The Christian Science Monitor : 2019-02-11

43 : 43 : 43


Stripping down the origins of ‘naked’ I was reading C.S. Lewis’s 1960 book “The Four Loves” recently and came across an interesting etymology for Lewis asserts that the word was originally a past participle: “the naked man was the man who had undergone a process of that is, of stripping or peeling (you used the verb of nuts and fruit).” Lewis writes so beautifully that he could probably convince me of anything, but I had never heard this explanation and decided to investigate. It turns out that Lewis’s account is probably more interesting than right. There were verbs and in the Middle Ages, both meaning to strip someone of something, usually clothing but sometimes armor or weapons. But according to the Oxford English Dictionary, these verbs probably come from the adjective, which only looks like a past participle. itself is a very old word, deriving from a common Germanic form even before Old English evolved into a separate language. It can be traced all the way back to Proto-Indo-European, the prehistoric ancestor of many languages across Europe and Asia, from Albanian to Urdu. Linguists have tried to reconstruct Proto-Indo-European, and have determined that a root that might be approximated in modern English as gave rise to the English as well as a surprisingly diverse bunch of other words. In Latin, the root became which by the 16th century had produced the English word At first this was a legal term for a promise not formally attested to by witnesses or in writing (“Nude words do not make a binding contract”), but by the 19th century it had come to be a synonym for Today has two very different connotations, a positive one when talking about great art (Michelangelo’s David is “nude” not “naked”), and a negative one implying the gratuitous display of flesh (“nude photos”). In Greek, became which became the Greek a place where men and boys exercised, as was the custom, naked. English adopted this word in the 17th century to mean a space dedicated to athletic instruction, presumably with everybody’s clothes on. And it gave Hindi and Urdu a flat bread that is baked “naked” in an oven and not buried in the ashes of a fire, which had been one of the earliest baking techniques. In English seems clearly to have referred to human bodies, and not fruit, as Lewis suggests, from the get-go. Adam and Eve realize that they are “nacode” in Old English translations of Genesis long before the word is used in reference to trees (15th century), and trees are the closest I can get to nuts and fruits. That’s the naked truth (also 15th century) as far as I know it. Naked naked. gumnos, gymnasium, nog- naking, By Melissa Mohr naan, nog- naked naked nudus, to nake to naken nude. naked naked. nude r What helped me help my son many ways Sean expressed qualities of the divine Mind, such as intelligence, and it hit me that no one is limited to expressing only of God’s qualities. The strength of Spirit, activity of limitless Life, graciousness of divine Soul – all of these qualities are present in everyone’s true nature. These were extremely freeing ideas. I wrote them down and continued to pray with them, especially when things were particularly challenging. Soon, and so naturally I almost didn’t realize it was happening, days went by without an incident. Days flowed into weeks. Weeks into months. Sean’s teacher told us about good things Sean was doing in school. He started getting together with friends. His grades improved. Now, over a year later, he continues to be a happy, self-assured, kind boy. When Sean and I climbed into the car to go to a classmate’s birthday party for the first time, I smiled and said a quiet, heartfelt “Thank you” to our divine Father-Mother. I know this is not the end. Parenting is an ongoing adventure of love. But I am grateful for the growing understanding of whose child we all really are. tening, I felt God’s love and peace helping me know what to do and say. But sometimes I had to pray harder. One day I was feeling particularly helpless. Amid my tears of frustration, a question popped into my head: “Whose child is he?” This made me stop in my tracks. I realized that while I wasn’t certain about the birth mother’s background, I had clung to the idea that drug addiction before the birth might be the cause of Sean’s behavior. This question prompted me to dig deeper – to see his true, spiritual origin. Science and Health explains, “Because man is the reflection of his Maker, he is not subject to birth, growth, maturity, decay” (p. 305). This is based on the biblical idea that we are made in the image of God – of good. So we must be spiritual, flawless, like Him. Referring to man – including everyone – Science and Health says, “The beautiful, good, and pure constitute his ancestry” (p. 63). I saw that Sean was God’s, divine Love’s, child. Every one of us is filled with God’s light, goodness, and peace – ready to shine and bless those around us. None of us is devoid of that light and might. I thought of the some I so clearly remember first meeting our adopted baby, Sean (not his real name). He eagerly watched our every movement. To us, he was perfect. As he grew, however, we noticed that he was constantly ready to do battle with the world. He did not interact well with others, and academics were difficult for him, too. He felt self-conscious and unsure. It broke my heart to hear him ask why he didn’t have any friends or was never invited to a birthday party. I’ve found it so helpful to pray for all my kids regularly, but I found I especially needed to be spiritually grounded when caring for Sean. One idea that meant a lot to me was the idea of God as the divine Parent of everyone. There are numerous references to God as “Father” in the Bible. And Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, refers to God as both Father and Mother in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” I often prayed to this divine Parent to help me know how to reach Sean – and how to be patient when I didn’t feel I had any patience left. When I was truly lis- A CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PERSPECTIVE – Name withheld THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR WEEKLY FEBRUARY 11, 2019 43 | PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY PRESSREADER +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW

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