Tag Archives: soul

Soul, mind, and heart: Not understanding the Biblical text

Which one sounds wrong?

A. Do you have the guts?
B. Put your heart into it.
C. Make up your heart.

What is the heart?
The answer might surprise you.

In modern times, the “heart” has been called, “the feeling mind”. That sounds pretty good to me. What do you think?

A recent visitor responded to my post Is Chocolate Filling my God-shaped Hole? with the comment below (edited down). I think it would help to respond through a post, also. Now we can open up the whole thing to dialogue a bit more. Thanks for your contribution on this topic.

Visitor Response to Post–Submitted: on 2010/12/03 at 3:10 pm
The way I look at it, viewing the heart and mind as separate is extrabiblical; thus, in fact, “that thing that ‘falls in love’ or gets sentimental” *is* the mind. So the modern “follow your heart” does not connote the *opposite* of the biblical “heart,” but rather only *part* of it. Bottom line, I can’t trust my mind or my heart, or even my own spirit completely… only God is 100% trustworthy. As for filling our “voids” with things “besides” God, I try to remember that God gets the credit for all good things anyway…

My response:
I should have also pointed out [within that post] that the Hebrew equivalent of the emotions or passions (what many now consider the “heart”) were also referred to differently than the mind (i.e. set a different category, if you will–the bowels or “guts”).
The “guts” implied connection with those qualities of emotion, and so forth.

To sum up: In the Bible, (most especially in the Old Testament)…

1. What is translated as “heart” (in the KJV and others) is closer to what we now term as “the mind”. More specifically, the individual’s command center, or the place where decisions are made– which includes the will.

2. What we may think of as “the heart” that is, passions, desires, emotions, in the Hebrew language is connected with “the guts” or “bowels” of a person. For instance, “In his guts he loved her”. Yes, it sounds awkward, at best.

Even more controversy:
THE SOUL

There is a big dissimilarity in the Hebrew vs. English renditions of the word often translated in English as “soul”. In Hebrew, it refers to the whole being. The whole person (So, no. It does not mean a ghosty thing that floats to the clouds like in Warner Brother cartoons). We can understand it in our context more this way when we say, “30 souls were lost [died] in the shipwreck.”

Hey, everyone, please, weigh in.
This post is open to opinions, thoughts, comments, or if you’re of the particular stripe…exegesis.
(Yes. That’s the BIG word of the day.)

Exegesis (EGGs -eh- Jesus) is this definition hereIt’s not a variant, or French spelling of “Eggs and Cheeses” which we may be tempted to think at first blush, right? 

"Eggs and Cheeses" (Not Exegesis)

(click photo to find its source)

Tomorrow’s post–
“Does your Breakfast (and your deity) make you AWESOME?”

Evelyn Underhill -On Prayer, and mysticism

In the next few weeks, I’m concentrating my studies on Evelyn Underhill (1875-1942), one of  the most read, and prolific writers in the first half of the 20th century on the topic of Christian mysticism and prayer. Her devotion to God in prayer, and her insights on growth in the spiritual life put her at the forefront of those disciplines in the Anglican Church.

Here is my first fascinating thought from Evelyn, I’ve come across. Chime in with your comments, or insights. Maybe you can Google her, or look up some of her work, and place a quote that strikes you powerfully.

On mysticism:

The soul’s real progress is not toward some mysterious, abnormal, trance-like condition; but rather towards the unspoilt, trustful, unsophisticated, apprehension of a little child.

-Evelyn Underhill

Andrew Wyeth – natural surroundings, autumn

Some of you know that I used to claim fellow-Pennsylvanian, Andrew Wyeth as my favorite living American artist. He died this past January 16, in his sleep at the age of 91. His 7 decades of artwork are a profound legacy to the world of art, and culture in general. He was a master of the difficult egg tempera medium, and dry brush watercolor. Technically, Wyeth has superior talent as a drawer and painter, having been tutored by his father, skilled illustrator N.C. Wyeth.

At this time of year, I am attracted by the changing seasons, and the brilliant landscapes. Wyeth did many paintings of landscapes, and I’m drawn to his works at this time of year. Please enjoy a few samples, and these links to his collections. I hope you get a chance to visit them in person.

Links to museums with Andrew Wyeth’s work:
Andrew Wyeth’s website
Brandywine River Museum
Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center
Smithsonian Magazine Article on Andrew Wyeth

A sample of Andrew Wyeth’s work: (click on the image to see it, or enlarge it)

Please leave your comments to this work. Thanks for visiting, today.

Coffee bowls and 2-handled mugs- Jehovah Java

I’ve posted two other posts on coffee, (Free coffee post,and “is coffee spiritual” post) and how the enjoyment of it is a true spiritual practice. I’ve wanted to find more information about the Carmelite monks who use no handle mugs so they can be fully present, and appreciative to their Creator during their daily practice of sipping their warm brew.

Jehovah Java-the God who provides coffee? Okay, I’m not sure about the Hebrew on that one, but here are more information and links for coffee lovers, or people who love them.

What is a coffee bowl? Used is Peru, France, and various other places in the world, a coffee bowl is grasped with two hands and coffee is sipped. This also keeps the hands warm. (You can locate the one pictured below, here.)

coffee bowl

café au lait bowl

 

Here’s another item that promises to warm up hands when filled with hot cocoa or coffee. (find it here)

no handles

This “Mystic Monk (2-handled) Mug” looks like a practical joke. It harkens back to the idea of the hands-on method of drinking coffee, and it’s a bargain among the others here, at only $6.99. Mystic Monk Coffee is a brand created and Carmelite monks in Wyoming who roast their own blends to support their solitary life of prayer. They have many varieties, including a fair trade blend, Carmel, Cowboy Blend, Hermit’s Bold Blend, and Midnight Vigil, among them. They also have a sampler pack with free shipping, and a coffee club-how handy.

Modern monk style mug

Modern monk style mug

 

 

Coffee Taste-tester Monk

Coffee Taste-tester Monk

 

What’s your favorite container to hold coffee, and why?

No Fun Allowed? Not so fast!

 

(actual sign) Creepy!

(actual sign) Creepy!

When the kiddos where swarming Jesus, his disciples started barking at the parents. They said Jesus couldn’t be bothered with that sort of thing. Jesus harshly rebuked his helpers. He had time for the kids. I can picture him ruffling their hair, smiling at them, and blessing them, as they crowded around him.

 

He went on to say that to come  in the Kingdom of God you must be like a child. I think he was primarily speaking about “child-like trust,” and perhaps “purity” of heart, but let’s also think about the nature of children for a minute.

Most kids aren’t super serious, most of them find joy in the present, most can be fairly easily amused, most of them assume they need some help to get by. Oh, and another thing–THEY PLAY! So, maybe those of the kind of people Jesus enjoys the company of. 

Have you grown up? I should say, have you gotten old? Have you forgotten how to play? How to play with all that you are-like a kid-all out? Can you shelve your crotchety outlook, and have a good time, without feeling awkward, bringing someone down, or looking at the negative?

I’ve met so many Christians who are so “grown-up,” they could meet up with God, and he’d seem more like a boy to them. In other words, they would have no idea how “youthful, innocent” exuberance looks, or sounds like. Look at the world of created things. God must have been laughing when he fashioned some of those creatures! Tough-skinned grown-ups aren’t much able to id joy, or what is joyful, if it hits them in the face with a cream pie. They’ll probably say, “Oh, thanks joy! Perfectly good pie, and YOU wasted it! Now clean this up.”

God sings, smiles, and laughs. Shocking! (Actually, only to some people.) Open your eyes. God is good. God is even fun!

Maybe we should remember that he gives us this world to enjoy. He give us others to enjoy. This world is our playground, and we may be happy here. Tag-you’re it!

Strikingly Awesome-tallest tree photo EVER

The ingenuity for taking this this photo is pretty unbelievable.

Three cameras, and a composite of the tallest tree photo ever.

300 feet. 1,500 year old California redwood.

Be amazed. As you scroll down, watch for the people stationed in the tree.

(Full article here)

 

300 foot tree captured on film!
300 foot tree captured on film!

Tell me what you think!

 

Welcome Schuylkill-News Readers!

Welcome! If you’re visiting because of reading my column Notes From the Footpath in the Schuylkill-News, please let me know in a comment below.

Also tell me if you have any questions (about my SN article, this site, or Christian spirituality, etc.).

Poke around. There’s lots to read, think about, and challenge yourself with too. I love to hear your take on things, so feel free to post. You should know, I like posting funny things (photos, videos, etc.), and mildly amusing little, cosmo-style quizzes. And I give away gifts!

(Do a site-wide search on the blog home page for what interests you, or check the archives listed.) I post almost every day, so come back again soon.

So glad you came by. 🙂