Energy is easier to describe than it is to define, and it is a lot easier to use than it is to explain the mechanisms by which we use it. That being said, I’ll give it my best shot.
Subtle energy is best defined by its attributes. Its most useful attribute to us is that it responds to thought. Any thought, no matter how idle, can and will have an effect, albeit a minor one. This is why psionic and magic training often starts with exercises to discipline the practitioner’s mind. The clearer the thought, the better the result. If you can manipulate this stuff while sitting in front of the television, you can manipulate it far more effectively with a clear mind and sharp focus. It’s a case of garbage in, garbage out; weak efforts will produce weak results. The type of directed thought used to manipulate energy is generally called “intent”.
The second most useful attribute of subtle energy is that it is abundant. While this is not something that defines subtle energy as such, it is a good thing to know. The stuff is everywhere, quite literally. It composes our subtle bodies (more on this later) and emanates from us. It also emanates from all other forms of life, including plants. Physical objects have energetic “bodies” as well, though of a far less active nature. It collects in ley lines and emanates from the Earth itself. Stars exude a massive amount of energy. Energy is present, in some form, virtually everywhere. It is theorised by some that subtle energy forms the “framework” upon which everything physical is composed.
The third attribute of use to us here is that energy can be programmed. It has already been established that energy is mentally manipulable. As long as you maintain your focus on the energy, it will do as directed. Once you stop focusing upon the energy, your control ends and it will naturally return to its natural state, which is to say it will disperse, as it is not in the nature of energy to simply hold a shape by itself. Patterns can and will maintain existence in the energy, but not with any degree of permanence. If you direct the energy to continue doing what you want it to, however – to maintain a cohesive mass in a specific shape, for instance – after you have stopped focusing upon it, you are programming it. You are imposing your intent upon it in a lasting way. It is programming that turns a blob of energy into a construct and maintains its existence. It also gives the construct the ability to carry out its tasks, if any, and to possess whatever attributes you desire.
There are two popular opinions on just how this happens. The most popular idea is that the practitioner’s intent becomes imprinted upon the energy, and this is why the programming continues to work after you have stopped focusing on it. The fact that programming can be independently viewed and even deciphered by another practitioner seems to support this. The programming can even be disrupted or destroyed by another, as I described in an old article, entitled Beneath the Construct.
The other opinion, which I personally embrace, is that the practitioner maintains a subconscious connection with the construct and that, because the practitioner is still focusing upon it, albeit subconsciously, the programming continues to function with seeming independence. There is a lot to recommend this notion, however unlikely it may appear at first glance. Firstly, the connection between practitioner and construct is an observable phenomenon. If that connection is disrupted, the programming ceases to exist and the energy which makes up the construct will dissipate. I’ve had some fun illustrating this fact without always telling the other person what it was that I was doing.
“Hey, Les, wanna’ test out my new shield?”
Secondly, there is anecdotal evidence in the form of accounts of practitioners creating more and more constructs until they have hit their limit and can create and maintain no more. This suggests that the mind of the practitioner is so busy focusing on maintaining so many constructs that it simply cannot focus on any more without releasing a few of the existing ones. I have not tested this theory myself, for the obvious reason that it requires the creation of many, many constructs, and I’m strapped for time at the best of times.
I suspect that the truth may be a mix of the two, with programming existing within the energy, maintained by the practitioner’s subconscious mind. Really, it doesn’t matter which standpoint you take, or whether you believe something else entirely. Either way, you will be able to create constructs. I invite you to seek your own answer once you’ve learned the basics.
All of this is well and good, but it doesn’t cover what energy actually is. The honest answer is that I’m not too sure. Every once in awhile somebody will come up with their grand unified theory of energetics which covers absolutely everything, but until I see some conclusive proof I’ll stick with my own flawed ideas. The simple fact is that it works for me, and that is all that matters at this point in my life.
My functional theory is this: Energy is. It’s useful, it’s plentiful, and if you follow a few basic concepts you’ll be just fine. It is mentally manipulable, exists virtually everywhere and can be programmed. There are a variety of different “types” of energy, but they are all manipulated by the same basic methods. I’ll cover a few different energy types later.