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Old 11-08-2006, 03:48 PM
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Post Animism and Mythology:

Animism and Mythology:
By: Khuram

Humans happen to have two different types of life. First one is their ‘physical’ life. Humans are not unique in this world in having this form of life. Obviously, other animals also possess this type of life. The real distinction or uniqueness of humans in this world is due to their having a second form of life also, which is their ‘mental’ life. Human needs are not restricted to just food, clothing, housing etc. These needs relate only to the ‘physical’ life aspect of them. Due to having the ‘mental’ life, humans also are in NEED to get ‘theoretical explanations’ of whatever they observe in their surrounding environment. Thus humans had always been in such needs as to get some theoretical understanding of their environment, their own selves, about the world, about universe, about their own relationship with the universe, about their own purpose or role in this universe, about the role of universe for them and so on, throughout the time when they first might had started their ‘conscious’ life in this world.

Presently, humans possess mainly two types of ‘theoretical understandings’ of above-mentioned things which are (i) Divine told Explanations and; (ii) Human self made Explanations.

In this way, the God Almighty Himself tells the theoretical knowledge of true religion to humanity whereas rest of the theoretical knowledge is man made.

Humans always want to get some theoretical ‘explanation’ of whatever phenomena they observe because they are RATIONAL beings in character and essence. It should be considered that as opposite to the Existentialist’s opinion, human ‘essence’ really comes first, due to which they feel the need of getting ‘theoretical explanations’ of observed phenomena. It is also due to having this ‘essence’ that they want to make ‘choices’. Coming back to the point, humans can ‘explain’ the things only on the basis of (i) whatever information (may be even incomplete or incorrect) they already possess and; (ii) what ‘approach’ they follow in the process of making interpretations of already possessed information. I shall explain this point later on.

Thus humans, due to their particular essence, always tend to explain not only the material world which they observe, they also tend to explain their own feelings, emotions, thinking, imaginations, dreams and so on. Here, we can refer to the material world as ‘external world’ and those feelings, emotions etc. as ‘internal world’.

I already stated that humans can explain the things only on the basis of whatever information they already posses and by following some approach for the interpretation of that already possessed information. In Anthropology, these ‘approaches’ are generally classified as:

1- Animism
2- Mythology
3- Religion
4- Philosophy
5- Science

Animism:

This happened to be the earliest form of approach of looking at various matters when humans still were in their early stages of conscious life. They might have found themselves in material environment and they might have developed some incorrect explanations using whatever limited information they possessed in those days. They also might have encountered with such quite strange things as although they used to sleep, let’s say in caves, but during sleep time, i.e. in dreams, they could find themselves in jungles, they could see and meet their dead relatives and so on. To form somewhat explanation about material things might not have posed much problem to them. But the matter that they used to sleep in cave and in this way could wonder about in jungles and could meet their dead relatives, must have been much difficult for them to properly explain. Keeping in view the type of information, which they possessed in those early days, they might have reached such type of ‘rational’ resolution that they assumed the presence of ‘something’ inside the human body. So they might have explained this complicated matter in a way that they thought that ‘something’ could separate from the body during sleep and could come back when awakened. In addition to this, those early humans might have noticed that their life was dependent upon breathing. They might have noticed that when this chain of breath stops, human dies. So they would have reconciled this chain of breath with that ‘something’ which could leave their body during sleep and could come back when awakened and they would have called it the ‘Spirit’. That ‘spirit’ finally became a real object for them.

It is also important to consider that to properly distinguish between ‘internal’ and ‘external’ world might have been near to impossible for those early humans just because due to the much limited information which they possessed in those days. Even today wild uncivilized tribesmen and children make no difference between their ‘internal’ and ‘external’ world. Children sincerely think that external world events are dependents on their own thinking and emotions and so they sincerely think that their own thoughts and feelings can affect the physical world. When some event does not occur as per their emotional feelings, they cry and weep. Children also tend to think that toys are alive just like them. So they clothe them and ‘marry’ them. In the same way ancient humans had been considering lifeless objects as conscious in the same manner as they themselves were. So they sincerely thought that all those lifeless objects also ‘feel’, or that they also had ‘emotions’. Those ancient humans could not differentiate between external, internal, objective and/ or psychological factors or things.

These type of objective situations resulted in the emergence of Animism, which is a belief on ‘spirits’; that other lifeless objects also possess ‘spirits’ and that external world events occur as per the will of those ‘spirits’ etc.

This Animism was the first ever attempt of human kind to get themselves ‘theoretically’ and ‘emotionally’ relate to the Universe and this belief have had an everlasting impact on all the coming times.

A complete uneducated human mind, just like that of a small child, tends to believe that external world events are dependents on one’s own feelings and emotions. It is interesting to point out that throughout early history to even the present modern times, humans always have tried to ‘control’ the external world events using their own emotions and feelings.

When a small child sincerely believes that certain event must happen according to his/ her own emotional desire, it is just the case of ‘innocence’ of that small child. There is another interesting common notion of ‘children’s world’ (There is a Children’s digest also with this title — I used to study it in my childhood). What is this ‘children’s world’? How it is different from the ‘real world’? This ‘children’s world’ actually is a way in which a child identifies the relationship between his/ her ‘internal’ and ‘external’ world. For a child, the external world is filled by his/ her own emotional objects such as fairies, Ghosts, kind prince and princesses and so on. Similarly, for a child, the external world events must depend on his/ her owns emotional (innocent) feelings. For example, in my childhood, as I can remember even now, I used to think, “Kal school se chutti ho gi – just because I wanted this” (tomorrow shall be holiday, just because I wanted so!).

This ‘children’s world’ approach should be differentiated with the ‘realistic’ approach, where a ‘realist’ person clearly identifies the difference between internal and external world and he/ she knows that events of external world are dependent on rigid and constant laws of nature i.e. physical world and are not dependent on his/ her own thoughts or ideas. Here this thing must be kept in mind that ideas do have impact on external world but only in a realist sense. For example a person first conceives the idea of doing some business. Then he realistically translates that idea into reality thus affecting the events of external world.

Children of our era normally come out of the ‘children’s world’ not just because they grow up. They come out of the ‘children’s world’ due to the fact that they have been provided with sufficient education and they also have got the experience of living in a realistic society. If a child is not given proper education or if he does not get the experience of living in a realistic society, he/ she will continue living in that ‘children’s world’ throughout his/ her life. HE/ SHE CANNOT BECOME ‘REALISTIC’ BY HIM/ HERSELF.

Now consider those ancient humans who were in the initial stages of self-consciousness. They just like a child believed that entire world was filled up by their own emotional object, which was ‘spirit’. And what they could understand of external world events was just that those events must be dependent on their own emotional feelings. When a small child tries to ‘control’ the external world events by just his/ her emotional desires, we call it ‘innocent’ behavior. But when grown up people develop some formal method using which they suppose themselves able to control the external world events as per their own emotional desires, we call this ‘strategy’ as ‘magic’ (or witchcraft). These formal methods are of course various ‘jantar mantar’ or other methods. I try to explain this ‘magical’ approach by differentiating it with the ‘realistic’ approach. Suppose a ‘realistic’ person wants to kill his enemy. What he shall do? Most direct method would be to get a gun, then to go to that enemy and then to shoot him with that gun. Enemy shall die in this way. What a magician would do? A real prevalent practice for doing this task is something like that the magician makes a small statue of the enemy. Then he would dig in many needles in the body of statue. In this way magician supposes that real enemy shall die. Although it is quite un-realistic way of killing the enemy i.e. by just using a formal method to effectively utilize the ‘powers’ of one’s own emotional desires but even in this case, if enemy happens to be a superstitious person and if he also has been informed in some indirect way that magician has done this sort of thing with his statue, that enemy can really die in this case. He would die just because of psychological reason and not because of any real effectiveness of that magical method.

As I already mentioned that throughout from the early history to the modern times, humans always have tried to control the flow of external world events using the ‘powers’ of their own emotional desires. So this ‘magic’ is still prevalent but mostly in the vast lower strata of about every present day human society. This ‘magic’ seems to be more ancient than Animism itself. People had been trying to control the external world events by using their own emotional desires without using any formal method i.e. just likes an innocent child. But with the emergence of Animism, role of ‘spirits’ also entered into this magic. Magic took another shape. Now spirits were classified into two categories i.e. (i) evil spirits and; (ii) good spirits. Now the role of magician was to call for ‘evil spirits’ for such purposes as to destroy the enemies and to call for ‘good spirits’ with the purpose to provide help to the friends. This magic however had a great role in the evolvement of present day’s sciences. Both magic and science have similar purpose i.e. to control the flow of external world events in the desired way. The only difference is that magic offers such methods for this purpose, which now have been proved to be wrong whereas science offers realistic methods for this purpose. Emergence of modern science however would have been quite impossible if humans would never had tried to control external world events using the incorrect method of magic. Actually it happened to be the many failures of magical method, which led the clever people to try to find some realistic methods for the purpose. And remember that these realistic methods are now known as ‘science’.

Mythology:

I have discussed Animism in detail because this Animism happened to be the primary basis of most of the ancient mythology. It is clear that for the ancient humans, the entire world was filled by their own emotional object i.e. ‘spirit’. With the passage of time, as a result of many social interactions, many ‘stories’ about those ‘spirits’ emerged. Some of the spirits were appointed as chiefs of rest of spirits. Later on those chiefs became the gods and goddesses. Those stories were aimed at the satisfaction of HUMAN NEED OF GETTING THEORETICAL EXPLANATIONS about the formation and structure of universe. These stories, which are now known as ‘myths’ or ‘mythology’ described, in interesting way, the role of various gods and goddesses in the formation and daily functioning of the universe. Those ancient humans kept blind faith in those myths and they could not doubt in the truth of those stories.
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Last edited by khuram; 11-08-2006 at 03:58 PM. Reason: font
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2006, 01:04 AM
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Hi, this is all very interesting and I am hoping you can help me with my problem.

It all started with my step great-grandmother, she cursed the whole family. EVERYONE, including the grandchildren. My sister eventually pushed her down the steps and killed her when she was 3, then my family left the country. From what I hear, the great grandmother used some sort of magic but when we currently curse eachother, all we have to do is say it and it happens without magic. And nobody will stop, we all keep cursing terrible things on eachother and it happens. I told my dad, you said this and it happened, I begged him not to say or wish terrible things for me anymore. I think he get's it but he said that the great-grandmothers cursing was different, not if this is the result I said. So my uncle curses his daughter, my favorite cousin, about things that go against his wishes. In return her and I don't feel very nice about our dads so we fuck with their "luck" too. I told her we have to stop this but I curse strangers that piss me off too. It's getting out of hand, even my husband cursed me by telling me I'm a bad mom now my kids are wards of the state and nothing ever happened to them. I even told him to please stop but they are all possesed or something. At least I can recognize it and try not to do it, but I can't do anything against what they wish on me. I think it only applies to family because I don't know what goes on in the private lives of people I have cursed.

Any suggestions?
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Old 11-10-2006, 01:27 AM
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Fuck, now my dad just told me if I don't do what he say's, which is basically not listen to my lawyer or childrens service, that somebody is going to get killed.
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Old 11-10-2006, 12:56 PM
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khuram khuram is offline
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@ Misfit,

Just cursing anyone does not fall in the ambit of "magic". Magic would be 'cursing' supported by any 'formal' method or 'activity'.

I remember a case where a stepmother used to curse her step children (two little brothers) using a formal method. She had collected human skull and some other human bones. Then she used to place them before burning fire and then used to curse those little boys. She wanted that those boys might die. Initially nothing happened to those boys. But one day, the younger boy happened to see that the old woman was sitting while placing human skull and bones before fire in front of her ... and was cursing those boys. The boy really became afraid of it. He came back to his room but he really had lost his nerves control.

Fortunately a sincere relative of boys was present in his room. He listened to the boy and calm him down. He told to both the boys that let the old woman do whatever she was doing. He explained them the ineffectiveness of that "magic". He told them that as the old woman shall continue practicing the same, both the boys would acquire more health and power. And then it really happened in the same way. The old woman continued practicing her "magic", but both the boys became young, healthier, smart and strong.


But note that if that sincere relative had not told the ineffectiveness of 'magic' to the boys, that younger boy could really die of just psychological fear.

I tell you another recent case when a little innocent girl died just because of fear. She was just playing with her elder cousins. Her elder cousins had found a dead snake somewhere. They were just showing that dead snake to her and she was becoming afraid but was laughing at the same time as it was just a child's play. But on that night, that little girl became too much afraid in her dream. She got high fever and eventually died of that fever.

On the other hand, just cursing one another is a routine matter in many family settings. It can have no effect until and unless someone is put to any sort of psychological fear. But again, only small children or those who are psychologically weak, can be affected in this way. So one really should not very harshly curse small children or those who are psychologically weak or those who believe in superstition.

Generally there are no real physical negative effects of cursing. But it should be avoided however because it may not be morally good. Secondly I can see nothing solid to worry about in your stated situation. So you do not need to be worried over any thing.

Regards!

Khuram
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Old 11-10-2006, 08:34 PM
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Thanks Khuram, it didn't help much this morning when the prosecuting attorney told me that I am a high level risk for being a murder victim. My dad told me he already saw it (when he told me last night) but he didn't say who. Then I was worried that something might happen to the baby because when I got pregnant, I cried hysterically because I knew her life was going to be terrible with my husband in charge of the family and this is the weirder part, I thought she was going to be killed in life. This was when I was only a month pregnant and my dad and husband took me to a mental hospital for an evaluation and the counselor told me to divorce my husband and get an abortion. My dad was a little ticked that the counselor didn't say I was crazy. I know now that I was 1/2 right, I would rather be less than instead of more than in this case.

I've already been a single mom for 11 years and my marriage may not even be valid because I haven't seen or read the marriage license. That would be a good thing because then the dad will be deported. The prosector said it would be a good idea for him to just leave the country because he already spent the money my dad gave him for his lawyer (I haven't asked, nor have I recieved thousands of dollars from my dad but the husband did and that doesn't make my home look safer for me either), and he can't afford to pay the attorney so they couldn't plead out today. When the attorney asked the husband if he wanted to call his father-in-law for money, he looked me straight in the eyes when he said it. It made me feel bad, but the prosecutors heard too and it's not going to look good on them because everyone knows I don't have a dime and makes me look more victimized.

But anyway, I'm not worried about being killed. Even the prosecutor told me afterwards that she thinks I am handling myself better than most people in my position.

The weird thing is that my dad and husband are very superstitious, my husband was constantly spitting on himself so that nobody would jinx him. I am not saying I am but I've seen too many coincidences to think that they are coincidences.
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:08 PM
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khuram khuram is offline
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Hi Misfit,

I hope you still would be all fine. If it is so, then you need not to be worried for the future as there is no solid thing to be worried about in your case. But in case (may not... may not...) you have died ... (plz dont worry... its just kidding) ... then it means you were facing a "real" problem... I mean there was a real person who really wanted to kill you... and I had so solution for a real problem. My solution could address to only psychological problem, if any.

And sorry for late response. I became busy somewhere else. And again shall remain busy for next two weeks. I hope you shall be quite fine up till my next post on this forum.

With best wishes for your happy life!

Khuram
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