Characters and Our Character – The Etymology of Morality
I invite you on a word journey through the etymological origin of the word morality.
To better understand morality, lets first look at the etymology of the word and see what it has to offer us.
Below is an etymological reference to what certain words mean, followed by an elaboration to explain the meaning. You can read the text and notice the referenced bold words match the etymological meanings. You don’t need to read the etymology of the words, it’s only there for you to better relate the source words that I am using to weave this etymological journey.
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- “moral qualities,” “moral instruction; morals, manner, character,”
- directly from Latin moralis “proper behavior of a person in society,” literally “pertaining to manners,” coined by Cicero (“De Fato,” II.i) to translate Greek ethikos. Latin mos (genitive moris) “one’s disposition,”
- “arrangement, order; mood, state of mind,”
- “arrange, order, control, regulate” from dis- “apart” (see dis-) + ponere “to put, place“
- from Latin positionem (nominative positio) “act or fact of placing, situation, position, affirmation,”
- ponere “put, place,” from PIE po-s(i)nere, from apo- “off, away**” (see apo-) + *sinere “to leave, let”
Morals are qualities of behavior. It can broadly refer to our way of living, the manner, character, and disposition of our lives.
Morals are an arrangement and order that we create through a state of being from our will to control and regulate ourselves.
Through understanding and living more morally, we are placed apart from the unregulated and uncontrolled automatic and reactive subconscious, unconscious, passions, desires, whims and wants of the “carnal”, “beastly”, lower basic animalistic consciousness that focuses on it’s own gains and enjoyment above all.
Morality is to affirm ourselves into a position and situation of higher order living in alignment with the “higher will” of recognizing moral law and choosing to live in accordance with that understanding of a better way to live. Our will is then to be more moral and live more morally.
Beings who can discern morals are of a higher order consciousness, like humans. This sets us apart from others who are not as capable of harnessing this moral force of good to such a degree of potential manifestation. This applies not only to the the general genus of human animals compared to non human animals, but also within our own species between each other.
With this higher order consciousness potential, comes higher order creative capacities as well. Not only for art and construction of materials, but also for creating good instead of evil.
This is the ultimate personal responsibility we have, to truth, and moral truth as the force of good/”god”. Failure to understand reality, others within it, and navigate it with humility under truth and an understanding of a “natural moral law“, will result in the creation of evil/”devil” (the opposer/adversary against what is good that we become) and devolution of our way of life towards chaos is what results.
- “the science of morals,” “study of morals“
- from ethos “moral character,” related to ethos “custom“
- from Greek ethos “habitual character and disposition; moral character; habit, custom; an accustomed place,” in plural, “manners,”from suffixed form of PIE root *s(w)e-
- habit, usage, way, practice, tradition, familiarity, from com-, intensive prefix + suescere “become used to, accustom oneself,” related to sui, genitive of suus “oneself,” from PIE *swe- “oneself” (idiom)
- from idioumai “to appropriate to oneself,” from idios “personal, private,” properly “particular to oneself,”
Ethics is the study or science of morals: the arrangement and order of rules that sets moral apart from immoral, truth apart from falsity, reality apart from unreality.
Ethics are now associated with the socially constructed customs, manners and traditions in this larger context of setting standards in society for people to live in “harmony” and “integrate” well. I have spoken about this false “unity” that we all fall for while we remain divided within and among each other through a failure of understanding objective morality.
Ethics and customs are rooted in an earlier word *swe- which is the meaning of idiom, which is to appropriate to oneself, to make particular to you. That is the key to understanding the false morality, known as “subjective morality” or “relative morality”, where it’s based on what someone appropriates for themselves, with an invalid rejection of reality, with others within it like themselves, who have moral consideration applied as well. I have also defined what objective and subjective are for those who may not yet understand clearly enough.
This is also why the “traditions”, “customs” and “culture” are not automatic validations for objective morality, but tend to be a reflection of both objective and subjective moral evaluations. Then an appeal to tradition is employed continuously to justify a continuation in certain behavior. A real objective discernment of the way of life is not being done.
If the one setting the standards of so-called “ethics” or “custom” in a society is wrong, and no one corrects it, then it continues to be wrong.
This is the case with human societies everywhere, to varying degrees of morality and immorality mixed in. Each person is capable of knowing morality and possibly knowing it deeper than others. Yet, few actually embark on this journey toward truth, morality and greater self-realization, self-actualization and individuation into moral truth and law for higher, realer, truer living of our own particularity individual lives, and the lives of all others as well.
- Greek kharakter “engraved mark,” also “symbol or imprint on the soul,” from kharassein “to engrave,” from kharax “pointed stake,” from PIE root *gher- (4) “to scrape, scratch.”
Character is a part of our nature, what matters as part of who we are. What we do is a result of the thoughts we have and influences throughout our lives. This is who we are, our character.
Character has multiple meanings as well. We have a character, but its not singular in scope.
Our character is composed of the characteristics, attributes, properties and qualities we have that make us who we currently are. Language has symbols that also have characters of their own, and they represent aspects of reality. That’s their purpose for us to give them meaning to communicate.
Just as a character can be marked onto something, to engrave it as the earliest forms of writing and art have been done, so too are we marked, engraved and etched into our consciousness-psyche-mind-“soul”-“spirit”-self.
Character can be applied as a way to view ourselves, the “soul”, in terms of the qualities of consciousness we currently have. They are marks of identity which define aspects of reality: the reality of who we are.
These are qualities that are scraped or scratched onto us, as unseen marks, like could be done with a pointed stake and engraved onto some surface such as clay for objects in reality. The engravings can also be changed, as our consciousness can evolve or devolve, and we can alter the environment to create new things. This is the power of consciousness we have as generators, manifestors, creators, or “gods” symbolically.
- c.1200, “kind, sort, variety,” Old French maniere “fashion, method, manner, way; appearance, bearing; custom” from fem. of Latin manuarius “belonging to the hand,” from manus “hand, strength, power over; armed force; handwriting,” from PIE *man- (2) ” (cognate: Old English mund “hand, protection, guardian [hold is also guard, protect])
- “carrying of oneself, deportment,” bear (v.)
- Old English beran “to bear, bring; bring forth, produce; to endure, sustain; to wear”, from PIE root bher- (1) meaning both “give birth*” and “carry a burden, bring” (more info in infer from Bearing Good and Evil).
- from Latin carrum, car, from PIE *krsos, from root *kers- “to run“,
- from current “running, flowing,” from Old French corant “running, lively, eager, swift,” from Latin currere “to run, move quickly” (of persons or things), from PIE *kers- “to run”
- “to behave,”
- from de- “from, off” (see de-) + porter “to carry,”
- from PIE *prtu- “a going, a passage,” from root *per- (2) “to lead, pass over“
- cognate: Greek poros “journey, passage, way,” peirein “to pierce, run through;”
Manner is the kind of action and behavior. The kind of, sort of, or variety of action.
Actions fashion, actions imbue a method, a manner and a way of doing. Our actions represent who we are, our true appearance that is visible for others to see explicitly.
What we carry on ourselves, what we bear, by default, without any actual object being carried, is our character, our actions and behavior in life.
Manner also relates to our hand, and what the hand can do, such as create, protect and guard but also possess and own through active control. As I talk about often, we have great power to create, and with that great power comes great responsibility.
Character has to do with the particular aspects of our being as we currently are, that are scratched and scraped onto us right now that we continue to be, and manner has to do with the action or behavior that results from that condition of being and further etches onto our character. The character of our being in thought and emotion is reflected in the manner of our becoming in action. From being to doing.
The actions and behaviors are what we carry, what we give birth to from consciousness as the generative force within the body. Actions are what we represent about ourselves on our journey and way, the passage through existence.
Behavior and action are the culmination of the trinity of consciousness from thought and emotion, and is what we run through and pierce reality with. Our hands of power and strength (from the power and strength of consciousness), that act in the world. It is how we make our mark to change things for the better, or for the worse. This is our creative “godly” power to create good/”god” or evil/”devil” into the world. We (consciousness-psyche-self-“soul”-“spirit”) are the “source” of those manifestations of good and evil. It comes from us.
Our character is our internal mark in consciousness, that reflects external markings on the world through the manner in which we behave and act.
The false way can have power over you if you don’t walk in the right way. Customs and traditions are the negative and false ways of unthinking acceptance of social familiarity and standardized norms of acceptability, right or wrong. Customs don’t dictate morality.
- Middle English havour “possession,” a word altered (by influence of have)
- have in sense of “to have or bear (oneself) in a particular way, comport”
- Old English habban “to own, possess; be subject to, experience,” from PIE *kap- “to grasp” (capable)
- word-forming element with a wide range of meaning: “thoroughly, completely; to make, cause seem; to provide with; at, on, to, for,”
- from past participle of PIE *aik- “to be master of, possess,” source of Old English agan “to have“
- from Latin possess-, past participle stem of possidere “to have and hold, possess, be master of, own*,” from potis “able, powerful” + esse “to be”
- from potis “powerful, able, capable; possible;” of persons, “better, preferable; chief, principal; strongest, foremost,” from PIE root *poti- “powerful, lord” (cognates: Sanskrit patih “master, husband,” Greek posis, Lithuanian patis “husband”)
- from Latin potentia “power, might, force;”
Behavior is your own possession that you enact and manifest into reality.
You be-have, own, possess, and grasp yourself in your own hands, by your own actions, possess yourself and own yourself. This is self-ownership, self-governance, self-rulership, and being sovereign.
You are subject to your behavior. It is the measure of your experience in reality, because it is the affect you have on reality that you and others experience. Behavior matters.
Behavior is what is possessed by a causal agent. The causal agent behaves in certain ways through their action as an expression of consciousness. The causal agent possesses behavior, the actions they possess that reflects the way they behave. Not all causal agents are capable of deeper self-reflection and conceptual abstraction to categorize an understanding or morality.
The way we be-have is what we possess, grasp, hold, own and experience very much of, more so than any actual object we could grasp.
The actions we choose to engage in are representative of our level of consciousness. Actions are the most grasped and held in possession of anything we can grasp and hold with our hands. Actions are done with the hands for the most part, as well as speaking which is a manner that less directly affects reality.
Most action comes from the hands. They are the tools for the body to manipulate reality with. But we grasp the most with our minds, even more so than our hands. We are talking about physical actions here. Be is not the ‘to be’ verb. Be-have is to thoroughly and completely have, grasp, possess, own, hold, etc. The only thing we have completely and thoroughly in each case, and forever, are actions and behaviors that we create and manifest of our own free will. No one owns or possesses our actions but us.
We have, own and bear the weight of our actions and behavior.
What we have in our hands is in our power, we are master of it. Our hands gives us the power of many potential possibilities. That which we grasp can provide us with additional power. The things we grasp in our minds can especially provide us with additional power over reality and others through the manipulation of objects in reality, and the word-magic of language representing reality.
People can become delusional and grasp, hold, and try to become master of things that are not in their right to do. We think our grasp and hold of something gives us the right to enforce “might makes right” control, domination and enslavement of others.
- right (v.): “to straighten, rule, set up, set right, amend; guide, govern; restore, replace,”
- right (adj.1): “morally correct,” Old English riht “just, good, fair; proper, fitting; straight, not bent, direct, erect,” from PIE root *reg- “move in a straight line,” also “to rule, to lead straight, to put right”
- Compare slang straight (adj.1) “honest, morally upright,” and Latin rectus “right,” literally “straight,” Lithuanian teisus “right, true,” literally “straight.”
Right is not wrong, not bent, it is straight and erect, proper, fair and just.
We are supposed to be replacing the wrongs, the evil, with right and good, to be restoring ourselves with what is right, good and true as a way of living.
The more we align and unite with truth and morality, the more we self-govern ourselves, to direct, control and regulate our behavior that is set apart from the falsity we are accustomed and normalized to accepting and living by.
right -> straight -> stretch -> tight -> tension
Explaining (make level, flatten) things (to define a thing), requires first to stretch out (spread out, reach, extend) towards parts of reality, grasp them, and then to describe what you grasp and hold for others to understand, and potentially yourself to understand more as well.
There is a pressure (pushing) when we show the light of truth to the falsity people are attached to. We are stretching them away from falsity with the tension of truth, correcting misalignment, making things straight and upright once more.
There is resistance with that tension truth brings to falsity. The impact of truth is a pressure that is met with resistance from the attachment to our falser current self, our falser way of living and the general falsity all around we conceive as an accurate representation of reality.
We can learn to let go and change.
Doing a mistake, something wrong, or evil, creates tension and pressure within ourselves, all on our own, if we have the capacity to feel it. Some people don’t care and don’t feel, it seems. We tend to call them psychopaths, who suffer (pathos) in their psyche (psycho), psyche-sufferers, psycho-paths.
The tension is truth and morality expressing itself in our being, trying to “fight” it’s recognition into our consciousness because it’s being presented to us in reality. We feel it, suffer it (passion, compassion, empathy), bear and carry it. We own that behavior, that action. We carry the weight of that evil and misdeed (or good dead).
Feeling our misalignment with morality is a natural phenomena that I can describe as a “connecting” or “aligning” with a truer potential version of ourselves that we can become. Some have symbolically referred to this as a “true self”.
We can receive a feedback of intuitive apprehension as to something being wrong. It is felt internally, even though it may not yet be understood as the proper signal to question reality more closely. Cognitive dissonance is one such feeling where contradiction occurs and signals a need to correct information coming in that might be false, or if accurate we need to correct the information we already have within ourselves.
Consciousness feedbacks with existence. Contradiction can show us the unreality and false harmony conceived of in our “minds” or “hearts” that led to false or wrong actions. Those who are so, inured, enamored and entrenched into the false self and false living, have a diminished capacity to recognize and feel wrongs demonstrated in reality.
Many of us are conditioned and programmed into falser versions of ourselves. We are conditioned into secondary psychopathy, into falsity, in order to create falser selves, to live the false way of life the controllers want us to perpetuate. This takes us away from alignment, harmony, unity and connectivity with the truth. Knowing important quality truths, like moral truth, is the Way and Path to becoming a higher, realer and truer version of ourselves. Moral truth is part of self-knowledge, self-actualization and self-realization.
Thank you for your time and attention! I appreciate the knowledge reaching more people. Take care. Peace.
This is excellent! I loved your weaving of the etymological synonyms into a meaningful understanding of the words. Morality is often talked about as being nothing more than a man-made social construct, but this couldn’t be more ignorant of the OBJECTIVE Truth (Natural Law) and quite frankly arrogant. Glad I found your work and this site! Peace and Love
Hi, glad you found value and appreciate the work 🙂 The subjective moral constructs are social often, but the real morality is indeed objective based on real events and their consequences. Applied accurately it can help heal us and bring greater life for all.