Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Why Understanding Energy Feels Impossible (But Isn’t)

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

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Lord Kelvin, the 19th century physicist who formulated the first two laws of thermodynamics, thought that science would never understand how human intent causes muscles to move: “The influence of animal or vegetable life on matter is infinitely beyond the range of any scientific inquiry hitherto entered on.”

It wasn’t merely “not yet understood.” It was “infinitely beyond.”

(“Hitherto” gives some wiggle room, but by his time scientists were already exploring nerves, the brain, and electricity.)

Friends who work with energy (or ritual magick) sometimes say that we’ll never understand why human intent causes energy to move, that energy is immune to scientific inquiry.

Like Lord Kelvin, they’ve thought about the phenomenon, considered at a few ways to explore it, and realized those paths won’t work. Usually, they’ve thought about placebo-controlled energy healing studies (to see which conditions benefit from which systems of healing), or testing which rituals produce better results. They’ve noticed how little that research would tell us about what energy is at a fundamental level. And they’re correct: Existing paths are unlikely to lead to a deep understanding of energy.

The mistake, of course, is to stop after examining those existing paths, rather than searching for new paths forward (like the sensory connections I use to watch energy structures as you work). And yet, I understand the impulse: Considering existing paths takes effort. In school, writing a paper on why the existing paths won’t work earns a good grade. That’s all you’re asked to do. And discovering a new solution isn’t just a little harder, it’s orders of magnitude harder.

Part of this, I think, is in how we teach science: As a series of successes, without any of the struggle or false turns. We forget that, from the dawn of human history up until the point we understood it, every phenomenon was a mystery, and the path to understanding was equally mysterious. We teach with the clarity of hindsight, and students learn to expect that clarity when facing new problems. Then, when we encounter our first truly new phenomenon, we have no tools or no frame of reference for exploring it, and we quickly conclude it’s impossible.

Next time exploring feels impossible, remember: Most of what we know today seemed impossible right up until it was understood.

Keep exploring.

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Beyond the Material? Why Energy is like Gravity and Magnetism

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

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Jill posted on Facebook: “How do you describe the beyond-material: Spiritual? Etheric? Metaphysical?”

I pondered for a day. I know what she’s asking, and the easy answer is, “energy and ethereal.” But there’s something deeper here.

Years ago, a physicist friend asked about my work. At the time, I was describing energy and connections as “non-physical stuff.”

“What does non-physical stuff mean? Your whole premise is that this is real and out there, right?” she asked.

Yes, I said, but you can’t reach out and touch it, it doesn’t interact with ordinary atom-based matter except in a few limited ways.

She explained, “Dark matter is the same, it only interacts in limited ways, through gravity but nothing else, but it’s still physical.”

She explained that, to a physicist, “physical” means “real,” out there in reality rather than an idea in the mind. Saying something was real but non-physical simply didn’t make sense. What I was describing was non-ordinary physical matter.

That conversation holds the deeper answer to Jill’s question:

Energy isn’t beyond material any more than gravity or magnetism are. None of those phenomena are solid, atom-based matter, but all three produce observable, measurable results.

“But gravity and magnetism are part of modern physics, and biofield energy isn’t (yet),” you might point out. And I think that’s part of the implicit distinction my friend’s question was making.

But here’s the thing: That’s a statement about human knowledge, not about the phenomenon itself. When Newton discovered gravity in 1665, that changed human knowledge, but it didn’t change gravity itself. When we say that a phenomenon is mysterious, we really mean that it’s mysterious to us, that it’s not understood by us yet. It’s a statement about us, not about the phenomenon.

So, what’s beyond-material? Imagination, social constructs like ownership and capitalism, and other things that exist only in human mind. But not energy. That’s part of material reality, just like magnetism and gravity, and it’s only a matter of time before we understand it.

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Energy Healing Culture: How We’re Holding Ourselves Back

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

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How does it feel to be wrong? Scary, dumb, shameful?

Actually, being wrong feels the same as being right. What feels bad is realizing we’re wrong.

Our brains encourage seeking behavior with dopamine. If we’re searching for food, and we see an apple tree in the distance, we get a little dopamine. We get closer and see ripe apples, we get a little more dopamine. When we reach the tree, you guessed it, even more dopamine.

But seeking out places where we’re wrong? No dopamine, serotonin, or happy neurotransmitters of any kind. There’s no innate drive to seek out places we’re wrong, because our brains didn’t evolve to seek truth, they evolved to keep us alive, create offspring, and seek social status.

Seeking our errors is something that must be taught through culture. And most cultures don’t.

This came up last week, talking with a friend about testing energy techniques. I told her about a class I took years ago, taught by a nurse for medical professionals to learn energy healing for patients in hospitals. Exactly the sort of teacher you’d expect to test their exercises.

Here’s the first exercise she gave: With the index finger of your right hand, almost touch the palm of your left hand. Notice the tingling. That’s energy.

I did feel tingling. I had a friend almost touch my palm, and felt tingling again. Then I asked that friend to either almost touch me or not, while I closed my eyes. I felt nothing, until I opened my eyes and saw they were already almost touching me, when I felt tingling. Which tells me: This sensation is caused by knowing I’m about to be touched, not by feeling the energy radiating off someone’s body. (The term, by the way, is proprioception.)

And the shame is, this teacher had techniques that really do help people. She was doing a lot of good, and could do even more good if her more mainstream peers would take energy healing seriously. But when the very first claim is so easy to test, and so clearly incorrect, it makes all of her work so easy to dismiss.

Telling this story to my friend, she said, “Yeah, some teachers are so lazy.” And that’s a nice fantasy: People get things wrong because they’re lazy, and as long as I’m not lazy, I won’t have to worry about overlooking my own false beliefs.

Only, it doesn’t work like that. This teacher worked as a nurse in a hospital. She is not lazy. And her error is far more pervasive, and far harder to avoid.

Our brains are wired to confirm our beliefs, not test them. Our broader culture doesn’t teach us to test beliefs, either. And the only tests I’ve ever seen in energy classes were rigged so students would succeed whether they were using real energy or not.

I want to learn how energy truly works. I want to develop techniques and demos that win over mainstream society. And to do that, we need a culture that encourages real testing.

I hope you’ll join me in creating that. There’s a lot to do, but a good first step is to blindfold a friend and play with energy. Then talk about it, write about it, and invite energy workers and teachers to explore real energy with you.

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Germ Theory of Disease: From Laughingstock to Life-Saving in 100 Years

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

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In 1847, Ignaz Semmelweis suggested doctors wash their hands before surgery. He thought it might prevent deaths. He was mocked and driven out of medicine.

Ten years later, Louis Pasteur proposed, tentatively and controversially, that microorganisms might be responsible for contagious disease. The idea was debated for over 20 years, and didn’t become accepted science until 1881.

And even small wounds were potentially fatal until 1928, when Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin.

Less than 100 years. That’s how quickly we moved from Semmelweis to Fleming, from mocking hand-washing to curing disease.

Remember that next time someone mocks energy healing.

In 100 years, once we understand how energy interacts with atoms and cells, what life-saving technology will we create?

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The Heart of Science (Isn’t Testing)

Monday, May 30th, 2016

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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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2 Instruments to Measure the Biofield

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

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Science requires standardized measurement. Often, scientific fields are created once it becomes possible to measure something. What might a measuring device look like for the biofield?

A friend asked me that today. I see two possibilities right now:

Option 1: Crystals

Crystals seem to interact with biofield energy. For years, I thought this was bunk, that crystals were just placebo. But readers asked me about it, and the first (only?) rule of science is to ignore your expectations and run the experiment. So I did, and it turns out, crystals seem to absorb biofield energy, then emit that energy in a different signature.

Aside: When a healer feels energy, they’re feeling how much that energy shifts their own biofield. Having a lot of energy can shift their biofield more, but so can having energy in a very different signature. Think of it like mixing paint, if you have white and mix in grey it won’t change much, but if you mix in red it’ll change obviously. The crystal absorbs energy of any “color” and emits “red” energy, making the energy obvious, amplifying the sensation.

It may turn out that there are observable changes to the crystal as it does this, perhaps a change in the frequency or electrical potential. If that’s the case, we could put a crystal on a circuit board, carefully measure that physical property, and learn something about the biofield energy passing through the crystal.

Option 2: Cell Cultures

Energy healing is fundamentally about using the biofield to influence cells. And it seems that different cells respond to different biofield energies.

We can use this to create a biofield measuring instrument. Set up a grid of cell cultures. Point a camera at each (or a microscope, or measure whatever are the relevant physical changes as the cells respond to the biofield). Send that data to a computer, run an algorithm to calculate the state of the biofield that’s interacting with the cell cultures. Research is required to determine the specific cell cultures and the algorithm.

Finding Solutions

One thing strikes me as I write this:

A few years ago, I thought creating a biofield instrument would happen after energy healing went mainstream, with a scientific community behind it. A problem for larger groups and future generations.

But now, this problem seems… Not easy, but not particularly difficult. And it reminds me that other impossible-seeming problems may, in fact, be not particularly difficult, too.

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The Importance of Useless Techniques

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

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A reader asked me about telekinesis. I haven’t seen any demonstrations that didn’t involve jostling the table that the object is on, but that’s not what today’s post is about.

He said he used to be able to move water, but that he “retired of it because it was not useful in real life (no matter how cool it was).” That’s what I want to talk about: What does it mean to be useful?

There are two types of useful: Directly useful, and scientifically useful. And by focusing only on directly useful techniques, we will wind up holding ourselves back.

A few examples: Transmuting lead into gold is obviously useful. Same with reading minds, flying, etc. They’re abilities we’d all love to have. (For this post, I’m ignoring what’s possible and what’s not, and just plucking examples from fantasy.)

But let me ask you this: Is it useful to know that the same force that holds me to the earth, also governs the motions of the planets? Is it useful to know that DNA is in the nucleus of a cell? Or that passing a magnet over a wire will cause the electrons to move?

None of that is useful in isolation. Transport a person 1,000 years into the past, and they can’t do anything with that knowledge. Without gears to make clocks, knowing the precise location of planets and stars doesn’t help you navigate. Without the rest of biology, knowing about DNA doesn’t solve any problem. Without steam engines to power an electric generator, it doesn’t matter if you know how to create an electrical current.

And yet, the last hundred years have been shaped by those three pieces of information. Space travel, modern medicine, and electricity. That useless information is the foundation of the modern world.

Which brings us to telekinesis. A force, generated from thin air, without an obvious opposing force. This is impossible in current physics. If it existed (and that’s a big if, but if it did), it would be a massive addition to physics.

What would that finding ultimately let us do? No one knows. Just like no one knew that learning about gravity would lead to space travel, or that learning about quantum physics would lead to transistors and computers. That’s the point: We often have no idea where new science leads. But we follow it anyway, despite being initially useless, and it’s given us the modern world.

What would I do with a clear demonstration of energy healing or magick? The Randi challenge pays $1,000,000 for it. San Francisco venture capitalists would likely give even more — not to create a water-moving device, but to put together a team, figure out what’s going on, and then create the next spaceship, internet, or whatever this science leads to.

This post isn’t about telekinesis. It’s about all the phenomena we explore. Because the real question isn’t, “Can I use this?” The real question is, “What could I do with this, plus a team of scientists and the backing of venture capitalists?”

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The Missing Half of Healing Research

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

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If we understood energy healing as well as we understand pharmaceuticals, how would that change our lives? And what would energy healing research look like?

Currently, most energy healing research starts with an established system of energy healing and tests its efficacy for patients with various conditions.

The equivalent in drug research would be testing a folk remedy, like chewing leaves or making tea from bark. Don’t get me wrong — that’s valuable research too, drugs like aspirin came from that research. But it’s only one step.

After finding out that willow bark is effective at reducing inflammation, chemists analyzed it, identified unusual compounds, and tested each compound to identify the active ingredients. That’s why we have aspirin in pill form, fast to take and with standard doses, instead of needing to brew tea from willow bark each time we have a headache.

And of course, folk remedies can only find cures that already exist in nature. Most pharmaceutical research doesn’t start from a folk remedy. It starts with the condition we want to treat, plus an understanding of the human body and the chemistry involved. Researchers test possible solutions in test tubes, then in mice, and slowly work up to randomized controlled trials in humans. This lets us discover compounds that no folk medicine could know, because many useful medicines don’t occur in nature.

That’s what’s missing in healing research: A chemistry-like understanding of the biofield, to let us analyze existing techniques, find the active ingredients, and make them more concentrated and effective. And a science for developing new energies and techniques, beyond the ones that healers naturally produce.

Once we have that, we’ll be able to develop even better healing techniques and help even more people.

Developing that chemistry-like understanding is up to healers, at least for now. Doctors can help us test the healing techniques, and help us understand the physiology of the conditions we’re dealing with. But to develop that fundamental science of the biofield? Only healers can do that, at least while we’re still working understand the biofield well enough to explain it to non-healers.

That’s the real reason behind Healing Lab.

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Superman, Time Travel, and Why Science Matters

Monday, February 8th, 2016

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To do energy healing, or manifesting, or other magick, we need a visualization that engages the unconscious.

Keep that in mind: Engaging the unconscious. Because that’s a different goal than understanding how magick operates. Not a bad goal, just a different one. And confusing those two goals (engaging the unconscious vs understanding the mechanism) derails so many people, smart insightful people who could otherwise be helping us build a deeper understanding of energy healing and magick, and helping us create the better techniques that flow from that understanding.

A simple example: Chaos Magick is famous for rituals to Superman. The idea is to engage concepts of strength and justice in the mage’s unconscious, and to tap into those same virtues in a collective unconscious. When one does that ritual, it might be useful to pretend to believe that Superman is real.

“Superman will fly down and help me stand up to this bully” is a great visualization, but a terrible model for how manifesting actually works.

We’re about to discuss a not-so-obvious example. But first, I want to explain how we could figure out that Superman isn’t a good model, if we didn’t already know that.

Imagine a friend believes that magick actually works by Superman hearing your ritual and helping you out. You say, “That sounds amazing. Let’s do a ritual, I want to talk to him.” Your friend replies that Superman doesn’t stay around long enough to talk, and moves so fast you can’t even see him. “I have a high-speed camera.” Sorry, he’s too fast for even that. “I know, we’ll hang ribbons from the ceiling, and we won’t see Superman, but we’ll still see the ribbons swaying after he leaves.” Your friend thinks for a minute, then says that Superman will pause to stop each ribbon from swaying as he leaves.

For each experiment, your friend predicted the same result we’d see if Superman wasn’t real. If your friend really truly believed Superman was real, he would say, “Awesome, let’s run the experiment, I want to see those ribbons swaying too.” But deep down, he knows how the world really is, and he knows what experimental outcomes he’ll see even before doing the experiment.

(This is from Carl Sagan’s dragon in the garage.)

Now it’s time for the not-obvious example. Synchronicity asks:

What about retrocausality? Do you think it’s physically impossible or it’s possible but some ethereal softwares don’t know how to affect the past?

There’s a Chaos Magick book that talks about reverse-time manifesting, where you send out your intent and it travels to the past to arrange things for you in the near future. I think it was Phil Hine. (Anyone know the book? Leave a comment. Thanks!)

I think reverse time is like a ritual to Superman. Great visualization to engage your unconscious. Probably not how magick actually works.

(And keep in mind, Chaos Magick’s motto is, “Belief is the tool.” The goal was to temporarily believe things to get your mind to engage and do magick, not to accurately explain the underlying mechanisms of magick.)

But why? It’s easy to pretend to believe in Superman, then drop the belief after the ritual. But reverse-time isn’t obviously wrong. It’s a fun belief — who hasn’t wanted to go back in time and undo a mistake? And doesn’t quantum physics predict equally weird stuff?

I see this as an opportunity. Separating good mechanisms of magick from useful ways to engage the unconscious is an important skill. So let’s practice it.

Imagine you fully believe your magick can go into the past and change time. When I do that, I notice a mental flinch away from predictions that are obviously silly. Fight that flinch. Imagine we just made this discovery, it was a new technology, never used before. What could we do with it?

Here’s what I flinched away from. (That’s usually a sign that an idea is worth exploring):

Ananael has talked about manifesting to influence lottery results. If reverse-time manifesting worked — if we could somehow change the past — then he should be able to change last week’s lottery results.

And immediately, I start making excuses. “Ananael already knows the lottery numbers. Maybe this only works if he hasn’t seen them yet.”

OK, so I’ll look at the lottery numbers but not show them to him, then let him do the ritual…

I could come up with some excuse, but I’ve spent years training my mind not to create those excuses, and I actually don’t want to develop that excuse-making skill.

But try it. Ask, “What would the world look like, if the world actually worked that way?” And see how much you immediately have to explain away.

That’s how we know reverse-time is a good visualization, but not a good mechanism for magick.

Why bother with this? Why not just believe in whatever speaks to me, as wholeheartedly as I can?

Because when we take a good mechanism and ask, “What could I do if the world actually worked that way,” we don’t have to create excuses. Every idea it gives us is a useful, working technique for energy healing, or manifesting, or something else we care about. (And instead of excusing failures, we use them to refine our model, so next time it gives us even better techniques.)

Gather enough good mechanisms and we call it a scientific model. And that’s why science matters: Not because having the right answer is cool, but because a good model suggests good techniques that give better results.

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Why Does Manifesting Fail? And 2 More Reader Questions

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

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Sharon, a new reader, experienced psychic, and curious scientist, asks some excellent questions. I’ll put her text in italics, mine in normal.

Hello Mike :-)

I came to your blog to help me link my magik with science. I am a natural psychic (still developing) who is looking to find the reason why I just “know” things. I am also uncomfortable with the pagan community telling us to do things (e.g. use a white candle or x oil when looking to purify x) and not saying what difference these correspondences make.

Welcome! A phrase I like is, “I simply refuse to believe there’s a special case in the laws of physics for a human mouth forming specific words.” Same with candles, runes, etc: There has to be some deeper mechanism at work.

A common answer is that those things are symbols, and communicate intent to the unconscious mind. My next question is, “What happens next? How does the unconscious act on that intent?” Part of why I write is to get more people asking those questions.

My questions that I have answered:
(Please feel free to question/debunk/comment on these)
1. How does magik I do at home affect events that will happen outside of my house?

Like most areas of science, there are many levels of answers. Richard Feynman has a wonderful talk on this, explaining why a person slipped. You might say, “Because there was ice on the ground,” or you might go deeper and explain why ice is slippery, or even how friction and gravity work. All those answers are true, and different levels are better for different problems. The job of science is generally to find deeper and deeper answers, while the job of engineering is to select the right level to solve a specific problem. Anyway, go watch or read Feynman’s explanation, it’s excellent.

I’d say this question is similar. Magick affects events outside your house because you got your intent into your unconscious. Also, because your unconscious contacted external forces that know how to create luck. Also, because those external forces somehow influenced your decisions (or occasionally the decisions of others), and somehow knew which way to nudge those decisions to create that outcome.

Most of my work focuses on going deeper down that causal chain: How do those external forces nudge decisions? How do they know which direction to nudge? How can we improve them?

But as I write this, it occurs to me that there are also engineering problems: How can we become more aware of those nudges, and listen to them more? How should we phrase an intent to produce the desired outcome? These don’t necessarily need the deeper exploration of how that external force functions. And for beginners, learning to use these forces probably matters more than a deeper exploration of why they work.

Well, that wasn’t really your question, but I hope you found it interesting.

2. Why do some spells not work? (Your intent vs about 12 other people looking for a parking spot for example, your intent is outnumbered.)

I think this is a plausible scenario, but since so few people use magick, this is probably a rare cause of failures.

In my own work, as I’ve gotten better at communicating with ethereal software (and in particular at receiving messages back), I now get error messages. So if I ask for an event (“find a parking space on this block”) but there’s no path to that event (all the spaces are already taken), the software tells me it’s not possible. In general, I take this as a guide to broaden my request (“cause me to drive such that I find a parking spot,” which focuses on influencing my decisions rather than on forcing the world to be a certain way).

3. Why do I just “know” things? (The ethereal software tells me)
4. How do herbs, crystals, and tools help me to get my desired effects? (They emit different frequencies e.g. when you hold a magnet to a crystal it makes a different sound. Every herb, crystal, and colour has different atomic structures and properties that enable them to work for certain spells e.g rose quartz for a beauty spell).

When I see answers like this, I reflexively ask, “But how?” Not to put the person on the spot (I try to avoid saying it out loud except with friends). But whenever I get an answer, I try to imagine all the moving parts in my head, see how they fit together, and I notice that I don’t actually have enough information to make things fit.

Herbs and crystals emit different frequencies — are we talking about sound waves? Light? Magickal energy? (Note: I use the term energy signature rather than frequency, but they’re synonyms.)

Each herb and crystal has a different atomic structure — true, but also true of everything. It sounds sciency, but hasn’t told us anything. Why is ice slippery? Because of its atomic structure. Great, but what about the structure?

I’m not saying these to put you on the spot. I’m saying them because that’s where my mind immediately goes, and since you love science too, part of your mind probably wants to go there too. So consider this a friendly nudge.

My answers:

Herbs contain medically-active chemicals. Aspirin is found in willow bark, for example. This seems like a good explanation for everything I’ve seen done with herbs.

If you asked me about crystals a few years ago, I would have said they were just symbolic, like using a white candle. But a few years ago, readers asked about it, and I tested it.

Crystals seem to absorb energy, then emit that energy in a particular signature. So there’s one signature for quartz, and whatever energy you send into the quartz, it absorbs then re-emits that energy in the “quartz signature.” Interesting side-note: This is also how color works, with objects absorbing light then emitting photons only in specific frequencies. Maybe “frequency” would be a better term than “signature”…

What’s the significance of changing your energy to “quartz signature” energy? Well, the sensation of energy has more to do with the signature than the amount. Your body has a signature, and energy that’s similar to your body’s signature only produces a small sensation, while energy that’s dissimilar produces a large sensation. So, you send energy into the quartz, it comes out in a signature matching the quartz (and not matching your body), and that energy feels much stronger because of the more dissimilar signature.

This, by the way, is one of my favorite things about Direct Magick: I routinely test something, and find that it doesn’t work the way I expected. If that didn’t happen, well what’s the point of exploring? (Other systems do this too, by the way.)

That, by the way, is also the essence of science: Run the experiment, let nature tell you about the world. It means you can connect every finding, every belief, to something you can experience for yourself in the world. That’s what I love about science: The exploration and connection to the world. And everything in the modern world, from medicine to sky scrapers to cell phones, rests on the power of asking nature how the world works, then listening to the answer.

That’s about half of Sharon’s email. I’ll do the second half coming up.

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