The Energy Body and Life Force

Part of magical training is sensing and harnessing the vital force or life force

The mysterious force that animates your body and gives being to your consciousness is, according to the sages of old, more than just a chemical or mechanical response to the conditions and stimuli that allow for biological validity, or the emergence of life. Not quite in the realm of Spirit (though references to this life force are often interchanged with words like spirit or soul) the very fine and subtle energy pattern that gives us life exists here on the physical plane. It does not dwell exclusively on the astral, like the Soul, nor is it solely an etheric quality, like the Shadow. and yet it is likely an agent of both of these aspects, a liaison of sorts, or transmitter of information between all three “partitions” of the human being, namely the physical, etheric, and astral bodies.

The jackass who admittedly (and I admit grudgingly) contributed a few gems to our art, Aleister Crowley, wrote extensively about the training and refinement of the Light Body, which he claimed was the agent and actor/executor of magic. In my opinion his articulations were simply aggrandizements of the life force.

Called variously Ki, Chi, Prana, Forsa Beatha, Vrill, Kiai/Aiki, Akash, Spirit, Vital Force, Essence, et al this life force is acknowledged by all animist philosophies the world over. Note of interest (IMO) many of these terms carry with them a connotation of how the life force is focused or what condition it occupies. For instance, while the Chinese Chi refers to an unseen, subtle force that runs through all things, alive in some sense even in a handful of dirt and more so when harnessed by the human biological machine, the Japanese Ki refers more specifically to the life energy of a creature intertwined with the various capacities for focus available to the conscious (typically human) mind.

Just as Crowley reached the necessity of a well-honed Light Body, and alongside the Aikido Sensei who emphasizes a continual awareness of and union with Ki, I hold that awareness of, management of and ability to direct this vital force is key and paramount to one’s greatest potential success in magic (and mysticism, for the record).

Use the Forsa Beatha Luika!

Definitions to Avoid Confusion

As alluded to above, often times the idea of life force is entangled with other energetic or spiritual concepts, making for the perennial sloppiness of conversation one must endure at any metaphysical shop or crystal store. I have no wish to make you suffer dear reader, and so here are my terms of common usage surrounding this subject.

Ether The subtle substance existing on the borders of and within the physical and astral planes. The medium of our will and mechanism of our animation.

Spirit The highest form of subtle energy and being, perhaps short only of God or divinity. The source of our existence and creator of our Soul.

Vital Force or Life Force The current or field of energy specifically concerned with conveying the condition and phenomenon of being alive unto a biological entity. It may well be that we each have our individual life force, and we also all share in the greater “pool” of life force present in Nature.

Personal Energy Matrix The matrix, either lattice-like or perhaps a series of spheroids, of your individual energy consisting of life force, electrical and magnetic energy, heat, metabolic energies, the chakra system, etheric principle, your aura, astral body, maybe the soul, and a few other aspects of energy.

I don’t give a damn if ki or chi or whatever you wanna call it is real or imagined. What I know for sure is that when I extend my ki as I hit you, it’s probably going to break a bone, (whereas) if I do not extend (my) ki I will merely be smashing into your flesh. I’d prefer to break that bone if I have the option.

Natril Dyer, Martial Arts Instructor and hell of a guy 1972-2003 (The parenthesis are my own)

A commitment to a lifetime of practice is needed to properly harness the vital force and maintain said ability. Any and all of the following exercises I definitely recommend to aid in this purpose.

  • mindfulness meditation
  • yoga
  • karate, jujutsu, and etc
  • tai chi
  • reiki
  • crystal and gemstone meditation
  • lesser rituals of the pentagram
  • any magic wand work
  • kabbalistic cross
  • astral travel or projection
  • remote viewing
  • kundalini development
  • any psychic development

I will write on this specific topic from time to time under the tags vital force etc.