One Simple Reason Energy Healing Isn’t Mainstream

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Colter asks:

Why [aren’t energy and] magick more prominent in our world?

I used to wonder about this myself. So much of what I do is tremendously useful, so why don’t more people work with energy?

I think the answer is simple: Obvious results are hard.

With manifesting, the whole point is to create luck, and a single result will be indistinguishable from luck. It requires multiple trials and statistics to show that something is going on.

With energy healing, a single result is indistinguishable from placebo. Again, we require multiple trials and statistics.

Statistics aren’t obvious. They don’t hit us at an emotional level. They require thought, and they’re easy to ignore.

Why would people want to ignore those results? I sometimes hear conspiracy theories, with a villain (politicians, the wealthy, the Illuminati) intentionally keeping people in the dark. But the answer is simpler: Historically, people claiming magickal abilities were almost universally frauds.

We, as practitioners, have to own this: Historically, people making these claims have turned out to be frauds. You know why? Because energy and magick are hard. It’s much easier to get obvious results with slight of hand or hypnosis or by having a friend bang on the cabinet during the seance.

People like James Randi aren’t trying to keep energy healing all to themselves. They genuinely believe that all of this is just placebo and fraud, and that they’re helping people by pointing that out. They are mistaken, but they aren’t sinister.

(Their reluctance to re-examine their beliefs isn’t sinister either. It’s just how humans are.)

Energy and magick aren’t practiced more widely because obvious results are hard, and a long history of fraud makes people reluctant to examine non-obvious results.

How do we solve this? Either with a mountain of data (researchers are already working on that), or by engineering obvious results, like energy techniques that reliably create sensations in most people. My focus is on that engineering.

And writing this post, I realized something: It’s easy to see skeptics as the enemy. But to change minds, we need to start with where we agree. And there’s actually quite a lot of agreement: We both want people to get meaningful help for health conditions, and not spend time and money on things that don’t work. We both want to understand the world, and separate accurate models from inaccurate ones. We disagree about the particulars, but we share many of the same goals.

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4 Responses to “One Simple Reason Energy Healing Isn’t Mainstream”

  1. Colter says:

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my question with an entire post! I really appreciate that you take the time to interact with your readers. Keep up the awesome work you’re doing here!

    And I agree with your analysis. I hadn’t really given Magick a solid go prior to finding your blog. It is really hard to make noticeable progress and the majority of magickal instruction out there seems so convoluted and silly that it’s no wonder it’s usually scoffed at. It seems like from the industrial revolution onwards most people turned wholesale to material technology and science because it produced obvious, repeatable results and products on a huge scale; plus, such technologies don’t require difficult daily inner work on the part of each individual.

  2. Julie says:

    I think what you’re pointing out is the difference between magic and magick. In my mind, magic is the slight of hand stuff while magick involves the spiritual realm and ritual. I’m glad you’re focused on the engineering part and the strong reaction some people have against energy healing, I think, is in part because they know it’s real. They wouldn’t have that strong of a reaction, they’d just be indifferent or neutral.

    I wanted to push back on your statement, “obvious results are hard” because it sounds like a cop out. It might be better to say, because I’m using my energy, your energy, and universal energy, results will vary. Will this make someone feel better? Probably not, but people who come to energy healing are advanced in their thinking and realize the powers we can harness are beyond what we can see. Your attempts to scientifically measure them are noble and will help to bring understanding and acceptance. I think that’s where people get scared, they don’t know what to expect.

    Having six-pack abs is hard, quitting Pepsi is hard, but it’s possible. If energy healing were impossible, you wouldn’t be practicing it. Do you need obvious results? If through energy healing, you are able to alleviate pain or get chi flowing again, isn’t that enough. And those things are measurable by a pain scale or the client feels energetic rather than stuck or blocked.

    Magick wouldn’t be magick if there were obvious results. Magick would be science and we don’t need more science. We need them both. They’re both important. Good post, made me think.

    • Hi Julie, I find that people often conflate “science” with “contemporary fields of science and the skepticism that’s part of that culture.” And I certainly have disagreements with contemporary science and its skeptical culture. But science itself is the best tool humans have for developing an accurate understanding of how the world works, an understanding so accurate we can use it to create new tools, technologies, and other solutions. We always need more science.

      I know that you’ve had some bad experiences with Western medicine, and I can see where this would turn someone off to science, but allow me to suggest another story: The problem with current Western medicine is that we don’t have enough science. We don’t understand the body well enough, and we don’t understand diseases well enough (particularly diseases caused by the body’s own cells malfunctioning, such as MS and cancer). We don’t understand the full effect of many drugs and treatments, and we don’t understand how to mitigate all those side effects. If we did, we could prevent the unpleasant side-effects that far too many people encounter, and everyone could live longer, healthier lives.

      To me, understanding how energy interacts with the body is part of that understanding. Once we understand how energy interacts with cells and the atoms that make them up, we’ll be able to engineer vastly more effective techniques and help many more people. And we’ll also be able to create obvious results, such as clear sensations or numbing in seconds, to convince skeptics that energy is real and worth using / researching / investing in.

  3. Julie says:

    Hi Mike, that’s an interesting idea – we don’t have enough science. Or the drug companies are controlling how science is used and the results that are shared. Maybe it’s how we’re using science that’s the tragedy. I’ve heard that chemo only gave me a 3% advantage over no chemo, which means I destroyed my immune system and gave myself chronic side effects for no reason. We do know how the body works; supposedly the body can heal itself. Our bodies are fighting the cancer cells as we speak, if we have any, and the best pharmacy is nature. I’m saying this more to convince myself rather than you. I don’t know what the answers are, and I know how ungrateful I sound because Western medicine has saved and is saving many lives.

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