Believers in non-traditional techniques talk a lot about "energy" - this thing that is out there in the universe, or in your own body, which can supposedly work wonders. "Energy" is also a scientific term. So is the energy that the physicists talk of the same as the energy that the new age people talk about?
Energy in physics is a physical quantity. It is not a "thing" that we can see, but it can be quantified. It is measured in Joules or calories. It is tangible - a fire cracker releases less energy than an atom bomb. There are two very important features of physical energy:-
As an example, the local china shop would be ruined if we let a waterfall or river in, but we can instead build a hydroelectric power plant, convert the waterfall's energy to electricity, make a safe power transmission system, and then the china shop owners will be happy to use the electricity. Another example: mere sunlight is a total waste of energy. But plants have an amazingly complex and efficient mechanism (called photosynthesis) to channelize solar energy and use it to make food for themselves and other living things.
Two more things to note about physical energy:-
But the energy that the new religions talk about can supposedly be channelized by having good or bad intentions, closing one's eyes, drawing symbols, chanting things, and so on.
Conclusion: The "energy" of the new agers and others is not the energy of physics, and their use of the term does not make their techniques "scientific".
The genuine ability to heal people, make people feel good, repair machines, and affect events can have three possible sources:-
Technology is based on science, which is governed by comparatively few, well known laws. These laws can be verified by anyone who can do experiments. For instance, every physicist knows the laws governing charges, and these very laws are being obeyed in all electronic devices, no matter how amazing these devices seem to be.
On the other hand, practitioners of non-traditional beliefs are able to do things for which there is no clear mechanism. When my friend who was a reiki master did reiki "over the phone" and healed a patient a thousand miles away, the mechanism could not be broken down into simple steps governed by the laws of physics or chemistry. Why should the position of the kitchen platform in my house affect my business prospects? Why should wearing a particular stone improve my academic performance? Why should a frail teenager suddenly develop the strength to lift a set of weightlifter's weights like a cricket bat? The answers have nothing to do with science, which deals with molecules and energy (the concrete kind, which is measured in calories). Paul Huson (an authority on Wicca) says that magic needs a "burning intensity of will and imagination". But how or why should the micro-organisms in a patient respond to my intense will (which probably generates a lot of electric signals in my brain)? Huson cannot provide any answers from the laws of chemistry or physics. Stars are spheres of hydrogen radiating energy. In the absence of any engineering activity, there is no way that energy can determine what can happen in my life. Nor does the radiation coming out from the "Scorpio" stars have any property to make a person more reserved than a person on which light from the "Virgo" stars shined on when he was born!
Will future scientific discoveries unravel the mystery behind psychic powers? No, because these belief systems have an ethical element. They ask us to be good. Good (or bad) intentions are not the properties of molecules, and thus cannot form the content of any scientific mechanisms. The wonderful "energy" of the psychics is not the same as physical energy, nor is there any other physical quantity in science that has the properties of psychic "energy".
Conclusion: The power of new religions does not come from technology.
This leaves us with two more sources: God and angels. To distinguish between these sources, let's consider some aspects of the miracles of non-traditional religions.
The Scale of miracles: The miracles performed by the adherents of non-traditional techniques include healing people from sickness, changing one thing to another, changing a person's business fortunes, levitating oneself, etc. In contrast, the Lord Jesus raised people from the dead, calmed a storm, healed handicapped people, and rose from the dead. He even predicted the future. The God of the Bible declares that He will reveal Himself to the world through Israel. This has been fulfilled, as we can see when we match Biblical teaching about Israel with her incredible history. The history of the Jewish people is a miracle spanning thousands of years, stretching over five continents - far greater than any miracle that non-traditional religious techniques can boast of. It is worth reading Exodus 8:16-19 to compare God's power with that of others.
The Reason for miracles: Non-conventional religious techniques boast the capability to perform miracles. But why are these miracles granted? Presumably because people want them. Non-traditional techniques specialize in giving people what they want. On the other hand, the God of the Bible makes it clear that His power is not available to human whim and fancy - it will be used only for carrying out His purposes - these purposes are for our ultimate good, but they will conflict with our current desires, for the simple reason that His purposes are the product of infinite goodness and wisdom, while ours aren't!
The outcome of miracles: The witches, the yogis and the reiki masters are unable to stop the pain and misery in the world. Even those who are healed and benefited by reiki ultimately die. Thus, their power ultimately fails to carry out its supposed purpose. This proves that there are severe constraints to the power available in these techniques. On the other hand, the God of the Bible has told us why He has allowed pain, misery, and death in the world, why things often seem unfair, His plans to make a new universe without pain, how that universe cannot be ruined, and how His power can get us there if we cooperate with Him. Moreover, the God of the Bible adopts those who submit to Him as His children, and He cares for them, taking care of all their emotional, physical and spiritual needs.
This analysis shows that non-traditional techniques do not derive their power from the Creator of the universe. They derive it from sinister angels who are out to play games with men.