Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Originally Posted By: srinivasan
Originally Posted By: Revlgking

srinivasan: Hebrew, Arabic, Greek and Latin--and perhaps other languages--all use air, wind and breath as metaphors for spirit. The Saxon and German word geist, from which we get our word ghost, has a similar meaning. In Kantian philosophy it is the quality in a work of art that gives life to it and inspires the mind.

Fantastic...never knew all that. It is amazing that language was not meant merely to convert thoughts into sound. Clearly, there is a lot to be understood just by studying the etymology of ancient languages.
You got it! No wonder that in John 1:1 we read: "In the beginning was the Word ..." In Greek, the word for word is LOGOS.

Logos is found in all our English words which end in 'ology'.

For example, philOLOGY. BTW, it is an older word for linguistics. It means the love of words.

It is from philos,loving + logos word, or speech. From it we get we get numerous words like geology, astrology, theology, psychology, pneumatology, zoology and the like.

Words are also used to convert thoughts into profound and meaningful ideas and actions, including life-saving (health-giving) ones, and life-taking (war-like) ones. In other words, words, are like all instruments. They are tools, which can be used to do much good, or much evil. As spiritual or human beings--if we are fully conscious and aware--we have the power to choose good, or evil.

BTW, our ancient ancestors had no idea that what we today call the air we breathe is actually made up of materials--oxygen, nitrogen, etc.

Though invisible to the eye, we now accept that they are elements of matter. Our ancestors thought of invisible matter as things filled with mystery--much in the same that way we now think of the vacuum of space--that into which the material cosmos is mysteriously expanding.
BTW, I make no claim that I am an expert regarding the stories (history?)--much of which is based on myths and legends--of the numerous ancient civilizations of which we have knowledge.

However, in addition to the above, here are some of my personal speculations about about:


The story of Adam (that is, mankind) and Eve (mother of all) in the Garden of Eden (a pleasant place)--in the first chapters of Genesis--are, in the opinion of most scholars, mythic stories. Myths and legends are not to be confused with lies.

the Semites were the descendants of Shem (Genesis 11:10-26) After the great flood. Shem, the legend tells us, was the first of the three sons (Shem, Ham and Japheth) of the family of Noah--the only family, according to Genesis, to survive the Great Flood. Interestingly, no mention was made of daughters.

Generally speaking, from the Semites came the descendants, and associates of Abraham, which means a father of a people. Keep in mind that what we have here is really nothing more that pure myths and legends passed on orally. Also, keep in mind that Abraham, with the permission of his first wife, Sarah (meaning princess), married Hagar. She gave birth to Ishmael--the ancestor of the Arabs.

When the god-idea first evolved in the minds of the Semites (meaning the chosen ones, or the elite, ones)--and became a part of their thinking, they were, naturally, faced with the challenge as to what to name "it".

The Semites did not originate in what we today call Israel. They came from the Tigris-Euphrates valleys (Sumer, Babylon and Ur)--modern Iran/Iraq. The Hebrews (servants) (later they called themselves Israelites--people of the power of god) and Jews chose EL--the root of the word for power. To the Semites, God was The Great Power. By writing it as ELOHIM (the plural) they made it the highest possible power. Ancient alphabets had no upper and lower cases. Also , there were no punctuation marks. For example, THEBOOKSHEREAD. Do I mean she, or he? smile

In Greek, it is THEOS--the highest possible idea behind all that is, including all the power that is. We write it as god, and God, which, in my opinion, refers to the highest possible good in, through and around all that is, including the ideas knowledge, wisdom and power.

This leads me to put all this together and say: GOD, for me, is the one, powerful, and good idea. Note: To get away from thinking of "god" as a being, I now prefer to use the acronym GOD--all that is good, orderly and desirable. Grace, Order and Design is also useful. Can you think of others? GOD is Being, not a being.

To make the same point--that "god" is not an objective being, with properties or dimensions, who is located in one place, Orthodox Jews write it as G-d.

This is interesting: