When I say reality I refer to all that really is. I would say that
God is, and that the spiritual realm is. I won't go along with K's
insistence that God does not "exist". I think I know what he means,
but I don't adopt his definition.
Of course the greeks had a notion of "spirit". I think our
preconception of matter and spirit as somehow opposed to one another
is the product of synthesis with greek thought, especially Platonism.
"(Lat. spiritus, spirare, "to breathe"; Gk. pneuma; Fr. esprit; Ger.
Geist). As these names show, the principle of life was often
represented under the figure of a breath of air. The breath is the
most obvious symptom of life, its cessation the invariable mark of
death; invisible and impalpable, it stands for the unseen mysterious
force behind the vital processes. Accordingly we find the
word "spirit" used in several different but allied senses: (1) as
signifying a living, intelligent, incorporeal being, such as the
soul; (2) as the fiery essence or breath (the Stoic pneuma) which
was supposed to be the universal vital force; (3) as signifying some
refined form of bodily substance, a fluid believed to act as a
medium between mind and the grosser matter of the body. The
hypothesis of "spirits" in this sense was familiar to the Scholastic
age, in fact down to the end of the eighteenth century, "animal
spirits", "vital spirits", "natural spirits" were acknowledged
agencies in all physiological phenomena (cf. Vesalius, Descartes,
Harvey, Erasmus, Darwin, etc.) "Magnetic" spirits were employed by
Mesmer in his theory in very much the same way as modern Spiritists
invoke the "ether" of the physicists."
I meant specifically matter and spirit, but according to this
dualistic paradigm metaphysics and intellect would be associated
with the upper story and the spiritual. I agree that the ancient
greeks had a different understanding of what consituted the spirit
or the spiritual. But I think the fact that greek thought influenced
Christian theology is indisputable, don't you?
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
, "Een Enkelte"
> Dear Ron,
> - Greek philosophy separates reality into two tiers of matter and
> spirit. -
> How careful were you being in your choice of words? Did you mean
> matter and metaphysical; or did you mean specifically spirit?
> I suggest to you that on the Kierkegaardian account, to suggest
> the Greeks had a concept of spirit is no less anachronistic than
> suggest that they had a concept of the steam-locomotive or Boston.
> Indeed, and most precisely, it would be no less anachronistic than
> suggest that they had received the Gospel.
> Best regards,
> PS If you want to make sense of Kierkegaard, it would pay to be
> careful with the term 'reality'.