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Spirit
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{{other uses}}{{Spiritualism|main}}A spirit is a supernatural being, often, but not exclusively, a non-physical entity; such as a ghost, fairy, or angel. The concepts of a person's spirit and soul, often also overlap, as both are either contrasted with or given ontological priority over the body and both are believed to survive bodily death in some religions,OED "spirit 2.a.: The soul of a person, as commended to God, or passing out of the body, in the moment of death." and "spirit" can also have the sense of "ghost", i.e. a manifestation of the spirit of a deceased person. In English Bibles, "the Spirit" (with a capital "S"), specifically denotes the Holy Spirit.Spirit is often used metaphysically to refer to the consciousness or personality.Historically, it was also used to refer to a "subtle" as opposed to "gross" material substance, as in the famous last paragraph of Sir Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica.BOOK, Burtt, Edwin A., Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science, 2003, Dover Publications, Inc, Mineola, New York, 275, 7 January 2015,

Etymology

The English word "spirit" comes from the Latin spiritus, meaning "breath", but also "spirit, soul, courage, vigor", ultimately from a Proto-Indo-European *(s)peis. It is distinguished from Latin anima, "soul" (which nonetheless also derives from an Indo-European root meaning "to breathe", earliest form *h2enh1-).anə-, from *ə2enə1-. Watkins, Calvert. 2000. The American Heritage® Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, second edition. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Co., p.4. Also weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071208010420weblink">available online. (NB: Watkins uses ə1, ə2, ə3 as fully equivalent variants for h1, h2, h3, respectively, for the notation of Proto-Indo-European laryngeal segments.) In Greek, this distinction exists between pneuma (), "breath, motile air, spirit," and psykhē (), "soul"François 2009, p.187-197. (even though the latter term, = psykhē/psūkhē, is also from an Indo-European root meaning "to breathe": *bhes-, zero grade *bhs- devoicing in proto-Greek to *phs-, resulting in historical-period Greek ps- in psūkhein, "to breathe", whence psūkhē, "spirit", "soul").bhes-2. Watkins, Calvert. 2000. The American Heritage® Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, second edition. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Co., 2000, p.11. Also weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071208011042weblink">available onlineThe word "spirit" came into Middle English via Old French. The distinction between soul and spirit also developed in the Abrahamic religions: Arabic nafs () opposite rūħ (); Hebrew neshama ({{Hebrew|נְשָׁמָה}} nəšâmâh) or nephesh {{Hebrew|נֶ֫פֶשׁ}} nép̄eš (in Hebrew neshama comes from the root NŠM or "breath") opposite ruach ({{Hebrew|רוּחַ}} rúaħ). (Note, however, that in Semitic just as in Indo-European, this dichotomy has not always been as neat historically as it has come to be taken over a long period of development: Both {{Hebrew|נֶ֫פֶשׁ}} (root {{Hebrew|נפשׁ}}) and {{Hebrew|רוּחַ}} (root {{Hebrew|רוח}}), as well as cognate words in various Semitic languages, including Arabic, also preserve meanings involving misc. air phenomena: "breath", "wind", and even "odour").Koehler, L., Baumgartner, W., Richardson, M. E. J., & Stamm, J. J. (1999). The Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (711). Leiden; New York: E.J. Brill.Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (2000). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (electronic ed.) (659). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems. (N.B. Corresponds closely to printed editions.)Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (2000). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (electronic ed.) (924ff.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems. (N.B. Corresponds closely to printed editions.)

Spiritual and metaphysical usage

In spiritual and metaphysical terms, "spirit" has acquired a number of meanings:
  • An incorporeal but ubiquitous, non-quantifiable substance or energy present individually in all living things.{{citation needed|date=November 2017}} Unlike the concept of souls (often regarded as eternal and sometimes believed to pre-exist the body) a spirit develops and grows as an integral aspect of a living being.WEB,weblink Human Nature and the Purpose of Existence,
  • A daemon, sprite, or ghost. People usually conceive of a ghost as a wandering spirit from a being no longer living, having survived the death of the body yet maintaining at least vestiges of mind and consciousness.
  • In religion and spirituality, the respiration of a human has for obvious reasons become seen as strongly linked with the very occurrence of life. Spirit, in this sense, means the thing that separates a living body from a corpse—and usually implies intelligence, consciousness, and sentience.{{citation needed|date=November 2017}}
  • Latter-day Saint prophet Joseph Smith Jr. taught that the concept of spirit as incorporeal or without substance was incorrect: "There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes."Doctrine and Covenants 131:7
  • Various forms of animism, such as Japan's Shinto and African traditional religion, focus on invisible beings that represent or connect with plants, animals, or landforms (kami){{Citation needed|date=July 2011}}: translators usually employ the English word "spirit" when trying to express the idea of such entities.
  • Individual spirits envisaged as interconnected with all other spirits and with "The Spirit" at 300am (singular and capitalized).{{citation needed|date=November 2017}} This concept relates to theories of a unified spirituality, to universal consciousness and to some concepts of Deity. In this scenario all separate "spirits", when connected, form a greater unity, the Spirit, which has an identity separate from its elements plus a consciousness and intellect greater than its elements; an ultimate, unified, non-dual awareness or force of life combining or transcending all individual units of consciousness. The experience of such a connection can become a primary basis for spiritual belief. The term spirit occurs in this sense in (to name but a few) Anthroposophy, Aurobindo, A Course In Miracles, Hegel, Ken Wilber, and Meher Baba (though in his teachings, "spirits" are only apparently separate from each other and from "The Spirit.")Kalchuri, Bhau: Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, Volume Eighteen, Manifestation, Inc., 1986, p. 5937. In this use, the term seems conceptually identical to Plotinus's "The One" and Friedrich Schelling's "Absolute". Similarly, according to the panentheistic/pantheistic view, Spirit equates to essence that can manifest itself as mind/soul through any level in pantheistic hierarchy/holarchy, such as through a mind/soul of a single cell (with very primitive, elemental consciousness), or through a human or animal mind/soul (with consciousness on a level of organic synergy of an individual human/animal), or through a (superior) mind/soul with synergetically extremely complex/sophisticated consciousness of whole galaxies involving all sub-levels, all emanating (since the superior mind/soul operates non-dimensionally, or trans-dimensionally) from the one Spirit.
  • Christian spiritual theology can use the term "Spirit" to describe God, or aspects of God — as in the "Holy Spirit", referring to a Triune God (Trinity) (cf Gospel of Matthew 28:19).
  • Pneumatology is the study of spiritual beings and phenomena, especially the spiritual aspect of human beings and the interactions between humans and God.
  • Christian Science uses "Spirit" as one of the seven synonyms for God, as in: "Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love"BOOK, Eddy, Mary Baker, Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures, TXT, 2009-03-11, 1875, 587, Glossary,weblink GOD. The great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence.,
, — "Glossary" entry for "GOD".
  • According to C. G. Jung (in a lecture delivered to the literary Society of Augsburg, October 20, 1926, on the theme of “Nature and Spirit”):
}}
  • Psychical research, "In all the publications of the Society for Psychical Research the term 'spirit' stands for the personal stream of consciousness whatever else it may ultimately be proved to imply or require," wrote James H. Hyslop, secretary-treasurer of the American Society for Psychical Research in 1919.BOOK, Hyslop, James Hervey, Contact With The Other World, 1919, The Century Co., New York, 11, First, 28 February 2015,
  • In mysticism: existence in unity with Godhead.{{citation needed|date=November 2017}} Soul may also equate with spirit, but the soul involves a certain individual human consciousness, while spirit comes from beyond that. Compare the psychological teaching of Al-Ghazali.

Related concepts

Similar concepts in other languages include Greek pneuma and Sanskrit akasha/atman (see also prana). Some languages use a word for "spirit" often closely related (if not synonymous) to "mind". Examples include the German Geist (related to the English word "ghost") or the French 'l'esprit'. English versions of the Bible most commonly translate the Hebrew word "ruach" (רוח; "wind") as "the spirit", whose essence is divineweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20151006125829weblink">Ruach: Spirit or Wind or ??? at BiblicalHeritage.org (see Holy Spirit and ruach hakodesh). Alternatively, Hebrew texts commonly use the word nephesh. Kabbalists regard nephesh as one of the five parts of the Jewish soul, where nephesh (animal) refers to the physical being and its animal instincts. Similarly, Scandinavian, Baltic, and Slavic languages, as well as Chinese (气 qi), use the words for "breath" to express concepts similar to "the spirit".

See also

{{Div col|colwidth=30em}} {{Div col end}}

References

{{Reflist}}

Further reading

  • {{Citation


| last = François
| first = Alexandre
| author-link =
| contribution = Semantic maps and the typology of colexification: Intertwining polysemous networks across languages
| editor-last = Vanhove
| editor-first = Martine
| title = From Polysemy to Semantic change: Towards a Typology of Lexical Semantic Associations
| volume = 106
| pages = 163–215
| publisher = Benjamins
| place = Amsterdam, New York
| year = 2008
| series = Studies in Language Companion Series
| isbn =
| url=weblink
| ref = polysemy
}}

External links

  • {{Wiktionary-inline}}


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