By Stefan Stenudd
Stefan Stenudd
About me
I'm a Swedish writer and instructor of the peaceful martial art aikido. I've written several books about qi and other lifeforce concepts. I'm also a historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. My personal website: stenudd.com


Life Energy
The life energy exists in many traditions, such as qi (chi) in China, prana in India, pneuma in Ancient Greece, spiritus in Latin, and vitalism in philosophy. Here they are all explained.



Books by Stefan Stenudd:

Cosmos of the Ancients, by Stefan Stenudd.

The Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, myth, and the gods, by Stefan Stenudd. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained, by Stefan Stenudd.

The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. The great Chinese classic, translated and extensively commented by Stefan Stenudd. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Other Websites:

Qi energy

The ancient Chinese life energy qi (chi) explained and how to exercise it. Click the image to visit.

Taoists

Taoism, the old Chinese philosophy of life, based on Tao, the Way. Click the image to visit.

Creation Myths

Creation stories from around the world, and the ancient cosmology they reveal. Click the image to visit.


Life Energy Beliefs. God gives life to Adam, by William Blake.

Life Energy Beliefs B

Life Force Ideas Around the World


The idea of a life energy, or life spirit, a vital force that flows through all living things, exists all over the world, in many cultures and from the distant past to the present. Here is a small encyclopedia of such beliefs - and of terms mistakenly believed to be such. An edited and expanded version of this is in my book Life Energy Encyclopedia.

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B

Badi is, among the original population Temuan in Malaysia, the evil spirit from dead animals, especially the elephant, rhinoceros, and tapir. It is also called jemoi. Badi is sometimes mistakenly mentioned as a synonym to life energy such as qi. Spirit or ghost is called hantu. The Malaysian and Temuan word for life force is semangat (see this word).

baraka is the word for God’s breath in sufism, a mystical and philosophical movement within Islam. Baraka stands for spiritual strength and can be transmitted between people, who have it to differing degrees. Those who have plenty of baraka are blessed, and able much more than others.

Biefeld-Brown effect see electro-gravitation.

Biocircuit see electro-gravitation.

Biocosmic energy is sometimes mentioned as Oscar Brunler’s term for life force, but he called it mental radiation or brain radiation (see this word). The term biocosmic energy is sometimes used in parapsychological research. See also HEF.

Biocosmology is a term used for cosmic influence on Earth biology. See also heliobiology.

Biodynamic ether see life ether.

Bioenergy is a term that in modern use stands for fuel from natural materials, such as peat. During the 20th century it has also been used as term for all kinds of theories about a life force, within such research.

Alexander Gurwitsch

Biofield is an expression used by, among others, the Russian scientist Yu Tszyan Kanchzhen, who in 1991 patented a BCI, Biomicrowave Communications Installation, which was supposed to transmit information on DNA level. Biofield refers approximately to a radiation that is fundamental and instrumental in living bodies, and that different therapies claim to influence. Compare aura. The thought of a biofield operative on embryonic level was introduced in 1944 by the biophysicist Alexander Gurwitsch (1874-1954), who talked about biophotons. See also mitogenetic radiation.

Bioheliology see heliobiology.

Biological energy see psychotronic energy.

Biomagnetism is a term used for ideas about every living body emanating radiation, expressed by George de la Warr (1904-1969), among others. See for example HEF, aura, radionics and prephysical energy.

Biophotones see mitogenetic radiation and biofield.

Bioplasma is a term for the life force used by Russian and Czech parapsychological researchers in the 20th century. See also HEF. The term may have been introduced in 1944 by the Russian biophysicist V. S. Grishenko, or in 1967 by him and his colleague Viktor M. Inyushin.

Bios see life.

The circulatory system.

Blood has in most cultures been regarded with the same amazement and interest as breathing. It has also often been regarded as the carrier of life force, for example in Paracelsus’ ideas about mumia (see this word). Bloodletting was the dominating treatment against most diseases, up to the 19th century. Before the discovery of the circulatory system in 1628 by the English physician William Harvey (1578-1657), the function of the blood and its way through the body was a mystery, which caused a lot of speculation and theories, but rarely with much likeness to qi or other ideas about a life energy flowing into and out of the body – since blood normally does not. Still, its crucial importance to living creatures, and its circulation in the body, may have influenced such ideas indirectly. See for example ch’ulel.

Blow in the meaning of breathing on someone or something, such as blowing on a wound, is a traditional remedy without great presumptions, but also in many cultures a way of healing, such as among some North American Indians.

Boha/poha/puha is a term among the Shoshon, a North American Indian tribe, for a power that permeates nature, and that people can acquire to different degrees. Compare manitou and orenda.

Biometer

Brain radiation or mental radiation is a theory by the English physicist Oscar Brunler (1902?-1952), who also worked much with light waves and their effects on the human psyche, the latter a theory he published in 1929. He gave light therapy treatments, where the green color was regarded as balancing, because it is in the middle of the spectrum. Modern light therapy is partly based on his work. Brain radiation was a force from the brain that he measured with a biometer, which had been invented by the French scientist Antoine Bovis (1871-1947) to measure the quality in wine without having to open the bottle. The method was refined by Brunler and Bovis in cooperation. Bovis was also the first to experiment with the preservative effect of the pyramid shape, in the 1920's (see shape power). Brunler formed the Biometric Research Foundation in the USA. He saw this raditation from living creatures as a kind of life force with spiritually enhancing capacity, in a development through several incarnations.

Breath is an obvious prerequisite for survival, which has been well known through history, and the reason for the symbolic importance it has been given in every culture. Breath is also used in many cultures as a technique to induce higher levels of consciousness, cure the body, and strengthen one’s sense of vitality. Some ritualized breathing, such as in yoga, makes a distinction between breathing through the left or right nostril, but mainly the difference between inhalation and exhalation is given symbolic meaning – such as the first inhalation of the newborn baby, and the last exhalation of the dying (see also life). For example, there is a Hindu ritual where the two are regarded as complementary assurances of the I as an immortal spirit, somewhat comparable to what is today called affirmation. In a similar Islamic tradition, the exhalation represents “There is no God” and the inhalation carries the necessary completion of the sentence: “but Allah.” Thereby the breathing becomes a continuously repeated confession of faith. Within Buddhism there are methods with extended or halted breathing, for the purpose of halting the confusing flow of impressions and see beyond them. In these kinds of exercises it is not necessary to perceive a life energy flow inside or beyond breathing. The fact that breathing, contrary to heartbeat and many other bodily functions, is easily controlled by one’s will, has made it a central method to conjure up spiritual experiences and contemplate the mystery of existence. Most meditation techniques have instructions on how to regulate breathing. The difference between inhaling and exhaling is both concrete and symbolic – the former is to receive, the latter to give away, both in absolute need of the other. The body’s instinctual priority to inhale is contrasted by many Eastern exercises that instead focus on extended exhaling. In many religious practices, though, inhalation is put first, as a process of receiving divine grace or power. It is evident in the word inspiration, which originally meant inhalation. In Eastern traditions, but rarely in Western ones, exhalation is regarded as an important purification, where inner shortcomings and defects are removed. See also spirit and oxygen.

Brown’s gas see hydroxy.

Bula (‘the word’) is among the Thonga people in southeast Africa a kind of force, independent of the deities, which is used by the initiated to make predictions. It is connected to the ancestors, as utterances of theirs.


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Books

I have written two books on the subject of life energy: Qi: Increase your Life energy and Life Energy Encyclopedia. This website has material from the latter. Here are the two books:

Life Energy Encyclopedia, by Stefan Stenudd.
Life Energy Encyclopedia

Qi, prana, spirit, ruach, pneuma, and many other life forces around the world explained and compared, by Stefan Stenudd. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

QI - increase your life energy, by Stefan Stenudd.
Qi - Increase your life energy

The life energy qi (also chi or ki) explained, with several very easy exercises to awaken, increase, and use it, by Stefan Stenudd. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Stefan Stenudd