Talk:Energy (esotericism)

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Skeptics Dismiss Evidence[edit]

In a few decades scientists have gone from a conviction that there is no such thing as an energy field around the human body, to an absolute certainty that it exists. Moreover, we have begun to understand the roles of energy fields in health and disease. Most people are simply not aware of this research, and persist in the attitude that there is no logical basis for energy healing. The main reason for the change in outlook is that sensitive instruments have been developed that can detect the minute energy fields around the human body. Of particular importance is the SQUID magnetometer which is capable of detecting tiny biomagnetic fields associated with physiological activities in the body. This is the same field that sensitive individuals have been describing for thousands of years, but that scientists have ignored because there was no objective way to measure it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

People can't even detect the Earth's geomagnetic field, which is thousands of times stronger than the magnetic fields that the body generates. And in any case the body generates much stronger electric fields than magnetic fields -- but we can't detect those either. Looie496 (talk) 20:45, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
For example ... look at the most recent revert to this article removing a reference to an article by Tiller ... "Needs an RS (reliable source)". Here's the way Wiki-Skepto-Logic works ==> Statements must be backed up by citations. Citations must be from reliable sources. But everyone knows that subtle energy does not exist. Therefore, any citation claiming evidence for the existence of subtle energy must be from an unreliable source, and therefore may not be used to support a statement. Therefore, all statements claiming evidence for the existence of subtle energy are unsupported, and must be removed. --Mbilitatu (talk) 00:16, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
By Wikipedia's criteria, reliable sources are defined by where they come from, not by their content. For scientific statements, reliable sources are academic journals and academic books. Unpublished documents from personal web sites are not considered reliable sources for anything except the views of the authors. Looie496 (talk) 01:05, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but it comes down to an endless trail of wiki-lawyering. For example, is the Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine Journal reliable? It's academic. But it's not mainstream. A majority of scientists might claim it's bad science. Tiller's work is decidedly academic, but his work is rejected out of hand. I stand by my parody of wiki-skepto-logic. After all the arguing, it comes down to the judgment of the editors, and the (effective) consensus on wiki has been decidedly pseudo-skeptic. --Mbilitatu (talk) 02:39, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I think you shot yourself in the foot there: "A majority of scientists might claim it's bad science." That's the reason its not considered a reliable source. Not the topic it discusses. If quality research was done on, I dunno, parapsychology or chakras, journals like Nature and Science would be falling over themselves to publish it because they thrive on sensational findings. It isn't, so they don't. Famousdog (talk) 08:58, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
This completes our circular reasoning. You are presenting the exact same argument that I parodied. If it were valid research, then Nature would cover it. Mainstream academics & publications have become the high priests of wiki-religion. This discussion goes nowhere. --Mbilitatu (talk) 17:50, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Not at all. You said that "Citations must be from reliable sources. But everyone knows that subtle energy does not exist. Therefore, any citation claiming evidence for the existence of subtle energy must be from an unreliable source." Your "parody" is unfair and what I said above is not "the exact same argument." To put my comment above in your terms: Citations must be from reliable sources. But everyone knows that subtle energy does not exist. Either no research on this topic (which journals like Nature would fall over themselves to publish) has been presented to the mainstream journals, or if it has it has not got through peer-review. Therefore, if evidence of the existance of subtle energy (a sensational claim) has been published elsewhere (in less well-known/read journals) it is highly likely because of their lower standards of peer-review. Now, I publish in a variety of journals, and I know which ones are the easier to get into, so I send my scrappier work there and save the good stuff for more rigourous (and invariably higher-profile) journals! There are other, better reasons for deciding that a source is unreliable but since my university library doesn't hold the journal in question, its somewhat tricky to find out. Sorry. Famousdog (talk) 08:53, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
"Either no research on this topic has been presented to the mainstream journals" ... mainstream journals think it bunk. And by your clearly circular reasoning, you think that justifies it being bunk. Your logic is flawed. "(which journals like Nature would fall over themselves to publish)" ... an assumption you make, and again flawed logic you use to justify claiming it's bunk. "if it has it has not got through peer-review." Which it has, you just don't like the peers because, again by your circular reasoning, any peer that would agree with bunk is bunk. I have a PhD in CS from a name brand university and there is plenty of lousy research in peer reviewed journals of all types, but no wiki-skepto-freak would cite those journals as unreliable. The difference is that they are mainstream, low-quality research. I'm not gong to continue this discussion any more. Feel free to have the last word. As I said ... this goes nowhere. It's patently obvious to anyone with their eyes open that wiki-bias is rampant. --Mbilitatu (talk) 17:21, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Looie, "cannot even detect" is not the point - we cannot detect the release of hormones, the motor of our dreams or many such things. The point is; whether detectable fields have psychophysical correlates. Redheylin (talk) 00:57, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Because some animals can detect the Earth's magnetic field, human sensitivity to it has been examined in just about any way you could imagine, and always comes up negative. Human biomagnetic fields are so much smaller that it takes extreme quantum technology to detect them. Looie496 (talk) 01:05, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Red, FMRI uses a strong magnetic field to flip the spin of atoms in water molecules in the brains of dreaming humans resulting in a 3D map of water density in the brain. From this, you can aquire a time-dependent measure of blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD) activity (which, thanks to recent electrophysiological work, we know is correlated with electrical neural activity) in the visual cortex correlated with REM (dreaming) sleep. Dreams, the weight of current EVIDENCE suggests, are "images" created by neural activity in visual cortex that are rationalised and given narrative structure on waking. You can argue til the cows come home over the "purpose" of dreams, but not their "motor". Or did you mean something different by "we cannot detect... the motor of our dreams"? Famousdog (talk) 08:49, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
"Motor" means; "that which moves or drives"[1]. A "purpose", of course, is in the future, and I do not think neural activity is driven by the future. Not usually anyhow! So, causes, not purposes. "We" do not consciously cause the neural activity, but it is still motivated by something or other and it can still affect us. As far as detection goes, pigeons' have a magnetite lump in their heads[2] as big as ours, whereas it ought to be proportional to body-mass index. Not only that, but the pigeon does not question its instincts. Still, we have da magnetite Magnetoception#In humans. Get back to me when you have successfully edited that page... Redheylin (talk) 20:08, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Fortunate we talked about it, since there was no note of human magnetite on that page. I inserted. I find my edits in science and medicine tend to stand. I guess those people tend to be, er, scientific. Talking of FMRI, the article Pheromone has; In 2008, it was found using functional magnetic resonance imaging that the right orbitofrontal cortex, right fusiform cortex, and right hypothalamus respond to airborne natural human sexual sweat. This is what I mean by unconscious psychophysical correlates. I wonder if we need a Smell fields (esoteric) page? Had to correct the Greek on that one and it's still not quite right. Still, some days it's the day for drive-by. (talk) 20:47, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

In 1970, David Cohen of MIT, using a SQUID magnetometer, confirmed the heart measurements. By 1972, Cohen had improved the sensitivity of his instrument, enabling him to measure magnetic fields around the head produced by brain activities. Subsequently, it has been discovered that all tissues and organs produce specific magnetic pulsations, which have come to be known as biomagnetic fields. The traditional electrical recordings, such as the electrocardiogram and electroencephalogram, are now being complemented by biomagnetic recordings, called magnetocardiograms and magnetoencephalograms. Additional sources, Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, Nature’s Own Research Association in Dover New Hampshire, and the The International Center for Reiki Training in Southfield Michigan since 1991. Mbilitatu is right. Looie496 is wrong. How long will the world be flat and truth be held back? Famousdog is making ad populum appeals! And they say they want the scientific method. stevenwagner —Preceding undated comment added 23:05, 21 May 2009 (UTC).

I added it.Redheylin (talk) 23:14, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Famousdog - I note there is a tendency to keep back controversial papers from publication until after retirement. I'd cite Hardy on the aquatic ape, Burr's popular book, Thom's work on stone circles - and for an example of what may happen otherwise, look at Wegener, vindicated 40 yrs after publication. Why is this necessary, if science is only a disinterested quest for truth? Surely because it's betting your career on a single throw of the dice. And for the few years till the dice come down, meanwhile, you have to get on, get that research job.
As far as esoteric energies are concerned, their scientific popularity has declined as a result of the successes of molecular biology but, even before this, nobody much after Mesmer was talking about unknown physical forces. They were talking about intercellular communication, the victory of evolution over entropy and the place of known forces in this, the possibility of coherent signalling, and what this might mean to developmental biology, medicine, the mind-body interface, the nature of memory, the relationship of reason and order and the way we are plugged into the great cosmic wotnot. Molecular behaviour does nothing to enlighten us and black-box Skinnerism leaves us with more nomological danglers than the hanging gardens of Babylon. Psychology can hardly be called a science: objectivity about the subjective eludes us. That's why this conversation is taking place. And so it should. I do not think there is any great future in trying to persuade folks here that it is crazy even to think about it.
You will, I am sure, be aware that some dreams have narrative structures that appear directly related to physical correlates. The man who wants to pee dreams he is in the toilet, the horny teen moves through his garden of delights - scenarios that are inseparable from some rudimentary narrative. Some homeorhetic psychic force is giving us movies as it balances up our psychophysiology. Not that there is any "psychic force" as such. And yet there is. Redheylin (talk) 22:12, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm a researcher and I did experiments on subtle energies. I created a model which explains subtle energies through pure physics and biophysics. My research was scientifically published and it is available for free as an open access paper at google scholar. You may read my published paper and use it as a reference to enhance the wiki article. ofcourse you are welcome if you need my help with any explanations. This is a link for my paper — Preceding unsigned comment added by Waelfouda (talkcontribs) 11:41, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Removing spurious links[edit]

I am removing some totally spurious links that frankly are only here to provide some scientific credibility to discussion of an utterly unscientific theory. Developmental systems theory and emergence are scientific concepts that have nothing to do with "esoteric/spiritual/subtle" energy. Organismic theory and organicism do not need or require any sort of putative energy, neither is there any mention of it in their respective articles. There is no mention of "energy" in the archeoastronomy article. Glastonbury is a town in England. Gaia is not a spiritualist theory, it is an ecological theory. The source of the Aurora borealis (and australis) was explained over 100 years ago by Norwegian physicist Kristian Birkeland (a hero of mine). The earth's magnetic field is well-understood scientifically and has nothing do do with spiritual energy. Ditto with telluric currents. Geodesy is about measurement of geographical features. If anybody thinks I have made a mistake removing these links, perhaps they could explain their relevance and why they should be re-inserted. Famousdog (talk) 12:07, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

"discussion of an utterly unscientific theory"? First, the article does not discuss a single theory but a range of ideas from all over the world. It functions as a kind of annotated directory for such ideas. Second, the argument is circular: "the ideas here are unscientific because I am removing scientific ideas because this page is about unscientific ideas..". Third, the concept of science is only some 500 years old, while many of the ideas here might be termed pre-scientific, or obsolete science. Now, an example: the philosopher Avicenna stated that all things are attracted to each other by love, mediated by angels. Now, he is talking about gravity, this can be referenced. In this sense there is nothing inherently more "scientific" about the word "gravity" than the word "love", and it would be entirely acceptable to link the word "gravity" in an article about Avicennan angelology, and conversely to mention Avicenna's "love" in an account of the idea of "gravity". The difference is not that one is "scientific", but that Newton sought quantifiable formulae - moreover, sought to use forces rather than simply explain them. Nobody doubts the progress he made, but to seek to separate his ideas absolutely from those of Avicenna would be absurd, rather it would be reminiscent of a quasi-religious fundamentalism. In considering this view, bear in mind that the connection between mass and force of attractivity is still not understood at all.
Furthermore, some of the articles linked here deal with the supposed biological effects of actual phenomena - such as astrology and astronomy, magnetic bracelets. It seems to me sensible to draw attention, when dealing with such things, to the state of scientific thinking on the relevant background ideas. It is often asserted that to do so somehow lends credibility to such ideas - I do not know why: rather I'd have thought that, if such ideas are really "utterly unscientific", the effect would be quite the contrary. Once again, as so often in such cases, I get the idea that you'd prefer to tell the reader what to think and render the article itself unintelligible. While it may be held that this will somehow foil modern charlatans (which forms no part of our remit), it also does a tremendous disservice to the history of ideas by rendering unintelligible those ideas which one personally finds unacceptable - that is, it violates NNPOV and OR rules, and does so out of an apparent sense of superior intelligence and duty of moral care to the hapless reader, none of which is wiki policy, I think. Please therefore confine your destructive edits to those for which you are able to provide sources clearly demonstrating the non-compatibility of a given subject with the article - OR can be a matter of removal as well as addition. Thanks. Redheylin (talk) 21:03, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the rant about my motivations. Oh, hang on. Doesn't that "wiki policy" that you invoke also include assuming good faith? I see you didn't actually object to my removing any of those links, so I'll assume you agree with my edits despite our apparent contrary views. Famousdog (talk) 10:55, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

More dodgy theories[edit]

I read in the article of late that "Tao" and "Brahma" are names for energy. I rather doubt this. References? The removal of the the comments on Blake is also regrettable, since the role of energy as a mid-term between matter and mind is very common in the relevant philosophies, rather neatly encapsulated by Blake. Redheylin (talk) 21:20, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Feel free to revise at will - I'm seeing this as an 'underconstruction' article. I though I had retained the Blake bit - I'm not sure which comment you're referring to.
tao and brahman (not brahma) are both universal vital forces, but I suppose their inclusion here is arguable. I was really trying to get away from the 'luminiferous aether' concept, which is really a defunct theory of physics, not a matter of esoteric energy. but there's lots of room for discussion. Face-smile.svg --Ludwigs2 22:35, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Tao means "way" - it's a supreme regulating principle. The "teh" is the immortal energy of tao. "Brahman" is likewise "the unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality which is the Divine Ground of all matter, energy, time, space, being....." The concepts of teh and shakti, on the other hand, and their relations to chi and prana respectively, are worth exploring - though previously I had contented myself with linking to those pages. I agree the page has been unduly weighted towards western medicine because I came here straight from working on vitalism and developmental biology (which is how I got mixed up with WR!) The comment on Blake was there till very recently. No probs, let's not work at cross purposes. Structure the article as you think best, call me if you want me, meanwhile I'll offer comments, if that is OK with you. Redheylin (talk) 23:56, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
actually, te is closer to 'virtue' - it talks about the correct way to follow tao, where tao is seen as a universal force or process. but that's an aside. let me try cleaning up a bit and see if we can get things focused, topic wise. --Ludwigs2 01:08, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

So, I'm a bit stuck here. the only substantive entry on this page is at Energy_(esotericism)#Vitalism_and_spirituality_in_the_age_of_electricity, which reads is an oddly dodgy way. the rest of the article is a set of lists. so which waydo we want to go with this article, a 'list of...' article, of do we want to try to reorganize the material into proper sections and flesh each out? or some hybrid of those two approaches? --Ludwigs2 02:38, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Ludwig2, first (just an aside!) I typed "tao te energy" into Google and first hit reads; "Shambhala dictionary of Taoism te represents Tao's energy or the qualities or nature received by every living being or thing from Tao." They're not the only ones. Now, this to me represents the length and complexity this article would achieve, and the absurd amount of duplication, if we tried to rehearse every controversy about every aspect of this subject. That's why, in repairing the piece some time ago, I constructed as an annotated list divided into topics. That way there can be a paragraph on each topic as well as a line or two about each subject. I think it should also refer the reader to related general bodies of knowledge, whether Taoism or thermodynamics. For instance, kundalini is related to Hindu Shaktism and yoga, so there is no problem in writing that. Harold Saxton Burr worked with bioelectromagnetism, Alexander Gurwitsch discussed ultra violet emission and I cannot see a problem in adding these either (though neither offered initiated ways to perceive these energies, which is why it bothers me that you have made this part of the primary definition): they are here because their ideas connect with vitalism and some forms of therapy. Obviously some have connected them with ley-lines and auras as well. We can't really give the whole history or discuss the validity of every idea that is related: all we can do is simply "here's yet another set of ideas about bio-psychic energy" with a brief neutral description. Others want bits of "dodgy" disclaimer prose: I do not see the point. On the other hand I do not really object if you want a crack at working the lists into continuous paras. Let's just take it one at a time?? Redheylin (talk) 14:56, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

scientific references section[edit]

someone recently tagged the scientific references section, and I find myself agreeing that this is a bit off the article topic. I know that some alt med practitioners have tried to find physical/biological manifestations of esoteric energies, but I don't think that leads to the inclusion of non-esoteric research of this sort. I'm going to remove the entire section for the time being; if anyone objects, please revert and we'll talk about it. --Ludwigs2 17:26, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I'll take that as a rejection of my comments above - I'd have preferred some kind of answer, actually. Redheylin (talk) 20:49, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
sorry, no - I think I missed your comments above entirely. At least, I didn't mean to reject anything. which are you referring to? --Ludwigs2 20:55, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
ah, sorry; got it. well, we may have a different perspective here that needs to be ironed out. to my mind, energy in the esoteric sense always relates to living energy of some sort (specifically the motivating or animating principle of objects conceived as living entities). with something like biomagnetism, there's a distinction that needs to be made (IMO) between the physical (inorganic) effect and the metaphysical interpretations that these effects might be put to. In other words, I have no trouble including claims by people who think that biomagnetism represents an extension of the life force (which is right on topic), but including all research on biomagnetism (even mere clinical attempts at measuring magnetic fields) as though they were talking about esoteric energy strikes me as a bit synthy. --Ludwigs2 21:04, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, you just gave a great reason why this page cannot mention, say, Franz Anton Mesmer or John Michell (writer) and so cannot cover a vast tract of esoteric ideas concerning energies. We are going to be a bit stuck with Faraday too, and Kilner. And Reich - he thought orgone was perfectly scientific, he rejected the whole idea of "esoteric". Feng shui goes, they use magnets. Some people think acupuncture is electromagnetic, so that goes. Then you need a clever bit of footwork to explain how "earth" energies and "cosmic and astral rays" are "organic". Lots of luck.... you'll be returning this page to some kind of intellectual limbo of weird religious ideas, as soon as there's any reason to think them true, out they go - and I have no business here any more.Redheylin (talk) 21:19, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
whoa - the reason I peppered my comment with IMOs was because I wanted to talk about the issue - I have no set agenda and no particular investment in any given outcome. just giving my side. you make very good points above which I hand't considered, so if you'd care to work with me the article will ultimately be better for it. --Ludwigs2 21:47, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
As I explained above, there's no reason not to write the sentence "Avicenna explained gravity as a form of love in his angelology" and such a sentence can legitimately be included under all three linked pages. I am rather keen on the history of science, and I do not like people obscuring that subject in pursuit of their private theories or adding facile "pseudoscience" links to theories that stood up for centuries. You may have a clear idea of where science ends and religion begins: Plato did not, Newton did not, Einstein did not, Nils Bohr even selected the t'ai chi as his coat of arms. Ultimately it will not be possible to turn any of those lists of topics into coherent paragraphs without linking in all or most of the material you just removed. Redheylin (talk) 22:14, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Red, Please don't assume that I disagree with you until actually do disagree with you (which I will do overtly and vocally, at need). do you want me to restore the section? If I do, then it will either need trimming or it will need an introduction that explains it the way you are explaining it, because as it was it looked like we were suggesting that obvious things like gravity were inherently metaphysical concepts rather than physical concepts (which might be the case, but would need a lot of explanation for the average reader). how would we do that? --Ludwigs2 22:33, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I suggested above working those lists into topical paras. My reason for not doing so was that "pseudoskepticism creep" would once again turn the paras into rants or make them read, as you put it, in an oddly dodgy way. However, this is a perfectly reasonable way of managing: magnetic bracelets make claims about biomagnetism and magnetobiology, for example. Redheylin (talk) 23:09, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Alright, well let me restore the section (we'll keep the tag in place for now) and see what we can do about it. --Ludwigs2 01:31, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Shall we try to convert one topical list into prose, then? Redheylin (talk) 01:47, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
we could do that, or at least work some prose in around it. I'm not sure yet what the best approach would be; still trying to grok the section. --Ludwigs2 02:54, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

(undent) I wrote the introduction to this section, which was previously just a pointless list of genuine physical manifestations of vertiable energy (and mechanisms/techniques that utilise/measure those energies) that have been occasionally hijacked by quacks. Somebody coming to this topic after watching (say) the thoroughly unscientific documentary What the bleep do we know? might be interested in spiritual energy and quantum physics. It is therefore necessary and useful (IMO) to have links to articles on phenomena that have been linked with "esoteric" (yuck) "energy". BUT... it must be properly introduced as such and Redheylin's edits to the introduction have (IMO) obscured its purpose and reverted the subsequent list to its previous rather meaningless state. In summary, the introduction needs work, but the list itself is useful here. Famousdog (talk) 11:19, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Ah. I hadn't really looked at his revisions yet. I'd have reversed the intent to talk about people seeking out physical or physiological bases for the perception of esoteric energy. would that help if we rewrote it that way? and don't 'yuck' it. anyone who's every meditated deeply (or had decent sex, for that matter) knows the feeling of energetic flow: it's a common and easily replicated experience. there's no sense dissing the concept just because a lot of people get hung up trying to attach the experience to a physical manifestation. --Ludwigs2 15:16, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I suppose FD means the changes I made a year or two ago, as I've done little since. It's clear-cut: I'd like the page to reflect to provide a guide to related articles. Others want to impose their own views on the pretext that readers who "might be interested in spiritual energy and quantum physics" must either a: be told what to think or b: must find an illegible article - and these seek to impose their views by incivility and disruption. I have done little on the para in question but confine myself to removing straightforward misrepresentation, as in the case of Sprenger supposedly saying that "esoteric energy" was an abuse of a physical concept, whereas he actually says the word did not take a real place in physics till 50 years after Blake. L2, you're right to centre on subjectivity: our job is to identify the modes in which this sense has been mapped onto scientific and religious energy theories. I reject the idea that to place "quantum" and "consciousness" in the same para constitutes a co-opting, on the part of wiki, of scientific ideas to uphold spiritual ones in such a way as to demand OR editorial disclaimers. This is not our job. Redheylin (talk) 23:14, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
well, ok. I'll try a quick rewrite a bit later, see if I can focus more on the subjectivity side. let me know what you think. --Ludwigs2 23:58, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Above all, while "esoteric" signifies "inner", hence signifying some link with consciousness and subjectivity that may be beyond present measurement, it is immaterial whether the energy in question is a scientifically-verifiable one or some kind of spirit, prana etc. so long as it is manifestly a form of energy and manifestly linked to some mental quality. Here, to state the relevant hypothesis does not betoken a recommendation of it, and does not require a counter-argument, since otherwise we'd end up with a very long page and a hundred redundant articles! Redheylin (talk) 01:24, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Sorry L2, I've had lots of decent sex and I don't feel any spiritual "energy" or "flow". I feel something entirely physiological and neural hardwired into us by evolution. That doesn't make it any less good ;-) or any less meaningful. However, the Argument from personal experience has no place in science or an ecyclopedia. I saw a UFO when I was six and it was red and shaped like a trumpet (writes on UFO page:) "UFOs are red and shaped like trumpets". Red, why don't you just redefine the whole English language the way you want it to sound? Ironic that you criticise me for OR while imposing your own esoteric ;-) use of language on us all. I can't/won't argue with goalpost-shifters, which is what I've encountered most times I've tried to edit this disorganised nonsensical hash of an article. And, yes, taking two phenomena that are poorly understood (at least by the layperson) and saying "hey, maybe one explains the other", IS co-opting genuine science to the cause of New Age airy-fairyism. Anyway, I wash my hands and (in line with L2's original suggestion) simply recommend you remove this section entirely and write whatever you want about your "esoteric energy" ... Famousdog (talk) 10:41, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
FamousDog, don't confuse this with an argument from personal experience: this perception is well-documented in numerous sources that discuss spirituality. in fact, the only argument from personal experience here is yours (or do you really think that because you haven't sensed it, no one has?). In my view, the point of this science section is to point to people who have tried to find some physical correlate to the well-known experience. some of those are reputable, some not, all have more-or-less failed, but I still think there's room for discussing the efforts.
And no, I'm not saying that's what the current section does, but that just calls for revisions. --Ludwigs2 20:30, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

"Red, why don't you just redefine the whole English language the way you want it to sound?" You mean "esoteric"? That's what it means; "appertaining to the inward", the opposite of "exoteric". "I can't/won't argue with goalpost-shifters, which is what I've encountered most times" - could you point us to a time when you attempted to discuss your changes before making them? "taking two phenomena that are poorly understood (at least by the layperson) and saying "hey, maybe one explains the other", IS co-opting genuine science" - If someone noteable says that any one thing explains another, that's to be recorded on the appropriate page and, if appropriate, linked here. SO, that film, whatever it was is a "film that tries to link quantum and consciousness." Arguments for against - film page. Linked statement - here. Famousdog's thoughts - nowhere. The wikilinks to "quantum" and "consciousness" are not an argument "for" the movie's POV, so no argument is required against. Redheylin (talk) 21:39, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Sigh... from Wiktionary (but my dictionary says much the same):
esoteric (adj)
  1. Understood only by a chosen few or an enlightened inner circle.
    The writing in this manual is very esoteric; I need a degree in engineering just to understand it!
  2. Having to do with concepts that are highly theoretical and without obvious practical application.
  3. Confidential; private.
Crikey, Red. It would appear that your definition (valid as it is) is third on the list old boy. And the other two definitions would seem to reinforce the same basic point. I have never agreed with the change of this article's title from Energy (spiritual) because I imagine most readers would find the use of the word "esoteric" in such a prominant place to be.... well, just a bit esoteric. More obscurantist drivel, in other words. Famousdog (talk) 09:59, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Chambers' has it right: "inner, secret, mysterious...opposite of exoteric". But the one you quote is correct in describing modern misusage. I also did not agree with the name-change - let's get it put back. Redheylin (talk) 00:19, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm good with either... --Ludwigs2 00:43, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
I guess; so long as the words "esoteric" and "exoteric" were applied to metaphysics, as they were in the Greek sources, it did not much matter whether "eso" applied to the "inward things of man" or "the inner circle of knowledge", since in the eyes of those who used the term the "inner knowledge" was precisely of "the inward nature of things". But now that one can have "esoteric" fashions and engineering the word has largely lost its original meaning - rather as a "mystery" is no longer a solely religious affair - so it should perhaps be avoided. Redheylin (talk) 00:41, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Proposed change to name of article[edit]

Following on from the previous discussion, Redheylin and I seem to be in agreement that the name of this article is a bit contentious and possibly confusing for the new reader, so I'm proposing we revert the article back to Energy (spirituality), Energy (spiritual) or Spiritual energy. Please add your names/comments below under the appropriate header and we'll see if we can get consensus (he says, doubting it!).


Famousdog (talk) 09:02, 12 February 2010 (UTC)



One thing that occurs to me is that the term "spirituality" MIGHT JUST be interpreted in a way that excludes the treatment of veritable energies. I'd therefore suggest Psychic energy as a title that avoids the term, which can itself be contentiously interpreted. Redheylin (talk) 18:57, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

psychic energy isn't quite right (as it privileges that 70's 'mental powers' kind of idea - use the force, Luke!). if you're worried about 'spirituality', then I'd suggest either 'Energy (spiritual)' or 'Energy (arcane)'. but as I said, I'm not too worried by any of the choices. as long as we don't lean towards 'Energy (moronic)'. --Ludwigs2 20:11, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it's another abused word - it just means "of the mind or soul" really. Cannot go for "arcane". Redheylin (talk) 23:41, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm fine with Energy (spiritual). I would also add that therapies utilising veritable energy are almost certainly already covered, or could be, on the Energy medicine article. Famousdog (talk) 13:41, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
yes, but they should be covered here as well, I think. It's almost always the case that the medical practice is derived from philosophical/spiritual assumptions, and not the other way around. That's true for western medicine as well, in an odd way. --Ludwigs2 16:10, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
It is not simply a question of "energy medicine" - the writer John Michell and others have written about ley-lines and astrology connecting this with geo-electromagnetics. The question is the one you have raised; that words get connotations beynd their original meaning and these enter dictionaries. The word "spiritual" ought to be OK, but now it seems you are indeed proposing to define this as "non-physical". And there is no such thing as non-physical energy. Redheylin (talk) 16:27, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
I would throw my hat back in for Subtle Energy. It got rejected a long time ago, but I still favor it. It's gained wide enough acceptance to have been adopted by ISSSEEM, The International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine. --Mbilitatu (talk) 01:41, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
I kind of like that, actually. I'll throw my vote for subtle energy as well. --Ludwigs2 05:05, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

I prefer spiritual energy myself. I think the whole parentheses thing leaves much to be desired. I believe that the term "subtle energies" is used most often by pseudoscientists hoping to make the point that the energies are too "subtle" to be measurable by conventional means. This excludes many who use the term "energy" in a metaphorical sense but rely on similar antecedent story lines for the existence of energetic Primum Mobiles. ScienceApologist (talk) 06:03, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Agree. Veritable, measurable (i.e. "real") energy can be "subtle" too! "Subtle energy" is just rebranding and turd-polishing of the old new-age "energy" catch-all. To address Red's earlier point, I agree that there is no such thing as non-physical energy, but since the types of energy discussed on this page are unmeasureable by science and detectable only by hand-waving healers, such energy may as well be "non-physical". If it was physical, we could detect and measure it. Thirdly, there are such things as magnetism, telluric currents and "geo-electromagnetics" but their connection with ley-lines (assuming such things exist) is spurious. How about Energy (New Age) or Energy (putative)? The problem is that the term "energy" has been abused by generations of people who refuse to define it. We trying to clean up a centuries-old mess here, and Energy (spiritual) is as close as we'll ever get I'm afraid. Famousdog (talk) 09:05, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
"since the types of energy discussed on this page are unmeasureable by science" - that's the point. Electromagnetics and UV have been implicated in some theories and are measurable. Orgone is supposed to be measurable: Reich would have nothing to do with anything else. There are electro theories of prana and chi, there are magnetic bracelets and tachyon medallions - the question is not whether these things are true or not: the notable theories exist and need to be linked here with brief descriptions that neither imply that these are true or false unless perhaps authoritative sources point definitively one way or another, as would be the case with many obsolete scientific theories, which also have a place here. Once again I have to point out that "energy" is a philosophical idea that was used by Blake in a quasi-vitalist sense fifty years before the word received a meaning in physics via Helmholtz' laws of thermodynamics. It's absurd to say Blake was abusing physics. The problem is rather that the word has been co-opted on the Energy page (see Vis viva) and that page has failed to give a full historical overview. (See History of energy). We need to work harder to integrate vitalist ideas into science history rather than imposing our own current views on the ideas of the past. The fact that some ideas are still current among occultists does not make the likes of Mesmer "New Age" - that would also be absurd. Redheylin (talk) 15:44, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
I give up. Let the stupid title stay. Frankly, I can't see many readers clicking on a link with the word "esotericism" in the title, so not many people will actually read this disorganised cack-handed mess of an article. Famousdog (talk) 13:52, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Change name ... keep name ... either way is fine. But just for fun, I decided to look into whether anybody looks at this page. It was viewed 4,509 times in February 2010. The top specific search, Brittany Murphy was searched 5,255,255 times ... who knows why. South Korea comes in ranked 1,000th with 173,774 searches. So it's certainly not a popular page. I couldn't find any statistics on the least popular pages to see where this one might rank among wiki's 3 million pages. But by way of comparison, this page is twice as popular as Homology_(mathematics). --Mbilitatu (talk) 17:57, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Difference between Law of attraction of Concrete and Abstract things[edit]



              CONCRETE THINGS
              ABSTRACT THINGS

1. As the physical things get accumulated, the power to attract geys diminished.There is a point of saturation.

2. As the abstract things get accumulated, the power to attract increses. It is power of synchronisation. (talk) 15:28, 13 May 2010 (UTC)SUDHIR KULKARNI, SAN FRANCISCO, 13 MAY 2010 e-mail


The statement reverted is correct as it stands. Western medicine does have a non-energetic viewpoint on the efficacy of acupuncture. However, it is not true that no scientific evidence exists for the energetic viewpoint. I do agree that the justification that science can not explain it doesn't hold water. --Mbilitatu (talk) 17:47, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

What statement? Famousdog (talk) 12:39, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
The statement we keep reverting. Any statement of the form, "There is no evidence that ..." is extremely difficult to defend. A single piece of evidence invalidates such a statement. The burden of proof lies on the maker of such a statement. --Mbilitatu (talk) 17:21, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Here is a single piece of evidence to be getting on with: ("Conclusions / A small analgesic effect of acupuncture was found...") K2709 (talk) 21:42, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

How about, there is weak evidence for small beneficial effects on specific complaints (like knee pain and nausea). That reflects the current state of play scientifically speaking. Famousdog (talk) 09:12, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Strong enough for insurance to pay for it. Clinical results for Acupuncture are comparable to weak results of many pharmaceutical trials that result in FDA approved drugs. Aspirin is beneficial on specific complaints. --Mbilitatu (talk) 19:56, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
You talk a lot, Mbilitatu, but cite your evidence rarely. Let's see this comparison of results from clinical trials for acupuncture that are comparable to results for FDA approved drugs. Obviously, every effective treatment is targetted at specific complaints, but asprin treats headache, pain, prevents heart attacks and strokes, reduces fever, etc and all in a measurable way. Acupuncture might have a small beneficial effect on knee pain and nausea, yet the chinese doctor down the road from me claims he can cure you of impotence, chronic pain, back pain and (f*ck it in a bucket) HAIR LOSS. Famousdog (talk) 09:07, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
... and lets not forget the fraudulent, faked claims that you can undergo heart surgery under acupuncture. Chinese propoganda, plain and simple. Famousdog (talk) 09:08, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
... and lets not forget the millions of Americans addicted to over-prescribed pharmaceutical drugs. Pharma propaganda, plain and simple. I've argued with you enough already. You don't know what you are talking about. You're pissed off at the acupuncturist down the road and taking it out on wiki. Should I go attack the wiki pages on medicine because half the doctors in this country just lap up what drug company pushers say? Have you actually tried out acupuncture with a few people? Do you have ANY first hand experience? Or do you just believe what you read? I don't need to cite evidence because I'm not trying to make unsupported statements on wiki. I gave up editing wiki because I always have to encounter no-nothings who have more time than I do to push their limited world experience on wiki. Have at it. I give up. Wiki isn't worth it to me. Make your edit. I won't revert it any more. --Mbilitatu (talk) 17:06, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
... and for what it's worth, see Clinical trial#Criticism or or spend 10 minutes on Google. There exists a specific meta-study on a particular approval for a particular drug that discovered that (a) the drug barely beat placebo and (b) the company ONLY published those results where the drug did well and buried the rest, although all had to be given the FDA. You go find it. It's not my job to force anyone to educate themselves. --Mbilitatu (talk) 17:45, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

(undent) Crikey, touched a nerve there. One person's opinion of clinical trial procedure is hardly damning (and says nothing about the efficacy of acupuncture or the existence of meridians). This is symptomatic of several previous arguments I've had with with alt-med types on WP. Ask for some kind of evidence and you get a lecture on "The System". I also think that you conflate the regulatory situation in the US with medicine globally, when the monetary pressures on healthcare in the US are exceptional. You also don't have to lecture me about the placebo effect, since far from being a "no-nothing" (I think you'll find that's "know-nothing"), I'm a psychologist and I think the very placebo effect discussed in that Wired article explains a lot about acupuncture. I'm not saying there aren't drugs on the market that are unecessary and whose efficacy is unproven. What I am saying is that acupuncture's efficacy is faaaaaaar from proven if not totally illusory and there is no scientific evidence for meridians. Now, when some anonymous editor deleted a section that said: "There is no scientific evidence for these (meridians)" without providing any ummmm evidence I reverted it on the basis that it seemed entirely justifiable to do so. Your bad faith polemics and anti-scientific conspiracy-weaving aside, I don't much care whether that single sentence stays or goes, so we'll just leave it out, eh? Famousdog (talk) 13:17, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

You're right about two things. It does touch a nerve and it is "know nothing". But anti-science? I work with a Fields Medal winner pushing a scientific frontier. That's the difference. I recognize that Science is a model for reality and don't confuse it with reality. All science is correct and incorrect to some approximation. I also work with healers and mystics. You seem to think the placebo effect explains about acupuncture because you think both are nonsense. You do not appear to be open to the possibility that it might be evidence for the power of the placebo effect and healing in general. I keep bringing up medications because you appear to want to hold acupuncture to a different standard than medicine. You are willing to forgive the fact that many medicines are ineffective, yet you decry the fact that scientific evidence for acupuncture is not bombproof. Most scientists have not even begun to know how to ask those questions of something like acupuncture. Most scientists have not escaped the limitations of a method of inquiry that takes a subject/object world view. A few have. You do not appear to be listening to those. Evidence for meridians? I don't know ... do you like this? Probably not. It doesn't matter to me. I watched a healer wave her hands over my wife, "fix her meridians", and a two decade long, debilitating tendonitis disappeared overnight, for good. That kind of experience makes an impression. You may choose to believe that or not as you wish. But if you get into questions of "do those meridians actually exist", you have to also be willing to ask the question, "do electrons exist?" We see the effect of that which we conceptualize as electrons, but ask any world class particle physicist and they are going to explain that they do not "exist" as such. They are potential, acting out at times as that which we observe as wave and that which we observe as particle. You can model it either way and both and none of the above. Same with meridians. It's just another model for a level of reality we don't really understand. I stand by my statement, polemic or not, that you do not have the experience to know what you are talking about. --Mbilitatu (talk) 19:38, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
It would be helpful if you could please stop your accusations that I don't know what I'm talking about. Here's an example of me knowing what I'm talking about: There are hundreds of meridian systems criss-crossing the body in different locations and directions, such that if you drew all of them on a human being, they would be black with ink. Which meridian system do you subscribe to, cause I bet its different from the guy who healed your wife, and the next guy and the next guy and the next guy... That type of vagueness and covering-all-your-bases makes meridians unfalsifiable. Not cause they exist, but because defenders of alt-med constantly change the goalposts. You knock one thing down (easily) they come right back at you with a slightly different version of the same thing. I'm glad your wife had a good experience, and it must be great to be free of that pain, but isn't it more parsimonious to conclude that her belief that she would be healed "healed" her psychosomatically? Belief is powerful, even when the thing you believe in is non-existent. Famousdog (talk) 11:38, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
You don't know what you are talking about. I'm sorry. You don't. It's not an accusation. It's obvious. Yes, there are hundreds of models for meridians. There are different models of chakra systems. And when a skeptic tries to knock one down, another pops up. Yes. That is the way it works. If you want to have a clue, you need to study 'subjective synthesis'. Remember when I said that some scientists have moved beyond a subject/object world? This is what I was talking about. You can not separate your own beliefs and perspectives from that which you perceive. That separation exists in the classical scientific model, but it need not exist. Different healers will work with different models, different meridian systems. The system is not what matters. The results are what matters. The degree to which there is coherency of feeling, belief, results, and alignment with all things universal ... that matters for results. But there is a degree of freedom that, so far as we know, is not nailed down. There is not one way. And ... it is also not necessary to conclude/believe that meridians don't exist because there are different systems. That is equivalent to concluding that an electron doesn't exist because it can look like a particle or a wave. Physicists have succeeded in getting macroscopic (visible to the eye) matter to be in a state of vibrating and at rest at the same time ... two different states simultaneously. The question "is it vibrating" and "is it at rest" must both be answered with "yes". It's not either or. If you want to understand this, you are going to need to move beyond an exclusive, this-or-that perception of the world you live in. --Mbilitatu (talk) 16:42, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and as far as my wife's experience ... that was one of a hundred such experiences I have participated in. Think of it as a matched filter, where your belief system is the underlying signal. Yes, in that one instance, it would jump the gun to arrive at a conclusion. However, if you open your mind to the possibility that something real might have happened, it opens a door to more of that, and more and more and more until evidence overwhelms any resistance in the mind. The problem with skepticism is that it keeps that door closed and no evidence arises, so there is nothing to change the mind. Words will never, ever convince the mind to let go of it's illusions about the world. Only direct experience. --Mbilitatu (talk) 16:49, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Finally, consider your statement, 'Belief is powerful, even when the thing you believe in is non-existent.'. Yes. But, somehow, skeptics never turn that lens on themselves. Belief is incredibly powerful, including the belief that something does not exist. Can you honestly tell me that you are willing to believe statement (a): the power of belief was sufficient to heal my wife of a 20 year tendonitis; And that you are unwilling to believe the statement (b): a skeptical position of disbelief is powerful enough to block such experiences? If you are absolutely convinced in your bones that meridians do not exist and you are completely coherent in your feeling, thought and action with that belief ... then you will most likely never experience otherwise. --Mbilitatu (talk) 17:45, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
You say open-minded, I say credulous. You say closed-minded, I say careful. You say that "The system is not what matters. The results are what matters." I agree whole-heartedly. So where are these amazing results? Maybe those amazing results are the same as your "hundred such experiences", but you've already admitted that you are biased towards interpreting evidence in favour of your world-view, so why should we believe you? So more careful, less credulous people do experiments - and the "results" vanish like so much moonshine... If "the results are what matters", acupunture is dead in the water. (and yes, I'm willing to believe both a and b because belief - as I've said - is powerful. But the power of belief is not at issue here, only acupuncture's failure to survive trial by randomized, double-blind, clinical trial) Famousdog (talk) 13:16, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Good vibrations[edit]

Hello fellow editors,

I've been thinking of creating a new article on "vibrations (spiritual)" but that was before I found this article. If you do a search for "vibrations" on Wikipedia, there is no mention of this article on the 'vibrations' disambiguation page, so I could at least add this article into the disambiguation page for "vibrations (spiritual)".

However, there is something else I was wondering about: The Beach Boys song "Good Vibrations". The fact that this song was inspired by Brian Jones' mother remarking that a dog could sense a person's vibrations, indicates that the word was in use in the English language before the 1960s new age. Does anyone know of any book that mentions the word "vibrations" in use historically? I'm not asking as a general discussion about the topic, I would like to expand the description of the term, possibly in this article. I do like the way this article is written by the way.

Regards, Freelion (talk) 08:03, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

The vibrations commonly felt during Astral Projection were described as such as early back as 1929 in Sylvan Muldoon's "The Projection of The Astral Body". Helena Blavatsky's (posthumously channelled?) "Spiritual Vibrations" from 1926 will likely be on topic also. (talk) 14:48, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Freelion (talk) 00:02, 23 May 2013 (UTC)


Every single piece of information not cited should immediately be removed from this article. This article is very sad and embarrassing. - Shiftchange (talk) 05:46, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

there is a goofy edit war going on over tags. {{u|JzG}] I am deleting the unsourced content per WP:VERIFY since you will not tolerate tags or better, supply refs. Jytdog (talk) 22:10, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Removing the unsourced content is fine. The tags are being added in drive-by fashion by anons who are not giving any rationale or discussing the issue. I tolerate tags just fine when there's a problem pending fixing, but here we have active editing by people who seem motivated to change the article but not engage in any way. Guy (Help!) 22:34, 16 December 2014 (UTC)


i just requested semi-protection. Jytdog (talk) 15:12, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Removal of fringe sources[edit]

@HealthyGirl: Fringe sources are not automatically banned from fringe subjects. They should not be used to make claims in Wikipedia's voice, but they can be used to describe claims made by fringe authors. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:42, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

I understand this, I just believe this article needs work and I will fix it. My complaint about the ectoplasm section was that the sources were entirely fringe with no academic or skeptical coverage of those claims. Secondly ectoplasm has nothing to do with the idea of 'esoteric' energy, it was off-mission. But I do not think we should be linking to psychic books. Academic, scholarly or skeptical sources are much more reliable. HealthyGirl (talk) 07:23, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
I have been watching this. Tgeorgesc if you disagree about any specific sources and content that were removed, it would be most productive to talk about them one by one. Each bit can be discussed here and if you cannot agree, RSN (or better since this is health related, WT:MED are where you can bring things for community input. Just a suggestion; keep it simple. If you concern is too much, too fast, please just ask for a pause while the two of you discuss what has already been done. :) Jytdog (talk) 07:44, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

Pushing for religious aspects[edit]

This entire article is literally just a skeptics dismissal. Space for that is fine, but can we please add the actual religious & beliefs part of this practice? Artheartsoul1 (talk) 06:37, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Sorry, but according to wikipedia, energy is considered "woo", and therefore cannot at all be taken seriously according to current official/unofficial guidelines. Feel free to add anything you want with reliable sources, but realise taking the worlds oldest man up Mt Fuji in a backpack might be easier.
Probrooks (talk) 21:55, 20 September 2016 (UTC)