Key Term Definitions
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"There is no such way to gain admittance, or give defense to strange and absurd doctrines, as to guard them round about with legions of obscure, doubtful, and undefined words; which yet make these retreats more like the dens of robbers, or holes of foxes, than fortresses of fair warriors." - John Locke
There are at least three problems associated with definitions: 1) they can be shallow or irrelevant, 2) they can be blurry or indistinct, and 3) they can be misguided or wrong.
There are dozens of dictionaries that are published, and many online, so why bother to deal with definitions on this site? The answer is that too many times the definitions given are shallow and little more that lists of synonyms, and don't get down to the bedrock of the issue. For instance, the deep definition of "worship" is: To give credit for the sustenance or enhancement of life, or some combination thereof. But try and find that definition in ANY dictionary out there!
Dealing with spiritual issues without adequate word definitions is like fixing watches with blurry vision and shaky hands. The communication is incomplete, misguided, and misunderstood, and the confusion and frustration mount up until usually people are turned off to further discussion. What with word definitions in usage today having wandered significantly from their original meanings, and with these definitions now "obscure, doubtful" and vague, the definitions below are an attempt to go back to the original meaning of the words in their Sanskrit and the Indo-European roots. Most dictionaries are ignorant of Sanskrit often having the deepest roots. English has come to us primarily from Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin, the three ancient languages from which about 90+% of English originated.
BELIEVE v: This word does not just mean to retain the selected concept in one's belief system, but means to choose to incorporate a certain conception from an issue, which is not totally knowable from information, into your belief system because you like or love the concept; from "be" meaning be and "liev" meaning like or love. Just holding onto a concept that one did not consciously choose is not actively believing, like locking yourself behind the door instead of opening it and looking through it to see if you want to GO through it. It is always either fear of evil or credit for goodness that compels belief.
Specifically, in a moral and religious
reference, (believe) is used in the New Testament of the conviction and trust to
which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and
law of his soul (Thayer's GREEK-ENGLISH LEXICON of the New Testament,
4th edition). See belief system, knowledge, choice, conception,
BELIEF n: a conviction or mental acceptance by or through
something or certain things as true and real. Distinguished from
knowledge in that belief is not fully based on sensory input, experience, empirical
evidence or logic dissociated from purpose and reason. It is compelled
by either attraction to goodness or objection to evil.
COMPREHEND v: literally to encircle or enclose, to fully
engulf with the mind.
CONFUSION n: literally "with melting", a state where reality is blurred
so as to not be clear or distinguishable, ultimately not knowable. See superstition, mysticism.
DEVIL n: the term actually means "divider" (Diabolos
in Greek), and in
traditional Christian theology stands for the original empowered angel
now turned completely evil when it should stand for the original lie.
ECCLESIA n: an ancient Greek word which refers to a
group of people who are called or selected because of their wisdom and
come together to do something about the ultimate or extreme issues which
they find themselves facing.
EVIL n: That which diminishes, interferes with or threatens the
sustenance and enhancement of life and THEREBY DECREASES MORALE. See
Definition of Evil
FEAR v: to give credit for the possibility or intent of decreasing, detracting from, or eliminating the sustenance and/or enhancement of life. The opposite of worship.
GOD n: traditionally defined as a transcendent supra-human being in terms of power and control, the term should instead be value-loaded with goodness and refer to a being or entity with an ideal character, purpose and values for us as individuals. The term should be decoupled from the term Creator.
GOODNESS n: That which supports and delivers the sustenance and enhancement of life, and thereby increases morale.
HELL n: wrung from a very strained doctrine based upon a
very few New Testament texts, which are misinterpreted, it is supposed to be a
place of eternal torment where the doomed participants are tortured with
their flesh literally and endlessly burning. The foundation for this construct
from the fire and brimstone raining down from the sky in some
ancient planetary catastrophes.
LOVE v: Loving involves improving the sustenance and enhancement of another person's life. When you love someone emotionally, you are highly motivated to deliver what they need and what they want but may be precluded from doing so by inability or circumstances. When you love someone literally, you actually deliver to some extent what they need and what they want. Genuine love cannot be decoupled from fulfilling legitimate needs and desires.
LUCIFER n: the term originally meant "light bearer" in Latin and is used in ancient mythology and the Old Testament to refer to either the planet Mars or Venus, both of which played the role of being the light bearer having fallen from heaven.
MATTER: n: something serious or of some import, a development or
issue that has meaning, i.e., that affects the enhancement or sustenance
of life, something that affects feeling and emotion.
MORALITY n: The study or concern over behavior that
affects our morale and the morale of others.
ORTHODOXY adj: Original meaning is essentially 'right belief" but now has little meaning besides "majority" or mainstream, and the word no longer implies true belief..
PARADIGM n: from the Greek word "paradeigma", which means model or
pattern; it is the under-girding conceptual framework of our conceived
reality that describes boundaries, structures our perceptions and
determines what conclusions we make out of information and what truths
we come to from these conclusions.
PHILOSOPHY n: from the Greek, "friendly to wisdom"
or "love of Wisdom", the
systematic study and collection of wisdom and the pursuit of truth
incorporating experience, science and theology. See religion, science,
RESPOND v: to deal with a situation in a considered, constructive, measured, effective way. In contrast to "react", which is a more emotional, unconstructed or automatic stimulus to act.
RESPONSIBILITY n: literally the ability to respond appropriately, should not be confused with assigning blame.
SALVATION n: deliverance or preservation from danger or death.
SATAN n: the term means blocker, obstructer or one who opposes;
in the Old Testament an angel that worked for God and now is wrongly associated with the New
TRINITY n: in traditional Christian theology, the holy
trinity stood for the godhead of three gods in one, a mysterious and
confusing construction impossible to understand.
UNDERSTAND v: The word "understand" is a compound word composed of "stand" and "under" implying support. In terms of concepts and ideas it is to know, or intellectually grasp or see enough of the idea or concept to properly deal with it. In terms of relationships with other living beings it means to spiritually and/orpsychologically see enough of the person's makeup, the character, purpose, values, mindset or attitude, and behavior, to lend at least some degree of legitimate agreement and support. In the case of a person worthy to be called God, presumably upon seeing enough, we would enthusiastically and wholeheartedly endorse and support.
Greater or more expansive than conceive, the word "understand" is not as far-reaching or presumptuous as to comprehend. And so it is a mistake to confuse the meaning of the words "comprehend" and "understand". See "comprehend", which comes from a root meaning to encircle, to encompass, to totally surround or engulf. Seeing and encompassing are two distinctly different actions or endeavors, and the words based in their roots cannot legitimately mean the same thing.
VOLITION n: a three tiered structure of potential in the Homo Sapien, which like language and other abilities and facets can be awakened to nurture the spiritual growth of a Human Being. It can be simplified in this way: 1) We can choose what to believe, 2) We can will how to be, and 3) We can decide what to do. The operation of the latter two depend greatly upon the first.
WISDOM n: a combination of factual knowledge, true belief, humane values, proper purpose, valid experience and understanding of God and humanity resulting in a practical ability to sustain and enhance life and deal with complex or expansive situations. See believe, knowledge, purpose, understand.
WORSHIP v: to give credit for the origin, more especially the sustenance, and most especially the enhancement of life. The opposite of fear.