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 O
Life Force Ideas Around the World
Od see odic force.
Odic force is an expression introduced by the German baron Karl Ludwig Friedrich Reichenbach (1788-1869) for an almost magnetic force, od, which radiates from the body – especially from the mouth, hands, and forehead. Reichenbach also imagined a pure life energy, actinic force, emanating from life itself, and by time transforming to odic force. Actinic is from the Greek aktis, which means beam.
Oki is a collective name among the Huron Indians, for the mightiest spiritual powers in the world – such as heaven, the sun, and the moon. These powers are summoned in rituals.
Okra see kra/okra.
Önd is a Norse word for spirit. See hugr.
Orenda is a word among the North American Iroquois Indians, for a fundamental spiritual force. It exists to differing degrees in people, and is possible to increase to the extent that one learns from life. Compare manitou.
Orgone is a term for life energy, introduced in the 1930's by the Swiss psychologist Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957), who was one of Sigmund Freud’s students. To Reich, orgone was a primordial blue cosmic energy, omnipresent, at work in celestial events as well as a driving force for emotions and sexuality. It is unclear how he came up with the name orgone. It may be derived from the word orgasm, since sexuality is a central expression of orgone, or from organism, since orgone is essential for all life. Some sources speculate that the word is formed from org(anism) + one. Reich constructed machines, orgone accumulators, to stimulate this energy. He also claimed that sexual activity had the same effect, which led to frequent persecution of him, also from governing bodies of the USA, where he had moved at the end of the 1930's. He died in prison, sentenced for violating the injunction against selling the accumulator. The orgone concept has many similarities to the life energy qi, which is also pointed out by many defenders and practitioners of it.
ORMEs (Orbitally-Rearranged Monatomic Elements) is a theory from the 1990's by the American agronomist David Radius Hudson, about the change of the properties of precious metal through manipulations of their atoms, in what he calls modern alchemy. Among other things generated, is a white powder supposed to be healing and giving spiritual experiences.
Oxygen (from the Greek oxys, acid, and genes, producer), the life-supporting element in air, was discovered in the 1770's by the English theologian and natural philosopher Joseph Priestley (1733-1804). The Swedish pharmacist Carl Wilhelm Scheele (1742-1786) and the French chemist Antoine- Laurent de Lavoisier (1743-1794) made similar findings at about the same time. Lavoisier named it oxygen in 1777, because he thought it was present in all acids. Before their discoveries of it, oxygen was unknown, but its importance in combustion, breathing, and oxidation, had been observed and the subject of much speculation. Many theories were introduced through the centuries, in order to explain these phenomena, such as the concept phlogiston (see this word). It is also quite possible that many beliefs in a life force have been attempts to explain the necessity for living creatures to breathe – the idea of a vital invisible substance within the air. Qi, with its link and proximity to breathing, is definitely one such concept. So are prana, ruach, spiritus, pneuma (see these words), and many others.
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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: