2012 Spirit

A dear friend told me the other day that they appreciated my spirit. I do not think that anyone has ever said this to me in so many words, and though I did not really ponder it at the moment it was uttered, as I am prone to do, I am choosing this time to ponder it. What does it mean to speak of one's spirit? This is not something easily put into words. For the essence of spirit itself is not a concrete thing. Only in its manifestations can it be observed. It has not matter and makes not noise. We cannot sense it by sight, sound, scent, taste or touch. So what do we mean when we speak of one's spirit?

Well, in order to tackle this topic, I decided I needed to pour myself some spirits ( Pomegranate Liqueur if you must know ) in order to get into the proper spirit to ponder the concept of spirit.

According to Wikipedia, the English word spirit comes from the Latin spirtitus, meaning "breath", but also "spirit, soul, courage, vigor", ultimately from a Proto-Indo-European *(s)peis. It is distinguished from Latin anima, "soul." In Greek, this distinction exists between pneuma, "breath, motile air, spirit," and psyche, "soul."

The word "spirit" came into Middle English via Old French. English-speakers use the word "spirit" in two related contexts, one metaphysical and the other metaphorical.

In Metaphysical terms, "spirit" has acquired a number of meanings:

* An incorporeal but ubiquitous, non-quantifiable substance or energy present individually in all living things. Unlike the concept of souls ( often regarded as eternal and sometimes believed to pre-exist the body) a spirit develops and grows as an integral aspect of a living being.

* In religion and spirituality, the respiration of a human has for obvious reasons become seen as strongly linked with the very occurrence of life. A similar significance has become attached to human blood. Spirit, in this sense, means the thing that separates a living body from a corpse- and usually implies intelligence, consciousness, and sentience.

In Metaphorical terms, "spirit" presents in several different meanings:

* The loyalty and feeling of inclusion in the social history or collective essence of an institution or group, such as school spirit or 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 Locke and 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.

* As a term for alcoholic beverages.

Some languages use a word for "spirit" often closely related ( if not synonymous ) to "mind". Examples include the German, "Geist" ( related to the English word "ghost") or the French, "l'esprit." English versions of the Judaeo-Christian Bible most commonly translate the Hebrew word "ruach" (wind) as "the spirit", whose essence is divine. Similarly, Scandinavian languages, Baltic languages, Slavic languages and the Chinese language (qi) use the words for "breath" to express concepts similar to "the spirit".

I would like to focus on the Metaphysical aspect of Spirit. I think we might agree that all living beings have a spirit- that essential part of their makeup which differentiates them from other beings outside of physical appearance. It is a part of the essence of being. It cannot be bought or taught or lost or found. It just is. We can witness its existence in others by its outward manifestations in their actions, inactions and reactions. Their intentions and inventions. Their preferences and fears and hopes. It is the life force that inhabits our bodies and makes us who we are.

We speak of free spirits, unique, generous and gentle spirits, and even mean spirited folks. The word spirit connotes action and motion- like the breath. Spirit is not sedentary but is expressive- like wind. It is the invisible force that moves the leaves on the trees and moves the limbs of the body. Propelling life into activity. I think that our spirit is our natural essence- what we would be willing to express without fear of judgment or failure. The song that the bird sings. The sparkle of our eyes. I believe we become awkward when our conscious mind ( which I believe to be an accumulation of all of the empirical data we have taken in over the course of our existence) tries to overrule our natural spirit in an effort to project a presence of perceived perfection- be it by our actions or speech or appearance. When there is not harmony between our mind and spirit, we are not genuine. And where is the value in that? I prefer to celebrate diversity in all of its shapes, sounds, scents, tastes ( perhaps this explains my penchant for Indian food?) and feelings. I am very blessed to live at a time and in a place where freedom of expression of thought is held in the highest regard. I can be genuine without having to fear for my life. And it is wonderful to be appreciated for that.

In the spirit of 2012- health and happiness and understanding and compassion and appreciation, and respect to all,









A Message by George Carlin:

( borrowed from an email from JPG)

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. "

Quotes by Voltaire

It is said that the present is pregnant with the future.


A witty saying proves nothing.


All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of women.

Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.


Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.


Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.


Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law.


Better is the enemy of good.


By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property.


Common sense is not so common.


Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.


Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.


Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.


Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.


Froth at the top, dregs at bottom, but the middle excellent.


God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.


Governments need to have both shepherds and butchers.


He is a hard man who is only just, and a sad one who is only wise.





Next Post date: February 6, 2012

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January 2, 2012
Regina Brett's Life Lessons

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don't ask, you don't get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

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