Response to yet another anonymous message "gift" from some cowardly person.
(The anonymous message was left a few days after one of my own messages was stolen for the second time in a row.) (These actions may or may not be by the same person.)
The fact that the word "spirit" was derived in many languages from a word also meaning "breath" (or vice versa) is not a "proof " that "spirit" is equivalent to "breath." It is merely a "proof" that the person(s) originating the terms believed them to be equivalent.
Word meanings drift, split and branch, and gradually lose precision as they evolve. New words usually come to take the place of the original. This phenomenon is not a problem as long as an original concept (that which is "signified") retains some form of a word (a "signifier") for a speaker to employ. For example, the once lovely economic term "communism," based on the root "com" (i.e., "together with"), has now evolved in people's minds to imply some form of totalitarianism and is thought of as a loathsome political term. The real problem here is that no new word has emerged to signify a humanly decent, equitable and fair type of economic system. Thus, a person that believes in economic fairness and uses the word "communism" is branded some sort of evil person. And when all is said and done, society is still left with an inequitable economic system.
The word "spirit" and the word "breath" in modern English do not signify the same concept. "Breath" is easy to "believe" in. I breathe. I see other people and creatures breathe. I still see nothing that resembles the notion of a portion of my personal individual being and identity that precedes my birth and that continues beyond my death, or, in other words, a "spirit." If you identify the word "spirit" merely with "breath," then you do not use the term "spirit" in the currently normative manner. "Breath" exists. As far as I can see, "spirit" does not.
I breathe. I feel. I think. I am aware. I reason and reflect. My life is every bit as meaningful to me as yours is to you. Though you do not seem to believe that about me. The difference between us is that I do not blame demons for my "imperfections" nor credit gods for my "goodness." I take total credit and full blame (both legally and philosophically) for that which is good and bad in my human life. Do you?
P.S. I do not appreciate my memo board messages being stolen.
Jody Nagel
March 25, 2002
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