Energy is a conserved quantity; the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be converted in form, but not created or destroyed.

    An object at rest tends to stay at rest. An object in motion tends to stay in motion, It takes energy to speed things up, slow things down (Ek), or lift it Ep)
    Thermal energy is what we perceive as heat. When you rub your hands together part of the kinetic energy—your hands moving back and forth and the friction between them—is converted to heat energy

    The UNITS used for energy are JOULES (J). For example, lifting a 1 liter (1 kg) bottle of water 1 meter (~3 ft) requires Energy.  Because you are working AGAINST gravity, the energy required  (in this case POTENTIAL Energy or Ep) is equal to the mass (1 kg) x the force of gravity (9.8 m/s²) x the height (1 m) or 9.8 Joules.

Potential Energy (Ep) is usually the dominant energy available in hydropower.

    The other fundamental type of energy in Newtonian physics is Kinetic energy, the energy of an object in motion.  It requires energy to accelerate or decelerate a car for example.  The Ek--which also employs the units "Joules"--is 1/2 x the mass m x velocity v squared, or:   Ek = 1/2 Lifting a mass to a height "h" imbues that mass POTENTIAL energy, Ep.  If dropped from that height (ignoring friction), it will have the SAME Ek when it hits the ground.

    Lifting a mass to a height "h" imbues that mass POTENTIAL energy, Ep.  If dropped from that height (ignoring friction), it will have the SAME Ek when it hits the ground that SHOULD be Ek = 1/2 mv²

    I took science in college, but even though some of these terms, like potential energy, velocity, mass, are familiar to me, this is still pretty hard to comprehend. Let's just say that, my point is, according to science, energy has a definition, and many attributes, but it is specific. It's not vague . 

    So, I have to assume that, when paranormal investigators use the term energy, they aren't talking about energy in scientific terms. They are talking about something else altogether.

    The term energy is mostly used by people who write about, talk about, or are practitioners of various forms of esoteric spirituality and alternative medicine, to refer to a variety of experiences and phenomena which cannot be measured. If this form of energy cannot be measured, then it isn't the scientific form of energy. According to the scientific community, there is no scientific evidence for the existence of such energy and scientists and educators criticize the use of the term energy to describe such experiences. Certain therapies that insist that they are using, modifying or manipulating unknown energies are among the most contentious alternative medicines. Claims related to energy therapy are most often anecdotal, depending upon subjective experiences, rather than being based on repeatable evidence. 

    It is not the scientific concept of energy that is being used when discussing spirituality or the paranormal, or alternative medicines. Energy is a measurement of work capability. However, in paranormal circles energy has somehow become a noun. It is spoken of as if it is a thing unto itself, like a region of glowing power. that can somehow be contained. When you hear the word energy used, substitute the phrase "measurable work capacity." Does the use still make sense? Energy is not a thing being measured. Energy is the measurement of work performed or of potential. Therefore, the concept of, for instance, the body having an energy field, doesn't make sense. There is no such thing as an energy field. They are, literally, two unrelated concepts. 

    Despite the lack of scientific support, writers and thinkers of the paranormal continue to use the term and promote the ideas of spiritual energy either as useful allegories or as fact.

    There are various sacred natural sites that people of various faiths find numinous or having an energy with significance for people. 

    Negative energy seems to be the idea or belief that causes an unwanted or unpleasant mood or emotion, like outright fear or anxiety. There is the idea that some sort of negative energy is responsible for creating or attracting ghosts or demons. I have also heard it used to refer to a feeling of evil or evil itself. An entity with negative energy is one that exudes hate, evil, or bad will.

    Here's my point. If you are going to use the term energy, use it with knowledge and understanding. The use of the word energy as a catchall for every paranormal experience, emotion or fear, is not useful and is devoid of meaning. Take it out of your vocabulary. 

    Unless, of course, you reject science utterly. Then don't try and claim you are scientific in your investigation of all things paranormal. You can't have it both ways. 

    I have watched some paranormal shows where investigators use other terms, such as entity, ghost or spirit, phenomena, or use terms to describe their experience, like a prickling of their skin, goose bumps, hair standing on end, etc. They are attempting to describe their experience of the paranormal as a feeling, emotion or physical sensation. All such descriptions are much more specific and real than the word energy, I have had physical sensations when entering a room where something paranormal is occurring. I have felt my skin tingle. I have experienced a temperature drop. A possible drop in pressure has made me feel dizzy. A sudden dizzy feeling or loss of balance can occur. The more instrumentation you use to record and read the environment the more you will be able to understand the phenomena. Maybe the EMF went up. As investigators we should be looking for explanations, and recording unusual or unexplained phenomena, collecting evidence. 

    Everyone's goal in this field is to begin to understand paranormal phenomena. Science is not our enemy. We actually have the same goals, to better understand our universe and better understand the unknown. 

    Let's begin by understanding one another.



Unknown said…
Brilliant!!!!!! I love this & will be sharing.
Ghostdanxe said…
Thank you, I appreciate that.

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