Vitality and the Ghedeist

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Vitality requires something more than renewal, restoration, resilience, sustainability and regeneration. All these terms can inadvertently or deliberately be used to reproduce qualities and properties that are undesirable. Vitality, as a life force (elan vital) is eternally creative and it will always seek new ways of regaining health. I have given this idea a new name; the ghedeist.

I define the ghedeist as the spirit or force which holds living things together, a secular feeling of the sharing of life between the self and other beings (human and non-human) and their gathering together to live within shared Earth places and spaces, including our own bodies. It is intense affinity and sense of empathy for other beings that all share a joint life and a feeling of deep association with the grand project we call life.

Whenever that grand project of life is put at risk with disease or violence, may the ghedeist be with you. It heals and gives vitality as its gift.

[From old Indo-European origins in ‘ghehd’ (to unite) with meanings linked to Old English and Germanic words such as ‘together’, ‘to gather’ and ‘good’.  Also from the German ‘geist’ with its meanings of spirit and mind with affinities in other languages of a vital force or ‘life force’.]