The belief in such occasional manifestations has probably existed as long as the belief in the existence of spirits apart from human bodies (see Animism; Magic, &c.), and a complete examination into it would involve a discussion of the religions of all ages and nations.
Demons, when they are regarded as spirits, may belong to either of the classes of spirits recognized by primitive animism; that is to say, they may be human, or non-human, separable souls, or discarnate spirits which have never inhabited a body; a sharp distinction is often drawn between these two classes, notably by the Melanesians, the West Africans and others; the Arab jinn, for example, are not reducible to modified human souls; at the same time these classes are frequently conceived as producing identical results, e.g.
(i) The subject of plant souls is referred to in connexion with animism; but certain aspects of this phase of belief demand more detailed treatment.
See also bibliography to Possession, Animism and other articles.
For mechanical conceptions he substituted the theory of" animism "- attributing to the soul the functions of ordinary animal life in man, while the life of other creatures was left to mechanical laws.
Animism in its completeness met with little acceptance during the lifetime of its author, but influenced some of the iatro-physical school.
But the development of their religion was arrested at an earlier stage than that of the Greeks: with them - at any rate in the genuine Roman period - Animism never passed into Anthropomorphism; they stopped at the conception of the "spirit" without reaching that of the "god."
But Fetishism must very early have developed into Animism, the feeling of the sacredness of the object into the sense of an indwelling spirit.
In the animistic attitude we have in- Anim- deed the true background of the genuine Roman religion; but its characteristic and peculiar development is a kind of "higher Animism," which can associate the "spirit" not merely with visible and tangible objects, but with states and actions in the life of the individual and the community.
We are not concerned with the question whether the earliest forms of recorded religious consciousness such as animism, or totemism, or fetishism, were themselves degradations of a primitive revelation or not.
This primitive belief, termed " animism " by E.
In order to obtain an intelligent grasp of the religion of tribes in their several culture provinces, it must be understood: (i) That the form of belief called animism by Tylor (more correctly speaking, personeity), was universal; everything was somebody, alive, sentient, thoughtful, wilful.
Probably magic was always accompanied by some primitive form of animism whether the Melanesian mana or fetishism (see Dr Haddon's Magic and Fetishism, pp. 58-62, 64-90).
ANIMISM (from animus, or anima, mind or soul), according to the definition of Dr E.
This latter theory, which in many cases is equivalent to personification, though it may be, like animism, a feature of the philosophy of peoples of low culture, should not be confused with it.
On theoretical grounds it is probable that animatism preceded animism; but savage thought is no more consistent than that of civilized man; and it may well be that animistic and panthelistic doctrines are held simultaneously by the same person.
Animism may have arisen out of or simultaneously with animatism as a primitive explanation of many different phenomena; if animism was originally applied to non-human or inanimate objects, animism may from the outset have been in vogue as a theory of the nature of man.
Lists of phenomena from the contemplation of which the savage was led to believe in animism have been given by Dr Tylor, Herbert Spencer, Mr Andrew Lang and others; an animated controversy arose between the former as to the priority of their respective lists.
The psychological side of animism has already been dealt with; almost equally important in primitive creeds is the eschatological aspect.
If the phenomena of dreams were, as suggested above, of great importance for the development of animism, the belief, which must originally have been a doctrine of human psychology, cannot have failed to expand speedily into a general philosophy of nature.
Just as a process of syncretism has given rise to cults of animal gods, tree spirits tend to become detached from the trees, which are thenceforward only their abodes; and here again animism has begun to pass into polytheism.
The spirit of syncretism manifests itself in this department of animism too; the immanent spirit of the earlier period becomes the presiding genius or local god of later times, and with the rise of the doctrine of separable souls we again reach the confines of animism pure and simple.
Thus, animism is in some directions little developed, so far as we can see, among the Australian aborigines; but from those who know them best we learn that they believe in innumerable spirits and bush bogies, which wander, especially at night, and can be held at bay by means of fire; with this belief may be compared the ascription in European folk belief of prophylactic properties to iron.
Animism is commonly described as the most primitive form of religion; but properly speaking it is not a religion at all, for religion implies, at any rate, some form of emotion (see Religion), and animism is in the first instance an explanation of phenomena rather than an attitude of mind toward the cause of them, a philosophy rather than a religion.
Animism and the Origin of Religion.
But little need be said on the relation of animism and mythology.
Animism in Philosophy.
- The term "animism" has been applied to many different philosophical systems. It is used to describe Aristotle's view of the relation of soul and body held also by the Stoics and Scholastics.
Wilken, Het Animisme; Koch on the animism of S.
For animism in philosophy, Stahl, Theoria; Bouillier, Du Principe vital.
Fechner's panpsychism has a certain affinity both to Stahl's animism and to the hylozoism of materialists such as Haeckel.
In the Micronesian Islands, while animism and tabu were strong, there was not the cannibalism of the southern islands.
Such theories are the modern scientific or semi-scientific counterparts of the primitive animism of savage races, and may be compared with the hylozoism of the Greek physicists.
The earliest of these works was Custom and Myth (1884); in Myth, Literature and Religion (2 vols., 1887, French trans., 1896) he explained the irrational elements of mythology as survivals from earlier savagery; in The Making of Religion (an idealization of savage animism) he maintained the existence of high spiritual ideas among savage races, and instituted comparisons between savage practices and the occult phenomena among civilized races; he dealt with the origins of totemism in Social Origins, printed (1903) together with J.
In the very earliest times of the most remote animism we find the belief that a person, rapt from all sense of the outside world, possessed by a spirit, acquired from that state a degree of sanctity, was supposed to have a degree of insight, denied to ordinary mortals.
The oldest of these religions is Animism, which represents the beginnings of religion in India, and is still professed by the more primitive tribes, such as Santals, Bhils and Gonds.
This has been since designated as polyzoism or panthelism or panvitalism, 2 and represents the obscure undifferentiated groundwork out of which Tylor's Animism arises.
The term " animism," which embodies Tylor's classical theory of primitive religion, is unfortunately somewhat ambiguous.
M.) THE Higher Religions Various phenomena associated with the religions of the lower culture will be found discussed in the articles on Animism; Fetishism; Magic; Mythology; Prayer; Ritual; Sacrifice; and Totemism.
- Animism is not, indeed, itself a religion; it is rather a primitive kind of philosophy which provides the intellectual form for the interpretation alike of Man and of Nature.
4 The most elaborate presentment of this mode of thought is to be seen in the organized animism of the ancient state religion of China, where the supreme power is lodged in the living sky (Tien).'
Polydemonistic-magical religions under the control of Animism (religions of savages).
The animism common alike to the untaught Huns and to their Hindu conquerors, but condemned in early Buddhism, was allowed to revive.
The religion of the Tasmanians, when cleared from ideas apparently learnt from the whites, was a simple form of animism based on the shadow (warrawa) being the soul or spirit.