Is Energy Non-material?

The most favorite word of the mystics, next to “field,” is “energy.” Both words occur frequently in physics and other sciences, and both are advertised by the mystics to be non-material. I have already shown that fields are as material as atoms, molecules, and billiard balls (see here).

Unlike field, which has every characteristic of a material object, energy is a property of material objects, and is not itself material. It makes as much sense to call energy material or non-material as to call the color or speed of a ball material or non-material. The connection between energy and matter is that only material objects carry energy – and this fact can be verified by having the object interact with another object. In fact, energy is one of the defining characteristics of material objects. That is why a photon, despite being massless, is material because it carries energy (and momentum) like any other material object, and can interact with other material objects.

The favorite equation of modern gurus is E=mc2 because it connects energy – which they advertise as non-material – and mass, which is obviously material. Some gurus, like Gary Zukav, go so far as to turn the equality into identity and say mass is energy. This identity then scientifies the Eastern belief that matter and spirit are the same and any distinction between the two is an illusion!

The equation E=mc2 says that sometimes a certain amount of mass can transform into an equivalent amount of energy carried away by material particles. For example in nuclear fusion, two light nuclei could fuse into a heavy nucleus plus other particles. The sum of the masses of the initial nuclei is more than the sum of the masses of the final nucleus and other particles. The mass difference turns into the kinetic energy of the final nucleus and the particles produced. Even in the matter-antimatter annihilation, it is not just energy that is produced, but two photons which carry the energy equivalent of the masses of the particle and its antiparticle.

Modern gurus’ claim that energy is non-material is as ridiculous as claiming that speed is non-material, or the color of a red ball is non-material. Energy, like speed and color, is a property of material (and only material) objects.

7 thoughts on “Is Energy Non-material?”

  1. I may be getting some contradiction or ambiguity here? I used to think that all energy could be explained in particle terms, for example, electrons could be moving around or lining up? An explosion is the result of molecules spreading out too fast and moving too fast for the container. Can most traditional energy, as opposed to this new non-material energy they came up with, be explained in particle, material, terms? Or, is energy itself non-material? Then we are going to wind up making a distinction. Something can be physical without being material? Did you get my email on Google Circles pertaining to this? I am following you now.

    1. Hi Joseph,
      You are right: energy is ALWAYS explained in particle terms. There is no energy which does not belong to particles, although the mystics want to say otherwise. As I said in the post, energy is a property of particles just as speed or acceleration is. It is stupid to ask whether speed is material or non-material, because speed is a PROPERTY of a particle.
      I hope this helps.

    1. There is no difference. Energy in living material is carried by large molecules (proteins, DNA, RNA, etc). Energy in non-living material is carried by (aggregates) of atoms and small molecules.

  2. Then what makes a living organism “living”….? there is essence of matter (energy) in subatomic level of both living & non-living organism. no aggregates of atoms/molecules (any non lliving matter) are not in movement without external force but DNA, protein etc are also the aggregates of the same molecules. so essence of matter (energy) is same in both case. so obviously there is a difference in the essence of matter that makes a living organism “living”…what will u say?

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