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manes of the Romans. “Pulvis et umbra sumus," said Horace. 1 The negroes also suppose the shadow to be the soul, and the New England tribes call the soul chemung, and the Quiches natub, both of which mean the shadow.
If we examine a few roots expressive of force, we shall see developed from them, not precisely what is regarded by us as the soul, but terms expressive of personality. There are several Sanskrit rudimentary words, îh, åtm, âsu, having so close a resemblance in signification that it is possible they may have arisen from the same lost radical. We cannot deduce în from átm, but we suspect that they are sprung from one parent. Ih signifies to desire, to seek, to crave after; thence ihå, desire, appetite. The desire predicates a violent principle. The same root represents will consenting in our English yes, and in the German yah; but in the Norse ei it has the meaning of either yes or no -showing that originally it was a mere expression of the will. Atm appears in the Sanskrit átman, the self, in the Irish adhm, thought, and amhne, himself; and very certainly in the German athem, breath. In this instance the idea of the conscious self is not taken from the breath. Out of the same root are moulded I, ich, ek, éyó, expressive of the volent self.
The application of the idea of this conscious self to the Cause of nature took place in Vaidic times. "Atman (self) is the Lord of all things, self is the king of all things. Bráhman (force) itself is but Atman (self).”1 cisely what has been laid down as the basis of Theism. In Vaidic mythology Atman, however, never solidified into a more tangible conception, though Brahman became one
1 Horace: Od. iv. 7. 16.
• Brihad-âranyaka, ed. Roer, p. 478 ; quoted by Max Müller : Chips from a German Workshop," i. 70
This is pre
in a trilogy, and rapidly involved himself in a cloud of fable.
In Iranian theology, Ahura is the supreme God. The cognate Sanskrit word is Asura. The root of Ahura and Asura is ásu, the thought, or the breath. The Asuras are the Æsir of the Scandinavians. The original conception of às was the living, breathing, thinking cause; but the reminiscence which was preserved in Iranian mythology was lost in a family of demigods among the Norsemen, and was abased to a tribe of demons among the Hindus. Although the first conception of the Æsir as intelligent forces faded completely from the unphilosophic minds of the Norsemen, the presence of the Vanir opposed to them in their traditions should have acted as a reminder of the original idea. For as the Æsir represent active force, the Vanir derive their name from an absence, want, emptiness, which shows them to have been mere negatives. The Sanskrit van is to kill, or bring to nought; in Erse bana is death, a state of nothingness. Want and vanity are derived from the saine root.
If we look for the names of God derived from analogues of our breath, we find them in great abundance. Sometimes the name for God and that for wind are identical. Where we read, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth,”! the Vulgate renders the passage, “The Spirit breathes where He wills, and thou hearest His voice, but thou knowest not whence He cometh, and whither He goeth.” In the Mosaic account of Creation the Ruah, Spirit of God, moves upon the face of the waters;2 which the Targum of Onkelos paraphrases, “And a wind 1 John iii. 8.
3 Gen. i. 2.
from before the Lord blew upon the face of the waters."1 The Creek Indians call their chief deity Esaugetah Emissee, the master of breath or wind; and the Aztec god Yoalliehecatl meant the wind of night.' Odin is 'the raging gale,' and derives his name from the preterite of the verb signifying to rage.'
Whence the name
Other names of God would be titles of pre-eminence. The monotheistic Jew called his God Adonai, Lord, and the Phoenician named him Adon. The Canaanitish Moloch, the Ammonitish Milcom, signified the King, like the Hebrew Malka; and Solomon was blind indeed to erect separate altars to Moloch and Milcom, whilst in the Temple he worshipped Malka. The Chaldean and Canaanite named God Bel or Baal, also the Lord; or Rimmon, and Ram, the Exalted One: just as the Chinese indicated the supremacy of the sky by the title of Shangti, the Great Khan.
The attributes of God would also be the sources of appellations. The idea of strength centred in Him would originate His name of Brahma and El. That of splendour gave Him the name Div, whence the Sanskrit Dêvá; the ancient Russ Dia, the Gothic Tuisco, the Gallic Tieu, the Erse Dia, the Greek Oeós, and the Latin Deus.
As He was considered to be the perfection of goodness, He was termed God, the Norse Guđ, and the German Gott; as eternal, the Carib called Him the Ancient of Days,
1 Targum of Onkelos, Genesis, by Etheridge, i. 35.
and the Phoenician Beltain, or the venerable Bel; and the Egyptian, Kneph. 1
As the mysterious one, He was called by the Egyptians Amoun; and as the revealer, Ptah.
That mysterious name of God found among the Sclavonic nations—the Russ Bog, the Tongu Buga or Bogdoïseems to be derived from the root in Sanskrit bağ, which has the meaning of 'to divide, and also 'to worship;' whence bága, portion, felicity, and bağ, reverence. What its original significance was is not clear, nor why it became a divine name. Possibly it indicated God as the giver of good, the divider of lots. The same name exists among ourselves as that of evil spirits, Bogies and Bogarts, precisely as the name Deus with us has an evil signification as the Deuce. In the cuneiform inscriptions the sacred name of Baga appears; this is the Persian Bhaga, cognate to the Sanskrit bága, good fortune, and the sun. As the generator of life, the name of Hermes (from épua) is given to the Deity; as Lord of heaven, the Quiche called God Ahraxatzel; as giver of life, Quaholon; as creator, Tzakol; and as Lord, Tepeu.
The localization of the Deity in heaven gave birth to a number of other names. From the first moment that the consciousness of a God rose upon man's soul, like the morning sun, he lifted his head on high and sought him in the sky. That vast uplifted sphere, now radiant with light, now twinkling with countless stars; whether flooded with glory by the sun, or traversed by the moon, calm or ruffled,
1 Plutarch: Isis and Osiris, ed. Parthey, c. xxi. : Kalollolv atrol Κνήφ, αγέννητον όντα και αθάνατον.
Plutarch : Isis and Osiris, ed. Parthey, c. ix. : "Et dè tô Tollw νομιζόντων ίδιον παρ' Αίγυπτίοις όνομα του Διός είναι τον 'Αμούν, Μανηθώς μεν ο Σεβεννίτης το κεκρυμμένον οίεται και την κρύψιν υπό ταύτης δηλούσθα της φωνής. .
80 changing yet so enduring, vague, mysterious, unattainable, never wasting or waxing old, attracted the wonder of man, and in it he placed the home of his gods. Heaven was an upper world inhabited by deities. The Esth supposed it to be a blue tent, behind which Ukko the Ancient, and the sustainers of sun, moon, and stars, and the guardians of the clouds dwelt in splendour. Men for a long time supposed that the earth was a flat plain surrounded by the sea, and that the sky was a roof on which the heavenly bodies travel, or from which they are suspended as lamps. "The Polynesians, who thought, like so many other peoples, ancient and modern, that the sky descended at the horizon and enclosed the earth, still call foreigners papalangi, or heaven-bursters, as having broken in from another world outside. The sky is to most savages what is called in a South American language mumeseke, that is, the earthon-high. There are holes or windows through this roof or firmament, where the rain comes through, and if you climb high enough you can get through and visit the dwellers above, who look, and talk, and live very much in the same way as the people upon earth. As above the flat earth, so below it, there are regions inhabited by men or manlike creatures, who sometimes come up to the surface, and sometimes are visited by the inhabitants of the upper earth. We live as it were upon the ground-floor of a great house, with upper storeys rising one over another above us, and cellars down below."
The gods inhabiting this upper storey were called by the Latins Dii Superi, and by the Greeks oi oúpávioi, oi ävw, ci Úratot, and by the American Indians, Oki, “those above. But if at one time the gods were supposed to
· Kalewipoeg, Rune xvi. 38—42.
Tylor : Early History of Mankind, p. 349; London, 1865.