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 G
Life Force Ideas Around the World
G-field is an expression connected to the English physicist Oliver Joseph Lodge (1851-1940), used on his theory from the early 20th century about a life force permeating the universe. He regarded matter as the concentrated form of this force. G stands for gravity. It seems, though, that Lodge preferred to use the word ether. See quintessence.
Gaia is the Earth mother of Greek mythology, a goddess who is the same as the planet. The word is used in theories about Earth as a unity, a kind of body, where all things happening on it are like processes within a living body. It can be interpreted symbolically, as in parts of the environmentalist movement, or concretely. One such theory, the Gaia-hypothesis, was presented in the 1970's by the English biologist James E. Lovelock (1919-). He claimed to have multiple evidence for regarding the Earth as a biologically self-regulating mechanism.
Gaia. Greek relief.
Gas (from the Greek khaos, chaos) is a term introduced by the Flemish chemist Jan Baptista van Helmont (1577-1644), who mainly studied what we today call carbon dioxide. Van Helmont regarded gas as a physical principle present in all bodies of mass. Before gas was scientifically understood, it caused a lot of confusion and speculation about the nature of the world and its substances. Some of them have had similarities with life energy concepts like qi. See also magnale magnum and wild spirit.
Gestaltung (German for ‘gestalt’) is an expression for the life force used in the year 1800 by the German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), according to Arthur Koestler: The Heel of Achilles.
Ghost see spirit.
Gloria see halo.
Tiamat and Marduk, Babylonian deities, on an ancient relief.
Gods are superhuman creatures in myths and religions around the world. The term god is questionable, especially when it implies the relevance of comparing with the Biblical god, which has often in the past been the case in anthropology and the history of religion – but to much less an extent in the present. In most mythologies, the gods are quite anthropomorphic, with distinctly human traits and behavior, but still separate from the humans – both in abilities and in their whereabouts. Common traits in gods through all myths in the world are indeed hard to find, but some characteristics come close to being universal. Firstly, their plural: most mythologies and religions recognize a number of gods, with differing roles and properties. A firm monotheism is hard to find outside of the Biblically based religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In most cases, the gods do not suffer the death of old age, nor do they age at all (see also life). This could be explained by the theory that the belief in gods stems from the belief that the spirits of ancestors live on, invisibly – like the invisible last breath of humans (see also breath). The fact that gods are always regarded as predating mankind is also an argument for the belief originating in some kind of ancestral worship. Also, most gods have powers that can affect humans, whereas humans have no power over the gods – again implying an ancestral origin to the beliefs, since it is evident that the living have no way of influencing those who have passed on (except for the need of the latter to be remembered and revered). In cultures where there are ideas about a life force, the gods are believed to have it in abundance, to the extent that it can often be described as the very reason for their superhuman capacities. Some divine figures are such that they seem almost identical to the life force or another energy they express. These gods can often be described as personifications of the forces they are connected to. In these texts, the word deity is often used instead of god, to avoid implying such gods as in the major world religions, especially the monotheistic ones.
The Greek god Cronus (Roman name Saturn) devours one of his children. Painting by Francisco Goya, 1819.
Gravity field energy is a theory developed from 1953 by the German physician Hans A. Nieper (1928-98) for a certain radiation filling all of the cosmos. It is also called tachyon field or neutrino field, and according to Nieper it can be used to cure some diseases. See also tachyon energy.
Gyroscope is a spinning top that keeps the direction of its axis independently of the surroundings. Its behavior and the complexity of the physical laws that describe it, have made the gyroscope popular in speculative theories about energy. See torsion, chronal field and time energy.
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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: