Posts Tagged ‘Going Mainstream’

One Simple Reason Energy Healing Isn’t Mainstream

Friday, January 13th, 2017

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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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