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rather by tradition than by any living sentiment of necessity. When the animal was a mere chattel, the execution even of a captive would be unmeaning; of a firstborn son, shocking. Nor can we fail in this connection to note that, whereas drinking the blood was of the essence of the rite originally, in course of time it came to be generally dropped or prohibited— possibly on grounds of refinement, but possibly also on religious grounds, on the ground that no man should be allowed to communicate so closely with the divine life. Finally, we may note that the original idea of taboo is identical neither with that of holiness nor that of uncleanness, but is the root-idea out of which both these were subsequently differentiated and developed : it is simply that which must not be touched or approached. Now the kingpriest was strictly taboo in the original sense : both as the shedder of blood and as the partaker in divine life, he was not to be approached, during his year.
We have endeavoured to show that the institution of the priesthood was the natural, necessary, and inevitable outcome of the primeval rite of the sacrificial meal; and that from the beginning the priest had no other means of drawing near to his god than those open to all his fellow-worshippers ; he was distinguished from them only by his greater readiness to sacrifice himself for their religious needs. We have found nothing to support the notion that religion is the invention of priests, and we have been obliged to dissent both from the view that primitive man was uncertain whether he was a god or not, and from the view that the priest was a sorcerer who had got on in the world.
We have next to show how the mystic view of sacrifice, as communion, struggled to reassert itself against the commercial view of sacrifice, as giving in order to get something, which had overlaid it; and how this affected man's view of the future state. But first we must understand what his view of the other world was, to begin with.
THE NEXT LIFE
As to man's future state many very different views have been held and are held by different peoples. To some it appears but a continuation of the present life, for others it involves a retribution for what has been done in this world; and each of these theories has many varieties. The retribution may consist in a simple reversal of this life's lot, so that those who have fared ill here will be well off in the next world, and vice verså; or the better lot in the next world may be reserved either for those who in this were persons of quality, or for those who distinguished themselves by their valour, or by their virtue, or by their piety. Or the next life may be for all men alike a continuance of this, under more pleasant conditions, or under more gloomy conditions, but in either case the rank and occupation of the deceased will be what they were in this life, even the scars and mutilations of the body surviving with the other marks of personal identity. Or, again, life may be continued, but in such a way that personal identity is concealed, as for instance by the transmigration of the soul into an animal body, or is forgotten, as by the souls that drink the waters of Lethe before being reborn, or merged in the divine essence. Or the soul may not survive death at all-only the fruit of its moral or immoral acts may be transmitted.
An equally great variety of opinion prevails as to the situation and topography of the next world. It may be on the earth's surface, or under it or above it. If on it, then it is a far-off land, a garden behind far distant hills, a land beyond a distant river, an island across the sea, a far-off western world. Or it may be above the earth, in the sun, the moon, the stars, or above the solid firmament of the sky. If below the earth, it may be one vast and gloomy realm, or it may be mapped out into many various divisions. If the retribution theory is held, then the heaven may be above the earth, or it may be underground. If it is underground, then the places of bliss and punishment are topographically distinguished; if the heaven is above the world, then it may or may not be locally distinguished from the abode of the gods. The underground hell may or may not have places of torture; if it has, they too may be more or less numerous. The number of heavens may extend to the third, the seventh, or even go as high as thirty.
Into the mass of bewildering details, of which these are but a few, some order has been introduced by the labour of various writers, especially Professor E. B. Tylor, in his Primitive Culture. He has shown, for instance, that the retribution theory appears generally at a later stage of culture than the continuance theory, and that the conceptions of the next world as a far-off land, a western world, an underground abode, or as located in the sun, moon, stars, or sky, are of common occurrence amongst different peoples, and are conceptions such as might be formed independently by different peoples, and need not have been borrowed by one from another. These conclusions may be regarded as well established, and we shall make them the basis for an attempt to trace the growth of the belief in a future state.
Whether the funeral rites practised by man in the lowest stage of culture known to us, and also in the earliest times from which we have interments, were prompted by love or fear, by the desire to detain the spirit of the one loved and lost, or by the wish to drive off the ghost, may be a disputed question. But that these rites show primitive man to have believed that the ghost lingered for some time in the neighbourhood of the survivors, is universally admitted. Nor can there be any doubt as to the cause of the belief: the memory of the departed is still fresh in the minds of the survivors, and the occasions are frequent which suggest to their minds the picture of the deceased engaged in his familiar guise and occupations. As time goes on, the memory of him is revived less often and at longer and longer intervals, and it is in
occasional dreams that he appears most vividly to mind. Such appearances are regarded by the savage as visits of the dead man; and the fact has to be accounted for that such visits, at first frequent, gradually become separated by longer and longer intervals. The obvious explanation is, in part at any rate, that the ghost is now further off, and it takes him longer to make the journey. Hence the belief in a far-off land on the surface of the earth is, I suggest, the first hypothesis as to the dwelling-place of the dead. In Borneo, it is situated, for the Idaan race, on the summit of Kina Balu; in West Java, on the mountain Gungung Danka; the dwellingplace of the dead, according to the Chilians, was Gulcheman beyond the mountains; "hidden among the mountains of Mexico lay the joyous garden of Tlalocan.”
Whether burial is the oldest mode of disposing of corpses, or is later than cremation-as seems indicated by the fact that in the oldest interments known to archæologists the body is always partially burnt-burial is and long has been universally known and practised, and no one doubts that it is the burial of bodies underground which has given rise to the belief that the abode of the dead is also underground. The belief is widely spread: "in North America, the Tacullis held that the soul goes after death into the bowels of the earth ... among rude African tribes, it is enough to cite the Zulus, who at death will descend to live among the Abapansi, 'the people underground.'” 2 Amongst the Karens, a rude Asiatic tribe, the land of the dead is held to be below the earth. The Aryan peoples undoubtedly held the same view: the Roman Orcus and the Greek Hades are underground. The Babylonians placed“ the land whence none return,” as it was termed by them, in the bowels of the earth; and the Hebrew Sheol is the name both for the grave and for the subterranean abode of the departed. As to the nature of this realm and the kind of life spent by its inhabitants, there is a unanimity which is a striking illustration of the fact that under similar conditions similar minds will reach similar conclusions. In it, according to the Hurons, “ day and night the souls groan and lament”;8 the region of Mictlan, the subterranean land of Hades in Mexico, “ was an abode looked forward to with resignation,
? Tylor, Primitive Culture, ii, 60 and 61. ? ļbid, 66. 3 Ibid. 79,
but scarcely with cheerfulness."1 The Yoruba proverb runs : “A corner in this world is better than a corner in the world of spirits." The ghost of Achilles rejected consolation : “Nay! speak not comfortably to me of death, 0 great Odysseus. Rather would I live on ground as the hireling of another, with a landless man who had no great livelihood, than bear sway among all the dead.” 2 “The Hades of the Babylonian legends closely resembles the Hades of the Homeric poems. It is the gloomy realm beneath the earth, where the spirits of the dead flit about in darkness, with dust and mud for their food and drink, and from whence they escape at times to feed on the blood of the living. Here the shades of the great heroes of old sit each on his throne, crowned and terrible, rising up only to greet the coming among them of one like unto themselves ... good and bad, heroes and plebeians, are alike condemned to this dreary lot; a state of future punishments and rewards is as yet undreamed of; ; moral responsibility ends with death. Hades is a land of forgetfulness and of darkness, where the good and evil deeds of this life are remembered no more; and its occupants are mere shadows of the men who once existed, and whose consciousness is like the consciousness of the spectral figures in a fleeting dream.”3 For the Sheol of the Old Testament we may quote Smith's Dictionary of the Bible : it is "the vast hollow subterranean resting-place which is the common receptacle of the dead. It is deep (Job xi. 8) and dark (Job xi. 21, 22); in the centre of the earth (Num. xvi. 30; Deut. xxxii. 22), having within it depths on depths (Prov. ix. 18), and fastened with gates (Isa. xxxviii. 10) and bars (Job xvii. 16). In this cavernous realm are the souls of dead men, the Rephaim and ill-spirits (Ps. lxxxvi. 13, lxxxix. 48; Prov. xxiii. 14; Ezek. xxxi. 17, xxxii. 21). It is all-devouring (Prov. i. 12, xxx. 16), insatiable (Isa. v. 14), and remorseless (Cant. viii. 6). ... Job xi. 8, Ps. cxxxix. 8, and Amos ix. 2 merely illustrate the Jewish notions of the locality of Sheol in the bowels of the earth. . . . Generally speaking, the Hebrews regarded the grave as the final end of all sentient and intelligent existence, the land where all things are * Loc. cit.
? Od. xi. 486 (Butcher and Lang's trans.), 3 Sayce, Hibbert Lecture, 364,