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“the life-force in the nervous system”[1]

“Wherever there is life of any kind, there must be the pranic energy and a substance in which it can work”[2]

“The existence of a vital force or life-energy has been doubted by western Science, because that Science concerns itself only with the most external operations of Nature and has as yet no true knowledge of anything except the physical and outward. This Prana, this life-force is not physical in itself; it is not material energy, but rather a different principle supporting Matter and involved in it. It supports and occupies all forms and without it no physical form could have come into being or could remain in being. It acts in all material forces such as electricity and is nearest to self-manifestation in those that are nearest to pure force; material forces could not exist or act without it, for from it they derive their energy and movement and they are its vehicles. But all material aspects are only field and form of the Prana which is in itself a pure energy, their cause and not their result. It cannot therefore be detected by any physical analysis; physical analysis can only resolve for us the combinations of those material happenings which are its results and the external signs and symbols of its presence and operation.
         How then do we become aware of its existence? By that purification of our mind and body and that subtilisation of our means of sensation and knowledge which become possible through Yoga. We become capable of analysis other than the resolution of forms into their gross physical elements and are able to distinguish the operations of the pure mental principle from those of the material and both of these from the vital or dynamic which forms a link between them and supports them both. We are then able to distinguish the movements of the Pranic currents not only in the physical body which is all that we are normally aware of, but in that subtle frame of our being which Yoga detects underlying and sustaining the physical.”[3]

  1. Kena and Other Upanishads, p.18, “The Question. What is Godhead?
  2. The Synthesis of Yoga, p.537, “Rajayoga”
  3. Kena and Other Upanishads, p.63, “The Superlife: Life of Our Life”

See also