The changes in lifestyle that came with the modern age were mainly due to the invention of the steam engine and later related inventions.

With the Industrial Revolution, the developed part of the planet became more and more easy to convert the energy of wood and fossil fuels into motion, and was thus less dependent on the energy it drew from food to do its work. More and more work has been done by man with the help of machines and devices.

It is precisely because of these changes in the exploitation of energy that gradual changes have taken place in man’s consciousness regarding the awareness of the importance of his own energy. Before the industrial revolution, the most important thing for survival was to be physically efficient enough and able to do everything necessary with as little effort and as much imagination as possible. If a man used more energy than he gained then he was in big trouble and his survival was threatened.

For proper efficiency and ingenuity it was necessary to observe well, to test, to think, to learn. Using time efficiently was not so important, as opposed to using energy efficiently. A conscientious attitude towards movement and orderliness required more time and attention. The pace of life was much slower, the lightness and thoughtfulness of the movement greater. The unadapted environment, mostly unfriendly, required a lot of attention and adaptation from the man of that time. The transfer of knowledge and skill from generation to generation was very important and most of the teaching was long-term, and never actually ended.

The Industrial Revolution as a turning point

The Industrial Revolution brought a change in balance between efficient energy usage and time to the developed parts of the world. Man had more and more leftover energy because of machines doing all the work. Machines cannot feel tired or fed up. However, they accelerated the work, so time has become an important commodity in human life. The faster work of the machines forced people to speed up their movement and work. With the development of technology, we have been able to circumvent the limitations that the human body has in the long-term conversion of food into movement. The main guideline was still how to get more with less, but the way to accomplish this has changed significantly over the last 300 years. We directed the abilities of our conscious mind into technological developments which made our lives more comfortable. This, in turn, has led to the growing inefficiency of converting energy into movement, as there has been a general lack of time to learn movement. Take the development of the automobile industry: from 1885 to the present day, we can see tremendous progress in changing the conversion of fuel energy into motion. The reason behind it is undoubtedly a lot of attention, imagination, effort and energy put into it. Tidiness, complexity and accuracy have improved greatly which also increased safety, comfort and reliability. At the same time, unfortunately, the level of efficiency of the human movement has been declining in the developed world. Due to the greater availability of food, energy and devices that do the work for us, we have focused our attention, thinking, imagination and effort on making better use of time, which has enabled a lot of energy. Without it, a change couldn’t have happen. We all know that driving faster means a shorter time to reach our destination, but increases the energy used.

The importance of consuming your own energy in the right way

We can do more and also have more, spend more energy, money and time, but not to learn how to better use our own energy. Due to less physical work, the importance of sports and the importance of consuming as much energy as possible (effort, we can) in a short time (because we do not have time) increases, which is in stark contrast to the functioning and evolutionary structure of body, mind and system. Nor is it an insignificant fact that a man with poorer use of his own energy is a much better consumer. Of course, it is also necessary to buy and maintain and upgrade machines that help him “live”. An uneconomical use of energy means increased entropy, which in turn brings illness and injury.

Aleš Ernst, author of the AEQ method and AEQ breathing

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