Image by Brin Weins from Pixabay 

So many words, so many concepts. So little truth. Anyone who has ever cared about language, perhaps while in the throes of attempting to express some subtlety — which might be nearly everyone of course — may well have looked into the derivation of such problematic concepts as ‘spirit’ and ‘soul’, endemic to Western religion.

If they had, they would have found that both ‘spirit’ and ‘soul’ ultimately derive from root words indicating ‘breath’.

If you have ever sat with something that died — even a fly — then it is easy to grasp how this coining occurred. As the body stops breathing, something goes out from it. Something was there — then it is not, the body is empty of it, and it stops breathing.

Image by Rob Slaven from Pixabay 

But do we need this profusion, this confusion, of words?

Why don’t we stick to one that is rooted in what we are — life?

It is life that that is not in the body after it dies — that life that animated it.

There’s plenty of living forms in any dead body after all, they start disassembling the thing as soon as the last breath passes. But while those living forms obviously also have life, they are not the life that was in the whole thing as one, animating it, before it died.

We may not know what spirit is — which leads to endless speculation and theorising.

We may not know what soul is — which leads to endless speculation and theorising.

But we know what life is – for that’s what we are.