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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
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 root meaning of the word in either Greek or Latin, the two
ancient languages from which about 90% of English originated.
BELIEVE v: This word does not just mean to retain the
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
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,
APPREHEND v. to grab hold with the mind.
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.
BELIEF SYSTEM n: that intellectual structure of learned knowledge,
indoctrinated concepts and chosen beliefs that determines our will,
conscience and ultimate behavior. See choice, conscience, decision,
COMPREHEND v: literally to encircle or enclose, to fully
engulf with the mind.
CONCEPTION n: The act or ability of becoming pregnant with ideas, of
forming or developing ideas in the consciousness by intellect or
insight; to think, imagine, understand or comprehend. See mind,
intelligence, intellect, heart.
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.
CREDO n: generally same as creed. Latin for I believe.
CREED n: a brief and specific statement of beliefs, generally held to be
authoritative by some formal organization.
DEVIL n: the term actually means "divider", and in
traditional Christian theology stands for the original empowered angel
now turned completely evil when it should stand for the original lie.
DOCTRINE n: a theory presented to be carefully considered, a teaching or
the set of teachings of a belief system that is advocated by being
carefully worked out from bases and principles considered to be true.
See belief, dogma, precept, tenet.
DOGMA n: a decreed belief or set of beliefs that is formally and
authoritatively affirmed, and is considered to be unassailable or
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.
ETHICS n: the philosophical study of proper standards of conduct and
judgment, specifically as to how they affect other people; and/or any resultant system or code of
behavior of a person or
EVIL n: That which diminishes, interferes with or threatens the
sustenance and enhancement of life and THEREBY DECREASES MORALE. See
Definition of Evil
FAITH n: the personal commitment of volition to choose, in the realm of
belief, the best or personally most positive aspect of issues rather
than the negative. To first trust God that he has given you an innate
ability, and ultimately, to trust that ability to understand and
appreciate him, and trust that he will actively lead you in that
understanding and appreciation. See believe.
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
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 comes
from the fire and brimstone raining down from the sky in some
ancient planetary catastrophes.
HYPOCRISY n: this is a compound word from Greek "Hypo", meaning
below or lacking
in, and Greek "Krisis", meaning distinction, discrimination, judgment,
decision, critical thinking, and literally means inauthentic behavior, thinking, or
especially belief below or lacking in critical judgment.
IDEALISM n: that inner spiritual sense or conception from the heart or
internal reference point which conceives of how things should be or as one
would ultimately want them to be. See believe, heart.
INFORMATION n: facts or data that are incorporated into a person's mind
that become useful or significant; different from knowledge or truth.
See knowledge, logical.
INSTRUCTION n: something presented to be learned, and can be a teaching,
lesson, precept or direction; but not an order to be obeyed. See
KNOWLEDGE n: learned structures of information or logical conclusions
that take on quality, value and meaning for a person; not the same as belief. See
information, logical, truth. See
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
LUCIFER n: the term originally meant "light bearer" 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.
MEANING n: that which potentially or literally succors and feeds the soul, and satisfies its
needs and desires. See spirit.
MORALITY n: The study or concern over behavior that
affects our morale and the morale of others.
MYSTICISM n: That which cannot be understood, but only accepted.
Contrasts with mystery in that a mystery is something which is not
understood at the time but which CAN be understood. Associated with
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 our conclusions.
PERCEPTION n: the act or ability of taking hold, or grasping mentally;
recognizing, observing or becoming aware through the five senses or
intuition. See mind, consciousness, intelligence, sentience.
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,
PRECEPT n: an instruction or directive intended to be a rule of action or conduct.
RELIGION n: this word comes from "re", meaning again, and from Greek roots
meaning to collect or bind with reason, giving 'bind together with
logic'. It has come to mean the personal formal belief system and
practices pertaining to all spiritual and experiential realities, one's
overall logical and reasonable conception of all reality. A religion
that does not bind God and man together with logic is a false religion.
See logical, philosophy, science, theology.
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
should not be confused with assigning blame.
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
SCIENCE n: although the word originally meant knowledge, it now
signifies the systematic observation, study and verification of experiential
information and possession of knowledge of the facts and consistent
logical extensions or conclusions about an object, the material universe
or its aspects and systems. Science deals in the realm of the tangible,
physical, knowable or observable, and pertains to knowledge of how and
what things happen, but is excluded from why in terms of ultimate
A specific science definition would be according to D.E.
"The word 'science', in its original sense, which is still its proper
sense not in the English language alone but in the international
language of European civilization, means a body of systematic or orderly
thinking about a determinate subject-matter." See philosophy, religion, theology.
SPIRIT n: attitude, sum total of a persons purpose, values, innate
desires, and will held to give life
meaning to physical
organisms, a temper or disposition of mind, the activating or essential
principle influencing a person, a special attitude or frame of mind, a
mental disposition characterized by firmness or assertiveness, the
general intent or real meaning of a communication. Specifically in
ontology, the director of human volition and will.
SPIRITUAL adj: on the opposite end of the spectrum from physical it
means non-material, related to producing morale, meaningful, pertaining to the realm of theological ideas and beliefs,
relating to intellectual, philosophical and religious matters rather
than material matters.
SUPERSTITION n: an idea or belief that is unscientific or of unsound
logic that sets up a false understanding preventing the truth or proper action, and often
sets up a context of fear. See fear.
TENET n: a principle or belief that is maintained or defended rather
than being presented as doctrinal teaching or theory.
THEOLOGY n: the systematic study of and reasonable interpretation of
conceptual information, and possession of spiritual knowledge and
consistent logical extensions or conclusions primarily about the
Creator as subject. Theology deals with the intangible or initially unknowable,
spiritual truths which one must choose to believe, and should always pertain to why
as well as how the Creator relates to the universe and humanity. See
philosophy, religion, science.
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.
TRUTH n: the valid, correct and beautiful conception or construct of
knowledge and belief as it relates to literal reality and ultimately to
God and humanity; not the same as knowledge or belief. On a lesser
level, it means the correct distillation from the pertinent knowledge. See knowledge, believe,
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/or psychologically
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".
"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
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. 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.
For those related to the mind see:
For those related to the intellect see: