The term energy has been widely adopted by writers and practitioners of various forms of spirituality and alternative medicine to refer to a variety of ideas, often (though not always) conceived as "fields" surrounding the earth or any living thing, supposed to be directly perceptible and accessible to the human mind as "auras", "rays", "fields" or "vibrations".

There is no scientific evidence for many such fields, in any sense in which energy is currently defined in science. In many cases "energy" is conceived of as a universal life force: to this extent "spiritual energy" theories resemble vitalism and may even invoke the Luminiferous Ether of Victorian physics. Additionally, or alternatively, such notions are often aligned with or derived from conceptions found in other cultures, such as the Chinese idea of Qi and the Prana of the Upanishads. Many such ideas arise from the primitive idea of life as breath - a relationship implicit also in the word "spirit".

Such a usage is already evident in William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1793);

"Energy is the only life and is from the Body and Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy. Energy is Eternal Delight."

Blake's alignment of energy with affective emotion is noteworthy, for it depicts energy as the psychic continuum that unites body and mind, thus reflecting Plato's celebrated tripartite division of the human psyche into the appetitive, the spirited and the rational.[8] Such an integration of "energy" into systematic esoteric expositions of the universe and/or the human psyche is frequently found combined, as in Kundalini and Theosophy, into an account of a hierarchy of "inner planes" or "subtle bodies".

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Energy Psychology. The Official Guide to Energy Psychology is Dean Allen PhD. Dr. Dean Allen holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Utah State University and began his career doing biofeedback research for his doctoral dissertation on "Autonomic Nervous System Control as a Function of Imagery". He also taught a University course on the Psychology of Consciousness for 3 years at Boise State University. He was later a Wellness Consultant for the Times Publishing Company, and created the Health Enhancement Institute in Florida at Innisbrook resort, where he taught Stress Management and Biofeedback for personal insights to improve clients' relaxation abilities and enhance their personal skills/power.

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