Page:American Anthropologist NS vol. 1.djvu/805

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��734 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST [n. s., i, 1899

insanity, we have set forth elsewhere. That such dream notions seem to be verified by certain phenomena of nature we have also shown, and need only to allude to shadows, reflected images, and echoes. Altogether this fallacy is deeply implanted in the savage mind ; it continues as a notion even in the minds of some of the most intellectual men of modern culture. In savagery the notion is that all bodies animate and inanimate alike have ghosts ; the theory is then called animism. The relic of this theory in modern culture is the belief that all animals have ghosts, or, still further specialized, that only human beings have ghosts.

The ghost theory has played an important role in the develop- ment of ethics which we will try to unfold.

In savagery, life and mind are attributes of ghosts. Material bodies are supposed to be inert, while to the ghostly bodies is attributed all action. Rocks, waters, plants, and stars, as well as animals, have ghosts. It is to ghosts that all purposes are attributed, and all powers to accomplish purposes inhere in the ghosts of material bodies. All of the good and evil which befall them are thus attributed to ghostly beings.

Dancing, music, and feasting are the superlative joys of savagery, and the joy is an attribute of ghosts. Pain also is the attribute of ghosts. Ghosts seek pleasure and avoid pain. It is universal in the primitive stage of society to seek for good and to avoid evil through the agency of ghosts. This motive leads to the organization of shamanistic customs which constitute the religion of the people to secure superlative good and to avoid superlative evil. The motive of primitive religion is the longing for superlative happiness, and it remains as the motive of religion in all stages of culture. Religion is thus a theory or doctrine of securing happiness. The happiness desired may be in the im- mediate future or the remote future ; it may be for time or it may be for eternity, or it may be for both time and eternity. If we are to understand the nature of religion we must always con- ceive it to be a system of securing superlative happiness. The

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