“If we were asked the riddle how images of the eye and all the sensations of our senses could be represented by sounds, nay, could be so embodied in sounds as to express thought and excite thought, we should probably give it up as the question of a madman, who, mixing up the most heterogenous subjects, attempted to change color into sound and sound into thought. Yet this is the riddle which we have now to solve.” Max Muller
Were you to continue reading the lectures from which I took this quote (I did), you might achieve some sort of salient answer to the proposed question. But again, as the lectures were delivered in 1861, a mere two years after Darwin’s Origin, and with their light treatment of the soul’s existence and therefore God (still, the world wonders) my contemporary interjection may indeed seem to be the ramblings of a “madman” in light of what is known now. We’ll see. No more mad than a “Spirit Being” crouching down (would He need to?) to the earth He made and scooping up a handful of such, or two, and forming “man”. No more mad than were the same Being to take from the original “man” and invent a cross-complementary being of the same type, opposite in gender. No more mad than the original Being becoming the same as the “man” and then restoring someone’s sight through usage of the aforementioned earth, or “clay” (Greek: paylos):
“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.” (John 9:5-6)
God? Okay, whatever. Jesus? I’m sure He existed. If you assent to the previous sentence, then I’m sure you think maybe that He was a good man. Perhaps He wasn’t all He said He was, (like a sort-of junior version of God) and maybe the mere words that attest to anything more than “human” were the work of master revisionist amanuenses down through the ages. Again, whatever. (“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?” Matthew 16:15) But the Holy Spirit? How do you even wrap your mind around a Being with whom one must acquaint themselves with the former two prior to even realizing exists? And that has been here all along:
“The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” (Proverbs 8:22-23)
By the seashore
An anthropomorphism is where you attribute human “stuff”–emotions, properties, character, etc.–to an inhuman object. I suppose the word would apply to an abstract like wisdom, I could be wrong. There’s probably a word for it of which I’m not aware. Removing it once more, an anthropopathism is where you attribute “human” characteristics to a deity–in this case, God. As a Christian, I would say the ultimate fulfillment of this word’s definition would be the person of Jesus. But! A mixture of the two, I would say, applies to the Holy Spirit. A being who is hard to define at best. Actually, He’s “the Comforter” (John 14:16) so there’s that. And I don’t mean to be flippant. If you look in between the two words, it’s almost as if you have to already know what you’re looking at were you to try and make sense of an invisible being.
I would say that anthropomorphizing an object is on the way bottom end of the “idolatry spectrum”. Something I just coined right now to describe the, uh, spectrum of how God is and interacts along the lines of this plane and dimension. Look at a person, any person. And make sure they know you’re staring at them. This works all the better if you don’t know anything about the person you’re, not ogling or oeillading (can I do that?)–observing. This is a fine line as there are all sorts of people I observe everyday (as, I’m sure do you) who don’t know I’m doing it and who, quite frankly, I wouldn’t want knowing. I check my mind and heart for traces of anything unethical and I look on (or away, whatever). And before I go any further, all I’m doing is transcribing the script from which I read whenever I go out in public. I’ll stand in a crowded place while people of all ages and races and such wheel by and around and (hopefully) take no notice that I have to re-learn all my social graces each time I enter a room. So much goes into my comportment in the world at large that I must seriously wonder at my brain. Because while I can assuredly attest to seeing God with my spirit, it’s as concrete as the gander I’ve given at my own gray matter. This stuff is indeed a “gray matter”.