Is Energy a Dirty Word?

Carl Hendel, MD 7/98



Okay, so it happened again...........this time with a highly educated, scholarly writer and philosopher that I highly regard. As I had previously written (The Nature of Knowledge):

Yesterday, I was confronted by a medical doctor for using an unscientific term. I referred to the human being as an energy being. Science cannot, at this point in time "prove" that we are energy beings. Science also can't prove "time." Does that mean that time doesn't exist? No, in a dimension which axiomatically accepts time, time makes sense. Similarly, it is undeniable that we are warm, filled with moving fluids, have discharging electrical impulses, and radiate a field of warmth, water vapor, electromagnetic activity, and more. Some people can even see this field, and many can feel it!

I also have stated (Therapeutic Touch Debate):

Even the most hardened of linear-thinking scientists would have to accept a few basic scientific realities, such as temperature gradients, radiant energy, and the inverse square law. The human being is warm, and filled with fluids. It has rhythmic movement, and definite electro-chemical properties. Although our physical body (a warm, pulsing, mass) seems to stop at our skin, the radiant energy obviously doesn't. Any person who has spent a bit of time sensitizing the hands can actually feel heat (and more) when the hand is brought to within a few inches of the body. Try this yourself. It is warmer over the liver than it is over the lung, since the lung has more air (cooler than blood) and the liver has more blood. With practice, one can learn to fine-tune these perceptions (beyond the scope of this response.)


Yep, my friend and colleague, a true scholar on the subject, had a visceral reaction to the word "energy." And I truly understand that response. In an era of catch-words and jargon, marketing and sales, and lots of dollars, people, in search of seductive labels can pollute clear terminology. I am opposed to a course of changing appropriate language into "economically correct" language.

It is my premise that this perceptible field around and through the living human being is an energy field, and that the vehicle for the expressions of the movement, rhythms, and resultant field is "energy" or, as more fully elucidated in Chinese cultural roots, qi. This is a vibratory universe, with vibrations on many levels, from sub-atomic to macrocosmic, from infinitely fast to infinitely slow. The "energy" that drives these vibrations is qi. The result of the sums of all the vibrations is a warm, moving, pulsatile mass that I refer to as the "Rhythmic Energy Being". It can be "seen" as auras, felt by sensitive "listening" and "known" through intuition. It is called by many names and is known in many healing traditions.

Many healing practices influence this "Rhythmic Energy Being". Cranial osteopathy works with the Cranial Rhythmic Impulse, which can be felt as a Tide, rhythmically creating ebb and flow throughout the body. Where the tide is not felt, there is stillness and lack of vitality. Restoring the Tide brings about the return of wellness. This tide is an expression of qi, (or energy). Movement practices, breath practices, mind practices, acupuncture, massage, and many others, seem to benefit the clear, unobstructed flow of energy (or qi), and this is perceptible in the person. I maintain that this person is truly a "Rhythmic Energy Being."

Perhaps "rhythm" and "energy" is redundant, but, in the Chinese language, two characters meaning the same thing are put together as one idea, to clarify and deepen the meaning. Perhaps there is a yin/yang relationship between the two, one being the motivating force and the other being the expression of that force.

As I have theorized before, the ground substance of the fascia may be the peripheral expression of the cerebro-spinal fluid (the highest fluid in the body in the osteopathic paradigm). This medium, which may be a "qi" circulatory system, flows continuously throughout the fascia, which also connects, invests and surrounds every and all of the structures in the body.

Since the scientific system of measurement is limited by our own humanness (hopefully it is early in the history of human knowledge), frustration can erupt when something as obvious and central as energy that is so clearly expressed in life, eludes today's measurement abilities. I ask some willingness to to accept that all that is, is not measurable. I refer you to the many Einstein quotes on the subject!

From that viewpoint, I somewhat axiomatically declare that energy is.

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