Spirit is a complicated, nebulous term extending from the sacred and holy to the depths of the human. It captures human consciousness of meanings and purposes extending beyond individual lives, and directs people to the boundaries of self. Spirit may also refer to the supernatural or immaterial, the divine or sacred, an animating principle, a property of the person, mind or consciousness, the process of emergence or coming into being, an orientation to ultimate mystery, and the ethical or transformative. There is a Christian tradition, from Irenaeus in the second century to Erasmus in the sixteenth, that views the human person as a tripartite complex of spirit, soul, and body, but there is an alternative sense in which these are varying orientations of a unitary person. With reference to the individual, spirit and soul are used almost interchangeably, although spirit tends to be less individuated, and the soul more tied to the religious.
Theological developments begin with the ancient understanding of spirit as life. The Hebrews used the word ruach to refer to divine breath, and the word nephesh to refer to a product of the spirit, translated as "person" or "soul." The Greek term pneuma, meaning "breath of life," is translated as "spirit" of life and breath and is distinguishable from the images and ideas of the psyche, translated as "soul" or "mind.". This sense of spirit may also include the "new life" of prophetic inspiration, art, poetry, and courage.
The ancient Hebrews understood humans to be unitary persons, which is also consistent with the early Epistles of the New Testament. The medieval Christian philosopher Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225–1274) drew on Aristotle's understanding of form as inseparable from substance, seeing the human spirit inseparable from its corporeality. A disembodied soul may be theologically problematic, both in failing to fulfill the total life of a person and in negating of the body. A deeply immanent view of the relation between spirit and life is also found in modern theologies like that of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955), Karl Rahner (1904–1984), and Wolfhart Pannenberg (b. 1928). On this view, evolution itself is the continuous development of matter towards spirit, nature becoming conscious of itself in human beings, systems open to the future.
The idea of spirit is restricted to mind in early Christian syntheses, equivalent to the Latin word mens for Augustine of Hippo (354–430 c.e.). He sees the self as transcendent in all of its functions, including memory and understanding, and his emphasis on private experience contributed to the inwardness institutionalized by Christianity. During the seventeenth century, René Descartes argued that mental faculties are largely explainable as bodily activities, except for conscious thought. To account for consciousness, Descartes posits a nonmaterial dual substance, causally interacting with the brain, knowable only through privileged and incorrigible introspection. Contemporary solutions to the mind-body problem recognize an inescapable dependence on mind upon brain, but have not yet explained subjective experience.
A tension remains between a view of spirit as internal or as external to the human mind. Pannenberg warns that while the identification of spirit with mind may be a human projection, its Christian opposition often results in irrational subjectivism (p. 127). Spirit as the principle of life may be generative of mind, more than an individual's brain function, but a set of interiorized relationships. Even a scientific understanding of mind may require more than individual neurobiology, but it is not clear whether spirit requires a further step, since human invention and divine inspiration are not mutually exclusive.
Human spirit has also been equated with self-transcendence, intimately tied to human freedom and development. The theologies of Teilhard de Chardin and Paul Tillich (1886–1905) treat spirit as a dimension of life that takes one's biological, individual self-awareness into the personal and communal, with ecstatic acts of self-transcendence overcoming existential anxiety. According to Rahner, human minds enable the abstraction by which people move beyond themselves to a horizon of meaning. If spirit is about the meanings that transcend human finitude, it can encourage an obliteration of a bounded and autonomous self. The theological idea of kenosis captures this idea of emptying the self into a larger vessel. The spirit is then constituted by stepping beyond the boundaries of self, in relating to others and, as Rahner writes, to the "unutterable mystery of life we call God" (Grenz and Olson, p. 240).
Science and religion
In the dialogue between science and religion, spirit is a bridging concept between the ultimate metaphysical concerns of religion and their embodiment within human experience. The sense of spirit as an immanent creative force finds expression in process theology's use of developments in physics to understand even matter as including an experiential interior. This sense is also seen in the use of chaos theory, complexity theory, and autopoesis to understand the work of spirit. Ian Barbour sees spirit in the emergent novelties of evolution, including unique activities at higher levels of organic complexity.
Most uses of spirit in the science-religion dialogue have been in making sense of the evolutionary biology of human mental and moral lives, including both an opposition to theological dualism and an understanding that a reductive materialism would explain away much of what is important about human life. The beacon for theological anthropology is the view that spirit, soul, person, and mind are emergent properties of evolved human biology. Under this view, persons are psychosomatically unitary organisms, characterized by an inner life of extreme complexity, unpredictability, and novelty in which the evolution and development of complex nervous systems bring autonomy, identity, and will into being. The human spirit is a contingent product of a hierarchy of biological functions on which personal existence depends, and which gives rise to capacities like morality and religious experience. In theologies of nature like those of Ian Barbour, Arthur Peacocke, and Philip Hefner, human personal and social lives are intimately related to the rest of natural creation by virtue of evolutionary emergence and novelty, mind and spirit. Religious neuroscientists, such as Donald Mackay, Malcolm Jeeves, and Fraser Watts, also emphasize a complementarity or compatibilism between neuroscience and theology. While higher-order properties physically depend on their components, relationships between the emergent unit and its elements is neither identical with nor derivable from them. Philosophically oriented thinkers, such as Nancey Murphy and Philip Clayton, describe spiritual and mental events as "supervenient" over neurophysiological ones, and as both multiply realizable and multiply constitutable. Warren Brown and John Teske suggest further that human spirituality is neuropsychologically constituted only in the context of personal relationships, and in the shaping of human brains by cultural forces.
A range of naturalistic theories of religious experiences ties them to patterns of emotional attachment and to neural structures as in Eugene d'Aquili's life-long program, synthesized in The Mystical Mind (1999). Disciplines like prayer and meditation have documentable physical effects, and a whole literature exists on the psychological benefits of spirituality. A tradition of research in the psychology of spiritual development, of which James Fowler's Stages of Faith (1981) is the best known, also connects the interdependent self of mature ego-development to the breakdown of self/other boundaries sought by spiritual and ethical traditions. At higher levels of development, spirit is really not about the individual, nor is it otherworldly, but still strongly opposes a materialistic ethic.
See also Aristotle; Augustine; Descartes, RenÉ; Dualism; Freedom; Holy Spirit; Human Nature, Religious and Philosophical Aspects; Kenosis; Materialism; Neurosciences; Physicalism, Reductive and Nonreductive; Pneumatology; Process Thought; Self; Self-transcendence; Soul; Spirituality; Supernaturalism; Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre; Thomas Aquinas; Whitehead, Alfred North
barbour, ian g. religion and science: historical and contemporary issues. new york: harper, 1997.
brown, warren s.; murphy, nancey c.; and malony, h. newton, eds. whatever happened to the soul? scientific and theological portraits of human nature. minneapolis, minn.: fortress press, 1998.
d'aquili, eugene, and, newberg, andrew b. the mystical mind: probing the biology of religious experience. minneapolis, minn.: fortress press, 1999.
drees, willem b. religion, science, and naturalism. new york: cambridge university press, 1996.
flanagan, owen. the science of the mind, 2nd edition. cambridge, mass.: mit press, 1991.
gregersen, neils; drees, willem; and gorman, ulf, eds. the human person in science and theology. grand rapids, mich.: eerdmans, 2000.
grenz, stanley j., and olson, roger e. twentieth century theology. downers grove, ill.: intervarsity press, 1992.
hefner, philip. the human factor: evolution, culture, and religion. minneapolis, minn.: fortress press, 1993.
pannenberg, wolfhart. toward a theology of nature: essays on science and faith, ed. ted peters. louisville, ky.: westminster john knox press, 1993.
peacocke, arthur. theology for a scientific age: being and becoming—natural divine, and human, 2nd edition. minneapolis, minn: fortress press, 1993.
rahner, karl. foundations of christian faith. new york: seabury, 1978.
sacks, oliver. "neurology and the soul." new york review of books, november 20 (1990): 44–50.
spong, john shelby. why christianity must change or die: a bishop speaks to believers in exile. san francisco: harper, 1998.
teske, john a. "the genesis of mind and spirit." zygon 36, no. 1 (2001): 93–104.
john a. teske
"Spirit." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/spirit
"Spirit." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/spirit
Beginning in one of the most fertile periods of American rock music, Spirit created some of the most memorable music of the past three decades, outlasting many pop music trends along the way. With its eclectic musical mix of rock, jazz, blues, and folk influences, Spirit was one of the premier West Coast rock bands to emerge during the late 60s. Although the band never reached superstar status, it has maintained a dedicated following. Spirit’s musical activities came to a premature and tragic end with the accidental death of leader and guitarist Randy California in 1997.
The story of Spirit began at the folk club, The Ash Grove, in the early 60s. The Ash Grove hosted traditional artists such as Doc Watson, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and The Carter Family. The owner of the Ash Grove frequently brought artists to the home of his teenaged nephew, Randy Wolfe, an aspiring guitarist. In 1965, Wolfe’s stepfather Ed Cassidy was the drummer in another of the Ash Grove’s regular artists, the blues band The Rising Sons, which featured Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder.
Members include Mark Andes , (b. February 19, 1948, member c. 1967-71, 1975), bass; Matt Andes (member c. 1976-1996), guitar; Rachel Andes (member 1996), vocals; Randy California , (b. Randy Craig Wolfe, February 20, 1951, Los Angeles, d. January 2, 1997, drowned, Molokai, Hawaii), guitar, vocals; Ed Cassidy (b. May 4, 1923), drums; Jay Ferguson , (b. John Arden Ferguson, February 5, 1947, member c. 1967-71), vocals; Barry Keene (member c. 1975), bass; Larry Knight (member c. 1973-78), bass; John Locke , (b. September 23, 1943, member c. 1967-72, 1975, 1996), keyboards; Steve Loria (member c. 1970s-96), bass; AlStaehely (memberc. 1972), bass, vocals; J. Christian Staehely (member c. 1972), guitar.
Formed c. 1967, in Los Angeles; released debut album Spirit on Ode, 1967; appeared in and scored film The Model Shop, 1969; disbanded c. 1971; reformed c. 1973; formed Potato Records, 1978; formed W.E.R.C.C.R.E.W. Records, c. 1990s; disbanded c. 1997.
Awards - R.I.A.A. Gold Album Certification, Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, c. 1976.
Address: Record Company—Spirit/W.E.R.C.C.R.E.W., P. O. Box 655, Ojai, CA, 93024.
By the end of the year, Cassidy had left the Rising Sons, and began sitting in with Wolfe’s new folk-rock band The Red Roosters, with guitarist Jay Ferguson, bassist Mark Andes, and vocalist Mike Fondiler. The Roosters disbanded in 1966 when Wolfe’s family moved to New York City. Wolfe later described losing his guitar during the move as “a stroke of luck”, as he met Jimi Hendrix at Manny’s Music Store. Hendrix dubbed Wolfe “Randy California” and invited him to join his band Jimmy James and the Blue Flames.
Soon Hendrix went to England to form the Experience, and Randy back to California. At a love-in in Hollywood, Randy and Ed Cassidy ran into former Red Roosters Ferguson and Andes. They reformed, adding pianist John Locke and called the band Spirits Rebellious after the book by Khalil Gibran. They soon shortened the name to Spirit. The band, its musical mentor Barry Hansen Tradio DJ Dr. Demento] and families moved into a big yellow house in Topanga Canyon, California to rehearse.
Spirit played clubs around Los Angeles and auditioned for record companies early in 1967. Producer Lou Adler signed Spirit to his new label Ode Records. Spirit’s self titled debut album begins with a series of enthusiastic shouts by the band members before launching into the insistent ensemble playing of “Fresh Garbage”; Spirit’s sound reflected the many influences of each band member and their abilities to fuse them into a cohesive sound.
While Spirit reached the Top 40 of Billboard’s Album Chart, the band needed a hit single. California was up to the task with “I Got A Line On You”, the leadoff track to 1968’s The Family That Plays Together. An insistent guitar riff propelled the single to number 25 on the BillboardCharts. The album found the band further refining its sound and reflecting its concern for the spiritual well-being of humankind in its lyrics.
Spirit appeared in and scored parts of Jacques Demy’s film The Model Shop in 1969. This activity caused the band to lose focus during recording sessions for Clear. Randy California recalls in the Time Circle (1968-1972) liner notes, “The album itself was an afterthought in that we were working on the soundtrack to the movie. …So of all the albums, that was the least concentrated effort of the group…” Despite that humble summation by California, Clearboasted many strong tracks, including “Dark Eyed Woman”. The band’s fortunes were damaged by a radio tip sheet report that its single “1984” was “too political” for AM radio play, halting its progress in the charts.
Most damaging for Spirit’s career in 1969 was a management decision to send the band on a radio promotion tour instead of appearing at Woodstock, right before Randy California’s old friend Jimi Hendrix. California recalled in Clear’s liner notes, “You can imagine how we all felt watching Woodstock on the 5 o’clock news knowing we should have been there.”
Recording sessions for Spirit’s fourth album were delayed when California fell from a horse and fractured his skull. After much delay, Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus was released late in 1970. The album featured Spirit’s most structured material to date, put together to form a cohesive statement. Disheartened by the lukewarm reception it received, Spirit disbanded in 1971, with Ferguson and Andes forming the group Jo Jo Gunne. After an unsuccessful solo album, California quit the music business and relocated to Hawaii.
Ed Cassidy and John Locke attempted to revamp the group for 1973’s unsuccessful Feedback. Eventually California returned to the fold, and Spirit recorded an album, Journey Through Potatoland, that remained unreleased until 1981. Touring enabled the band to finance further recording sessions which led to a contract with Mercury Records in 1975 and the albums Spirit of 76 and Son of Spirit. 1976’s Farther Along featured John Locke and Mark Andes for the first time since Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, while Future Games was a bizarre, science fiction inspired solo album.
Spirit continued to record and tour throughout the 1980s. The 90s have seen a renewal of interest in Spirit’s early work, culminating in Randy California’s assistance with deluxe reissues of the first four Spirit albums. Yet Spirit would not remain a name from the past. The band contributed a new track, alongside the most innovative rock artists, to a benefit CD for the English magazine Ptolemaic Terrascope when it was in financial trouble. California Blues, the most recent Spirit album was released on the band’s W.E.R.C.C.R.E.W. label. The lineup features California and Cassidy with guitarist Matt Andes, brother of former bassist Mark, and his daughter Rachel on vocals.
Spirit’s career came to a tragic end on January 2, 1997, when Randy California was body surfing in Hawaii with his 12 year old son Quinn. Caught in a rip tide, Randy was able to push his son to safety but was dragged away by the waves. His body was never recovered.
Spirit, Ode, 1967, reissued Legacy, 1996.
The Family That Plays Together, Ode, 1968, reissued Legacy, 1996
Clear, Ode, 1969, reissued Legacy, 1996.
Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, Epic, 1970, reissued Mobile Fidelity, 1992, reissued Legacy, 1996.
Feedback, Epic, 1972.
Best of Spirit (rec. 1967-73), Epic, 1973.
Spirit of’76, Mercury, 1975.
Son of Spirit, Mercury, 1975.
Farther Along, Mercury, 1976.
Future Games (A Magical Kahuna Dream), Mercury, 1977.
Live, Potato, 1979.
The Adventures of Kaptain Kopter and Commander Cassidy in Potatoland (rec. 1974), Rhino, 1981.
Spirit of’84, Mercury, 1984.
Rapture In The Chambers, I.R.S., 1989.
Tent of Miracles, Dolphin, 1990.
Time Circle (1968-1972), Epic, 1991.
Chronicles, W.E.R.C.C.R.E.W., 1992.
Potatoland, W.E.R.C.C.R.E.W., 1992.
Live At LaPaloma, W.E.R.C.C.R.E.W., 1992.
California Blues, W.E.R.C.C.R.E.W., 1996.
The Mercury Years (rec. 1975-1977), Mercury, 1997.
“Cages”, from Succour, A Terrascope Benefit Album, Fly-daddy, 1996.
(by Randy California), Kapt. Kopter and the (Fabulous) Twirly Birds, Epic, 1973.
(By Randy California), “American Society”, POT 6 EP accompanying Ptolemaic Terrascope Issue 6.
Joynson, Vernon, Fuzz, Acid, and Flowers, Borderline, 1995.
Billboard, February 3, 1968; September 27, 1969; February 13, 1971; April 29, 1972; July 19, 1975; September 15, 1984.
Crawdaddy, March 19, 1972; May 14, 1972.
Creem, November, 1976.
Jazz & Pop, March, 1971.
Melody Maker, February 7, 1970; June 10, 1972; March 31, 1973; April 23, 1973; July 12, 1975; September 18, 1976; March 18, 1978; September 9, 1978; May 9, 1981.
Ptolemaic Terrascope, Issue 3; Issue 4; Issue 23.
Rolling Stone, March 4, 1971, August 14, 1975; January 1, 1976.
Variety, February 7, 1968; October 22, 1969; April 19, 1972; September 8, 1976; September 15, 1976.
Additional information was provided by W.E.R.C.C.R.E.W. Records.
"Spirit." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/spirit
"Spirit." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/spirit
A basic concept in the Western religious traditions, in which it is often contrasted to the material aspect of existence. The Hebrew word ruah (spirit) originally meant "breath" or "wind," and the association of spirit with breath and wind is also found in the Greek word pneuma. In the Christian tradition, biblical interpreters generally argue for one of two views of the spirit. Some see the spirit as synonymous with the soul and as the principle of all life, including the intellectual, moral, and religious, and believe that when the body dies the soul returns to God, who made it. Others tend to see a distinction between the spirit and the soul. They believe the soul (psyche) is the principle of animal life and is possessed by humans and animals alike. The spirit, in contrast, is that which humans possess which is not shared with other animals—a moral and an immortal life, a conscious relationship to God. In this view, the soul and body die, but the spirit survives and goes into God's presence. This latter view has tended to dominate within Spiritualism.
The Spirit in Spiritualism
In Spiritualism spirit is variously defined as the inmost principle, the divine particle, the vital essence, and the inherent actuating element in life. It is seen as manifesting through its association with protoplasm and dwells in the astral body, which Spiritualists identify with the soul, the connecting link between the spirit and the physical body.
At death the connection between the spirit and the physical body is severed, and the spirit finds no ordinary means of manifestation. Spirits appear to be cognizant of space, although not conditioned by it. The same applies to time. Past, present, and future cease to exist for the spirit in the earthly sense.
Spiritualists do not see spirits in the role of Peeping Toms, keeping watch on the most private actions of the living, but have concluded that they are partly conscious of the thoughts and emotions directed toward them from the Earth.
They also maintain that spirits cannot hold communion with the living if the mental attitude of the latter is not receptive to spirit communication. In the mid-nineteenth century chemistry professor Robert Hare was told by alleged spirits that there were peculiar elementary principles out of which spiritual bodies were constructed that were analogous to material elements; that spirits have bodies, with a circulation and respiratory apparatus; and that they breathe a gaseous or ethereal matter that is also inhaled by men, beasts, and fish.
William Denton a geology professor noted for his research in psychometry, wrote: "The vision that can see through brick walls and distinguish objects miles away, does not belong to the body; it must belong to the spirit. Hundreds of times have I had the evidence that the spirit can smell, hear and see, and has powers of locomotion. As the fin in the unhatched fish indicates the water in which he may one day swim, so these powers in man indicate that mighty realm which the spirit is fitted eternally to enjoy."
Crawley, A. E. The Idea of the Soul. New York: Macmillan, 1909.
De Vesme, Caesar. A History of Experimental Spiritualism. 2 vols. London: Rider, 1931.
Driesch, Hans. History and Theory of Vitalism. New York: Macmillan, 1914.
Hackforth, R., trans. Plato's Phaedo. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press, 1955.
Hare, Robert. Experimental Investigation of the Spirit Manifestations. New York, 1856.
Heysinger, Isaac. Spirit and Matter Before the Bar of Modern Science. London: T. Werner Laurie, 1910.
Hyslop, James H. Contact With the Other World. New York: Century, 1919.
King, J. H. The Supernatural. 2 vols. London, 1892.
Mead, G. R. S. The Doctrine of the Subtle Body in Western Tradition. London: J. M. Watkins, 1919.
——. Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death. London: Longmans, Green, 1903. Reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1975.
Tweedale, C. L. Man's Survival After Death. London, 1909. Reprint, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1918.
Tylor, E. B. Primitive Culture. 2 vols. New York: George Putnam's Sons, 1871.
"Spirit." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/spirit
"Spirit." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/spirit
spir·it / ˈspirit/ • n. 1. the nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character; the soul: we seek a harmony between body and spirit. ∎ such a part regarded as a person's true self and as capable of surviving physical death or separation: a year after he left, his spirit is still present. ∎ such a part manifested as an apparition after their death; a ghost. ∎ a supernatural being: shrines to nature spirits. ∎ (the Spirit) short for Holy Spirit. ∎ archaic a highly refined substance or fluid thought to govern vital phenomena. 2. [in sing.] those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a person, nation, or group or in the thought and attitudes of a particular period: the university is a symbol of the nation's egalitarian spirit. ∎ a person identified with their most prominent mental or moral characteristics or with their role in a group or movement: he was a leading spirit in the conference. ∎ a specified emotion or mood, esp. one prevailing at a particular time: I hope the team will build on this spirit of confidence. ∎ (spirits) a person's mood: the warm weather lifted everyone's spirits after the winter. ∎ the quality of courage, energy, and determination or assertiveness: his visitors admired his spirit and good temper. ∎ the attitude or intentions with which someone undertakes or regards something: he confessed in a spirit of self-respect, not defiance. ∎ the real meaning or the intention behind something as opposed to its strict verbal interpretation: the rule had been broken in spirit if not in letter. 3. (usu. spirits) strong distilled liquor such as brandy, whiskey, gin, or rum. ∎ a volatile liquid, esp. a fuel, prepared by distillation: aviation spirit. ∎ archaic a solution of volatile components extracted from something, typically by distillation or by solution in alcohol: spirits of turpentine. • v. (-it·ed , -it·ing ) [tr.] convey rapidly and secretly: stolen cows were spirited away some distance to prevent detection. PHRASES: enter into the spirit join wholeheartedly in an event, esp. one of celebration and festivity: he entered into the spirit of the occasion by dressing as a Pierrot. in (or in the) spirit in thought or intention though not physically: he couldn't be here in person, but he is with us in spirit. out of spirits sad; discouraged: I was too tired and out of spirits to eat or drink much. when the spirit moves someone when someone feels inclined to do something: he can be quite candid when the spirit moves him. the spirit world (in animistic and occult belief) the nonphysical realm in which disembodied spirits have their existence.PHRASAL VERBS: spirit someone up archaic stimulate, animate, or cheer up someone. ORIGIN: Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French, from Latin spiritus ‘breath, spirit,’ from spirare ‘breathe.’
"spirit." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spirit-2
"spirit." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spirit-2
Spiritualism is a system of belief or religious practice based on supposed communication with the spirits of the dead, especially through mediums; the word in this sense is recorded from the mid 19th century.
the spirit is willing (but the flesh is weak) someone has good intentions but fails to live up to them; with biblical allusion to Matthew 26:41.
the spirit moves me I am inclined to do something, a phrase originally in Quaker use with reference to the Holy Spirit.
Spirit of St Louis the name of the single-engined monoplane in which Charles Lindbergh made the first solo transatlantic flight in 1927.
"spirit." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spirit
"spirit." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spirit
A. breath of life;
B. vital principle;
C. incorporeal being XIII; immaterial element of a human being;
D. vital power XIV;
E. †any of four substances so named of the alchemists XIV; liquid of the nature of an essence XVII. — AN., aphetic of espirit, OF. esperit, (also mod.) esprit — L. spīritus breathing, breath, air, life, soul, pride, courage, (in Chr. use) incorporeal being, f. spīrāre breathe.
Hence spirit vb. (arch.) enliven, inspirit XVI; carry away mysteriously XVII. spirited (-ED2) XVI. spiritism XIX. So spiritual pert. to the spirit XIV; ecclesiastical XIV. ME. spirituel (later latinized) — (O)F. spirituel — L. spīrituālis; see -AL1. spirituality XV. — (O)F. or late L. spiritualism XIX. spirituous †spirited XVI; ardent, alcoholic XVII. — F. spiritueux or f. L. spīritus.
"spirit." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spirit-3
"spirit." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spirit-3
"spirit." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spirit-1
"spirit." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/spirit-1