In terms, anima (LH:14), derived from the Greek: anemos (άνεμος) (NE:366), meaning "wind" or the "motor function" of the elements (Heraclitus, 495BC), variously rendered as the moving principle of a thing. The term anima, translation depending, sometimes gets subsumed with Psyche (ψυχη) (NE:1708), the Greek goddess of the soul, from the Egyptian "ba".
The following shows lines 129 to 131 of Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things, which gives a picture as to how various translators, specifically Google translator, William Leonard (1916), Ian Johnston (2010), have rendered the closely-related terms "vi", which generally means force, “anima”, and “animi”, an inflected form of the later, over time:
|#||Latin||Leonard (1916)||Johnston (2010)|
|129||qua fiant ratione, et qua vi quaeque gerantur||which causes them, and with what force they severally go on||To scan the powers that speed all life below;||the force which brings about everything that happens on the earth;|
|130||in terris, tunc cum primis ratione sagaci||on earth, and then it was the first place to the cunning of reason||But most to see with reasonable eyes||and, in particular, we must employ, keen reasoning, as well, to look into|
|131||unde anima atque animi constet natura videndum,||from which it is clear that the nature of the mind and spirit to be seen,||Of what the mind, of what the soul is made,||what makes up the soul, the nature of mind.|
Firstly, we note the following:
- The Latin "vi" is the ablative singular of "vis", which means: force, power, strength, vigor, faculty, potency; generally considered a Venus-based etymological term, in respect to the "vis of Venus" translating as the "force of life" given to Romans (Varro, On the Latin Language, 55BC).
- The Latin "videndum" directly translates as "that which is to be seen".
- The Latin "ratione sagaci", from sagire meaning “to perceive acutely”, renders as "rationalize sagaciously", or "scrutinizing examination" (Watson, 1851), which John Watson says is a term that Lucretius is fond of.
We can also compare the same three famous Lucretian lines, combined, as cited as the title page quote by Claude Helvetius, in his On the Mind (1758), shown with a Latin-to-English translation by Ronald Melville (1999), which is sited as the correct English rendition of Helvetius' quote, according to Philipp Blom (2010).
|#||Latin (Helvetius)||Melville (1999)|
|129-131||Unde animi constet natura videndum,
Qua fiant ratione & qua vi quæque gerantur In terris.
|Therefore, the mind must be agreed by nature;
And the things that are going on through reason and with what vigor as they may become, on earth
|We must see what life consists in, and the spirit. How they work and what forces drive them.|
Helvetius, according to Blom (2010), "characteristically, doctors the quote by inverting it and leaving a line out".
Shown below, are translations, of lines 129-131, by: Thomas Creech (1682), John Mason (1805), John Watson (1851), Thomas Baring (1884), Ronald Latham (1951), and Frank Copley (1977):
|#||Creech (1682)||Mason (1805)||Baring (1884)||Watson (1851)||Bailey (1910)||Latham (1951)||Copley (1977)|
|129-131||How bodies first begin; but chiefly this, whence comes the soul, and what her nature is.||Yet doubtful is the doctrine, and unknown whether, co-eval with the external frame, the soul first lives, when lives the body first, or boasts a date anterior.||And to show the force on earth that governs each earthly thing, so more than all should reason’s shrewdest reach, whence comes the soul, and how the mind is constituted||With reason we must inquire on what influence all things are directed upon the earth, especially, with scrutinizing examination, of what the soul and the nature of the mind consist.||By what force all things are governed on earth, and also before all else we must see by keen reasoning, whence comes the soul and the nature of the mind.||I will given an account of the forces that determine events on earth. Next, and no less important, we must look with insight into the makeup of the spirit and the mind.||And how they move, how everything on earth takes place; but first with all our reasoning power, we must inspect the nature of soul and mind.|
The following tabulates the the usage for each author:
Meta | Analysis
In sum ten term translations, listed above, we fined the following usage percentages:
- Anima (split usage) translates as: soul (71%), mind (14%), or soul (14%).
- Animi (split usage) translates as: mind (86%) or soul (14%).
- Anima / Animi (combined meaning) translates as: soul (67%) or spirit (33%).
In non-anthropic language, i.e. without recourse to the terms: mind, soul, or spirit, these so-called anim-terms, which no doubt has a Greek secret name cypher (likely Egyptian based), renders as the nature or reasoning behind when humans, as atomic bodies, "first begin" (Creech, 1682), "how they move" (Copley, 1977), according to "forces that determine the events" (Latham, 1951).
Animation = Soul + Life force
In 1708, Georg Stahl, in his True Medical Theory, outlined an "animism theory", according to which life and disease were explained by the action of the “sensitive soul” or anima, which inhabited every part of the organism.
In 1774, Friedrich Medicus objected to Stahl’s model that the immaterial ‘soul’, or “anima”, was the agency that “animated non-living material systems” by organizing, regulating and directing them. Stahl, according to Medicus, exaggerated the commanding control of the soul (or anima) over all manifestations of life. Instead, according to Medicus, the soul or anima was responsible for only consciousness, i.e. conscious choice, whereas the new concept called lebenskraft, or "life force", a portmanteau of the German lebens, meaning “life” (or “alive”) + kraft meaning “force”, conceptualized as the force responsible for subconscious or autonomic processes, in organisms, such as digestion and respiration. Hence, at this point in history, what brought human bodies into existence, and kept them animated thereafter, was the "soul", responsible for mental body functions, e.g. conscious choice, and the "life force", responsible for automatic body functions. The Greek anima (or animi) had thus been divided into: soul and life force.
In the centuries to follow, a strange variety of vitalism and neo-vitalism debates arose and fell likes waves, e.g. Goethe (1800s), Shelley (1814 to 1819), Wohler (1828 to 1842), Crick (1960s), each bubbling up which each new discovery and correlative anthropic-term invention (see: scientific god synonym).
- Note: presumably to the "breath of life" model, e.g. the ankh of Hathor but to the mouth of Khnum's clay humans, or god putting the "breath of life" into Adam to make him a "living soul" (Genesis 2:7).
- Helmig, Christoph. (2020). World Soul, Anima Mundi: ON the Origins and Fortunes of a Fundamental Idea (pg. #). Walter.
- Note: compare Aristotle's De Anima (περι ψυχης).
- Psyche (mythology) – Wikipedia.
- Lucretius. (60BC). On the Nature of Things (translator: William Leonard) (tufts) (MIT). Dutton, 1916.
- Lucretius. (60BC). On the Nature of Things (translator: Ian Johnston) (txt). Vancouver, 2010.
- Vi (Latin) – Wiktionary.
- Vis (Latin) – Wiktionary.
- Vindendum – Wiktionary.
- Lucretius. (60BC). On the Nature of Things (editor: John Watson) (lines 129-31, pg. 9). Bohn, 1851.
- Helvetius, Claude. (1758). De L’Espirt: Essays on the Mind and its Several Faculties (translator: Anon) (quote, title page). Publisher, 1759.
- Lucretius. (60BC). On The Nature of Things (translator: Ronald Melville). Clarendon, 1999.
- Blom, Philipp. (2010). A Wicked Company: Holbach’s Salon and the Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment (Amz) (pgs. 127-29; forces drive them, pg. 127). McClelland, 2011.
- Lucretius. (60BC). On the Nature of Things (translator: Thomas Creech) (lines 129-31, pg. 6). Publisher, 1682.
- Lucretius. (60BC). On the Nature of Things (translator: John Mason) (lines 129-31, pg. 35). Longman, 1805.
- Lucretius. (60BC). On the Nature of Things (translator: Thomas Baring) (lines 129-31, pg. 6). Longman, 1884.
- Lucretius. (60BC). On the Nature of the Universe (translator: Ronald Latham). Penguin, 1951.
- Lucretius. (60BC). On the Nature of Things (translator: Frank Copley). Norton, 1977.
- Ackernecht, Erwin. (1982). A Short History of Medicine (pg. 128). JHU.
- Note: alternatively rendered as: “living force” (verb form) or "vital force" (Greek based), depending on translator.
- Teich, Mikulas. (1992). A Documentary History of Biochemistry, 1770-1940 (pg. 438). Fairleigh.
- Ruston, Sharon. (2005). Shelley and Vitality (§1: The Vitality Debate, 1814-10, pgs. 24-63) (abs). Springer.
- Animi – Wiktionary.
- Animus – Wiktionary.