The Heart of Science (Isn’t Testing)

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In the past 300 years, science and technology have reshaped the lives of every human on the planet. Science is probably the most effective way we have of understanding the universe. What caused science to be so successful? And how can we apply that to developing effective energy healing and magick techniques?

As I talk about Healing Lab (researching energy healing), people keep expecting me to focus on testing healing techniques. And sure, you can’t do science without experiments. But humans have been testing things for millennia: Which herbs are useful for medicine, what month to plant which crops, the best wood for constructing longbows. Humans tested all those things long before science, with great success.

I’ve heard that pre-science testing called random testing: Just trying everything you can think of, without any real reasoning behind it. Try all the nearby plants, see which helps with headaches. Try various bow materials, see which shoots farthest. Random testing is great when we have several obvious solutions and want to know which works best.

One of Da Vinci's flying machines.

One of Da Vinci’s flying machines.

But that only works for obvious solutions. And the modern world is built on non-obvious solutions. A few examples: Before we understood aerodynamics, people tried to build flying machines with flapping wings, and completely failed. A fixed-wing aircraft isn’t something we could develop just by trying everything, there are too many possible answers, and the cost of testing each one is too high. Airplanes aren’t obvious. Neither are transistors (developing them requires quantum physics), antibiotics (requires germ theory of medicine), and most other solutions we rely on. To create any of those, we need to understand the world so well that we can see the non-obvious solutions.

Science is about creating that understanding. It’s about building a model of the world, refining that model through testing and experiment, then using that model’s predictions to solve new problems. The focus is on the model. That’s the difference between science and random testing.

How does this apply to energy healing and magick?

I’ve been trying to think of a simple, quick answer to that. The kind of “3 Easy Tips” that bloggers are supposed to have. But there’s no easy answer. So here’s the hard answer:

Most serious practitioners I know keep a journal, “Did this technique, got this result.” That’s excellent, and I’d tell anyone to do it. But I mostly see random testing, like trying a pile of techniques from the internet to see what works best for them. Again, that’s not a bad thing. But with a little a lot more effort, we can do more.

Try this: Review your journal. Look for patterns. Think about the moving parts of magick, whether that’s ethereal muscles and ethereal software or some other model you think is more accurate. But think about those moving parts as you review each test, think about why you got that result, what it tells you about how those parts behave and interact. Then (and this is the hard part), think of a new way to use those moving parts that ought to work better. Test it. See if your model made an accurate prediction, and adjust it based on the new data. Now, instead of testing someone else’s techniques, you’re creating new ones, advancing our knowledge of this art that we all care about so deeply.

Then publish your results, so we can all benefit. (And when you do, leave a comment linking to your post.)

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One Response to “The Heart of Science (Isn’t Testing)”

  1. A clarifying comment I posted on facebook:

    The heart of science is the model, a set of mechanisms that we understand, trust through testing, and can use to create new solutions. If you’ve ever wondered why science focuses so much on predictions, one reason is because saying “this model told me how to solve this problem” is really another way of saying “this model made a useful, specific prediction.”

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