Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/221

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while on earth, is one of the tenets of modern spiritualism. The Chinese believe that decapitation makes headless souls in hades. During the T'aiping troubles as much as six hundred and sixty-six dollars was paid for a head to be buried with a body, in order to make a respectable appearance in the other world![1] The Australian who has slain his enemy will cut off the right thumb of the corpse, so that it can not throw the ghostly spear with the mutilated hand. A West India planter, whose slaves were committing suicide in order that they might come to life in their native land, cut off the heads and hands of the corpses, thus effectually putting an end to the practice.[2] In China the souls of the drowned are supposed to remain under water for three years, when they seize the shadow of some passing man, pull him in, and thus effect their own escape. Boatmen are in continual dread of these demons, and stone pillars are erected on the spots where they were drowned in order to control their souls.[3] Damascius tells us that, in a battle fought near Rome by Valentinian against Attila, the slaughter on both sides was so great that none escaped, and, when the bodies had all fallen, the souls still stood upright and continued fighting three whole days and nights, neither inferior in activity of hands or fierceness of mind to living men. The images of the soul were seen and the clashing of their armor heard.[4]

The idea of the plurality of the soul is met with in the oldest records of man, and is universally accepted by savage tribes to-day. The Egyptians considered man to have a soul, ba, represented by a hawk with a human head; a shade, khehi; a spirit or intelligence, khu, into which it became changed as a "being of light"; an existence, ka; besides life, ankh. The soul, ba, only revisited the body.[5] The Hebrews have nepesh, the animal life; ruah, the human principle of life; and neshamah, life considered as an inspiration of the Almighty, and from these the Rabbins taught the threefold nature of the soul.[6] The Persians divided the soul into five parts: The feroher, or sensation; the boo, intelligence; the rough, imagination, volition; the akho, conscience; and the jan, animal life. Of these, the first one alone was accountable for the deeds done in the body.[7] The Chinese believe in three souls and six spirits: the latter, being animal, go down into the earth at death, while, of the souls, one goes down into

  1. Williams's "Middle Kingdom," vol. ii, 244.
  2. Tyler, "Primitive Culture," vol. i, p. 451.
  3. Du Bose, "Dragon, Image, and Demon," p. 454.
  4. Southey, "Commonplace-Book," vol. i, p. 287.
  5. Birch, in Wilkinson's "Ancient Egypt," vol. iii, p. 465, note.
  6. Farrar, "Language," p. 188.
  7. Fraser, "History of Nadir Shah"; cf. Emerson, "Indian Myths," p. 179.