By Stefan Stenudd
Stefan Stenudd
About me
I'm a Swedish writer and aikido instructor. In addition to fiction, I've written several books about lifeforce concepts and East Asian traditions. I'm also a historian of ideas, researching 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.

Life Energy Fundamentals


Life Energy Beliefs A - Z


Inspiration


Life Energy Encyclopedia


Contact




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 W

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.

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z



W

Waka see huaca.

Wakan is a word among the North American Dakota Indians for things spiritual, sacred, and mystical. That can be objects in nature, in particular certain big rocks. Spirits therein were called Taku skan skan, Inyan and Tunkan. The rocks were painted in significant colors. Taku skan skan was the spirit of all movement, connected to heaven and the blue color. Wakan is sometimes mentioned as a synonym to life energy such as qi, which is doubtful. Among neighboring tribes (Omaha and Sioux) there are similar concepts, such as wakonda and wakanda. See also manitou.


Medicine Bear, Mato Wakan, Dakota indian medicine man. Photo by Alexander Gardner, 1872.
Medicine Bear, Mato Wakan, Dakota indian medicine man. Photo by Alexander Gardner, 1872.


Wakanda see wakan.

Wakonda see wakan.

Jan Baptista van Helmont

Wild spirit (in Latin spiritus silvestris), also called forest spirit, is an expression introduced by the Flemish chemist Jan Baptista van Helmont (1577-1644), for the gas that appears at both combustion and fermentation – actually carbon dioxide. Helmont was the one to invent the term gas (see this word). He studied gases, especially carbon dioxide, substantially. Helmont was also interested in the principles of alchemy. For his ideas about a life force, see magnale magnum.

Wind is a natural phenomenon that has inspired many ancient ideas about invisible forces beyond comprehension. In several traditions it is very closely linked to breath as well as to ideas about spirit (see these words) and a life force.

Wodan (also Odin or Oden) is the supreme deity in Norse mythology, in German spelling. The word is sometimes mentioned as a synonym to life energy such as qi, which is misleading. For Norse life force beliefs, see megin and hugr.

Wong is a word for the life force, among the Gold Coast (Ghana) people, according to C. G. Jung: On the nature of the Psyche.

World brain see psi plasma.

World of Forms see World of Ideas.

Plato

World of Ideas (also called World of Forms, in Latin mundus imaginalis) is Plato’s (427-347 BC) cosmological theory about a perfect higher reality, to which the soul longs while we live in this limited world of the senses. The Arabian commentator of Greek philosophy, Avicenna (Ibn Seena, 980-1037), translated it to alam al-mithal, a term also used by al-Suhravardi (1154-91), founder of the illuminatory philosophy in Islam, to describe a borderline between sense and thought in the being. It is sometimes mentioned as a synonym to life energy such as qi, which is misleading.

World soul (in Latin anima mundi) is an idea of Plato’s (427-347 BC) in his book Timaeus. Here, the whole world is seen as a living organism, given a soul by the Demiurge, the creator of the world. Plato’s idea has been adopted by many later thinkers.

Wouivre/vouivre/wivere/wyvern (from the Latin vipera, snake) is the name of a dragon or serpent, also for life force or spirit, in ancient French and English traditions. In some French depictions of the dragon, it was half woman, half winged serpent, also called Melusine. The life force was believed to flow in slithering paths underground, fertilizing the soil from below. Where it did not reach the surface, the soil got barren. Wouivre also flowed through the air, and where this flow met that of the earth, dragons were born. See also nwyvre. Compare kundalini.


Melusine. Painting by Guillebert de Mets, c.1410.
Melusine. Painting by Guillebert de Mets, c.1410.



A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

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