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Romans, nay of most of the civilised nations of the world, is perfectly marvellous.
Of course a philosopher is at liberty to define his words as he pleases, and if any one chooses to call the belief in the capability of the soul to take possession of anything whatever' fetishism, or any other ism, he cannot easily be restrained. Only it should be clearly understood that the poor Negroes are not responsible for this confusion of language and thought, and that, if we continue to call a portion of their religion fetishism, that fetishism has hardly anything in common with the fetishism of modern philosophers.
Strange Names. Totemism. There seems to be a peculiar fascination in strange names. They sound learned and mysterious, and seem to be above definition. Like fetishism, totemism has a perfectly legitimate and well understood meaning among the Red Indians. We shall have to treat of Totemism very fully when we come to treat of customs and their relation to religious ideas. But the real meaning of Totemism has been so much watered down that almost anything in the shape. of a sign of recognition or emblem can now be baptised a totem. The British Lion has scarcely escaped being christened a totem, and the rose, shamrock, and thistle, particularly the last, stand in equal danger of losing their good name. And thus it has really come to pass that certain philosophers, after satisfying themselves that the human mind must everywhere pass through the stages of animism and fetishism, have landed us finally in totemism. Professor Gruppe tells us (p. 241) that if a sky-fetish or
a star-fetish becomes a totem, new ideas spring up in the human mind leading to a belief in 'sons of heaven,' or children of the sun ;' so that in the end every religion, whether ancient or modern, not excluding Christianity, can be fully accounted for by Animism, Fetishism, and Totemism.
In order to secure clearness of thought and honesty of reasoning in the study of religion, I am afraid these three terms ought to be sent into exile. They have become dangerous, and if they aro to be restored to their citizenship, it can only be on condition that they should be confined to their proper and accurately defined sphere, Animism as the name of a belief and worship of ancestral spirits ; Fetishism as the name of a belief in chance objects being possessed of miraculous powers, common among certain Negro tribes ; and Totemism as the name of a custom widely spread among Red Indians and other tribes, who have chosen some emblem as the token of their family or tribe, and who pay reverence to it or regard it even as their ancestor, whether human or superhuman.
If we keep these three terms properly defined and separate, it will be clear that it is from what we call Animism, from the wide-spread belief and worship of ancestors, that the simplest and most primitive ideas of immortality arose in the human heart. This imparts the highest importance to the second branch of our subject, the study of the infinite as perceived in man.
The Infinite in Man as a subject. The third and last manifestation behind which it was possible to discover something infinite, something unknown and yet real, was, what I call the Self, that is, man himself, looked upon not objectively as another, but subjectively as the self. Little as we may suspect it, self-consciousness, or the consciousness of self, has given rise from the earliest times to as rich a mythology as the intuition of nature and the love of our parents and ancestors. That mythology has really survived longer than any other, for we still live in it and speak of spirit and soul and mind and intellect and genius and many smaller psychological deities as so many independent beings or powers or faculties, just as the Greeks spoke of their Zeus, Apollo, and Athene. But what our genius or our mind or our soul really is, what they are made of, what they are substantially, we know as little as the Greeks knew what Zeus, Apollo, and Athene were made of.
Psychological Deities. We are quite willing to admit that there never was a Zeus or an Apollo or an Athene, and that these are but names for physical phenomena personified, or of the various activities of an unknown agent behind nature. But to be asked to admit that there is no such thing as spirit, mind, understanding, intellect or reason within us, and that all these are but names for certain activities of our sentient self, seems intolerable as yet, though thinkers brought up in the strict scholastic training of the middle ages, and independent thinkers also, such as Spinoza ?, for instance, never
1. Mens certus et determinatus modus cogitandi est, adeoque suarum actionum non potest esse causa libera.' Ethica, ii. 48, Demonstr. 'Eodem hoc modo demonstratur in mente nullam dari facultatem absolutam intelligendi, cupiendi, amandi, etc. Unde sequitur, has et similes facultates vel prorsus fictitias vel nihil esse praeter entia metaphysica sive universalia, quae ex particularibus
hesitated on that point. But, even from a purely historical point of view, it is clear that by spirit was meant at first nothing but the air which is drawn in by our lungs, and given out again as breath. And as with the cessation of this breathing all bodily activity came to an end, spiritus came naturally to be used as a synonym for life, or rather it meant life, before there was this more abstract name of life. Again, as with the extinction of life, all mental activity also became extinguished, spirit came likewise to be used as a synonym for mental life. That mental life consisted, as we saw, in sensation, perception, conception, and naming, and in accordance with this, four agencies, if not agents, were imagined, called respectively sense, imagination, intellect, and language or logos.
Sense, Imagination, Intellect, Language. With regard to sense, there was some excuse, because the organs of sense, the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue and the skin were actually there. But when the power of changing percepts into concepts was ascribed to the faculty of imagination, and the power of naming concepts to the faculty of language; when, lastly, the process of adding and subtracting concepts and names was ascribed to a new faculty, that of reason, there arose a whole Olympus of unseen deities. No doubt, as Ennius said, “Look at that sublime light which all people invoke as Jupiter,' the believer in these mental deities also might say, “ Look at that sublime light within you which all people call Reason. But as we have ceased to believe in Jupiter, we shall also have to surrender our belief in Reason, as an independent agency, or faculty, or power, and translate the old poetry of mythology into the sober prose of psychology.
formare solemus. Adeo ut intellectus et voluntas ad hanc et illam ideam vel ad hanc et illam volitionem eodem modo sese habeant ac lapideitas ad hunc et illum lapidem, vel ut homo ad Petrum et Paulum.' Eth. ii. 48, Schol. See also Caird, Spinoza, p. 195.
Science of Thought, p. 20.
We shall continue to reason all the same, though we do not profess to have Reason, just as we continue to be patient, though we do not possess a something called Patience. The change is not so violent as it seems. We mean much the same when we say, It rains, as what the Greeks meant when they said that Zeus rained; and we shall continue to reason just the same, though we no longer say that we are guided by reason or fall down to worship a goddess of Reason. The facts remain, only we conceive them more correctly.
Devatas. It may sound strange to call these faculties deities, but in India that name, devatâ, was actually used from a very early period, from the period of the Upanishads, and they formed from a very early time subjects, not indeed of adoration, but of meditation. This led to a philosophy which is contained in the Upanishads, treatises found at the end of the different Vedas, and therefore called Vedânta.
Âtma. And in the same way as behind the various gods of nature, one supreme deity was at last discovered in India, the Brâhmans imagined that they perceived behind these different manifestations of feeling, thought, and will also, a supreme power which