CHAPTER 2: THE NATURE OF ENERGY
In coming to a true understanding of what energy is, one must realize that no single definitive definition suffices. Energy is a universal term intimately related to other cosmic parameters such as vibration, force, mass, uncertainty, irreversibility and dimension. To arrive at a meaningful personal understanding of energy requires careful consideration of the meanings of several closely related words and concepts and how they have personally interfaced in your life experiences to date.
The word energy derives from the Greek word, energeia, which means activity. How one defines energy is dependent upon the context of use, for example, energy can be defined: as the force or vigor of expression, the capacity to act, power forcefully exerted or the capacity or ability to do work. Of the various definitions, the one most pertinent from both a mystical and scientific viewpoint is the last one: energy is the capacity to do work, the capacity to accomplish some observable change in status of an existing physical, mental, emotional or spiritual endeavor by applying suitable effort. By capacity we mean the ability to hold, receive, store, accumulate or accommodate something (figure 1).
This last definition for the word energy must have been in the mind of the English physicist and early student of the Rosetta Stone, Thomas Young (1773 – 1830), when he coined this word in 1807. His derivation arises from the Greek roots, en + ergon + y, denoting a noun meaning “inside work”.
Figure 1: Word definition of Energy
Energy is the capacity to do work, the capacity to accomplish some observable change in status of an existing physical, mental or spiritual endeavor by applying suitable effort. By capacity we mean the ability to hold, receive, store, accumulate or accommodate something.
In its most simplistic and general terms, energy can be defined as the power to do visible work, e.g.,
Energy = Work = force x distance (1)
where force is defined as the intensity of an agent or influence that produces or tends to produce a change in the motion of a moving body, or produces motion or stress in a stationary body.
While the above formulation refers specifically only to mechanical work, this concept can be applied to many other situations. In a sense work can be defined as the term representing the application of any active power or force onto a definable body over any dimension of existence: be it space, time, eternity or hyparxis (see Chapter 8). For example, we all realize that certain energies are consumed whenever we actively involve ourselves mentally or emotionally in an exacting project. We know this because of the fatigue or elation which often follows such intense efforts. In this case, our mental force is applied over the dimensions of time, eternity or hyparxis which results in a change of our state, direction or intentionality.