Life Energy Beliefs

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

Life Force Ideas Around the World

Here are the I 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.


Viktor Schauberger

Implosion energy is a theory from the beginning of the 20th century by the Austrian forester Viktor Schauberger (1885-1958). He studied nature, especially water, and found a constantly returning movement – spiral toward a midpoint. This implosive force, conserving the system's energy, Schauberger's water transforming device.he saw as an expression for an underlying formative force (see this expression), which attracts matter, from the microcosm to whole galaxies. He also claimed to be able to transform water, by spiral movements, into combustion fuel.

Imponderabilia (Latin for 'unweighable') has in the European tradition been used as a term for substances and phenomena that have not been possible to measure in weight or width, such as light, heat, magnetism, and electricity – or more generally, unexplainable natural phenomena.

Inebriation either by drugs or as a temporary state of mind caused in some other way, is well-known in most – if not all – human cultures. Many rituals have it as an important ingredient, sometimes caused by drugs and sometimes by intense physical activity, such as dancing, music, or other strenuous activity, often over a long period of time. Among shamans, it is a way to enter an altered mental state, which opens for visions and other extraordinary sensitivity. It exists in most religions as a way of devotion, and of experiencing the divine. It can often be described as a method of increasing the life force level or flow, bringing about the sense of inebriation, although the aim might be another one. This state of mind is similar, if not identical to ecstacy and euphoria (see these words).

Andrija Puharich

Inergy is a term for intelligent control of energy, introduced by the American neurophysiologist Andrija Puharich (1918-1995), who in the beginning of the 1970's studied the disputed psychokinesis of Uri Geller (1946-). Puharich also introduced the concept psi plasma (see this expression).

Inspiration (from the Latin spirare, breathe) is the term for an experience that comes close to that of the life energy qi. It is an uplifting feeling, almost like inebriation, which is expressed through creativity. The connection to breathing is evident – inhalation in particular. As inhalation relates to inspiration, exhalation does to the creative act. In Western tradition, inspiration is something one is overcome with, or deserted by, out of control by personal will. It is mainly expressed through artistic work and religious experience. It can also be connected to devotion, where the religious as well as the artistic expression is seen as a kind of worship of creation and its eventual maker. See also ecstacy, euphoria, flow, and peak experience.

The inspiration of St. Matthew. Painting by Michelangelo Caravaggio, 1602.
The inspiration of St. Matthew. Painting by Michelangelo Caravaggio, 1602.

Integrative tendency is an expression introduced by the Hungarian author Arthur Koestler (1905-1983) for the driving force in humans that strives toward union with the surroundings into a greater whole – contrasting to the individual sense of being unique and complete in oneself. Koestler compared it to the two sides of the Janus face, which to him represented the extroverted and introspective sides of humans. The sum of the inner and the outer is holon, the whole human. The integrative tendency is sometimes mentioned as a synonym to life energy such as qi, which is not accurate.

Two-faced Janus. Roman coin.
Two-faced Janus. Roman coin. See Integrative tendency.

It, the (in German das Es) is a term introduced in 1923 by the German physician Georg Walther Groddeck (1866-1934) for the unconscious, which he regarded as controlling the human, and being the cause to human diseases. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), who was in frequent contact with Groddeck, made use of the concept, but with the name id (from the Latin idem, meaning approximately 'the same') and a slightly different definition. Groddeck's 'It' is sometimes mentioned as a synonym to life energy such as qi, which is doubtful.

Itz is the word among the Maya Indians for a sacred essence in humans, a floating life force connected to bodily fluids like blood, tears, breast milk, and semen. It also means flower nectar. The word is part of the name Itzamna, the deity who according to legend introduced cacao, and ascertains that the power itz flows from the world of the deities to that of the humans. Itzam means “one who works with itz” and was what the Maya called their shamans. Today itz is used as a word for witch. See also ch'ulel.

The deity Itzamna.

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.