The Power of Spirit from 240602 Gathering

Power of Faith Insight Shared at the Community Gathering of June 2 2024

The Video for this insight can be viewed at

Greetings everyone, and welcome to the Sacred Breeze Insight entitled the Power of the Spirit of unconditional inclusive love. 

In the last insight that was shared, the value of faith in unconditional, inclusive love was described.  This month, we’re going to discuss the power of the Spirit of unconditional inclusive love.

Let’s start by talking about the characteristics of Spirit herself.  In Jewish scripture Ruach is the word used for spirit.  The same word is used for breath, breeze, and life.    In Greek, the word used for spirit, breath, breeze, and life is Pneuma.  You might also recognize pneuma being used as a prefix for pneumatic, or air driven tools and machines.  For many years I was happy with that definition of Spirit, as source of life and breath.  The book of Genesis from Jewish scripture says God “breathed into the human’s nostrils the breath of life, and the human became a living soul.” 

Then one day I was sitting in a Continuing Education class for therapists, and the speaker said “you know the Greek word for Spirit, don’t you? The word is Psyche.”

I thought I was so smart. I knew then answer, and the answer was Pneuma.  Her statement surprised me so much I wrote it down and later looked it up.  Sure enough, Psyche is used for Spirit, but Spirit as consciousness rather than life and breath.  I wondered if a similar distinction could be found in Hebrew, so I started digging.  I found the word Nephesh, which means animated or having consciousness.  In Islamic scripture, the word Ruh is used to represent Spirit, which is the source of life and knowledge. 

OK, so Spirit has characteristics of life and consciousness.  Christian scripture has similar descriptions of Spirit.  Jesus describes Spirit as the wind, something that can be felt or discerned, but not seen.  In later verses, Jesus describes Spirit as an Advocate and Comforter, someone who comes in times of need.

The apostle Paul describes Spirit in terms of gifts and fruits.  In 1 Cor 13, Paul describes Spiritual gifts as hope faith and love, the greatest of which is love.  Actually, earlier in his writings in his letter to the Galatians, Paul describes the fruits of the Spirit as love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.

So, from Judeo Christian Islamic and Greek origins, Spirit is source of life and consciousness.   But Spirit is more.  Spirit is also a separate sentient entity that provides gifts of life, consciousness, and more – hope, faith, and love.  Spirit is Other.  When Spirit is discerned and gifts accepted, fruits are produced and shared. 

What does it take to discern Spirit and receive her gifts?  Humans, like all animals, are born with survival instincts.  Survival instincts are incredibly strong, and can block out all reason and the voices all others for the sake of preserving self. Instinct can also block out the still small voice of Spirit. 

One example of instincts isolating individuals is in addiction.  Chemical and behavioral addictions stimulate neurochemicals inside a person that are key to survival. Neurochemicals like dopamine and endorphins are produced when people drink cool water on a hot day and when people eat a good meal.   When people are deprived of key neurochemicals, they feel as if their survival is threatened.  The intentional overstimulation of neuroreceptors in addiction takes away the joy and satisfaction associated with normal life and relationships.  Survival instincts take over and isolation occurs.   

With the encouragement and support from 12 step groups and programs, millions of people who suffer addiction have seen past the blindness created by instinct, opened their hearts to Spirit as Higher Power for inspiration and comfort through recovery.  And while in recovery, Spirit inspires people to offer support to others who suffer, through sponsorship and encouragement in meetings and gatherings. 

Spirit experienced as Higher Power is not limited to people who suffer addiction.    People who experience challenges of all kinds respond with compassion toward others who suffer similar challenges.  Cancer, caregiving for children and seniors, caregiving for people with special needs, support for hunger, homelessness, and support after incarceration are just a few of the ways people respond to the Spirit’s call to compassion and support. 

Another example of the power of Spirit comes from the book Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.  Frankl describes his experiences living in a concentration camp under fascist oppression.  One of the characteristics of fascist movements is that they prey on the fears of people in order to gain control.  Part of the process of preying on fears is to pile blame on particular groups of people.  We’ve seen this many times throughout history and around the world.  People blame race, religion, culture, ethnicity, immigration status, and even socio-economic status.  When a group is targeted for scapegoating, they are usually vulnerable and easily set apart and targeted. 

In Nazi fascism, Jewish people were targeted for incarceration, enslavement, and mass extermination.  Along with millions of others, Viktor Frankl was enslaved in a concentration camp.  One of the stories he tells is of the moment when the war ended.  He describes how at that moment, the few prisoners who remained alive were horribly emaciated, starved, and living in rags through harsh winter conditions.  At that moment, the moment when the war was declared over, some of the guards who enforced the cruel systems in which the prisoners were enslaved, suddenly became compassionate and caring.  They offered food, warm clothing, and assistance.  The guards had been numbed by the fears and threats from the system that had been created to enslave and murder so many innocent men, women, and children.  The moment the oppressive system was lifted, they recognized the suffering, and they responded with compassion to the call of the Spirit. 

There are many many stories of people who respond to the Spirit of unconditional, inclusive love  under harsh, cruel conditions, even placing their own lives in danger to offer compassion.  This story stands out due to the instant transformation the guards experienced once the cruel system was lifted.  Once the fears and the scapegoating were lifted. Once the dire demands of instinct to survive within a system that threatened everyone’s lives were lifted. 

That’s the power of Spirit, to move, to transform, to heal, and to reconcile.  Authentic Spirit calls people to act as Spirit’s voice, hands, and feet, inspiring and moving those who are willing to provide comfort and help for others when and where possible. 

In my own life, I have experienced the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit on many occasions.  I’m not alone in this, if you discuss Spirit with people of faith, you will hear many many stories where Spirit has provided inspiration. 

Most recently, family members and I found ourselves in a left turn lane at the intersection of busy highways behind a car that had flashers on.  The driver, who was accompanied by her mother and a child, were stranded.  My first instinct, was of course, to get around her and perhaps let emergency crews deal with the issue.  I had family in the car, we were on our way to a gathering, we had plans.  Then, there it was, the still small voice.  I turned on my vehicle’s flashers, invited others in my car to join me, and jumped out to help push this person through the intersection to a gas station on the other side.

This in itself wasn’t remarkable, I’d done similar things a few times throughout my life, a lot of people have.  The surprise came when several other strangers appeared along side us, also willing and ready to push that car through the intersection.  As it turns out, I let younger stronger individuals do the pushing while I signaled traffic to slow down and give us leeway to safely get the car through the intersection. On another day, at another time, there may have been angry and frustrated drivers honking horns and snarling traffic.  As it was, seeing one person respond with Grace motivated several others to respond as well.

These kinds of events happen all the time for people with eyes, ears, and hearts open to Spirit.  Fears and instincts are set aside, if even momentarily, and the fruits of the Spirit are shared. Love finds a way. 

That’s the power of Spirit.  But it starts with a seed.  One person demonstrates a little Grace, and many others may find a capacity for patience and compassion. Under conditions that range from extreme duress, to minor inconvenience. 

In conclusion, I pray that you will find the inspiration to be the seed.  Listen for the still small voice.  Have some patience.  Allow compassion to find a way.  Allow the power of the Spirit of unconditional love to find foothold, to blossom, and to bear fruit. 

Posted by admin on 2 Jun 2024 in Category Insights    •••    The Power of Spirit from 240602 Gathering / Insights

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