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.


The Zodiac man.

Agricultural Order

Life Energy Fundamentals



Agriculture introduced complex societies with thousands of inhabitants. It was a tremendous change of human life, bringing new needs as well as a new view of the world. Most of all, the agricultural world needed order.

     Cosmologies were formed to confirm the idea of a universe devoted to organization and strict order. Society was cyclic, as it had been before agriculture, but instead of daily cycles with little meaning reaching from dusk to dawn, elongated periods became the norm. The rhythm of the year became more important than that of the day. Life became the cycle of sow and harvest. Seed led to birth, which led to growth, then to withering. Death was the Reaper (see the image below).



     To a large extent, the pre-agricultural world was one of chaos. Little was known, less was controlled, and not much could be foretold about the very next moment. Agriculture introduced longtime planning, and the conviction that the future could be mastered.

     So, this also had to be true for human life, and the force behind it. Systems of cultivating and influencing the life force emerged, as did very intricate and complex ideas about its nature. The human body was like a field, in as much as it contained a great number of parts that needed to be kept in a certain order, a balance, or it would certainly deteriorate. The life force had to flow about, like irrigation, but with moderation, or it would damage its container.

     Through the era of agriculture, ideas and beliefs about a life force became increasingly complex. The life force became less of a hidden mystery, and more of a circumstance among many others in the world, needing to be considered, cultivated, and mapped. This can be seen very clearly in the many Medieval pictures of Zodiac Man, the human body divided according to the twelve Zodiac signs, like the illustration here. Each body part was governed by a Zodiac sign, deciding its state and fate.

     It is also evident in the Chinese tradition about the life energy qi flowing along a number of meridians (see the next page) in the body. Elaborate systems of stimulating and influencing this flow were developed, such as acupuncture, where needles are used for it.

     Everything in the world, including the life force, was to be controlled and furrowed.


Next

  1. Introduction
  2. Homo rudis
  3. Prime mover
  4. Air
  5. Bodily fluids
  6. Survival
  7. The dead
  8. Spirits
  9. Hell
  10. Change
  11. Agricultural order
  12. A demanding spirit
  13. Magic
  14. The Scientific Revolution
  15. Mechanical man
  16. Subversive spirits
  17. Alien forces
  18. Future speculations



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