« PreviousContinue »
the Christian witch as an imp of Satan, merism-phenomena which seem very in the Hindoo as the goddess Devee, closely related to the second sight of or the devils Vetalu or Cheda, thus the highland seers; to the favorurn or lending support to each false view of prophetic power which the soothsayer divine providence, might-in an age Calchas is said by Homer to have reof unbelief, and among a scientific peo- ceived from Apollo, the god of mediple, which disbelieves alike devils and cine as well as of vaticination; to the angels—and the whole bent of which, dnyanu-drishtee, or gnostic vision, by where not absolutely directed to ma. which, in the Hindoo Poranus, the terialism, is towards a self-deifying seer is often represented as describing Pantheism-consistently subserve this future or remote events ; and even to delusion, by speaking Pantheistic reve- the ordinary prophetic faculty of ries in the mouth of the mesmerised Balaam, whose evil purpose was, on a somnambulist. Although, therefore, particular occasion, over-ruled mirathe varieties and discrepancies in the culously for the blessing of the chosen names and accounts given of them- people; who describes himself as selves by the suppossessed possessing falling into a trance, but having his spirits, among people of different
eyes open,” and of whom it is said countries, and times, and creeds; and that, on that particular occasion, when the invariable dependence and har- the spirit of God came upon him, “he mony found to exist between each ac- went not, as at other times, to seek count, and the belief and associations for enchantments ;" the scriptures amidst which the possessed or illu. thereby intimating that it had been mined was brought up, or with which his usual practice to resort to certain he had been previously imbued, are specific instrumental means or pro. wholly inconsistent with the intrinsic cesses, for the purpose of wooing, or truth of such names and accounts in exciting within himself the prophetic themselves, and constitute a difficulty, faculty, which he exercised for “the and even a primâ facie presumption, rewards of divination ;" that in all or against the whole theory of a personal many of these cases, there does very demoniac possession—they are not ab- commonly exist an inversion of consolutely irreconcilable with it upon sciousness--the loss of one's own identhe above reasoning. All that we can tity, and the assumption of another say at present is, that these names do personality; and often, besides this nothing towards establishing its truth. curious feature, a real exaltation of
To proceed, however, with the gos- the faculties, a genuine intuition transpel demoniacs. May not the know- cending present time and place; in a ledge of our Lord's person and dig. word, a portion, however limited or nity displayed by the parties possessed, temporary, of true prophetic vision. as seen in Matt. viii. 29, Mark, v. 7, In the writings of the ancients, we Luke, iv. 34, 41, Acts, xix. 15, as meet constantly with true facts, the well as the knowledge shown by the result of a faithful observation of napythonic damsel of the real character ture, connected with false theories, of Paul and his companions, as ser- the consequence of a false or an inadevants of the most high God, and quate idea of God and of the spiritual teachers of the way of salvation- world. The accounts which their Acts, xvi, 17—so far from being irre. writers have left of epilepsy, must be concilable with the hypothesis of phy- considered as faithful, though the sical disease, be in perfect harmony names and the theories attached to it with it? It is a fact, which all the are false. We admit the description records of medical experience prove of the epileptic, though we may deny beyond a question, and which is con- the justice of calling the visitation the firmed by some striking revelations “ divine disease ;” or “a rushing and in the « Causes Celebres," and in seizing upon," as if by spiritual pow. private biography, that in peculiar ers, which the word epi-lepsis itself conditions of the body, upon the ap. would seem to imply (thereby approach of death—in many cases of proaching the Hindoo idea of Jhupate, cerebral and nervous derangement, in is devil-blast” or “ devil-rush"). "We some forms of mania, in epilepsy and recognise the convulsions of Virgil's epileptic hysteria, in trance or ecs- sybil, and the quakings of Horace's tasy, in common somnambulism, as priestesses within the shrine, though well as in the phenomena of mes- we cannot allow them to proceed from the inhabitation and rule, either of We hope ere long to lay before our Apollo or Cybele. And such we readers some interesting and conhold to be the true view of the vincing specimens of this evidence. Homeric μαντοσυνη or vaticination, For the present, however, we content that it is a description of a true fact- ourselves with a single illustration of of real mental phenomena, found in this gnosis-sight, which we translate conjunction with peculiar physical word for word from the Panduvu conditions, whether these conditions Prutapu of Shreedhuru, a well-known
the result of disease, of tempera. metrical abbreviation of a portion of ment, or of a specific treatment. And the Muhabharutu, one of the two this view is confirmed by meeting, in great religious epics of the Hindoos. the writings of another, but totally The passage occupies from the twenty, distinct ancient nation, the Hindoos, ninth to the thirty-fifth stanzas of the the parallel fact of the dnyanu-drishtee forty-first adhyayu or canto, in the or gnostic vision. This term, which original, which refers to the Bhishmu is erroneously represented in Moles- Purvu of the Muhabharutu as its worth’s generally excellent dictionary, authority. In this, as in many other as an adjective signifying “that has a passages in our possession, the gnosticmental eye,” is a compound noun sig- sight, or power of clairvoyance, nifying literally " the gnosis-sight,” represented as awakened in the disi. e., the internal power of vision or ciple and lesser seer in this instance intuition of remote objects, obtained Sunjuyu) by the preceptor and greater by the meditative sage through in.. seer (in this instance Vyasu) placing ward concentration and contemplation. his hand upon the other's head-one of It corresponds alike with prophetic the most effective operations in mesvision, with the second sight, and merism for producing the same effect. with the clairvoyance of the mes- In this extract the periphrases, "Su. merists. There is not, perhaps, in tyuvutee's son," and " sire of Shooku," the whole range of literature, a subject both refer to the divine seer, poet, and more curious, or having eventually prophet Vyasu. Dhriturashtru is a more important bearings on some of blind monarch, whose hundred sons the highest questions of philosophy are about to be slain in battle. Sumand religion, than the evidence of the juyu, a minor seer, is a disciple of existence of a systematic mesmeric Vyasu, at whose bidding he performs illuminism among the Hindoos for in this scene the part of the boy many ages, which their own literature Alexis, and reveals to the king what affords. These have been hitherto occurs far away. Gujupooru, the City either entirely overlooked, or not fully of Elephants, is the
same as Hustinaunderstood by European scholars. pooru, the ancient Delhi :
“The aged and the children leaving within their homes
The youthful heroes of the earth assembled,
In Dhriturashtru's presence stood;
I will bestow upon thee eyes.'
Thus do most excellent of spiritual teachers !'
Describe unto the king.
Coming and going with the speed of mind.
Withdrew himself from sight,
Then spoke Sunjuyu (thus made clairvoyant],
Now hearken to their names, as in order I repeat.'”
And then follows the enumeration formity of sin and the beauty of hoand description of the leaders and of liness. Could the soul, then, of the the armies; then the celebrated epi- sinless one, the holy one of God, stand sode called the Bhuguvud-Geeta, con- in the virgin light of its spotless innotaining the theosophic dialogue be- cence, before such an awakened spitween Urjoonu and Krishnu, and the ritual gaze, without instant recognition fatal battle which ensues; all which, and homage? though occurring at a distance, Sun- But besides this consideration, we juyu beholds by gnostic vision, and know from the exclamations of the details to the blind monarch.
blind and the lepers, and others who beSuch passages as this constantly sought our Lord for relief, that his peroccurring in the Hindoo writings, and son and reputation were well known; alluding to the gnostic-sight, as to a and thus, such utterances of recognicommon and well-known phenomenon, tion on the part of the demoniacs may strengthen our position, that the be not wholly unconnected, either with Homeric mantosune or vaticination- a previous knowledge on their own the ordinary and unsanctified pro- parts, or with expectations excited by phetie faculty which Balaam awakened what they heard bruited of his power within himself “at other times,” when and holiness on every side, mingled, "he went to seek for enchantments,” it must be remembered, with the old and the second sight of the highland notions regarding their own possession, seers, were not pure fables ; but de- the result of that popular belief and scribed a real fact-a fact which har- those associations with which they had monizes with the records of medical, been familiar. How such popular beno less than of mesmeric experience- lief and associations operate upon the however erroneous the various theories mind and actions of parties so affected, framed by each party in ancient or in may be observed to this day in India, modern times, to account for its exis- where all the utterances of the possesstence, namely, the spiritual exaltation ed refer to the gods and devils of their and prophetic or intuitive power own mythology, and especially to those which is often awakened in, and is a of their own immediate circle or loconcomitant, and, as it were, a symp. cality: It can be clearly perceived, tom of peculiar types of bodily disease, also, in the narrative of the discovery or of peculiar degrees and stages of of the bodies of the martyrs, ss. the attenuation of the bodily life. Protasius and Gervasius, by St. Am
Now in such a state of exaltation brose. It was a popular belief in the of the faculties, of extrusion of the Church at that period, that the devils present, and awakening to the spiritual in the bodies of the possessed were world, the moral sense is often sharp- tormented by the sight of the relics of ened to an intense degree. Whether martyrs : hence, in order to test the we take the experiences of somnambu- genuineness of these relics, certain lism and mesmerism, or, discarding demoniacs were brought to the spot ; these altogether as unsafe testimony, and as the parties employed in digging confine ourselves to the revelations of approached the site of the bodies, the sick chamber, we shall often find, these unfortunate beings began to exboth in the wild utterances of those hibit all the symptoms of demoniac who are suffering under some form of torture. Any one conversant with mental derangement, and in the calmer the history of the convulsionaries, or declarations of those whose bodily the ordinary phenomena of epileptic powers have nearly decayed, and who hysteria, very well knows that a single already stand almost in the very pre- word, act, or idea, is sufficient to insence of death, the profoundest glances duce a paroxysm where parties have into character-a perception that might been long affected. These demoniacs, almost be termed a feeling of the good hearing in their sane intervals, and or evil nature of those who approach believing that they were possessed, them, or are mentioned in their pre- and that the sight of martyrs' relics sencema keen sensitiveness to the de- would have the effect of bringing on their torments, fell naturally enough the well-informed, therefore, who disinto convulsions on seeing the first tinguished between the supreme God, appearances of these remains.
who is termed Hypsistos, the Most But, independently of all this, show. High, and in the Platonic dialogues, ing what might happen in the mere Agathos, or the Good; and that multinatural course of things, can we for a tude of powers who fill the Homeric moment doubt the possibility of our Pantheon, and received the popular Lord's being able to impress á convic- worship, these latter gods and demition of his own divine character on gods were nothing but daimons ; and these victims of physical disease, whom hence we find this term so often used he came to relieve, without supposing as almost synonymous with divinity. in them any other second personality But even in popular language it al. than that which the shattered intellect,
ways expresses something, not lower like a broken mirror, might present than, but superior to man-generally to their consciousness, or the awaken- something not evil and infernal, but ing of any higher spiritual faculty in excellent and divine—a demigodi abeyance during the ordinary periods protecting numen, or guardian angel of the body's health? Can we doubt -a celestial inspiration ; sometimes, that He, at whose command the dead indeed, the genius or fortune, whether son of the widow sat up and began to good or evil, which inspires man's speak upon the bier which was carry- thoughts and actions from within, and ing him out to his grave—at whose rules over his destiny; in a word, a some. voice the already tainted Lazarus came thing connected with or within man, forth from the tomb in all the fresh- higher than his ordinary human nature ness of life—whose rebuke stilled the -a second inner personality, gifted tumult of the winds and the waves with a profounder insight than him- can we doubt that He had the self; and thus applied by Socrates to power to make the very anger of the source of his own higher intuitions ; Satan praise him; to call up a testi- for it is very manifest that this famous mony. from the storms which, as the daimon of the virtuous Athenian was permitted scourger of sinful man by nothing external, but something within physical disease—he had raised in the himself. The word daimon, indeed, deintellects of these unhappy men, and rived as it is from the verb èxw, “ todi. elicit a voice of recognition and wor- vide, to know by a profound analysis," ship of Him, the Man-God, from these, may be fairly rendered a divining intelthe very graves of human reason ? ligence: and its application to that class
The very word daimon [oziw], as of cases which constituted the supwell as its neuter form daimonion posed possessions, however subse[daywwor], and its derivative partici. quently modified by varying religious ple, daimonizomenos (davuorisousvos], the views or popular traditions, must have three terms which are always applied first originated in the fact of the anto these cases of possession in the cients recognizing, in all or many such Gospels, and which have been rather cases, this dual personality, and this questionably translated "devil,” and
appearance of superior prophetic know“possessed with devils,” in our English ledge or insight. This application, version, has, as all scholars know, a however, received a different interprevery different meaning in classic Greek. tation according to the views and noThe daimoniac nature—and we shall tions, whether of a purely religious use this form of orthography through- or of a superstious character," which out the remainder of this paper, be prevailed among different races. cause the terms demon and demoniac The nations of classic antiquity, have become associated with ideas not from whom this term was borrowed, originally attached to daimon and dai. must have applied it to cases of epimoniac--the daimoniac nature com- lepsy in a good sense_in a sense har. prehended all the interval between monizing with the other name which man and God. To the philosophic and they bestowed upon this visitation
No person acquainted with the Rabbinical writings, no Protestant who reals the books of Tobit
or of Enoch, can doubt that a considerable mass of error and superstition was mixed up with the portions of religious truth which were preserved among the Jews at the time of our Lord's advent.
Non liber æque, non acuta
namely, morbus divinus, or “the di- ply medical to the same class of phevine disease.” They regarded it, in- nomena. We have lunacy at one exdeed, as a possession, but as a posses- treme of the chain—mesmerism at the sion that was divine. Theconvulsed and other; and, intermediate between the heaving patients were, in their eyes, two, epilepsy, hysteria, chorea, and all filled with the afflatus of a divinity: the long and mournful train of manias, they panted and struggled under the and of convulsive and nervous disoppressive influence of the Pythonic orders. god, or shook and trembled under the And, although it is evident that the power of the Dindymenean goddess disciples of our Lord, like the rest of the very counterpart of the Hindoo the Jews, looked upon the phenomena possessing-power Devee
of possession as resulting from the li.
teral indwelling of individual wicked * Non DINDYMENE non ADYTIS QUATIT spirits, and have recorded this impresMENTEM SACERDOTUM INCOLA PYTHIUS.
sion with the simplicity and truthfulSic geminant Corybantes æra,
ness which is stamped on every porTristes ut iræ."
tion of the evangelic narrative, it
does not follow that their views upon The Jews, on the other hand, re- this question, which is medical and cognizing something anomalous, and psychological
, rather than moral or apparently supernatural, in these religious, no more than their notions cases — debarred by their religion on astronomy, and the other natural from acknowledging any but the one sciences, were necessarily correct. We God, and unable to recognise his di- must never confound the two classes vine character in the distortions, the of instruction which, through the whole sufferings, and the howlings of the epi- sacred volume, are kept so sharply leptic or the maniac-looking upon distinct-that addressed to the heart everything evil to proceed from Sa- and will of man, and that appertaining tan, personifying every beneficent and to his intellect. The one, laying down every evil energy in nature as good or man's relation to his Maker, and to evil angels, and more or less imbued his fellow-creatures, what he conseor affected in their belief, as the book quently owes to both ; or, in other of Tobit clearly proves, by the ange- words, his duty to God, and his duty lic and demoniac theories, and the su- to man, in regard to which the fullest perstitions flowing therefrom, which light, which man's heart is capable of prevailed among the nation amid which receiving, is poured from the sacred they had so long, dwelt as captives, volume, especially in the precepts and when by the rivers of Babylon example of our Lord himself. The they sat down and wept, when they other, relating to the constitution and remembered Zion, and hanged their laws of the universe, including the harps upon the willows in the midst occult bonds of relation, which conthereof_the Jews, acting under all nect the material with the spiritual these influences, regarded this daimon, world, and subordinate the former, this dual personality and superior in- through the latter, to the divine will. ner intelligence, to be literally a mes- In this the Bible does not teach ; but senger of Satan-a wicked, taber- invariably uses, whether in regard to nacling spirit.
the facts of the material, or those of The Hindoo belief comprises both the spiritual universe—to the rising, the Hebrew and Greek views, admit- and setting, and standing still, of the ting, as we have before shown, both a sun, or to the exit of daimons and undemoniac and a divine possession. clean spirits—the common language Modern European science, on the of the men, through whom and to other hand, passing by both the su- whom the spirit spoke-spirit being pernatural theories, gives names sim- as completely independent of the for
" And he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon ; and thon, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people avenged themselves upon their enemies. So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.”—Joshua, x. 12, 13.
“The sun and moon stood still in their habitation."-Hab. iii. 11.