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The Spirit World

One needs a bit of faith in the divine for the spectacular to reveal itself.   Erin Behane

In a broad sense, the term "spirit" often refers to the non-physical part of a person, which is associated with their mind, emotions, and will. It's seen as the essence of a person, the core of their being that transcends the physical body. This concept is prevalent in many religious, philosophical, and cultural systems, where the spirit is considered immortal, continuing to exist in some form even after the death of the body. The spirit, in this context, is often associated with qualities such as consciousness, morality, and personal identity.

In another context, "spirit" can also refer to the prevailing or typical quality, mood, or attitude of a person, group, or period of time. For example, we often talk about the "spirit of the times," referring to the dominant cultural and intellectual trends of a particular era. Similarly, the "team spirit" refers to the camaraderie, unity, and shared enthusiasm among the members of a team. In this sense, the spirit is not something intrinsic to an individual, but a collective phenomenon that emerges from their interactions.

The term "spirit" can also be used in a more metaphorical sense to describe the essential quality or nature of something. For instance, we might talk about the "spirit of a law," referring to the underlying purpose or intent behind the law, as opposed to its literal wording. Similarly, in discussing art, one might refer to the "spirit of a painting," meaning the emotion or message that the painting conveys. Here, the spirit is seen as the intangible essence that gives something its unique character and meaning.

Finally, "spirit" can also refer to a supernatural being or entity, such as ghosts, angels, or deities, in various religious and spiritual traditions. These spirits are often seen as having powers and abilities beyond those of humans, and they may be venerated, feared, or sought out for guidance. In this context, the spirit is not just an abstract concept, but a concrete entity that interacts with the physical world in specific ways.

So, the meaning of "spirit" can vary greatly depending on the context, reflecting its rich and multifaceted nature.

Bowls, though seemingly simple objects, can be seen to embody a certain “spirit” through their history, use, and the intention put into their creation. The spirit of a bowl can be thought of as the essence that it carries from its maker and its purpose. For instance, a bowl crafted by a skilled artisan carries the spirit of craftsmanship, reflecting the time, effort, and skill that went into its creation. This spirit is further enriched when the bowl is used for its intended purpose, be it serving food, holding precious items, or even being used in a religious ceremony.

Moreover, the spirit of a bowl can also be seen in the way it brings people together. Consider a bowl filled with food at a family dinner. This bowl is not just a container, but a symbol of togetherness and shared experiences. It holds not just a meal, but the spirit of community, love, and shared joy. Every nick and scratch on it tells a story, adding to its spirit. So, while a bowl is a physical object, the concept of it having a spirit lies in the abstract, in what it represents and the intangible it holds.

Click an image below to see that artwork.

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