There are three Greek words for our English word life. Thank God for the Greeks, huh.
Bios refers to our physical life and is where we get the word biology. We train, feed, rest, and mostly focus on our physical health as normal humans. We realize that it takes more and more effort to keep our physical bodies healthy as time takes its toll. We know physical death is coming we just don’t know when. We mostly think the good life is around accumulating physical comforts, at least that is the way we live (me included).
Psuche is another Greek word for life. Psuche refers to our will, emotion, and mind. We derive the word psychology here. As we’ve evolved and become more and more aware of ourselves and the consciousness of others, we’ve become intrigued and invested in cultivating more and more of our minds. For many humans this is the final frontier. Discovering the good life is around calming anxieties, playing to our strengths, developing a growth mindset, and willing ourselves toward meaningful accomplishment.
Combining psuche and bios would be Plato’s balanced man – mind and body – end of the story.
Jesus, when talking about life way back in the day, used a third Greek word – Zoe. Zoe is spiritual life. He would use Zoe over and over in his teachings and remind us that there is more to life than our minds and bodies. Vision over visibility, as Bono says so eloquently and ccd (clear, concise, and direct). Jesus came to model the way, embrace pain and suffering, and perfectly embody truth in Love. Jesus came because God knows we have a hard time grasping principles and precepts without seeing them in person. Jesus came to give us a glimpse of Zoe and show us the way. While we are alive, something inside each of us tells us there has to be more than just bios and psuche to this thing called life. We search and seek but no easy, definitive, fool proof answers appear. So, we either settle for some semblance of the good life by stretching our mind and bodies as best we know how, or chose the more popular route of numbing and waiting for the pain to end.
Jesus calls us to explore Zoe and live life abundantly by following Him and His way. Today, on Easter, we celebrate the risen Christ. Those of us that believe in the resurrection, place our faith in He who defeated death. For me, this means opening my heart to recieve Zoe so I can give it away. For me, this means living abundantly and giving more and more of the gifts that have been given me. For me, this means accepting that I don’t understand much about God, Jesus, and anything spiritual at all. It means embracing the mystery of all of life and embracing all of God’s creation, especially those that live unlike me. May God bless you all, my friends. Happy Easter.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…