Monday, 6 April 2015


I've been doing some preparation for a church youth group session and hence pondering on the meaning of 'life'. (Not the answer 42, before any Python fans jump in).

What is the word 'life' for us? Is it just our physical existence? Or is it something more?

From the Greek New Testament of the Bible, I've discovered, there are two types of 'life' - bios, the earthly, physical existence; and zoe. Zoe is altogether more exciting.

Zoe is the adventurous, vital, genuine, vigorous, generous, authentic state of being.

What if life is more than simply existing? More than eating, breathing, sleeping? More than having our physical needs attended to? More than consuming and acquiring?

In Barry Lopez's book Arctic Dreams, he often talks about the lifestyle of the people that inhabit the arctic, and there's one particularly relevant point he makes in a passage on Eskimo hunters. Lopez writes:

They [Eskimo hunters] have a quality of nuannaarpoq, of taking extravagant pleasure in being alive; and they delight in finding it in other people. (p.202)

This is existing and much more.

More reading: 
Luke 12:13-15 & 22-23 
Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams

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