A Study of Energy When I was about to start my studies in Chinese medicine, fresh out of Western medical school, I asked the dean for some tips. She said, “Forget everything you were taught about Western medicine.” She was asking me to open my mind and begin with a clean slate. She must have come across my type of intellectual arrogance before; those who take pride in the accumulation of learned knowledge.
During my first year, one of my TCM professors was talking about Qi, and said that Qi could best be described as energy taking form. Energy was where the power was; form was not. I raised my hand and argued with her, challenging this obvious mistaken assumption. I knew that mass was mass and energy was energy. We studied behavior characteristics of matter in the form of cells, tissues, organs and organisms. We could say that form had energy, but that was as far as we could go.
She listened to my tirade, and quietly but firmly suggested I look up Einstein’s theory of relativity in the library during the next break. I didn’t need to. She made her point. I had simply forgotten. Blinded by my own intellectual arrogance, I forgot the most basic scientific facts, and had gotten duped into believing that matter, form, and physicality held the ultimate truth. This was the reason I started studying Chinese medicine in the first place; medical science couldn’t rectify what ailed me. Could it be energy?
In the early 1900s, Albert Einstein found that as mass accelerated toward the speed of light, it got heavier. Although mass couldn’t ever move at the speed of light, the closer it approached c2, mass and energy were found to be infinite. This established the theory of relativity, representing the relationship between mass (m) and energy (E). Thus, the conservation of mass and energy proves that mass and energy are interconvertible.
Energy equals mass at the speed of light squared. In other words, Qi could be described as energy taking form. I’ve learned to open my eyes through the years, and not make assumptions. When I think I know something, I am usually in for a good lesson in humility. Life continually shows me that physicality and form are not in charge. That which animates matter makes the difference. When I can show someone ways in which their energetic patterns are causing physical dysfunction, then they have the power to change it. If they believe matter is in charge, they continue to be at the mercy of a medicine that can only manipulate the densest form of energy, matter.