Page:The Outline of History Vol 1.djvu/146

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§ 1. Primitive Philosophy. § 2. The Old Man in Religion. § 3. Fear and Hope in Religion. § 4. Stars and Seasons. § 5. Story-telling and Myth-making. § 6. Complex Origins of Religion.

§ 1

BEFORE we go on to tell how 6000 or 7000 years ago men began to gather into the first towns and to develop something more than the loose-knit tribes that had hitherto been their highest political association, something must be said about the things that were going on inside these brains of which we have traced the growth and development through a period of 500,000 years from the Pithecanthropus stage.

What was man thinking about himself and about the world in those remote days?

At first he thought very little about anything but immediate things. At first he was busy thinking such things as: "Here is a bear; what shall I do?" Or "There is a squirrel; how can I get it?" Until language had developed to some extent there could have been little thinking beyond the range of actual experience, for language is the instrument of thought as book-keeping is the instrument of business. It records and fixes and enables thought to get on to more and more complex ideas. It

  1. Our treatment of this chapter is written for the general reader and is broad and general. But the student who wishes to go more thoroughly into the development of the civilized mentality out of the elements of the primitive human mind should read and study very carefully that very illuminating book, Jung's Psychology of the Unconscious (English translation by Beatrice M. Hinckle), and especially the opening two chapters. That book is a most important contribution to the mental history of mankind.