AbstractToday such notions as chi, “subtle energy,” or “life force energy” are typically ridiculed by conventional scientists, who might argue that our modern understanding of matter and energy leaves no room for what they might call New Age versions of vitalism. Yet such notions persist in in the yoga studio, the acupuncture clinic, the tai chi class, and other venues. What can we make of this? Such notions also are the focus of two recent books that explore them in very different ways. One book is The Mind’s Intervention with the Laws of Physics and Cosmology by Jeffrey Keen, which provides a dowser’s deep exploration into the various kinds of subtle energy in the world all around us. The other book is Johanna Blomqvist’s From Quantum Physics to Energy Healing, which is a much more personal journey into energy healing. As it happens, both books look for links between so-called subtle energy and quantum mechanics. While some might scoff, I submit that there may be dividends here, given the persistent mystery of quantum mechanics. In any case, I will discuss these two books as well as consider how what they present as subtle energy might fit with quantum mechanics.
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