Why the Idea of a Spirit is Full of Hot Air

Long ago in a cave a caveman looked at his friend who then died. He was upset. His friend would not move.  He noticed that air no longer came out of his friends mouth. He knew the air had left him.

So he gathered up his friend and some food and a few of his friend’s possessions and buried them all. Perhaps it would all go wherever his air went.

Sounds silly doesn't it. But when we look at the words for spirit we are confronted with things like "ruach" the Hebrew word that means "spirit," "wind," "air" and "breath." So in the Old Testament God "breaths" into man his "breath"  and man becomes a living "soul."

From the Greeks we get what still functions as our philosophy. But we find the word "pneuma" in Greek which means guess what, "spirit", 'wind," "air" and "breath."  The Greeks thought that there were four elements: "air," "earth," "fire" and "water."

Air was often seen as supreme and the ultimate nature which was like god. It was invisible but could move things and be felt.  It went in and out of man. When it left you were dead!

"Spirit" comes from the Latin "spiritus" "to breath." Are you starting to see a pattern?  It is interesting that we still have millions of primitives all around us that believe in such things as spirits but have no idea where their beliefs really originate.

Written by  Tommy G. Baker