Life Energy Beliefs

Life Energy Beliefs. God gives life to Adam, by William Blake.

Life Force Ideas Around the World

Here are the G entries of life energy beliefs around the world and from antiquity to the present. An edited and expanded version of this Life Energy A to Z is published in my book Life Energy Encyclopedia.


Oliver Joseph Lodge

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.
Gaia. Greek relief.

Jan Baptista van Helmont

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.
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.
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.

Life Energy Beliefs from A to Z

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

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Qi Energy Exercises

The ancient Chinese life energy qi (chi) explained and how to exercise it.

Creation Myths

Creation stories from around the world, and the ancient cosmology they reveal.

Cosmos of the Ancients

What the Greek philosophers believed about the cosmos, their religion and their gods.


Taoism, the ancient Chinese philosophy of life explained. Also, the complete Tao Te Ching online.

My Life Energy Books

Life Energy Encyclopedia. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Life Energy Encyclopedia

Qi, prana, spirit, ruach, pneuma, and many other life forces around the world explained and compared. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

QI - increase your life energy. Book 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. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

My Other Books

Cosmos of the Ancients. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Cosmos of the Ancients

The Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, myth, and the gods. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Te Ching

The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. The great Taoist classic, translated and extensively commented chapter by chapter. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Sunday Brunch with the World Maker. Novel by Stefan Stenudd. Sunday Brunch with the World Maker

Fiction. A brunch conversation slips into the mysterious, soon to burst beyond the realm of possibility. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Stefan Stenudd, Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction. Stefan Stenudd

About me

I'm a Swedish author and historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. I've also written books about Taoism, the Tarot, and life force concepts around the world. Click the image to get to my personal website.