The English word "spirit" comes from the
Latin"spiritus" (breath). The term is commonly used to refer to a supernatural beingwhich is transcendent and therefore metaphysicalin nature. For many people, however, spirit, like soul, is a naturalpart of a being, and is identified with mind, or consciousness, or the brain.
The English word "spirit" comes from the
Latin"spiritus", meaning " breath" (compare " spiritus asper"), but also "soul, courage, vigor", ultimately from a PIEroot "*(s)peis-" (to blow). In the Vulgate, the Latin word translates Greek (πνευμα), " pneuma" (Hebrew (רוח) "ruah"), as opposed to " anima", translating "psykhē". The word was loaned into Middle Englishvia Old FrenchThe distinction between souland spirit became current in Judeo-Christian terminology (e.g. Greek. "psykhe" vs. "pneuma", Latin "anima" vs. "spiritus", Hebrew "ruach" vs. "neshama" or nephesh; in Hebrew "neshama" from the root "NSHM" or breath.)
Metaphysical and metaphorical uses
The word is used in two related contexts, one metaphysical and the other
Its metaphysical context has attained a number of meanings:
incorporealbut ubiquitous, non-quantifiable substance or energy present individually in all living things. Unlike the concept of souls, which are by definition eternal and usually believed to preexist the body, a spirit develops and grows as an integral aspect of the living being. This concept of the individual spirit is common among traditional peoples. It is therefore important to note the distinction between this concept of spirit and that of the pre-existing or eternal soul because belief in souls is specific and far less common, particularly in traditional societies. This is more properly termed life ("bios" in Greek) etherthan spirit ("pneuma" in Greek.)
# A daemon sprite, or especially
ghost. A ghostis usually conceived as a wandering spirit from a being no longer living, having survived the death of the body yet maintaining the mindand consciousness.
religionand spirituality, the respiration of the human being has for obvious reasons been strongly linked with the very occurrence of life. A similar significance has been attributed to human blood. Spirit in this sense denotes that which separates a living body from a corpse and usually implies intelligence, consciousnessand sentience.
animisticreligions, such as Japan's Shintoand various Native American and African tribal beliefs, focus around invisible beings which represent or are connected to plants, animals (sometimes called Animal Fathers), or even landforms; the English word "spirit" is usually used when translating tales related to such entities.
# Spirits are often visualized as being interconnected to all others and The Spirit (singular capitalized) refers to the theories of a unified spirituality,
universal consciousnessand some concepts of Deity. All "spirits" connected, form a greater unity, the Spirit, which has both an identity separate from its elements plus a consciousnessand intellectgreater than its elements; an ultimate, unified, non-dual awareness or forceof lifecombining or transcending all individual units of consciousness. The experienceof such a connection can be a primary basis for spiritual belief. The term "spirit" has been used in this sense by at least Anthroposophy, Aurobindo, " A Course In Miracles," Hegel, and Ken Wilber. In this use, the term is conceptually identical to Plotinus's "One" and Friedrich Schelling's "Absolute." Similarly, according to the pan(en)theistic aspect, Spirit is the essence that can manifest itself as mind/ soulthrough any level in pantheistic hierarchy/ holarchy, such as a mind/soul of a single cell (with very primitive, elemental consciousness), or a human or animal mind/soul (with consciousnesson a level of organic synergy of an individual human/animal), or a (superior) mind/soul with synergetically extremely complex/sophisticated consciousness of whole galaxies involving all sub-levels, all emanating (since it is non-dimensional, or trans-dimensional) from the one Spirit.
# In Christian
theology, the Spirit is also used to describe God, or aspects thereof as in Holy Spirit, referring to a Triune God( Trinity): "The result of God reaching to man by the Fatheras the source, the Son as the course (" the Way"), and through the Spirit as the transmission."
# Also in (popular) theological terms, the individual human "spirit" (singular lowercase) is a deeply situated aspect of the
soulsubject to "spiritual" growth and change; the very seat of emotion and desire, and the transmitting organ by which human beings can contact God. In a rare theological definition it is higher consciousness enclosing the soul. It is a central concept of Pneumatology(in context of the latter definition note that this science studies "pneuma;" Greek for "spirit," not "psyche;" Greek for "soul" studied in psychology.
Christian Science, Spirit is one of the seven synonyms for God. These are: "Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love" ( Science and Health with Key to the Scripturesby Mary Baker Eddy, p. 587).
Harmonism, spirit is a term reserved for those which collectively control and influence an individual from the realm of the mind.
metaphoricaluse of the term likewise has several related meanings:
# The loyalty and feeling of inclusion in the social history or collective essence of an institution or group, such as in
school spiritor esprit de corps
#A closely related meaning refers to the worldview of a person, place, or time, as in "The Declaration of Independence was written in the spirit of
John Lockeand his notions of liberty", or the term " zeitgeist", meaning "spirit of the age".
# As a synonym for 'vivacity' as in "She performed the piece with spirit." or "She put up a spirited defense."
# The underlying intention of a text as distinguished from its
literalmeaning, especially in law; see Letter and spirit of the law
# As a term for
alcoholic beveragesstemming from medievalsuperstitions that explained the effects of alcohol as demonic activity.
Mysticism, as existence in unity with Godhead. Soul may also be known as spirit, but soul is certain individual human consciousness, while spirit comes from beyond that.
soul"and" ghost"for related discussions."
Related concepts in other languages
Similar concepts in other languages include Greek
Pneumaand Sanskrit " akasha/ atman", "see also" Prana. In some languages, the word for spirit is often closely related, if not synonymous to mind. Examples include the German, 'Geist' (related to the English word ghost) or the French, 'l'esprit'. In the Judaeochristian Bible, the word " ruach" (רוח; "wind") is most commonly translated as the spirit, whose essence is divine (see Holy Spirit; ruach hakodesh). Alternately the word nepheshis commonly used. Nephesh, as referred to by Kabbalists, is one of the five parts of the Jewish soul, where "nephesh" ("animal") refers to the physical being and its animal instincts. Similarly, both the Scandinavian languagesand the Chinese languageuses the term "breath" to refer to the spirit.
List of legendary creatures
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