Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/222

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

hades, the second enters the coffin, and is laid in the grave, but is not satisfied with its dismal abode; while the third lingers around its old home, and with the second soul receives the worship of its posterity.[1] The Hindoos designate between Brahmátmah', the breath of God, and jivátmah, the breath of life.[2] The Khonds of Orissa have a fourfold division of the soul, the first soul being absorbed by the Boora, or deity, the second is reborn into succeeding generations, the third goes out in dreams, and the fourth dies with the body.[3]

Plato located in the human body three souls, the rational and immortal soul occupying the head, the lower souls occupying respectively the region near the heart and the abdominal region below the diaphram, the latter subject to and connected with the higher by being fastened to the spinal marrow or cord. Of these lower souls, the thoracic was the seat of energy and anger, while to the abdominal soul belonged the appetites, the desires, and the greed of gain.[4] Aristotle divided the soul into the vegetative, the perceptive, the locomotive, the impulsive, and the noetic, all but the latter being shared with animals, while the nous was divine, perhaps pre-existent and imperishable.[5] Among the Romans the question of the plural soul is open to discussion. Ovid says: "The shades flit round the tomb; the underworld receives the image; the spirit seeks the stars" (Tumulum circumvolat umbra; orcus habet manes; spiritus astra petit). In his "Tristia"[6] he complains that, while his immortal spirit soars aloft into the vacant air, his shade will be wandering amid Sarmatian ghosts. Hardonin[7] says that the Romans made a distinction between the souls of the dead and their shades, umbræ. The former were supposed to remain on earth, while the latter were removed either to Elysium or Tartarus, according to the character or actions of the deceased. That the idea of a triple soul lingered in England we know from Sir Toby Belch, in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," asking, "Shall we rouse the night-owl with a catch that will draw three souls out of one weaver?" Nares[8] says that the peripatetic philosophy, which governed the schools in the time of the old English dramatists, assigned to every man three souls—the vegetative, the animal, and the rational. In his quaint "Letters,"[9] Howell tells us that the embryon is animated with three souls:

  1. Du Bose, "Dragon, Image, and Demon," p. 81; 'Williams, "The Middle Kingdom," vol. ii, p. 243.
  2. Farrar, loc. cit.
  3. McPherson, "India," p. 91.
  4. Plato, "Timæus"; Grote's "Plato," vol. iii, p. 271, 272; Bain, "Senses and Intellect," p. 613.
  5. Cf. "De Gen. et Cor.," vol. ii, p. 3; "De Anima," vol. iii, p. 5.
  6. Vol. iii, p. 3.
  7. Pliny "Natural History," vol. vii, p. 57, note.
  8. "Glossary," vol. ii, p. 817.
  9. I., vol. iii, p. 36.