By Stefan Stenudd
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
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:
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.
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.
The ancient Chinese life energy qi (chi) explained and how to exercise it. Click the image to visit.
Taoism, the old Chinese philosophy of life, based on Tao, the Way. Click the image to visit.
Creation stories from around the world, and the ancient cosmology they reveal. Click the image to visit.
Life Energy Beliefs F
Life Force Ideas Around the World
Faculty X is an expression for the psychic power behind paranormal ability, introduced by the English writer Colin Wilson (1931-) in his book The Occult from 1971. He argued for one and the same power of some sort behind any kind of paranormal activity.
Fifth force is an imagined fifth force, in addition to the four of physics: gravity, electromagnetism, weak and strong nuclear force. Its existence is doubted by most experts, who instead try to find one uniting force that all the four known ones consist of.
Fire has always had a central place in human thought, both for its importance in everyday life and for the mystery of it. Fire is one of the four elements in Greek philosophy (fire, earth, water, air), and one of the five elements in Chinese tradition (metal, wood, water, fire, earth). It has rarely in the past been linked to ideas of life energy. That would be more in line with our modern views on heat, combustion, and energy. Still , there have been ideas about a fire from within, such as the Chinese symbol for dantian, the power center of humans, which combines the color red with a rice field, implying a glowing vital energy. Also, there are modern myths about spontaneous self-combustion, hinting beliefs in an inner fire. To ancient humans, though, the light of fire was probably of greater importance than the heat of it. See also phlogiston, heat, and light.
Illustration to Inferno of Dante's Divine Comedy, by Gustave Doré, 1857. The domains of Hell are usually imagined to be fiery - partly because of the infernal pain of being burnt, but also with the idea of purification through fire, as expressed by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) in his book, which he spent the last 13 years of his life to write.
Flogiston see phlogiston.
Flow is a term for creativity or inspiration, introduced by the American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1935-) in the book Flow, the Psychology of Optimal Experience, 1990. Flow is a pleasant state of mind, during which innovation and other creative activity comes very easily. See also inspiration.
Fluoroplasmic energy is a concept used by Barry Hilton for energy coming from the fluoroplasmic ether, which has been compared to Greek and other theories about a life-giving ether. The theory is connected to that of orgone (see this word). Since the 1990's, Hilton has written books about applying orgone as a free energy (see this expression), by the transformation of water – a technique called Joe Cell, after its anonymous inventor Joe X. The word fluoroplasmic connects to fluorescent light, which also Wilhelm Reich experimented with in his studies on orgone. See also quintessence.
Joe Cell generator
Force, the is a term used in the George Lucas Star Wars-films for a universal energy accessible to the initiated. It seems to be a loan from qi and similar concepts. Lucas used the ideas of Jungian mythologist Joseph Campbell (1904-1987), who was quite learned on all kinds of mythological ingredients.
The character Yoda, senior of the Jedi warriors, from the movie series Star Wars by George Lucas. The mythology of the Jedi, as well as the idea of the Force by which they accomplished their feats, owe a lot to principles of the Japanese and Chinese martial arts.
Formative force is an expression within 20th century research into unknown energy sources, for a primordial basic force, which is the prerequisite for, and source to, all forms of energy. There are several far-reaching theories about how formative this force is for energy, as well as matter and living creatures. In the 1910's the Austrian biologist Paul P. R. Kammerer (1880-1926) introduced the theory that important learning and experience made by animals are transmitted biologically to their offspring. He called it the Lamarckian inheritance, after Jean Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829), who had comparable ideas. The similarity to qi is almost non-existent. See also implosion energy.
Free energy is a modern expression for energy in unlimited supply in nature, such as solar energy and wind power. To this category belongs also theories about replacing gasoline with water, running engines with a constant magnetic field, and so on. An old expression for this strife is perpetuum mobile, perpetual motion, which has haunted inventors since the Middle Ages. There are many suggestions for such machines, and for limitless energy sources, more or less fantastic. The principles of natural science dictate that truly free energy cannot be affected by entropy, the deterioration of energy into decreasingly usable form. Life energy such as qican be seen as a free energy of sorts, since it is supposed to be everlasting, but it can hardly be used to run machines. See also negative entropy.
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BooksI 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: