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 O

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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O

Od see odic force.

Karl Ludwig Friedrich Reichenbach

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.

Wilhelm Reich

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 Orgone accumulator.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.

Joseph Priestley

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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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