by Richard Alan Miller
Within the field of parapsychology there
exists the growing belief that we are now on the verge of
discovering a "new force" in nature. This "new force" is generally
unrecognized by conventional science, but throughout history
accounts of a strange luminous energy run like a silver thread
through ancient occult and spiritual traditions.
It has become
called many names: animal magnetism, orgone, mana, prana, life
force and the like (see far below appendix for complete list).
I believe that an important key to
understanding this new force or "energy," in reference to our
present technology and sociology, resides in the study of these
ancient and spiritual traditions.
One of man's most persistent and revealing preoccupations has been
his attempt to fashion for himself an adequate conceptual model of
the Universe. We can trace the beginning of our development in
science to the imaginative minds of the great Greek thinkers.
Physical theory is usually built on observable and measurable
phenomena. It concerns itself with the uniformity of behavior
underlying the apparent irregularities and then expresses itself in
the language of number and geometry.
Plato (427-347 B.C.), however,
held that physical laws can be found from directly intuitive
principles, the aim being to explain specific phenomena in the
context of a philosophic system. The truth of a principle was not
measured, as it is today, by its usefulness in every conceivable
known or predicted physical system.
As Plato states in his Phaedo:
"This was the method I adopted: I
first assumed some principle, which I judged to be the
strongest, and then I affirmed as true whatever seemed to agree
with this, whether relating to the cause or to anything else;
and that which disagreed I regarded as untrue."
The Greeks thought that metaphysics was
easier than physics, and tended to deduce scientific principles from
a priori conception of the nature of things. Metaphysics was the
discipline which studied principles of knowledge or of being in
terms of intuitive, self-evident concepts, concepts of direct
"everyday" experience and analogies. Thus, physical theory to the
Greeks was intelligible only in the context of a prior specific
It was not until the 16th and 17th centuries, after the great
struggle of falling bodies, that these doctrines were abandoned in
favor of the experimental sciences. The apparent reasons for the
careful separation of metaphysics from scientific thought are purely
practical; namely, we can agree about science.... after due
debate.... whereas in metaphysics debate usually accentuates
disagreement. These characteristics of science and metaphysics were
unrecognized in the early days of civilized thought.
It should be noted at this time an example of an important human
trait which colors all scientific work and which even the greatest
thinkers can never hope to overcome entirely.... we all tend to deny
the importance of facts or observations not in accord with our
convictions and pre-conceptions. We sometimes ignore them
altogether, even though, from another point of view, they stand
before our very eyes. Even the most general and modern scientific
theory does not hope or even seriously attempt to accommodate every
single detain of a specific case.
One is always forced to idealize the observations before attempting
a match between "facts" and theory.... not only because there are
usually unavoidable experimental uncertainties in observations, but
because conceptual schemes are consciously designed to apply to
selected observations rather than to the totality or raw experience.
As a consequence, the history of science is studded with cases in
which it turned out too late that the neglected part of a phenomenon
was actually its most significant aspect.
Today we define "energy" in modern textbooks as the "ability to do
work." When a force acts against resistance to produce motion in a
body, the force is said to do the work. Work is measured by the
product of the force acting and the distance moved against the
resistance. To complete this mess, a definition for force is needed.
Force is usually now defined as "that which changes the state of
rest or motion in matter, measured by the rate of change of
momentum. In more general and simplified terms, "energy" is the
ability to do "something" or overcome some "resistance."
Today's classical sciences has four generally recognized forms of
energy. There are:
binding (short distances)
neutron decay or weak energy (the force
which holds the neutron together)
There are many
different areas where these types of "energies" are observed but
when new observations are made which do not include any of the above
energies, these observations are usually either ignored or
considered in error.
Toward the end of the nineteenth century the discovery of x-rays and
other "invisible" radiation prompted doctors to wonder whether the
concept of a "life energy" might not be a valid way of approaching
health and healing. The phenomena known as "the laying on of hands"
is perhaps the most common example of some force other than
electromagnetic fields somehow interacting and causing changes in
biological processes. Historically, the process of healing by the
imposition of hands was first mentioned in Ebers Papyrus,
1552 B.C. Today we still have excellent examples of this "new
energy," causing much re-evaluation on our whole concept of energy
It is impossible to give a satisfactory definition of this new force
but several examples where this concept is used might be useful. The
most classic was that of Franz Anton Mesmer, M.D.
After acquiring his Ph.D. in Philosophy,
Mesmer studied Medicine at the University of Vienna,
graduating in 1766. His thesis topic:
"The Influence of the Planets in the
Cure of Disease."
Mesmer drew freely upon the magnetic
fluid theory reported by such alchemist-physicians of the preceding
two centuries such as Paracelsus, Van Helmont and
The fluid, which supposedly permeated
all space, was said to sympathetically link all beings, inanimate
objects and the stars:
"Ye grant that material nature doth
daily draw down forces by its magnetism from the Superior
Orbs.... and that the heavens do in exchange invisibly allure
something from the inferior bodies, that there may be a free and
mutual passage and a harmonious concord of the members of the
"How, by relation of natural things unto one another, they do,
after a corporal contact or touch is made between them, operate
wonderfully, and that by a magnetically concent and Spiritual
Continuity.... by a mutual operation at an unknown distance." (1)
Mesmer condensed his
theories into 27 major postulates, the knowledge of which would
constitute a new departure in Physics and universal means of healing
and preserving men. Mesmer termed this new force "Animal Magnetism."
A study of his theory of Animal Magnetism yields a notion very
similar to that of mana held by the Malanesians.
Originally a Polynesian concept of spiritual power, mana is
considered invisible, imponderable and yet powerful. Mana is
derived from the divine ancestors and enters to some degree into all
beings and things descended from them. The nearer this descendant is
to the source, the more powerful the content of mana. A
Polynesian chief who was chosen because of his close kinship with
the Gods would have a greater degree of mana than a commoner.
It was viewed as a type of aura pervading all objects, living or
Wilhelm Reich, M.D., addressed
himself extensively to the problems related to mana and
animism. He discovered what he termed the primal biological
energy of the body. He termed this new energy Orgone and states that
there are a number of phenomena which are "completely at variance
with the theory of electromagnetic energies." His discovery led to a
series of experiments and theories of orgone biophysics, the
point he was trying to make was that this orgone was a new force
which has not yet been described by classical physics.
Reich's concept of a mass-free "primal
orgone energy ocean" is akin to both the mana notion and
to Mesmer's animal magnetism:
"The animist Kepler who formulated
the planetary harmonic law is after centuries correct with his 'vis
Animalis' which moves the planets. The same energy which governs
the movement of animals and the growth of all living substances
also actually moves the heavenly bodies." (2)
Reich's concept of life energy and its
function is strikingly similar to those used by the various lay
healers. Orgone was inimical to disease and therapeutic in
itself. Diseases such as cancer were thought to exist only in an
energy-depleted individual. The infusion of orgone meant
Baron K. von Reichenbach, a German industrialist and inventor
of paraffin and creosote, made voluminous research into the problem
of the vital force or Odic force, the energy which gave life. Vital
force, mana and orgone were apparently the same
energy, some fluid which pervaded space and was somehow transmitted
from on object or person to another. The infusion meant healing and
normal health. His experiments were performed on "sensitives" or
those who exhibited exaggerated nervous sensitivities and were prone
to nervous diseases.
J. Buchanan, M.D. (1854) published his Neurological System
of Anthropology in which he describes an energy which was
continually radiated from the human body. His view was that this
"nervous matter" was the fountain of conscious life, and that it had
a "special residence in the nerves." It is precisely this concept of
a nervous energy that the Western medical science are having trouble
coping with in the study of Acupuncture. Acupuncture, with its
stimulations of meridian points, is based on the existence of a mana-like
force called "Chi" or universal energy.
It is for this reason that Acupuncture
has been left for so long to languish in the realms of the occult.
If science can, in fact, demonstrate the
existence of a force described in Acupuncture and as postulated by
various researchers, it will then provide a clue to what transpires
biophysically in the process of faith healing. It may well be that
the processes and concepts which are necessary to the understanding
of faith healing, as well as other paraphysical phenomena, depend on
going beyond the limited categories provided by our culture.
Having learned of a practicing healer in the Seattle area, I decided
to visit his rural home for a first-hand experience of this type of
healing. This healer provided me with a working knowledge of his
philosophy of healing and a demonstrating of how it was done. His
belief is that there is a basic energy which permeates the entire
universe. The healer, by the use of his hands and other means, can
direct this energy from his body to one who is deficient in vital
force or life energy, which is a manifestation of this energy.
The healer is also one who believes that there is a basic polarity
to the human body but that it can be changed at will, especially by
a magnetic operator such as himself. He proceeded to demonstrate his
art by having me lay on a Physician's table while he worked. The
room had a number of gadgets (known in the literature as Psionic
devices) but these were not used during the demonstration.
There was no special ceremony or
preparation necessary. He simply proceeded to "diagnose" me with a
pendulum which registered "emanations" from my body as he passed it
up along my spinal column. Where the pendulum swung around in a
slow, tight orbit he pronounced "low in vitality" and prone to
disease. Where the oscillations were fast and described a large
circumference, it was an indication of a healthy organ and freely
flowing in vital force.
He then stood across the room and began to back away from me until
his pendulum stopped swinging. This he explained was the limit of my
"aura" of force field of my body. Apparently each individual has a
different range for their force field. Most healers he said have
quite large fields about their bodies and therefore are able to
create more effect in other people coming within that field.
After this, he proceeded to make passes down the length of my body,
between 6 and 8 inches away, explaining that the contact with my
skin was unnecessary. The needed force radiated sufficiently far
from his fingers to accomplish the desired act. The only discernible
feelings of any kind that I experienced was a slight chill which ran
down my spine. He then re diagnosed me and declared that my vitality
level was higher than it was before. I did feel better and I am a
Christian faith healers present yet another approach to contact
healing. Oral Roberts technique involves preaching until he feels
the "power of God" come over him. He then knows that
God is ready to
heal through him. Roberts defines the necessary condition as a point
of contact which is usually his right hand. For Roberts, God
is a being of miraculous power omnipotent and all prevailing, in
whom there is unlimited supply of power available.
A very important point is now made: All through he stressed the
value of the unrelenting demand upon God, instant obedience
to his will and,
"the power of pent up emotions
placed into the act of believing, God supposedly prefers
to heal skeptics instead of the faithful at times." (4)
People who do get healed experience
effects such as ice cold shocks, electricity, intense heat or the
overwhelming sense of peace and joy which is often interpreted as
Christ's presence. The sense of religious ecstasy experienced by
many is also termed the presence of the Holy Spirit.
All of the lay healers and faith healers mention thus far have
several important things in common:
All of them postulate a
universal source of power as the repository from which they
draw their power or energy.
All of them use a contact from
of healing. The energy is somehow transmitted from them to
another via movements with the body.
They all attract a significant
number of terminal cases.
Faith, although stressed as
important and desirable, is not absolutely necessary.
All of the healers
characteristically have the same or similar physiological
sensations in those they treat.
All of the healers require the
use of the extrasensory faculties to communicate information
and diagnoses to their consciousness.
The Greek healer Hippocrates,
revered as the Father of Medicine, is reported to have said that
disease does not appear purely as a malady (pathos) but is
accompanied by an exertion (ponos) by the body itself to restore the
disturbed equilibrium of its functions. This inherent healing power
is known as the Vis Medicatrix Naturae. What we have here is
a first statement of this new form of energy, previously
unrecognized by modern science. It is an inertia of a pattern. The
harmonious pattern of behavior assures it's own continuance.
Experimentation to collect measurable are at present impossible. The
problem is that this new force apparently does not use the language
of the material sense but rather, relates to metaphysical concepts
used before the emergence of the Scientific Method. We at present do
not have any models, of wide belief, which unite the mind with the
Rather, most all current beliefs are
oriented around the concept that the human body is nothing more than
a machine. We see this in terms of chemical therapy to the
interaction of electromagnetic fields on biological/cellular
processes. Everything going on in the body is explained from a
strictly physical plane point-of-view.
A fundamental tenet of true medicine regards all disease as
resulting from detanglements of this vital energy, which in turn
produces the clinical symptoms recognized by the ordinary senses.
Medicine then seeks to cure these physical aberrations by restoring
the vital harmony. The healer is projecting a harmonious pattern to
re balance the energy system of the patient. Unfortunately, in the
present material age, this concept is regarded as an abstract idea.
There is, however, nothing abstract about the healers. They do heal,
manipulating "energies" not of a physical character: as we yet
understand, but somehow intuitively correct from Plato's point of
Alternative systems or models are not being explored and discussed
in the paraphysical literature in an attempt to explain these now
repeatable phenomena. One model not being considered is that of
Northrup and Burr, (5) Yale 1935, titled the Electrodynamic
Theories of Life where they postulate the interaction
electromagnetic fields with biological processes. A good review of
that material in reference to today can be found in The
Holographic Concept of Reality. (6) The DNA are considered
grains of holographic projections of three-dimensional energy fields
which direct the flow of materials and direct the structuring of the
creature. I do not believe my model is this "new force" described in
this paper, although the full implications are just now being
Jack Sarfatti suggests that the nature of random events, the
random behavior of particles in sub-quantum Brownian motion, is the
sum of the observer-participators. The need for a physical model
tying consciousness to the laws of Physics are never-ending.
Sarfatti has suggested the possibility of some form of
bio-gravitational field which is somehow connected with organic
room-temperature super-conductors that may be found in biological
Charles Muses postulates that enzymes can selectively filter
biological noise into discrete harmonics which facilitate particular
chemical transactions. His work, as well as Sarfatti's, is very
interesting and excites my intellect but I am wondering whether the
whole concept of the Scientific Method is the correct approach.
Lawrence LeShan, in his classic book The Medium, the
Mystic, and the Physicist, (8), formulated four ways in which
"reality" is perceived in a clairvoyant state which differs from
The unity of things, rather
than their individual aspects.
Time is experienced as if
past, present and future were one rather than a duration
Value judgments as to the
goodness or evil of any event are not considered.
Information is gained not by
seeing but by knowing one's unity with all things.
He maintains that whether one travels
without or journeys within, whether one goes as a Physicist or
mystic, the same unitive experience is seen. Throughout history this
single pattern persists within all occult teaching: There is
something beyond, Space, Time and Good/Evil "realities."
In a recent field trip to the Pacific coast in the state of
Washington, I encountered several "Red Feather" shamans. These are
individuals who can walk on fire. How they do this is up for grabs.
I am reasonably sure that if I were to wire temperature measuring
instrumentation to their bodies, I would find some point(s) on their
body radiating heat at enormous rates. My model would be something
like electrophoresis, superconductivity mechanisms within the cell.
I would probably also find that these radiation points probably
would correlate to Chakra points or some other metaphysical concept
which is still around.
The point is that the Indian shaman who is walking on fire never
heard of electrophoresis, or probably Physics, for that matter. He
does it by altering his perception of "reality" through techniques
of song and dance: a trance. In this state, time has no meaning (as LeShan indicates) so he really is not on the coals, and his feet are
not burned. A shaman may be described as a psychically unstable
person who has received a call to the religious life. As a result of
this call, the man usually goes through a period of solitude or
"retreat" where he then emerges with the power, real or assumed, of
passing at will into a state of mental dissociation.
In that condition he is not thought, like the Pythia or the
modern medium, to be possessed by an alien spirit; but his own soul
is thought to leave the body and travel to distant parts, most often
to the "Spirit world." He has, in essence, the capability of
bilocation. From these experiences, he derives the skill in
divination, religious poetry and magical medicine. He becomes the
repository of supernatural wisdom.
He is, in fact, in control of this "new
force" in nature.
This leads to what
Don Juan calls the
sorcerers' explanation. "The nagual is the unspeakable." (9) In my
own words, reality is that which cannot be known. From studies by
Ornstein to the latest theories in Physics, it is apparent that our
physical senses are not receptors of information. They are, at best,
only filters which have been genetically and socially programmed
from birth. What we see and think is the real world is, in fact, a
mass hallucination. Consensus opinion generally establish our
As that consensus changes, so do the
laws of Physics. This process occurs about every 40 years now.
Paradigms are super-laws tied to consensus. They are the basic
assumptions made in which all other observations and "laws" are
based. One paradigm is our concept of Time. In fact, time is nothing
more than a duration of consciousness. Everything you are reading
right now is going to affect what you do and think tomorrow. From an
information theory point of view, tomorrow is occurring right now
and you are not yet consciously aware of it. But the shaman is, as
he does not relate to the space-time co-ordinates. He can "see" into
both the past and future as if it were "now," whatever that means.
Once you set up a give set of co-ordinates for viewing reality, you
automatically set up it limitations. Any model, whether it be
physical or metaphysical will ultimately yield a distortion of
information. The science used by the Western world today has many
limitations because of our choice or paradigms. Among them would be
Plato's emphasis on reason to the near exclusion of feeling,
Aristotle's division of philosophy into science and metaphysics, and
St. Augustine's separation of the "body" from the "mind."
These divisions run counter to the reports of this "new force" which
has existed throughout history. If we are to truly understand how to
apply this new force into our everyday lives, it will be necessary
for us to choose new models for the way we approach reality. Another
major roadblock in our choices or paradigms will be that this new
model, if it can be developed, will be required to take everything
that we presently know and understand and make it a special case of
something more fundamental.
This again is different than Plato's
Since most all of our present scientific theories and "laws" are
based on force and energy concepts, a more fundamental co-ordinate
system for viewing reality would be Information Theory. It is
information which directs energy. If one wished to blow up a
mountain, one would do it by pushing a button which was in some way informationally linked to detonate a nuclear bomb. The energy
released was an act of information, so directed as to control when,
where and how the bomb went off. Therefore, the act of pushing the
button is somehow linked with the nuclear energy on an information
I an now going to try and explain chaos.
Entropy is a term
used in Physics to describe the usability of energy. If we are in a
room where no heat can enter or escape, we say that the energy in
the room is constant. If all the heat is over at the heater, we can
do work with that energy such as boil water. We
say that the entropy in that room is low. As time increases, that
energy at the heater will tend to spread itself out more uniformly
in the room.
Since we are now less able to do work
with that constant energy, like boil water, we say that the entropy
of the room has increased. Entropy, then is a measure of disorder or
chaos. Entropy can also be thought of as a measure or grouping of
information representing energies.
We say that the entropy of the Universe is increasing. Originally, a
system of stars are highly ordered in that all their energy was
located at discrete points in space. As time went on, these points
of energy radiated their energy into space to make space more
homogeneous in energy. Thus, the usability of that energy decreases
and the Universe increases in entropy or disorder.
Man can be thought of as a "negative universe." Consider this point.
Everything you eat, everything you think or see becomes you. You
take a wide disordered array of foods and they get organized into a
complex or enzymes and proteins. In like manner, your thoughts also
become organized. As the Universe becomes more disordered, man
becomes more ordered. Therefore, if you wished to view reality from
an ego type "I" point of view, where your physical body was where
you stopped and the Universe began, then the main purpose for
existence is for the assimilation of information. This, of course,
is only one co-ordinate system for viewing reality.
Today we know that the individual does not stop at the physical
body's surface. Electromagnetic influences and Lunar movement do
alter behavior patterns to such a degree that we now do agree, in
part, that man is somehow integrated with the rest of the Universe.
In fact, one could even say that man is not becoming more ordered
any more than the Universe is becoming disordered. They are simply
one way of relating to reality.
We now come to what I shall call the Omega Principle: There
is no such thing as absolute order. Order is found in the
connectivity of two events. The structural similarities are
expressed in our present culture as energy. A signal of information
is sent across the space/time co-ordinate system for a re patterning
of a zone. An observer sees this re patterning as a manifestation of
Space is connected topologically. It is mapped in such a way that
every point in space is directly connected with every other point.
Social energy develops what I will call consensus reality. All
geometry, whether it be a group of people or objects or events,
contains information topologically. The manipulation of forms and
geometry affect space and time. The concept of the Omega
Principle is this, the whole trip of what "reality" is at this
point is totally random, up for grabs by the largest and loudest
group of people.
As Merlin put it to Arthur in a book by T.H. White:
"Anything not specifically forbidden
Once you set up a specific way of
looking at reality, then there are only certain information paths
connecting energy to space and time. It is therefore impossible to
give a satisfactory definition of this "new force" in nature because
the concept is diffuse to our present sciences. However, the
Polynesians used the mana to describe something which was
perfectly understandable to them and that they could use. It did not
need any exacting scientific definition from their point of view,
its existence was an undisputed fact and its manipulation an
A major theorem in Information Theory sums it up by stating:
have enough information to ask a coherent question, then you have
enough information to answer it.
With this in mind, it has occurred
to me that science today is probably just another religion. One
which is particularly effective in manipulating physical reality. Magic is the manipulation of organic realities as science
manipulates physical realities. The ultimate goal for this
generation then will probably be the blending of magic with science.
The Omega Principle then is that there exists a Life energy
which manifest itself as a pattern.
I therefore offer the following
postulates for this "new force" in nature:
There is an all-pervasive
ocean or medium of potential. Everything is simply
There are randomly-acting
infinitesimals. These randomly acting infinitesimals are
seen by consensus as patterns.
There are patterns which
exist and continue.
There is the possibility of
interaction of any two points.
There is a possibility of
interaction between patterns.
This "new force" then is the energy
which patterns randomness. Magic can be thought of as the science of
Aleister Crowley states it in
his classic text
Magick in Theory and Practice:
"Do what thou wilt shall be the
whole of the Law." (11)
This is the embodiment of fundamental
truth. Our next journey, then will be to understand the "energy" of
(1) Horton, Gerald, Introduction
to Concepts and Theories in Physical Sciences.
Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Cambridge, MA, c1953.
(2) Podmore, Frank, From Mesmer to Christian Science. New
Hyde Park, NY, c1963.
(3) Reich, Wilhelm, Selected Writings. Farrar, Straus and
Giroux, NY, c1970.
(4) Roberts, Oral, If You Need Healing Do These Things.
Tulsa, OK, c1952.
(5) Burr, H.S., and Northrup, F.S.C., "The Electrodynamic
Theory of Life," Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol.10, c1935.
(6) Miller, R.A., Dickson, D. and Webb, B., "The Holographic
Concept of Reality," Paper presented in Prague, Cz, 1973.
To be published in Psychoenergetic Systems, Vol.II, S.
Krippner, ed., Gordon and Breach, London, England, c1975.
(7) Sarfatti, J., "Implications of MetaPhysics for
Psychoenergetic Systems," Psychoenergetic Systems, Vol.I, S.
Krippner, ed., Gordon and Breach, London, England, c1974.
(8) LeShan, L., The Medium, the Mystic, and the Physicist.
Ballantine, NY, c1974.
(9) Castaneda, C.,
Tales of Power. Simon and Schuster, NY,
(10) White, T.H., The Once and Future King. Berkeley
Medallion, NY, c1958.
(11) Crowley, A., Magick, Weiser, NY, c1973.
Medicatrix Naturae (Healing Force of Nature)
(Odyllic) Force (Universal Energy)
Orenda (Spirit Force)