Friday, July 30

The word enthusiasm comes from the ancient Greek word eufousiasmz EN +THEOS meaning "inspired by or possessed by God".
The word comes from the ancient Orphic (Orpheus) religious belief system as well as the writings of Plato. The two key meanings in English of the word are:
1. Possession by a god, supernatural inspiration, prophetic or poetic
ecstasy; and
2. Rapturous intensity of feeling on behalf of a person, cause, etc: passionate eagerness in any pursuit.
It has been a traditional warning of ages, that it is our emotions that largely get human beings into trouble. Given the religious origins of the word enthusiasm and its meaning, it is understandable then that the word has been considered inferior to a great many other words such as love, bliss, joy.
In fact, a puritanical Christian definition of enthusiasm from the late 17th Century considers enthusiasm to be “fanciful, ill-regulated religious emotions or speculation.”

'The sense of this word among the Greeks affords
the noblest definition of it; enthusiasm signifies God in us'
Madame de Stael

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