Innerweave: The Wholeness Story
By Wil Alexander, PhD, Professor of family medicine, School of Medicine
Scarcely does autumn begin when cobwebs, witches, and “spirits” are eerily present to herald another “All Saints Day.” One is troubled that the notion of “spirit” is so costumely truncated with trick or treat that the real spirit of human being and becoming loses its own vital mystery and wonder. And great is the loss thereof.
Dr. Gerald May in his classic work, Will and Spirit, offers this rich and mysterious perspective on human “spirit”:
“Spirit, like mystery, is a concept easily confused and distorted. The Latin spiritus means “breath,” as in respiration, referring to the fundamental life force, the breath of life.... The most basic and lasting understanding of spirit is that it is the force of being, like Wordsworth’s ‘something far more deeply interfused…that impels all thinking things, all objects of thought.’ ...spirit is the aspect of our essence that gives it power, energy, and motive force.
“If spirit means the basic force of life, then it is obvious that spirit and mystery are closely related. The direct experience of being is an encounter with mystery. It is also a decidedly spiritual experience, since it confronts the lively, dynamic qualities of being…spirituality is always mysterious... . The search for an experiential appreciation of the meaning of life is a spiritual quest, and if followed deeply enough, it will inevitably come on mystery.”
Think then, what the Holy Spirit brings to our human spirit that is so mysteriously wonderful…it will make Thanksgiving and Christmas mysteriously spiritual.