noun: spirit; plural noun: spirits
the nonphysical part of a person which is the seat of emotions and character.
those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a person, nation, or group or in the thought and attitudes of a particular period.
“Spirit” is the modern English pronunciation of the Latin spiritus. translation of the ancient aramaic word spirit which means “frequency,” “vibration,” “breath”, “force,” “wind,” “heartbeat”, etc. conscious living from the rooted center of Being”.
Rookha is/are the active, expansive forces within Alaha – the Absolute, Only Being [God]. The ancient Aramaic word rookha [Hebrew ruakh] is a feminine gendered term. Rookha was translated into Greek as the gender-neutral pneuma and into Latin as the masculine spiritus. Though this gender modification may not seem all that important on the surface, it is quite significant. The neutered Greek pneuma would be much closer to the original feminine Aramaic rookha than that of the masculine Latin spiritus. Pneuma is most often translated as “spirit” or “breath”, though its ancient Koine Greek meaning is closer to “underlying substance or force”.
Let’s look at a few examples of how changing the gender of a word in fact changes its meaning. First, breathe out onto your forearm. What do you feel on your skin? Your breath, right? Are you sure? What you feel on your arms is the masculine gendered Latin spiritus. Masculine connotes something physical or manifest. Our modern idea of breath is something that we can feel and perceive with our five senses. Thinking of breath in such as way could also include the Greek term pneuma, or “underlying substance”, since pneuma is so elusively defined and gender neutral.
One of the problems we have is that when we think of the words spirit and breath, we think of two different things without realizing that the first century near Eastern mind had not yet clearly divided these two perceptions as being somehow separate from each other. Spirit is breath and breath is spirit. In fact, the Latin root inspire ultimately became the Old French term inspiration, which found its way into modern English as “filling with spirit” and “breathing”. These two separate breath and spirit terms are still somewhat connected, though by gendering them masculine, we begin to view them as two different things. The ancient Aramaic rookha is significantly subtler than this. In the ancient Aramaic mind, what you felt on your arm was not breath, but rather hot air.
Rookha is not a masculine, manifest, physical thing, or breath as we think of it today, but rather our feminine perception of its movement.
Take a deep breath and really let this shift occur in your awareness. Rookha, or “breath” in the ancient Aramaic sense, is not the hot air that we feel on our arm, but rather our feminine, reflective perception of its “force” or movement!
Yeshua was not speaking of breath and spirit as only physical manifestations, but rather of our perception of its expansion, retraction and movement. If we can be completely honest about our modern western perception of spirit, even though we say with our words that spirit is “not a thing”, deep in our beliefs, we continue to look for it with our physical senses. We must realize that the first century near Eastern Semitic mind, and especially within the Jesus teachings would not have artificially separated breath and spirit from each other.
The Khabouris Codex Foundation says that rookha represents “various invisible but material forces such as wind, magnetism, and electricity” as well as “cosmic expansion”, “gravity” and now “nuclear forces”. Herein lies the key to the realization of breath and spirit as our perception of these eternal forces, rather than the forces themselves. Rookha applies to any elemental force whose source is undetectable but has effects that can be detected through our senses. A similar Hindu word would be prana.
A great exercise to try is to take an old bible and everywhere you see the word “spirit” in Yeshua’s teachings, cross it out with a pencil and write “breath” above it. This will give you a much more accurate, directly experiential understanding of what the word rookha would have represented in that time. It is not that it does not mean spirit but rather its more intimate meaning of breath can be so much more profoundly actualized through one’s own conscious experience. Breath is spirit and spirit is breath. Neither are masculine “things” but rather feminine perceptions.
[excerpted in part from Dale’s book “Echoes of an Ancient Dream: Aramaic Toning on the Path of Light”]