"The spirit" What is it? Do you know?

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Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 10:57 am
In my travels I have always been taught, by people, books and so on that the human is comprised of spirit, mind and body. We can define body and mind but the spirit is a mystery. What exactly is it and is it quantifiable.

I look forward to reading your opinions.

Thank-you

Mark.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 12:02 pm
@mark gamson,
Imo it's our will to do things, our will to enforce our belives, when we have high morale and motivation, we often say that a person has lost it's spirit, when depressed.
 
mark gamson
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 12:06 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;166542 wrote:
Imo it's our will to do things, our will to enforce our belives, when we have high morale and motivation, we often say that a person has lost it's spirit, when depressed.



Hello HexHammer.

So you would say the spirit is emotion? And is alterable on our highs and lows.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 01:01 pm
@mark gamson,
mark gamson;166543 wrote:
Hello HexHammer.

So you would say the spirit is emotion? And is alterable on our highs and lows.
Not nessesarily, I'v seen cynically people who has high spirit, a strong willpower. However in many cases willpower can be boosted by emotion, seen especially by politicians who motivates the nation by talking about the "softer values" such as children.
 
prothero
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 09:44 pm
@mark gamson,
It is the inherent striving (in man and in nature) Schopenhauers will, Hegels dialectic, Christianity holy spirit for what Plato would call the "Form of the Good" creative advance into novelty and value.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 10:29 pm
@mark gamson,
mark gamson;166521 wrote:
In my travels I have always been taught, by people, books and so on that the human is comprised of spirit, mind and body. We can define body and mind but the spirit is a mystery. What exactly is it and is it quantifiable.

I look forward to reading your opinions.

Thank-you

Mark.


At the moment I think of spirit as the totality of experience, which among other things is "being revealed by discourse." I don't think there's anything hidden. But I don't think that spirit can be completely quantified or conceptualized. For instance, qualia. What is redness for us and not for Maxwell? What is music for us? What is love? What is beauty? I feel there is something not say-able for the simple reason that concept is not the only way reality exists for us. And yet concept is all we can think with. So maybe if concept points away from the supernatural and rather to the strangeness and the glory in the everyday...that it points toward a totality of human experience, reminds us of the limits of thought --to quote a friend. By the way, Hegel had a concept known as the "concrete real" that is similar to this. :flowers:
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 11:44 pm
@mark gamson,
it is a deep question. Many would say it is an old fashioned or superstitious idea and that no such thing exists. But I am sure this is not true. If you really want to find out, you need first of all to do some reading. A book that gets right to the point is Behold the Spirit by Alan Watts. But what books will appeal to you also depends on your own background. There are Christian spiritual books that could be recommended also, although this kind of understanding is not typical of much modern Christianity or evangalism. Browse Amazon for ideas.

As to what spirit is, it is impossible to say in a kind of descriptive way. It is often described in a negative way 'neither this nor that', because it is not like anything we can know or experience in the world of perception. Spiritual awareness can be discovered through meditation, but it takes a lot of doing (or not-doing:bigsmile:). That is the path of 'direct understanding'. The Indian sages Ramana Maharishi and Nisigardatta Maharaj teach about that kind of understanding.

Hope that helps.
 
mark noble
 
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 06:26 am
@jeeprs,
Hi Mark,

The spirit, appears only to be another persons label for the current or overall mood of a given subject. As you know - I don't believe it to have physical properties. There is the body, and the mind ONLY, according to my perception, and the mind - merely a part of the body, both physical in operation, and biochemically linked. Neither can function without the other - but, physical, nonetheless.

Thank you, my friend, fare well.

mark...
 
lazymon
 
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 10:12 am
@mark gamson,
Is the holy spirit, and the spirit of man different in Christianity? Is the soul the same as the spirit?
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 10:15 am
@lazymon,
lazymon;167707 wrote:
Is the holy spirit, and the spirit of man different in Christianity? Is the soul the same as the spirit?
I belive the holy spirit are often depicted as a white dove, don't think human spirit are described or can relate to that, so yes Imo it's 2 different things.
 
Humchuckninny
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 09:58 am
@mark gamson,
It is my belief that human spirits are composed of matter, just as the body is, but something much finer. In a more-literal-than-not sense, it's like a hand fitting in a glove - the spirit is the hand, the body is the glove. The spirit is the antemortal entity of our identities.

There are scriptural references supporting this, however, as is the case with most scriptural backing, they are ambiguous. Job 32:8 shows us that the spirit is what is able to receive understanding, so it must be a form of intelligence. James 2:26 says that the body without the spirit would be dead. Angels from an antemortal existence (Michael and his Arch Angels fighting off the Devil) do not have bodies of flesh, but yet operate as though they did.

I think I'm just rambling now. Well, tell me what you think Smile
 
mark noble
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 10:09 am
@lazymon,
lazymon;167707 wrote:
Is the holy spirit, and the spirit of man different in Christianity? Is the soul the same as the spirit?


Hi Lazymon,

Yes. And Yes.

Have a great day

Mark...
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 03:49 pm
@Humchuckninny,
Humchuckninny;168111 wrote:
It is my belief that human spirits are composed of matter, just as the body is, but something much finer. In a more-literal-than-not sense, it's like a hand fitting in a glove - the spirit is the hand, the body is the glove. The spirit is the antemortal entity of our identities.

There are scriptural references supporting this, however, as is the case with most scriptural backing, they are ambiguous. Job 32:8 shows us that the spirit is what is able to receive understanding, so it must be a form of intelligence. James 2:26 says that the body without the spirit would be dead. Angels from an antemortal existence (Michael and his Arch Angels fighting off the Devil) do not have bodies of flesh, but yet operate as though they did.


Fine matter - the Stoics think exactly this. Although I think there is a distinction between spirit and soul. My current view is that soul is immortal but not eternal, spirit is eternal (but not personal).
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 01:07 am
@mark gamson,
"The letter kills. The spirit giveth life."
 
Krumple
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 04:24 am
@mark gamson,
I don't see how anyone can make a fundamental assessment about something that is completely theoretical.

The soul/spirit is completely theoretical and so any assessment of it's attributes or properties must also be theoretical. So far I have never seen anything substantial to recognize the spirit to be a real thing outside of the imagination. All attempts to do so, in this tread just point to other aspects for which we already have names for. To insist that these attributes make up the soul/spirit fail once they are questioned. For example if one were to proclaim that the mind is the spirit, then does the mind exist in a state completely independent of the body? If it does then why when there is damage to the brain the mind seems to be drastically altered? Why is it that simple chemical imbalances can drastically effect the workings of the mind? This to me points out that it is the body which gives rise to the existence of the mind, and the mind is not independent of the body. The mind only exists because there is a body exists. Once the body parishes the mind also parishes.

So if you insist that the spirit is the mind, then by all means, why call it a spirit, why not just stick with mind? Unless you want to redefine the term spirit? I don't see anyone jumping at doing that, so why make the problem more convoluted with this other term for which is incredibly vague?
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 04:43 am
@Krumple,
Its the essence of man , his ability, his humanity. You can pick a mans brain and give him tests , you can enquire about his beliefs but you wont know the man. You can feel it , recognise it, remember it when his long gone.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 04:48 am
@xris,
xris;168499 wrote:
Its the essence of man , his ability, his humanity. You can pick a mans brain and give him tests , you can enquire about his beliefs but you wont know the man. You can feel it , recognise it, remember it when his long gone.


Last time I checked that was called memory. But what if there is no one who remembers the person at all. Are you proclaiming that the same person would be felt? I know I have seen and heard stories about such occurrences but I am incredibly skeptical of them. Most people make these sorts of things up to sell something along side the story. So they have clever motivation to lie about these experiences.
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 05:21 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;168501 wrote:
Last time I checked that was called memory. But what if there is no one who remembers the person at all. Are you proclaiming that the same person would be felt? I know I have seen and heard stories about such occurrences but I am incredibly skeptical of them. Most people make these sorts of things up to sell something along side the story. So they have clever motivation to lie about these experiences.
You read much too much into others posts, on occasions. Your memory recalls the man , if there is no one to recall that man, then he lost to memory, lost to us. That mans essence still existed, was there to be seen when he did exist. His history, his essence, does not end because your not privy to it or because his dead.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 07:50 am
@mark gamson,
mark gamson;166521 wrote:
In my travels I have always been taught, by people, books and so on that the human is comprised of spirit, mind and body. We can define body and mind but the spirit is a mystery. What exactly is it and is it quantifiable.


I think that for me, the terms "mind" and "spirit" are virtually synonymous. This being the constant bio-electric action created between the memory, sensation and decision-making centers in the brain that culminates in the overall sense of self-awareness and decision making (which also could be termed consciousness). We can't grab onto it; can't directly watch its cogs turn or its switches move; thus, it's difficult to nail down and has been since humans first tried to figure it out.

The term "spirit" (as differentiated from 'mind'), I believe is human's attempt to give explanation to the life-giving conscious self (this separation being an essential part of the dualistic mindset) as if it existed separately from the physical essence/processes in our brains and what I described above (which a dualist might say is more "The Mind").

... just my thoughts - thanks
 
Humchuckninny
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 09:00 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;168493 wrote:
I don't see how anyone can make a fundamental assessment about something that is completely theoretical.


You say this, yet you don't take the impartial standpoint. In fact, you make fundamental assessments about the spirit in both of your posts. If this were really true, then we couldn't know either way. You also make fundamental assessments about further objects:

Krumple;168493 wrote:
The mind only exists because there is a body exists. Once the body parishes the mind also parishes.


How can you know this? By your own standard, you cannot make this statement. Are you arguing that simply because you haven't had any experience with the post-mortal existence of the mind, there must not be any evidence to suggest it's possibility? Many people have had experiences which would contradict such a view. I don't think I need to point out how many fallacies this entails.

Additionally, I don't think you realize the impacts of your statement. Should we abide by your standards of what is worthy or not of fundamental assessments, then you must provide a reason why morality / ethics should be discussed - these are also completely theoretical. Is this something you want to advocate?
 
 

 
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