Word definition: “illumination”
Technical description: Iglulik Inuit shamans refer to a mystical experience called qaumaneq (“lightning” or “illumination”) that confers clairvoyance. Indeed, lightning, or dreams about it, typically figures in shamanic initiations or callings; and by the same token the rapidity or suddenness of spiritual “illumination” has been compared to lightning in many of the religions of history.
Phenomenological description: Rasmussen, the Danish ethnologist and arctic explorer did extensive research on the Inuit/Eskimo culture. Mircea Eliade refers to Rasmussen’s research in his book: “Yoga; Immortality and Freedom” , about what the Eskimo call qaumaneq which corresponds to Kundalini: “But the inner light constitutes the decisive experience of Eskimo shamanism. We can even say that obtaining it is equivalent to an initiatory ordeal. For the candidate obtains this “illumination” –qaumaneq- after long hours of meditation and in perfect solitude.
Supporting evidence: Similar independent descriptions from different cultures.
Word definition: Qi, (Chinese: vital energy.
Etymology: Qi, (Chinese: “steam,” “breath,” “vital energy,” “vital force,” “material force,” “matter-energy,” “organic material energy,” or “pneuma”)Wade-Giles romanization ch’i, in Chinese philosophy, medicine, and religion, the psychophysical energies that permeate the universe. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Technical description: In traditional Chinese culture, qi or ch’i ( qì) is believed to be a vital force forming part of any living entity. Qi translates as “air” and figuratively as “material energy”, “life force”, or “energy flow”. Qi is the central underlying principle in Chinese traditional medicine and in Chinese martial arts. The practice of cultivating and balancing qi is called qigong.
Believers of qi describe it as a vital energy whose flow must be balanced for health. (Wikipedia)
Phenomenological description: Vitality.
Cross-cultural comparisons: Vitality. Prâna.
Relevance of the concept: An essential aspect of TCM is an understanding of the body’s qi (life force; literally, “vital breath”), which flows through invisible meridians (channels) of the body. This energy network connects organs, tissues, veins, nerves, cells, atoms, and consciousness itself. Generally speaking, there are 12 major meridians, each of which connects to one of the 12 major organs in TCM theory. Meridians are also related to a variety of phenomena, including circadian rhythms, seasons, and planetary movements, to create additional invisible networks. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
The concept in mythology: Life’s breath.
Supporting evidence: Similar independent descriptions from different cultures.
Word definition: Life Energy Cultivation
Etymology: Traditional Chinese
Technical description: Qigong (/ˈtʃiːˈɡɒŋ/), qi gong, chi kung, or chi gung (simplified Chinese: 气功; traditional Chinese: 氣功; pinyin: qìgōng; Wade–Giles: chi gong; literally: “Life Energy Cultivation”) is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used in the belief that it promotes health, spirituality, and martial arts training. With roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts, qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance qi (chi), translated as “life energy”.
According to Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian philosophy, qigong allows access to higher realms of awareness, awakens one’s “true nature”, and helps develop human potential.
Qigong practice typically involves moving meditation, coordinating slow flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and calm meditative state of mind. Qigong is now practiced throughout China and worldwide for recreation, exercise and relaxation, preventive medicine and self-healing, alternative medicine, meditation and self-cultivation (Wikipedia)
Phenomenological description: vitality energy.
Word definition: subjective or qualitative properties of experiences
Etymology: The term “qualia” (singular: quale and pronounced “kwol-ay”) was introduced into the philosophical literature in its contemporary sense in 1929 by C. I. Lewis in a discussion of sense-data theory. As Lewis used the term, qualia were properties of sense-data themselves. In contemporary usage, the term has been broadened to refer more generally to properties of experience. Paradigm examples of experiences with qualia are perceptual experiences (including nonveridical perceptual experiences like hallucinations) and bodily sensations (such as pain, hunger, and itching). Emotions (like anger, envy, or fear) and moods (like euphoria, ennui, or anxiety) are also usually taken to have qualitative aspects.
Technical description: Qualia are the subjective or qualitative properties of experiences. What it feels like, experientially, to see a red rose is different from what it feels like to see a yellow rose. Likewise for hearing a musical note played by a piano and hearing the same musical note played by a tuba. The qualia of these experiences are what give each of them its characteristic “feel” and also what distinguish them from one another. Qualia have traditionally been thought to be intrinsic qualities of experience that are directly available to introspection. However, some philosophers offer theories of qualia that deny one or both of those features. http://www.iep.utm.edu/qualia/
Phenomenological description: Qualia are often referred to as the phenomenal properties of experience, and experiences that have qualia are referred to as being phenomenally conscious.
Relevance of the concept: From the standpoint of introspection, the existence of qualia seems indisputable. It has, however, proved remarkably difficult to accommodate qualia within a physicalist account of the mind. Many philosophers have argued that qualia cannot be identified with or reduced to anything physical, and that any attempted explanation of the world in solely physicalist terms would leave qualia out. Thus, over the last several decades, qualia have been the source of considerable controversy in philosophy of mind.
Word definition: Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck (April 23, 1858 – October 4, 1947) was a German physicist who is widely regarded as one of the most significant scientists in history. He developed a simple but revolutionary concept that was to become the foundation of a new way of looking at the world, called quantum theory.
In 1900, to solve a vexing problem concerning the radiation emitted by a glowing body, he introduced the radical view that energy is transmitted not in the form of an unbroken (infinitely subdivisible) continuum, but in discrete, particle-like units. He called each such unit a quantum (the plural form being quanta). (New World Encyclopedia)
Etymology: The idea of the quantum was introduced by the German physicist Max Planck in 1900.
Technical description: Quantum mechanics, science dealing with the behaviour of matter and light on the atomic and subatomic scale. It attempts to describe and account for the properties of molecules and atoms and their constituents—electrons, protons, neutrons, and other more esoteric particles such as quarks and gluons. These properties include the interactions of the particles with one another and with electromagnetic radiation (i.e., light, X-rays, and gamma rays).
The behaviour of matter and radiation on the atomic scale often seems peculiar, and the consequences of quantum theory are accordingly difficult to understand and to believe. Its concepts frequently conflict with common-sense notions derived from observations of the everyday world. There is no reason, however, why the behaviour of the atomic world should conform to that of the familiar, large-scale world. It is important to realize that quantum mechanics is a branch of physics and that the business of physics is to describe and account for the way the world—on both the large and the small scale—actually is and not how one imagines it or would like it to be.
The study of quantum mechanics is rewarding for several reasons. First, it illustrates the essential methodology of physics. Second, it has been enormously successful in giving correct results in practically every situation to which it has been applied. There is, however, an intriguing paradox. In spite of the overwhelming practical success of quantum mechanics, the foundations of the subject contain unresolved problems—in particular, problems concerning the nature of measurement. An essential feature of quantum mechanics is that it is generally impossible, even in principle, to measure a system without disturbing it; the detailed nature of this disturbance and the exact point at which it occurs are obscure and controversial. Thus, quantum mechanics attracted some of the ablest scientists of the 20th century, and they erected what is perhaps the finest intellectual edifice of the period.
Relevance of the concept: the deeper nature of reality, nonlocality.
Supporting evidence: Scientific data.
Word + definition:
Schemas / Maps:
Relevance of the concept:
The concept in mythology:
Serial patterns in time:
Parallel patterns in time:
Literature: Books / Articles / Websites:
: Mircea Eliade; “Yoga, Immortality and Freedom”, p. 334; London 1958.