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Old 13-12-2019, 07:51 PM
curious66 curious66 is offline
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Smile Animism resources?

Hi folks.

I just wondered if anyone here knows of any good sources for studying and understanding Animism?

Peace and Love to all. xx
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Old 13-12-2019, 10:17 PM
BigJohn BigJohn is offline
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Animism is plentiful in SE Asia.

Foreigners there hate Animism which has produced no books that I know of.

In the West, Animism is virtually unknown.
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      Happiness is the result of an enlightened mind
     whereas suffering is caused by a distorted mind.

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Old 15-12-2019, 05:26 AM
curious66 curious66 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJohn
Animism is plentiful in SE Asia.

Foreigners there hate Animism which has produced no books that I know of.

In the West, Animism is virtually unknown.


Ok, thanks for your reply.
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Old 17-12-2019, 11:04 PM
Lepus Lepus is offline
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Hello

I've seen some books on animism on Amazon. You could always look at the reviews - sometimes there might be someone recommending books relating to the same topic.

Lepus
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Old 17-12-2019, 11:29 PM
sentient sentient is offline
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*

An article of Animism from 'our neck of the woods':
https://www.folklore.ee/folklore/vol4/hoppal.htm

*
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Old 18-12-2019, 10:46 AM
curious66 curious66 is offline
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Originally Posted by Lepus
Hello

I've seen some books on animism on Amazon. You could always look at the reviews - sometimes there might be someone recommending books relating to the same topic.

Lepus

Thank you, I hadn't even thought of Amazon.
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Old 18-12-2019, 10:48 AM
curious66 curious66 is offline
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Originally Posted by sentient
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An article of Animism from 'our neck of the woods':


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sentient, thank you very much.
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Old 26-12-2019, 03:30 PM
BigJohn BigJohn is offline
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I checked my computer, of all places, and found the following 'book' which is no longer copyrighted.

ANIMISM
OR,
THOUGHT CURRENTS OF PRIMITIVE PEOPLES,
BY
GEORGE WILLIAM GILMORE
BOSTON MARSHALL JONES COMPANY
MDCCCCXIX (1919)




PREFACE
THE result of recent historical studies, whether on anthropological, sociological, archeological, or religious lines, has brought into ever clearer vision as the substratum of all civilizations that stage of culture from which this book takes its title. One consequence is: general recognition of animism as a life factor, the power of which is not yet exhausted, the study of which fascinates because of its almost infinite variety and its persistent force. The words "animism," "animistic," have come to fall ever so lightly from tongue and pen and meet us at every turn. Yet what animism is few who use the term adequately realize. Though Sir E. B. Tylor in his imperishable monograph on Primitive Culture exhibited many of its phenomena and blocked out the main lines of investigation over forty years ago, comparatively few understand its significance or are acquainted with its manifestations even yet. Fewer still comprehend the doings and beliefs as actual or realize the state of mind--operations of perception and reason--of those whose acts and beliefs we call animistic.
There seemed to be room, then, for a small volume which should exhibit the phenomena and the related and inferred beliefs of this complex stage in a simple manner, with sufficiently numerous citations to illustrate clearly, yet without the overlay of too abundant references. The references here given have been drawn almost entirely from very recent and authoritative sources gathered in the writer's own reading, easily accessible in the current of books on travel now pouring from the press. Most of the volumes to which reference has been made in this discussion belong to the twentieth century. Moreover these sources are primary. Recourse has seldom been had even to so valuable a collection of facts as Fraser's quite exhaustive Golden Bough in its third edition. The facts there adduced were employed by the talented author for quite another end than the present writer's, and this might easily have led to confusion.
What value a knowledge of the features of this agglomerate of facts and beliefs has becomes evident when it is remembered that over half the population of the globe is animistic in its main features of faith and action, that a large part of humanity entertains beliefs only one remove away from this and regards as fundamental a philosophy of life grounded in animistic thought, and that at least three basal tenets of Christianity itself are common to Christians and animists. Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, the larger part of the population of India, the North Asiatic tribes, Oceanicans, Africans, and American Indians are, or were recently, animists. No stage of culture, no great religion, has ever been able to disown some of the commonest heirlooms left by primitive modes of thinking. From the standpoints both of culture and of religion animism may be described (not defined) as the taproot which sinks deepest in racial human experience and continues its cellular and fibrous structure in the tree trunk of modern conviction. It is not less important than the surface roots of accrued beliefs that branch out on all sides, drawing a wide-sourced sustenance, while the taproot penetrates the subsoil of man's most intimate soul-substance.
Hardly less interesting is the fact that in some fundamentals--religious and social--the advanced thought of the day is returning to some convictions essential to animistic culture. One would not be drawing the long bow were he to affirm that in that stage every act in life had a religious aspect. Nothing a man could do but might be regarded as either pleasing to spirits or the reverse. One might say that animists went far beyond Matthew Arnold's dictum that conduct is three-fourths of life--for them it embraced the whole of life. That is precisely what advanced thinkers are maintaining today, and in that tenet is the best promise for improvement in modern conditions among all classes.
In another aspect, too, the social, we are returning to early conceptions. Under totemism, the foundation of which is an animistic view of things non-human, the individualism that became so marked a feature in some philosophies of the last centuries and gave impetus even to revolutions was unknown. The characteristic of totemic and derived society was much nearer that slogan which has now advanced beyond the circle of purely socialistic propaganda: "Each for all and all for each."
Theologically also we find ourselves returning to old, old views of man's relation to the supernatural. The comparatively recent doctrine of sin is being discarded. The implacability of Deity, the notion of that Deity's infinity as the measure of offence, making of sin an enormity that clouds eternally the face of God and requires an infinite and exactly equivalent penalty, no longer holds the entire field. On the other hand, the act itself, its effect on the doer and his kind, its indelibility of effect on the one side, and the propitiability of the offended Spirit, his desire to have man reinstate himself in divine favor--the willingness to come more than half way (to state the matter in the language of every-day life)--are now standing out in relief.
It seems hardly necessary to remark that, of course, in all these cases the effect is not that of the return of a circle's circumference into itself. There has been marked, if spiral, progress, progress comparable to that of the earth in the solar system toward its distant goal in the constellation of Hercules. The one encouraging result of this study is that from the beginning the heart of man was essentially sound, though his vagaries were many during the centuries in which he was feeling his way. To use a significant term, man has ever been essentially theotropic, though he was not always conscious of the direction of his tropism.
In studying this subject, then, we are engaged in discovering the paths our own ancestors have trodden, and our gratitude is due them for leading us with increasing certitude to a nobler way of thought, so that we see in the heavens not deities, but the work of One; and in the earth the effects of that same One's immanence, his gift to his sons and daughters.
The author takes this opportunity to acknowledge with gratitude the kindness of Mr. Francis Medhurst who has read all the proofs and offered many valuable suggestions.

CONTENTS
I. THE ANIMISTIC STAGE OF CULTURE--THE CASE STATED
II. THE DISCOVERY OF THE SOUL
III. THE SOUL'S NATURE
IV. THE EXTERNAL OR SEPARABLE SOUL
V. PARITY OF BEING
VI. BELIEF IN "FREE SPIRITS"
VII. "FREE SPIRITS"--THEIR CONSTRUCTION AND ACTIVITIES
VIII. LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF PARITY OF BEING
IX. DEATH NOT ALWAYS REGARDED AS INEVITABLE
X. THE CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF THE SOUL
XI. MODIFICATIONS OF THE IDEA OF CONTINUANCE
XII. CONDITION OF THE DISCARNATE SOUL
XIII. THE HOME OF THE SOUL
XIV. DESCENSUS AVERNI
XV. WORSHIP
XVI. RESIDUA OF ANIMISM
XVII. LITERATURE TO WHICH REFERENCE IS MADE IN THIS VOLUME

THE ANIMISTIC STAGE OF CULTURE--THE CASE STATED
THE following narrative, taken from The Japan Weekly for March 16, 1916, recounts the story of an event occurring in that land of "advanced civilization" in the winter Of 1915-16, and some of the sequels.
DEATH OF THE SUMA SNAKE
"The huge snake that had been leading a precarious existence at the Suma Garden during the last three years--a captive in a different clime from that in which it was born--recently died, unable to bear the rigours of the winter. Although the reptile was a magnificent specimen of its species, as it measured 25 feet in length and 28 inches round the thickest part, it never made itself unpleasantly obtrusive and most of its time at Suma was spent in lethargic retirement. When the demise of the snake was made known in the neighbourhood much sympathy was manifested among its many acquaintances, who asked the management of the Garden to bury the snake in the vicinity with due ceremony. It was accordingly interred in the pine groves at the rear of the Kagetsu restaurant.
"Someone made the discovery on looking at an almanac that the day on which the reptile died was a Day of the Snake, and remembered an old superstition that toothache may be cured by worshipping a snake. The grave of the Suma snake consequently began to be visited by the superstitious, who proclaimed to the world the supernatural means of healing toothache by worshipping there. The report has since travelled far and wide, and scores of people are visiting the grave every day, bringing much gain to the Hyogo tramway, who need no faith to be assured of the benefits accruing from the virtues of the departed snake. Some of the people whose toothache has been cured by the spirit of the snake have decided to build a shrine on the ground where the reptile was buried. The place has already been fenced in and a sign erected preparatory to the commencement of work."
The exhibit is therefore that of belief in the continued existence and exercise of benevolent activity on behalf of man of a snake which had according to our notions passed completely out of life and beyond any possible potency to affect human existence. It shows one of the characteristic phenomena of the stage of culture we are to examine, a stage which, as we shall discover, is a present fact over a large part of the globe.
In Gen. 28:10-22 occurs the interesting account of a night in Jacob's life, his interpretation of it, and the ensuing course of action. The two noteworthy events, from the present point of view, are (1) the dream, with Jacob's conclusion that it revealed to him the fact that the place where he lay was an abiding place of deity; (2) the deity was evidently in the stone, or was the stone, as is shown by the anointing of it. This story could be paralleled in its essentials from many sources. Again, in Josh. 24: 27, Joshua is represented declaring of a certain stone: "it hath heard all the words, . . it shall be therefore a witness against you." And, once more, Acts 19:35 makes mention of an object of worship which "fell from Jupiter," i.e., evidently a meteorite.
These three facts taken together, viz., the importance of a dream and the performance of worshipful ads upon or attribution of sentience to a stone, bring into notice a cultural condition, a method of thinking, which is by common consent called animistic. Animism is by many regarded as the earliest form which religion took, and as the root from which was derived all religious beliefs which the world has known, and was also the earliest basis of all that is dignified by the name of culture. Moreover, we may trace its effects and its action into the present.[1] Others, however, regard it as not the primary, but as a secondary, stage in mental and religious development, seeking the primary in a vaguer series of beliefs to which they give the name "naturism" or "dynamism."[2] Our present concern is with Animism.
[1. McDougall, Body and Mind. A History and Defence of Animism.
2. Cf. Clodd, Animism; and Leuba, A Psychological Study of Religion.]
And what is this? Menzies defines it as "the worship of spirits as opposed to that of Gods."[3] To this E. B. Tylor, whose work [4] is facile princeps among the expositions of animism, might object that it supposes a sharp dividing line between spirits and gods which has no existence in fact and is therefore arbitrarily drawn. It is, perhaps, impossible to state where the worship of spirits stops and that of gods begins, to decide exactly where the spirit shades into the deity. Who can say exactly the moment when the conception of a being which has been but one of a host of spirits has passed into that of a state of divinity? Such transitions have been made.[5] Accordingly, Tylor would define animism as "the doctrine of spirits or of spiritual beings."[6] He furthermore proposes as a minimum definition of religion "belief in spiritual beings ."[7] While one may criticize this last as leaving out the objective result of "belief in spiritual beings" in worship or cult, Tylor
[3. History of Religion, p. 39.
4. Primitive Culture, new ed., London, 1903.
5. E.g., Enlil of Babylonia; cf. A. Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, 1887, p. 103.
6. Primitive Culture, i. 425.
7. Ib., i. 324.]
is altogether right in asserting that, whatever the original condition of mankind, such belief is found among all races, even the lowest, concerning whom exact knowledge is possessed.
Just criticism may be passed, however, upon Tylor's definition of animism as so vague that it gives no grip upon the actual conditions which attend an animistic stage of thought or upon that thought itself. It is necessary, therefore, to point out that the word represents a stage in the psychological development of man, in his cultural unfolding, in which his conceptions (i) of himself and (2) of the world about him differ essentially from those of "civilized" man. From the point of view of modern psychology, he may be said to possess as yet only an unintegrated consciousness. He does not distinguish himself in kind from objects that are about him. As one writer declares:
"A Central Australian pointing to a photograph of himself will say, 'That one is just the same as me, so is a kangaroo (his totem).' We say the Central Australian 'belongs to the kangaroo tribe'; he knows better, he is kangaroo. Now it is this persistent affirmation of primitive man in the totemistic stage that he is an animal or a plant, that he is a kangaroo or an opossum . . . that instantly arrests our attention," etc.[8]
To man in the advanced stage of thinking to which civilized peoples have attained such a condition as this appears almost unbelievable. And yet expert testimony to this effect is abundantly available. Thus Professor Hobhouse says of the thinking of men in this stage:
"One conception melts readily into another, just as in primitive fancy a sorcerer turns into a dragon, a mouse, a stone, and a butterfly without the smallest difficulty. Hence similarity is treated as if it were physical identity. The physical individuality of things is not observed. The fact that a thing was mine makes it appear as though there were something of me in it, so that by burning it you make me smart. The borders or limits of things are not marked out, but their influence and their capacity to be influenced extends, as it were, in a misty halo over everything connected with them in any fashion. If the attributes of things are made too solid and material in primitive thought, things themselves are too fluid and undefined, passing
[8. Miss Harrison, Themis, p. 121.]
into each other by loose and easy identifications which prevent all clear and crisp distinctions of thought. In a word, primitive thought has not yet evolved those distinctions of substance and attribute, quality and relation, cause and effect, identity and difference, which are the common property of civilized thought. These categories which among us every child soon comes to distinguish in practice are for primitive thought interwoven in wild confusion, and this confusion is the intellectual basis of animism and of magic." [9]
The idea is expressed similarly by Aston:
"I would describe (primitive man's) mental attitude as a piecemeal conception of the universe as alive, just as he looks upon his fellow man as alive without analyzing him into the two distinct entities of body and soul."[10]
The "piecemeal conception of the universe" contains the idea that animistic man regards other objects in the world about him as being on a parity of existence with himself in that they are conceived as having sentient and volitional life. He interprets all things in terms of his own consciousness. On the
[9. Hobhouse, Morals in Evolution, ii. 20-21.
10. Shinto, p. 26.]
other hand, practically all the data In our possession which bear upon the subject indicate that as far back as we can trace man, he had already analyzed his kind into body and soul. Even Neolithic man, and with great probability also Palæolithic man, had the conception of a possessing or obsessing spirit. The trepanning done by Neolithic man during life is most easily explicable on the theory that disease was caused by a spirit which had obsessed the sick, and was to be conjured forth only after an incision had been made in the skull. The fact that Kabyles have been known within the memory of man to perform this operation for this reason, and that the modus operandi is in accord with other methods among primitive races, can lead at once to this conclusion. Up to 1888 there had been discovered in France in the valley of the Torn over two hundred trepanned skulls, in many cases among these the trepanning was ante mortem, with evident signs of healing. And in the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum in London there is a case of flint instruments some of which almost equal in sharpness of edge and point surgical instruments of our own day, used, it is believed for this purpose.[11] We shall find other reasons for believing in the early discovery by man of his own soul. Meanwhile to prove that is not our purpose here. What we are concerned with is man's outlook on the universe, his estimate of what we call nature.
"Man in that stage (i.e., the animistic) may hold that a stone, a tree, a mountain, a stream, a wild animal, a heavenly body, a wind, an instrument of the hunt or of labor or of domestic utility--indeed, any object within the range of real or fancied existence (and fancy looms large in this domain)--possesses just such a soul as he conceives himself to have, and that it is animated by desires, moved by emotions, and empowered by abilities parallel to those he perceives in himself."[12]
Testimonies to this fact might be adduced from many quarters and illustrated in many ways. Thus: "The African does not believe in anything soulless, he even regards matter Itself as a form of soul, low because not lively." [13]
[11. Cf. New York Medical Journal, Oct. 16, 1909, p. 751; British Congregationalist, May 28, 1914; New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, iii. 193-194.
12. New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, iii. 194; cf. Bros, La Religion des peuples non-civilisés, chap. II.
13. Miss Kingsley, West African Studies, p. 199.]
Père Lejeune says that the savages of New France "se persuadent que non seulement les hommes et les autres animaux, mais que les autres choses sont ammées."[14] E. S. Hartland puts it this way: "Starting from his personal consciousness, the savage attributes the like consciousness to everything he sees or feels around him."[15] And Reinach is equally emphatic:
"Animism gives a soul and a will to mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, stones, the heavenly bodies, the earth and sky. A tree, a post, a pillar, the hollow of a rock, are the seat or throne of invisible spirits. These spirits are conceived and figured at a later stage under animal form, and then under human form. A spring was . . . Pegasus, Apollo's horse. A river is a bull with a human face.... The laurel was Daphne, whom Apollo had pursued; the oak was Zeus himself, before being the tree of Zeus, and Dionysos was supposed to live in the tree, after he had ceased to be himself the tree. The earth was Gaea, emerging from the soil in the shape of a woman who implores the sky to water her."[16]
[14. Relations de la Nouvelle France, p. 199.
15. Legend of Perseus, ii. 441.
16 Orpheus, p. 79.]
Thus, to give one final testimony, Im Thurn says of the Indians of Guiana:
"It is absolutely necessary to premise here that all tangible objects, animate . . . and inanimate alike, consist each of two separable parts--a body and a spirit; and that these are not only always readily separable involuntarily, as in death, and daily in sleep, but are also, in certain individuals, always voluntarily separable."[17]
The preceding, then, affords a prima facie basis for a tentative definition of animism, the justification or demonstration of which must wait for a later chapter. We assume that "animism" stands for a stage of culture in which man may regard any object, real or imaginary, as possessing emotional, volitional, and actional potency like that he himself possesses. Things, of whatsoever sort, he may consider the subjects of feelings--likes and dislikes, appetites or disinclinations, affections or antipathies, desires and longings; of will--to help or injure, to act or refrain from acting; and of the power to act according to the promptings of these feelings and the determinations of will.
[17. Im Thurn, Indians of Guiana, p. 329.]
But--animism is thought. The enormous significance of these three words must not be overlooked. They mark the difference between man and the whole creation beneath him. The whole chain of acts implied in the word under discussion involves mental processes passing over into action with well defined intention having their issue in the future and being immeasurably removed from instinct. It is true that we shall find this thought at times pitifully infantile, paralleled by the conceptions in some cases of four-year-olds of the present;[18] but it is still thought. And we shall show that reason is on the throne. The outcome of this discussion will, it is believed, show the general logicality of primitive man's mental processes, once the basis from which he starts is granted. The beliefs in ghosts, spirits, gods, in transmigration and metempsychosis, are not the chance hit or miss conclusions of early man, but flow rationally from the premise we have assumed. That
[18. The Chicago Tribune reports that "during a sudden thunderstorm a little four-year-old came running into the Kindergarten, crying as if her heart would break. When the Kindergartner asked the cause of her trouble, she said, 'O Miss E., the sky barked at me.'"]
this reason is often aberrant in its premises, that it is not seldom fitfully inconsequent, may indeed appear. But what we find is reason, thought at least of a kind, and in many cases frightfully logical.
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      Happiness is the result of an enlightened mind
     whereas suffering is caused by a distorted mind.

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Old 26-12-2019, 03:32 PM
BigJohn BigJohn is offline
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II
THE DISCOVERY OF THE SOUL
ON THE hypothesis that the method of man's creation was evolution, that he is the finest product of nature's forces working in continuous upward striving, how are we to explain man's arrival at the realization of soul or spirit, of something which is intelligently and not merely instinctively directive of action? The possession of soul, in this sense, by even the highest animals is disallowed by scientists; though recognition is growing that elements that are acknowledged to belong to the intellectual and even to the moral powers already exist in brute psychology. Such elements are shame or chagrin, and fear of what seems to the animal what we might call the uncanny. The writer remembers a scene in Meadville, Pa., where as reminiscences of a former iron foundry there exist in some of the dooryards castings of dogs. One day notice was attracted by a street cur which had stopped a few feet distant from one of these cast-iron dogs. The cur was "pointing" at the image and wagging rapidly his short tail in the manner of dogs intimating friendly intentions towards another dog, and desire for acquaintance with it. Seeing no hostile demonstrations on the part of the acquaintance-to-be, he went up to the iron replica slowly, smelt of it, and at once dropped his apology for a tail and made off with chagrin plainly stamped in his entire demeanor. Mr. Romanes tells of a trick on a pet dog that was fond of playing with bones, which it would worry and toss and growl at, evidently making believe that they were alive. The owner tied a thin but strong thread to the bone with which it was one day playing, and after a little time, when the dog had cast the bone some distance away and was creeping up to it as to an object of prey, he began gently to pull the string. The manner of the dog changed at once, first evidently in surprise; then it continued to crawl up to investigate. But as the bone continued to retreat, the dog finally withdrew and hid under the furniture.[1] The animal evidently recognized (1) that the bone was lifeless, inert, therefore (2) unendowed with power of motion. But (3) this thing had moved, and fear (dread
[1. Cited by Clodd, in Animism, pp. 22-23.]
of the unknown) entered evidently as the result of a sort of rational process. It will be noted that this case is to be differentiated from those where fear enters as the result of punishment, in which case the "fear" may be only the result of association of ideas and the formation of "instinctive" habit. There was manifestation of chagrin in the first case cited, for such was the clear impression furnished when the animal looked back at the witnesses of the scene as they burst into laughter; and of fear in the second case, since the animal showed what in a human being we should call superstitious apprehension. There is therefore no adequate reason for denying to primeval man a large degree of rationality, growing in extension and intension with enlarging experience and exercise. He was no longer sheer animal. Of course, it was by achievement of rationality, in however small degree, that be became man. He was no longer a mere observer--animals are observant--but a thinker, who reflected and reasoned, however faultily, upon his observations. The salient mark of his differentiation from the animal lies in his recognition of possession of this quality. Before this, relapse into sheer animality was perhaps possible; after it, such relapse is inconceivable. How then did this come about?
The answer most in favor with anthropologists is that it began (1) with the phenomena of sleep--(a) the evident difference between that state and waking life, combined with (b) the occurrence of dreams which often so closely mimic or deal with the active and conscious existence of the individual;[2] and (2) in the difference between the living and the dead. It is to be recognized that (1a) and (2) are compared and combined in the logic of the savage, and afford new ground for his belief in something apart from and different from the body which eventually becomes known as soul. Through observation often repeated, and through reasoning and reflection upon the facts thus presented, man arrived at the conclusion that he is himself a dual being, possessing body and (what was eventually recognized as) soul or spirit. Having arrived at this conclusion, he deduced from
[2. Cf. the dreams of Pharaoh's butler and of his baker, as narrated in Gen. 39; each of the individuals dreams of matters connected with his specific duties.]
experience and observation, or else jumped to the conclusion, that other objects were similarly constituted; he might attribute life, soul, intention, and action to each and every object, to any object, that came under his observation, no matter what its constitution. It may be remarked, en passant, that the dream life of man is separated from that of animals probably only by the character of the content of his dream, as it reproduces or recomposes experiences registered in the (conscious or unconscious, subliminal) memory. It is well known that some animals dream. The twitching of the muscles or the whining or even barking of a dog in sleep has often been noticed, and is explicable best on the hypothesis of a dream. If animals dream and exhibit elements of consciousness, there is every reason to carry back to a very early period in human history the beginning of the chain of thinking that, on the hypothesis here presented, led to the conception of spirit or soul as animating physical objects.
How this could come about is abundantly illustrated from the interpretations of dream phenomena by primitive peoples. The dream life of a savage being is conditioned by his waking existence, it mirrors more or less perfectly the life he leads. It is very probable that the dreams of savages mimic even more closely the waking existence than those of man in a more advanced stage of culture. The reason for this is that the primitive mode of existence is less complex. Fewer elements of interest go to make up life, and the course of events is more uniform. Mr. F. Granger remarks: "If yesterday was like the day before, and is going to be repeated in a thousand tomorrows, the dreams which echo the life of the past will presage, with fair accuracy, the life of the days to come. Add to all this that the primitive mind distinguishes with difficulty [we should prefer to say, distinguishes not at all] between what is real and what is imagined [i.e., to the savage the dream and the vision of the night are equally real with the sights and experiences of his waking hours] and we can understand why the dream existence is often placed on a level with that of waking hours.[3] Lying down to rest, the savage dreams of the chase or of the search for vegetable food. On awaking he tells his
[3. Worship of The Romans, pp. 28-29; cf. Fiske, Myths and Myth-makers, p. 18.]
companions that he has been away on a hunt or the like, and relates the adventures through which he believes he has passed. But his companions assure him that his body has been with them all the time, and both he and they naturally deduce a dual existence-an invisible soul, usually inhabiting but on occasion leaving a visible body.[4] Here then is one almost certain source of the idea of soul.
How conclusive such reasoning is to the primitive mind, how firmly the savage believes in the dream as consisting of actual experience, may be seen in the comparatively exhaustive collection of cases by Dr. J. G. Frazer.[5] Thus an Indian dreamed that at his master's orders he had (during the night) hauled a canoe up a series of rapids, and next morning reproached the master for making him work so hard in the hours appropriated to rest.[6] To this savage the dream was real and the toll exhausting. Of the actuality of the belief in the absence of the soul during sleep there is abundant evidence. Numerous peoples in a
[4. C.f. Budge, Osiris and The Egyptian Resurrection, ii. 122, 135-136. Gomes, Seventeen Years among the Sea Dyaks of Borneo, p. 177.
5. Taboo, chap. V.
6. pp. 36, 37; c.f. Gomes, Sea Dyaks of Borneo, p. 161.]
lowly stage of culture use caution in awaking a sleeper. It is held that his soul is away, and that he must be aroused gradually so that the soul may have time to return; the same reasoning applies to infants.[7] Melanesians explain the phenomena of a fainting fit in the same way, holding that such cases indicate premature death, but that the soul was not yet wanted in the spirit world and so was sent back to earth.[8]
A different source of the idea of soul is found in the phenomena of death, powerfully reënforcing the deductions made from sleep and dreams. While in the one case there was seen the inertness of the body, perhaps with breathing hardly perceptible, which yet was experiencing dreams that were interpreted as the activity of the absent soul; in the other there was noted the expiring breath and the subsequent inertness of the body, only more pronounced than in sleep, passing into rigidity and finally into decay. Action had ceased with that last exhalation. If in sleep the dream was interpreted as absence of
[7. Frazer, Taboo, pp. 39-42; Roscoe, The Baganda, p. 18; Seligmann, Melanesians, pp. 189 ff.
8. Brown, Melanesians, pp. 192 ff.]
soul, much more applicable would that interpretation seem when the bystanders had noted the last breath and the (consequent) absence of motion, action, speech, life. Something had gone away with the last sigh, something unseen, the absence of which brought about a great change. That man lying there--companion, husband, father, brother, friend--used to live and move and talk and breathe. He was wont to respond to call and to react to the various stimuli about him. Now calls were unheard, appeals brought no reply, promptings met no response. And the difference was brought about (so men reasoned) by the absence of that which had issued forth unseen, never to return, at least to its former home, as survivors would observe.
But the full consequences of observance of the phenomena of death in the direction under investigation are not seen till we take into account certain other phases of human fallibility. Particularly is it necessary to note primitive man's relatively smaller experience and confused perceptions, and the aberrant conclusions often drawn from these.[9]
Most men are and always have been deficient
[9. Granger, Worship of the Romans, pp. 28-29.]
in power both of observation and of deduction. (1) They assume as real many things that do riot exist, events that do not occur, and relations that have no reality. Illustrations are found in the belief in the existence of a directive power in the object picked up by the fetish worshiper, the superstition of the Celt that a fairy has left in the place of his own baby a fairy changeling,[10] and the belief in the descent of a human gens from, e.g., eagle, fox, or snake, as in totemism. Similarly boys of Mafulu, New Guinea, while making a drum must drink only what is found in axils of certain plants, else the embers which are to hollow out their drums will not burn-drinking any other water will put it out, or certain other restrictions are felt to be necessary.[11] (2) They take obvious facts and interpret them wrongly. Thus in the mediæval ordeal of the sacrament (a late example chosen only because of its familiarity, but exemplifying perfectly earlier conditions-, the phenomena can be parallelled in any quarter of the world and every grade of culture) the sacramental wafer was employed
[10. Rhys, Celtic Folk-lore, p. 102.
11. Williamson, South Sea Savage, pp. 258-259.]
as a proof of innocence or guilt. Constriction of the throat and inability to swallow was often the result of the administration of the wafer. If it did not result, deity was held to have shown the innocence of the accused; if it did, guilt was declared manifest. How really irrelative this test was to the facts is shown by the frequent experience of inability to swallow a medicinal pill or tablet without the aid of a liquid to "wash it down." Yet here is no question of innocence or guilt. The explanation is that attention to the ad of swallowing (which is usually effortless and automatic) causes effort and so constriction. Swallowing in the ordeal was doubtless sometimes impossible just for the reason given here; but deity did not intervene, guilt or innocence was not necessarily revealed by this fact, nor did inability to swallow necessarily result from guilt-the innocent might also find the task difficult simply because of the attention directed to it.
On the difference in respect of observational and reasoning power of savage and highly civilized man let Grant Allen speak.
"To us the conception of human life as a relatively short period, bounded by a known duration, and naturally terminated at a fixed end, is a common and familiar one. We forget, however, that to the savage this is quite otherwise. He lives in a small and scattered community, where deaths are rare, and where natural death is comparatively infrequent. Most of his people are killed in war, or devoured by wild beasts, or destroyed by accident in the chase, or by thirst or starvation. Some are drowned in rapid rivers; some crushed by falling trees or stones; some poisoned by deadly fruits, or bitten by venomous snakes; some massacred by chiefs or murdered in quarrels with their own tribesmen. In a large majority of instances there is some open and obvious cause of death, and this cause is generally due either to the hand of man or to some other animal; or failing that, to some apparently active effort of external nature, such as flood or lightning or forest fires or landslip or earthquake."[12]
Man recognized his own volitional agency in causing death in the chase or in personal conflicts. So to each of the agencies which had produced disaster he attributed powers like his own--the volitional behind the
[11. Evolution of the Idea of God, pp. 44-45.]
physical. He had, perhaps, himself narrowly escaped the fate he had seen befall others and ascribed his escape to his own cleverness. But not all of his acquaintances had suffered what we should call a violent death. Some had passed away in disease or even in old age. Surely it was evident, one would say, that no external cause was at work there. But that was not his way of thinking. He knew of unseen powers that send or are the wind, the storm, the lightning.[13] And so the body that was racked with pain and eventually became inert in death was held to be tortured by an invisible something. In many cases, he knew, death resulted from external violence; in all cases, he reasoned, the great change was wrought by powers external to the victim, which sometimes worked with invisible weapons.[14]
Bearing in mind, then, the faulty observation and logic of primitives, and connecting the two sources of the idea of soul previously discussed, viz. (1) sleep and dreams, and (2) the phenomenon of death, together with
[12. The Ekoi of South Africa regard thunder as a giant who strides across the heavens, while lightning is either his servant or his enemy. Talbot, In the Shadow of the Bush, p. 73.
13. See chapter IX for cases of disbelief in natural death.]
(3) the inference therefrom of a something that leaves the body either temporarily in sleep or permanently in death, we are brought to notice next what apparently corroborated the evidence (as it would seem) respecting the existence of soul, that is, the appearance in dreams of those who had died. This was in all probability a more frequent occurrence with early than with modern man, because of the smaller content of his experience and the consequent more frequent repetition of its elements. We have already remarked that the distinction between reality and fancy, fact and the merely apparent, is often missed in early cultural stages. It was quite in accordance with natural logic to reason that the apparition in the dream was real. The dead, therefore, still lived, had been seen, and had possibly engaged in conversation, The wandering spirit of the dreamer had met the disembodied spirit; or the latter had visited his former friends while they slept.[15] The tremendous consequences flowing from these beliefs will be developed a little later.
By these various experiences, dovetailing and appearing to force a conclusion, man
[15. Lang, The Making of Religion, pp. 54 ff.]
certainly in a very primitive stage of culture drew the inference that he was a duality - the body which he could see and feel, and a something of which in his conscious existence he knew nothing except that it existed. Moreover, it is demonstrable that among many primitive peoples the priority in importance is assigned to the spirit. Thus of the New Guineans it is affirmed: "These and other things [specified in the context] seem to show that a sharp distinction is drawn between body and spirit by the natives. Certainly the body gains from long associations virtues from the indwelling spirit; but it is the spirit which is the real man, higher than, and superior to, the body in which the spirit dwells."[16]
One can not go far astray if he maintain that it was the discovery of the soul which was the most momentous in the history of the human race; to it must be traced all man's uplift in the millenniums of his existence.
[16. Newton, In Far New Guinea, p. 194.]
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      Happiness is the result of an enlightened mind
     whereas suffering is caused by a distorted mind.

     ⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜
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Old 26-12-2019, 03:33 PM
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III
THE SOUL'S NATURE
AN important inquiry meets us at this point: How did man think of this second something that usually inhabited his body but sometimes left it for a time and at death left it permanently? For it would soon have been borne in upon him (even though he did not consciously recognize the soul's presence and operations) that the permanent absence of soul meant death, and that therefore while he lived it was present. What did he think concerning the nature of this all-important part of him? It is very clear from a number of circumstances that the notion of the soul was governed by the phenomenon of death. Decisive upon this point is the wonderful accord of meaning in so many languages of the word which expresses this inner elusive reality. In the developed languages we may note the root idea of such words as the Latin spiritus, anima, animus, Irish anam, Sanskrit atman, Greek psyche, pneuma, thumos, German Geist, Dutch geest, English ghost, Hebrew nephesh, ruah, Sumerian zid, Babylonian napishtu, Egyptian kneph, all of which go back to the notion of breath, or of a gentle movement of air or wind. One may forage at large and observe the same root notion and a similar usage in many other different regions, discovering the Australian wang, Mohawk atonritz, Californian-Oregonian wkrisha, piuts, Dakotan niya, Javanese nawa, Aztec ehecatl, Nicaraguan julio, Gypsy duk, and Finnish far. This line of thought is fortified by the conception of the insubstantiality of the soul, expressed in such words as skia, umbra, and "shade," used to denote the disembodied spirit. Terms of similar content were used not only by the cultured Greeks and Romans, but are known to be employed among North American Indians, Zulus and Basutos in Africa, among the Calabars, and elsewhere. One recalls the Hebrew rephaim. The survival of the belief in the insubstantiality of the disembodied spirit till the Middle Ages is shown by Dante, for according to him the souls in purgatory knew that the poet had not passed through death by the fact that his figure cast a shadow. Indeed, the idea of communication by a disembodied spirit with the living in dreams was entrenched by the reflection that its very immateriality enabled it to hold communication with sleeping persons without arousing them from sleep.
How early man came to realize that this part which is designated by breath or puff of air is his real self is impossible to say. But what is significant is that in many languages the word meaning spirit, life, or breath has also the connotation "self," as has, e.g., the Hebrew nephesh. And how natural such a signification is can be illustrated by the concrete fact that Laura Bridgman, the blind-deaf-mute, is said to have expressed the thought of death in a dream by the statement that "God took away my breath to heaven." Among the Ekoi of Nigeria ghost and soul and breath are connected as phases of the same thing or as equivalents. One must not forget that the phenomenon of death which is most obvious is the expiring sigh or last breath, after the departure of which life ceases to exist. What more natural than that the breath thus finally exhaled should be associated with the soul or spirit, or, as in some cases, be thought to carry the soul with it? Since in dreams a person deceased has been seen and addressed while the body was known to have dissolved, the way is direct and the step short to the conclusion that the self, the real person, is that same breath or soul.[1]
But did primitive peoples endow the soul with form? The testimony to this is abundant and cogent.[2] The most natural and perhaps most common idea of the soul's shape is that it is a: miniature of the possessor's form. Among those who have held this belief are American Indians such as the Hurons, the natives of British Columbia, Alaska, and the Esquimaux of the districts adjacent to Behring Straits, islanders such as the Niassians near Sumatra and the Fijians, and continental dwellers such as the Malays and West Africans. To give a single example, Nigerian Etoi believe that "when a man's body decays a new form comes out of it, in every way like the man himself when be was above ground
[1. Talbot, In the Shadow of the Bush, p. 230.
2. It has been collected not only by Tyler in his Primitive Culture, but also by Frazer, Taboo, chap. II.
3. Talbot, In the Shadow of the Bush, pp. 17, 230; cf. Frazer, Taboo, p. 39.]
For the Egyptians abundant testimony is available as to the belief in the double, existing indeed from birth.[4] There is a picture in the Roman catacombs portraying the death of a Christian, in which the soul is represented as leaving the mouth of the dying in a cloud-like shape that takes his own form. What is practically a replica of this is found on the walls of the Campo Santo at Pisa; and in the east transept of Salisbury Cathedral on the sculptured monument over the tomb of Bishop Giles de Bridgport the soul appears as a naked figure carried by an angel.[5] The usual notion is that the soul is invisible. But as in other respects shamans or medicine men are credited with extraordinary powers, so they are supposed to be able to discern the spirits or souls moving about or endeavoring to escape from the body. Sometimes the organ of detection is the ear, which can note the motion of the soul's wings. Or, the soul being of human shape, it leaves faint footmarks as indications of its presence, and light
[4. A notable case among many is the bas-relief in the temple at Luxor, exhibiting the presentation at birth to Ra of the royal child Amenhotep III and his double. Cf. Budge, Osiris, etc., p. 119.
5. Clodd, Animism, p. 40.]
ashes strewn on the ground may betray its presence to the keen-sighted medicine man.
Mention has been made of the return of the soul of one deceased to the haunts of the body as evidenced by dreams. The form appearing in the dream was recognized as that of a friend, again testifying to the assumed fact that the soul has the shape of the body. Further testimony to this belief is found in the faith that the soul is held to suffer in some degree the fate of the body. Brazilian Indians, for example, believe that the soul arrives in the other world hacked and torn, or uninjured, exactly as was the condition of the body at death.[6] Australians tie together the toes and bind together the thumbs behind the back, or mutilate the body and fill it with stones, or, again, they lop off the thumb of a slain enemy, that the ghost may not hurl shadowy spear or pull the bowstring in the land of spirits.[7] Chinese and Africans abhor mutilation, especially decapitation, as a punishment, for the latter produces headless ghosts.[8] And Shakespeare makes Macbeth cry out:
[6. Im Thum, Among the Indians of Guiana, passim.
7. Cases of the kind are cited in Frazer, The Dying God, pp. 10-11; and Howitt, Native Tribes, pp. 449, 474.
8. Cf. Roscoe, The Baganda, pp. 281-282.]
"Shake not thy GORY locks at me." The ghost retains the bloody form in which the body was left at its departure. From classical Greece and Rome the evidence for this same idea of the soul's form is abundant and cogent; and it would not be difficult to show, since so much has been revealed in the frescoes and vase paintings recovered in the Mediterranean region, that this idea comes down from very primitive times. In the paintings which represent Hermes Psychopompus directing the issue and return of souls, the latter are figured as winged mannikins, coming from or returning to burial jars.[9] The form of Patroklos' shade was that of the living hero.[11]
A notion closely akin to the foregoing is that which connects the soul with the shadow. While many curious ideas which gather around the latter--such as the Brahman belief that the shadow of a pariah falling on food defiles it--do not involve the identity of the two, in many cases there can be little doubt that soul and shadow are not only closely related but are regarded as identical. Some believe that an assault upon the shadow may be fatal
[9. Harrison, Prolegomena, p. 43, and Themis, p. 205.
10. Iliad, xxiii. 65 ff.]
to its possessor, or at least extremely harmful. The Indians of the lower Frazer River hold that man has four souls, of which one is the shadow. The Euahlayi of Australia believe that man has a dream spirit, a shadow spirit, perhaps an animal spirit, and one that leaves only at death.[11] Other Australians consider that each individual has a choi, a sort of disembodied soul, and a ngai, which lives in the heart. The choi awaits reincarnation after death, the ngai passes immediately after death into the children of the deceased. It is the latter that sometimes leaves a person temporarily in his lifetime, e.g., when he faints. The choi has some sort of vague relationship with the shadow.[12] The Kai of New Guinea also believe that man has two souls,[13] as do some of the Fijians, one of these being light (as a reflection in the water), the other dark, like the shadow.[14] Dyaks assert the possession of three or even of seven, souls; one may leave the body temporarily, the man dies only when all leave."
[11. Mrs. Parker, Euahlayi Tribe, p. 35.
12. Frazer, Belief in Immortality, i. 129.
13. Neuhass, Deutsch Neu-Guinea, iii. 112.
14. Williams, Fiji, i. 242.
15. Gomes, Sea Dyaks of Borneo, p. 177; cf. Hastings, ERE, vi. 226.]
Gilyaks may have three souls. The Balong of the Cameroon think that one may have several souls, one in his own body and others in different animals. The death of one of these animals, say, at the hand of a hunter causes the man's death.[16] The equivalence of the shadow to the man himself is proved by its use (or that of its-dimensions, in a later stage of culture) in the same manner as the body in foundation sacrifice--to give stability to the structure. After an exactly similar manner of thought the reflection of a body in water or a mirror is regarded as the soul. Injury to reflection or shadow may result in injury to the corresponding member of the body. Among the Congo people shadow or picture or reflection is the equivalent of soul.[17] This whole manner of thought explains why in so many regions the natives do not willingly submit to being photographed or represented on canvas.[18]
While the usual mode of thought represents
[16. Globus, lxix (1896), 277, cited in Hastings, ERE, iv. 412-13.
17. Weeks, Among Congo Cannibals, p. 162; cf. Talbot, In the Shadow of The Bush, p. 230.
18. Cases cited in Frazer, Golden Bough, Part II; Taboo, ii. 77-100.]
the human soul as a mannikin, other ideas are found. Among the ancient Egyptians, in Brazil, in Melanesia, in Bohemia, Malaysia, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and elsewhere the shape of the spirit may be that of a bird;[19] in British Columbia the bird is enclosed in an egg in the nape of the neck. Or the soul may take the form of a mouse (Brunswick, Transylvania, Swab6. Globus, 69 (1896), 277, cited in Hastings, ERE, 4, 412-413.]
ia, Saxony), which may differ in color in different regions; or of a fly (Transylvania), a lizard (India), or an indistinct cloudy form (Scotland ).[20] Greeks and Serbs thought of the soul also as a butterfly, and the Greek name for one species of this insect is Psyche.
As to the constitution of this part of man's duality there is a wide consensus along the lines already indicated. Primitive peoples throughout the world describe it as a vapor, a shadowy, filmy substance, related to the body as the perfume to the flower. It is pale and yielding to the touch, without flesh and bone, thin, impalpable, discerned as the figure in the human eye. Its movements may be
[19. Bros, La Religion des peuples non-civilisis, p. 54.
20. Miller, My Schools and Schoolmasters, pp. 106-107, cited by Frazer, Taboo, pp. 40-41; Brown, Melanesians, pp. 141 ff.--here bird, rat, lizard, etc., are forms the soul takes.]
as swift as the wind, and so it is sometimes regarded as winged. Yet it has a certain materiality, and consequently has necessities. After death, for instance, it needs nourishment and partakes of the spirit, the essential part, of the material things sometimes provided for it. Egyptians, carrying the idea still further, provided pictures or models of food, furniture, and the like, which in a similar way became available to the spirit. The semi-materiality of the soul is illustrated by the fact of the return to his temple being known by marks alleged to be found in maize flour strewed on the threshold of his temple-pyramid.[21]
[21 Spence, Civilization of Ancient Mexico, p. 47]
__________________


     ⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜
      Happiness is the result of an enlightened mind
     whereas suffering is caused by a distorted mind.

     ⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜⁜
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