What is spirit, exactly?

by Viviane 609 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Viviane

    So far we have the following:

    - Spirit is a meaphor

    - Angels and demons are not spirit

    - Angels and demons ARE spirit

    - It is breath (meaning plants and paramecium also have spirit)

    - It's the holy ghost

    - It's the non-physical part of people

    - It's how you hear God

    - It connects to our consciousness to form reality

    - It connects us to higher dimensions

    Still no answer of what it actually IS. The metaphor answer is closest, it's essentially the same as "it's breath" meaning it's nothing special. Every answer has defined spirit in other un-defined terms. For something so many people are sure exists, it's interesting that no one knows what it is made ofand there seems to be wide disagreement on it even what it does.

    So, it remains, what is spirit? Whatis it made of?

  • jgnat

    Why isn't my answer on the list? Did my LOL throw you off?

  • galaxie

    OH DEAR Jgnat you'll just have to take the ommission in good SPIRIT LOL !

  • Island Man
    Island Man

    Viviane, there is no one answer for what spirit is. The word translated spirit is used for different things. It's like the English word phenomenon. Asking a question like: "What exactly is phenomenon? What is it made of?" makes no sense because there are many different types of phenomena which are quite different from each other. So it is with the word spirit. The same word is used to refer to a person's thoughts, a person's attitude/mood, power from God, an invisible being from the heavenly realm, wind, breath or the action of breathing which is characteristic of being alive. These are all very different things which have one thing in common - invisibility.

    Instead of thinking of the word spirit as being a specific ontological nature it may be more useful to your understanding to see it as an abstract language term used to describe something invisible. There is no one kind of nature for everything invisible and not all invisible things are invisible for the same reason or in the same way.

  • cofty

    I think Island provided an answer. He said it's breath, the act of breathing. - Rocketman

    I agree.

    But it follows that spirit is nothing but a metaphor and we can safely dispose of it.

    Jgnat - Too cryptic I think.

  • jgnat

    Since the concept of spirit is found in the NT and likely borrowed from the Greeks, I went looking at what Plato had to say about it. He described as a third of our natures. Just like the Greeks divided the world in to the four elements, and described all that we see as being various combinations of those elements. Now we know of course, there are about 118 elements and all we see is a combination of those.

    Plato gave three attributes to the soul; appetite, reason, and spirit. In this context, spirit is what we call today spirited. Or, as I tried to illustrate, the enthusiasm and energy of a spirited football game.

    Platonic Spirit

    Now, my reading of Haidt has turned this model on its' head. Reason is most often the spokesman for our inarticulate drives which includes what Plato describes as spirit and appetite. So instead of being the charioteer, reason is the rider of the elephant; sometimes influencing but ultimately not in control. Haidt describes five moral foundations that all people share regardless of culture or background, rather than Plato's three.

    So to get back to viv's original question; what is spirit? I'd say a model or analogy with no tangible form.

  • Jon Preston
    Jon Preston

    If i give cpr and save someones life am i like jesus and become a life giving spirit?

  • Viviane

    jgnat, no, I must have just missed yours! Sorry, I'll go back and add it later tonight when I get a chance.

    Island, you miss the point of my question, I think. I am familiar with the connotations of the the word spirit. What I am asking is what it is. If angels and demons and Satan and God are spirits and there is holy spirit and people have a spirit, what is this stuff made of. It has to be something. What is that something. What are it's properties and how do we know?

    That is what I am after.

  • jgnat

    Along the lines of the elusive aether, viviane?

  • John_Mann

    It`s the folk conception to the software part of living beings.

    Just because software is immaterial they tend to make it a supernatural thing.

    Remains to be explained if our software is a local thing full installed in every brain (hardware) or are running in a cloud (like internet) independent from local hardware.

    I tend to think our minds (or spirit, software) runs in a cloud. Or at least some part of our software is in a cloud. And I don't think what we call identity can survive the death of hardware. Logically speaking you can't kill something immaterial, so in a sense our software/spirit/consciousness/mind is immortal. Probably in a near future we will be able to not be so dependable in a so fragile hardware, I think we will be able to transfer our softaware from a biological hardware to non biological substrates/hardware. Then we will know a lot more about our software. We are already walking this path with the Blue Brain Project, see the OpenWorm Project too.

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