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15. Soul

The activity of the animals, — and as such only moving animals are considered, — convinces the Tungus in the existence in animals of another element lacking in plants. The Tungus have no generally accepted opinion about the nature of this element. This element may be understood as a manifested functioning of the nervous system, including the central nervous system, — the brain. However, in order better to understand the difficulties met with by the Tungus I shall now give the Tungus idea of how man differs from non-living phenomena and then the place of animals will be better seen in the Tungus system.

According to the Manchus the human being consists of the material element and elements which cannot be seen, but which make the man live and act as man does. These elements are called fajanga (Manchu Writ.), usually fojeno (Manchu Sp.), which may be translated «soul». This is not, however, a good translation, for fojengo is composed of three elements; namely, (1) wunengi fojengo (unengi fajanga) — the «true soul», as the Manchus understand it, which is considered as a principal component of fojengo; (2) cergi fojengo (cf cargi fajanga Manchu Writ.) — the «soul which precedes» which is near the first (cf. cargi); (3) olorgi fojengo the «external soul». These three elements are not understood by the Manchus as independent one of another, but according to their explanation the three-fold aspect of the soul is the same as that of a finger which has nail, bones, and «meat». The soul is received from ongos 'i mama who supplies all children with souls. The second soul after death returns to ongos'i mama for being given to other children, while the third soul goes to the spirit of the lower world ilmunxan, after which it may be incarnated into other people and animals, thus it is received from ilmunxan. According to some Manchus, the second soul may be identified with the power of continuation of the species, i. e. it is a biological power of continuity which is characteristic of the man and all animals, but which, according to the Manchus, is lacking in plants. The second «soul» seems to be also responsible for all physiological functions of a higher order. After death it remains in the body for some time. The first or «true soul» is that which may be compared with consciousness», «self-cognition». However, the «thought» is not the same as «true souk for «thought» gonin — is a result of the activity of all «souls» which is produced in the heart and is in some relation to the liver [83].

The controversy among the Manchus is about the question whether the first «soul» exists in animals or not: some of them would deny it, some of them would recognize it. From a further description the particular characteristics of these components will he clearer. The three «souls» must be well balanced in a system of permanent movement which will be described later.

Thus, this theory of «soul» may be represented in the scheme: the soul, which is the principal one, is the individual consciousness; the second is the reproductive power; the third one is the migrating «soul» which is the soul familiar to Europeans; all three together form fojengo — the «soul» characteristic of man. Indeed, this conception of soul is not originally a Tungus conception, — it is one of numerous modifications of the vulgarized Buddhistic conceptions which reached the Manchus through the Chinese and Central Asiatic groups.

Among the Barguzin and Nercinsk Tungus the idea of a complex soul is also adopted. I cannot assert how many elements it comprises, for I was unable to receive any definite statement. These Tungus call the soul an'akan, the etymology of which will be discussed later. The soul may partly leave the body which is called ulda, — the «meat», as opposed to an'akan. The spirit om'ijan is sending souls and is looking after the souls, but this spirit seems to be controlled by another one dayacan (a generic term for all «masters»). Also all animals have souls.

The system adopted by the Tungus of Manchuria, with exception of the Reindeer Tungus of Manchuria, is similar to that of the Manchus. Sus'i sus'e (Bir. Kum.) consists of three elements which have no special names. The etymology of this word is not clear. Amongst the Birarchen (vide supra) the soul given by um 'isma~um'i~om'i is called om'i. They say that om'i is given by the spirit to a child when it is in the mother's womb. If it is not given by the spirit the child will not grow. As without om'i it cannot grow, so without erga it cannot live. In this conception the soul susli is independent of om'i and erga. The Birarchen go so far that they assert that om'i is not even given to the children but to the parents and those who have no om'i may have no children. In this conception om'i is merely reproductive power» and growth. However, this opinion is in conflict with the Manchu system but it is in entire agreement with the Birarchen opinion as to the third sus'i which remains in the family. The usual expression amongst these Tungus in reference to children is om'i ngalaren, instead of sus'i ngalaren when they want to say «the child is afraid». From a certain moment the child is not considered having om'i but as having sus'i. Before that time his soul is not yet established in the body, and there is a special placing for it which is called an'an [84].

The difference between Birarchen conception and that of the Manchus is that after death one sus'i does not have the place and looks after the children, another sus'i goes into the animals and third one remains in the world of dead people. One of sus'i is given by um'isma (corresponding to onosi mama of the Manchus) and for some while it remains near the tomb (corresponding to cergi fojengo). According to the Tungus themselves, this theory is borrowed by them from the Manchus and particularly from Manchu books. All animals which can move have also sus'i. However, the human being also possesses do (Bir.), don (Khin.), don (Ner.), which may be defined as «the complex of mental and psychic activity», which results in a certain «moral» and «intellectual» aspect and value of the person. It must not be understood as «thought» or «wish» for which conceptions they have special terms, borrowed from the Mongols — jalava (Bh.),Jalva (Ner.) [cf. jalwar || jalbari, Mong. Rud.]; and they have another term jon (Bir. Kum.). Together with the destruction of the body do naturally disappears altogether. Etymologically it ought to be connected with do (Bir.) — the «inside», the «internal organs» [cf. do (Manchu), dosi also doso (Buriat, Castr.) and dotor (Mong. Rud.]. According to the Birarchen, some animals have do in the sense of the psychomental complex.

Amongst the Nomad Tungus of Mankova the conception of soul is borrowed from the Buriats together with the term which is sunusun (Mank.), also sunaesun (Ur. Castr.) [Cf. hunayu (Buriat, Shirokogoroff), sunesun (Mong. Xalxa), hunehen (various Buriats) (Podg.) ]. At the present time the Mankova Tungus are under a strong Russian influence, so that this term does not cover the original conception. The Reindeer Tungus of Manchuria have a Russian conception of «soul», which is a variation of the European complex. Since it does not recognize the existence of «soul» in animals, this Tungus group finds itself rather in a difficult position for rearrangement of the general conception of «life» etc.

Amongst the Tungus there seems to exist another conception of «soul» which is related to the term om'i (Ur. Castr.), om'i (Ner. Barg.) [cf. amin (Buriat. Castr.) where it is connected with the stem used for «to breathe» ] found in children and with which the activity of the spirit um'is'i is connected. The term used by the Enissy Tungus belongs to the same stem — omugda. Amongst the Reindeer Tungus of Manchuria om'i is equivalent to sus'i. At the present time it is impossible to restore the old Tungus conception of «soul» .

In the records of Lam. dialect I find two terms which in P. V. Olenin's translations are the «material soul» han'inn'i (Lam.) (indeed, it is an aspirated form of an'an) corresponding to the Yakut kut, and the immaterial soul» muyonn'i (Lam.) corresponding to the Yakut conception of sur [85]. Both Tungus terms do not seem to be free of suffixes, and the second cannot be connected with the terms for those conceptions found in other languages. If the record and translations are correct the conception of «soul» is different amongst this group. The conception of kut and siir, as they are given by the specialists, is essentially different as compared with those above described.

Conception of «soul» amongst the Goldi who are living in the neighbourhood of the Birarchen and Manchus is very close to that of the Manchus and Tungus of Manchuria. I. A. Lopatin has given some facts which are interesting. He says that the Goldi distinguish «three kinds of soul», which are omija, ergeni and fan 'a. We have already observed all three among other groups. Omija is the «soul» sent by the spirit orpsi mama (Manchus), om'is'i (Tungus Birarchen-Kumarchen etc.). I. A. Lopatin gives the same fact when he relates how the shaman may get the soul for a child. Ergeni is erga above discussed and it cannot be called «soul», — among the Goldi it is «life» as it is among other groups [86]. I will not go further into the analysis of the material published by this author for it is distorted and cannot be relied upon.

In conclusion it may be thus formulated that the Tungus of all groups have a conception of «life» which distinguishes moving animals and man from the plants, the latter being recognized only by some Tungus as being «alive» . Men and animals also possess «soul» which may be of different complexity varying with the different groups. The «soul», according to some Tungus, is a characteristic feature of all moving animals, but it is lacking in plants. Some Tungus believe that human beings have a special «soul», — the first sus'i and fojego (of the Manchus), — as to the existence of which in animals they are not sure. The phenomenon of «thought» and «will» is not the same as «soul» and it is also characteristic of the animals (vide infra, reindeer «soul» of Barguzin Tungus).

What we actually have in the Tungus conception of the «soul» , «animus», «life» etc. is an attempt at the solution of the problem of human psychomental and biological activity and relationship which exists between the body as a physical phenomenon, an organized matter, and its functions. The problem is solved by putting forward a hypothesis which is that of the existence of matter and a certain immaterial substance, both of which have an objective existence. The hypothesis becomes a well established theory when the Tungus begin to bring facts in its support. Together with the observation of new facts the theory may receive certain modifications, e. g. in the form of splitting of the «soul», fusion of the elements into a complex, e. g. the conception of «life», the conception of «thought» sometimes designated even with foreign terms. The theory may be increased by the incorporation of new hypotheses and theories accepted by the Tungus as facts («reliable conclusions»), so forming an eclectic theory, a syncretic complex. The new complex may spread over other groups. It may be totally or partially accepted or rejected, in every particular case being adapted to the existing ethnographical complex. In this respect the Tungus are not «conservative» at all and if you were to bring them some new facts or mere theories they would accept them on condition that the new theories better suit the existing complex and explain some newly perceived facts. In this respect the Manchus who have written records of their own (and Chinese) theories are more «conservative» for they have fixed them in a written form which as we have already seen produces certain effects on the stabilization of the complexes among the Tungus familiar with Manchu [87].

For the same reason the Tungus may rather easily accept new theories professed by the missionaries and foreigners in general, and they would do it with readiness if new theories bring a new light to the facts observed. In the farther treatment of the problem of the Tungus mentality I shall return once more to this peculiarity of the Tungus, who do not particularly differ from other ethnical groups who are under favourable conditions of environment from the point of view of their being able to observe variations of natural phenomena.

The Tungus theories may be perhaps better understood if we remember that the same fundamental principle, i. e. the opposition of the matter to its functions, is also characteristic of the European complex. In fact, the conception of the matter and spirit, soma and noon, and other variations of the same conception are still reigning even in scientific circles. Descartes located the human «soul» in the epiphyses. The time when the fate of the human soul was seriously discussed (and is still discussed) is not far from us. The modern biologists still make an abstraction of the psychological nature of society from the bearers of the psychological complex. The modern jurists operate with the abstract conceptions like «state», «norms» etc. discarding physical conditions of the individual and ethnical (also compound ethnical) mass which produce the «state» and juridic «norms». The historians of human culture still speak of the culture as a super-organical phenomenon which has its own life, — birth, childhood, youth, etc. The historians cannot distinguish when they deal with populations and their abstractions of the processes in the form of «nations», «state» etc. And the modern writers would try to convince themselves and their readers that they may have immortality of their own in the form of the proposed hypotheses and theories and will be perhaps worshipped and deified by the coming generations [88]. If one goes still further into the analysis of these complexes one would find the old conception of matter as opposed to its functions, which is the same hypothesis which is the basis of the Tungus theory. Thus the difference between the Tungus conception and that produced in the European complex is that of quantity of facts covered by the hypotheses and their adaptation to the existing complexes. It may be stated that if one approaches the Tungus from the point of view of some of the existing ethnographical complexes one would not be able to group the essentials of the Tungus complex and the latter will appear as a distorted image, merely as a reaction, of the observer himself.

In the case of I. A. Lopatin we have seen how an European complex may be responsible for the creation of non-existing conception of the «soul». As a matter of fact this case is not an isolated one. If one puts together all the phenomena of functional activity of the organism and groups of organisms including mental, psychic, and physiological manifestations under the generalized name of «soul» (it may be actually so translated by the groups investigated who are not familiar with the modern scientific terminology), there may appear descriptions of complex «soul» which are not so when they are reduced to the actual conceptions accepted by the ethnical groups. For this reason from the complex «soul» I have excluded «animus», «life», «thought», «will», and I have preserved under the term «soul» the complexes above described as for instance, fojengo of the Manchus sus'i of the Tungus; of Manchuria, understood by them as compound complexes forming a unit in a living, normal human being, and some simple conceptions as that of sunusun, omija, etc. Indeed, I might gather under the title of soul other conceptions mentioned before and even include the phenomena like «pulse», «breath-ing» , etc. I believe that in some instances of very multiple «souls» like that of the Gilaks we have the ethnographer's complex, his creation and not that which exists in the Gilak mind. As a matter of fact, sometime ago it was quite fashionable to discover multiple souls.

83. The Manchus say that the man uses his head for «eating» and «looking» and not for thinking.

84. An 'an is «the soul», and etymologically it may be compared with/an a of Goldi and fajanga of the Manchus, where an'an is bilabialised. We know another modification kangan — the placing for special spirits for children amongst the Tungus of Manchuria which looks like an aspirated form of the same an 'an —> kagan. However, this is not sure, for it supposed that the word was recorded with x perceived and reproduced as k (this is a common case) and that n~r\ (also common, but we have no connecting links). In Tungus an\an || kangan is used in reference to the «placing for spirit-soul» and «the shadow».

85. Cf. E. Pekarski's Dictionary under the words kut and siir, kut is a «complex of physiological processes» while siir according to another authority [cf. V. M. Ionov (Publ. M.A.E. R.A.S. Vol. V. p. 188)], after death u'b'r, continues to exist. As a matter of fact, kut is not «soul». The Yakuts naturally use a full definition kut-siir for «human life-activity».

86. What is related by I. A. Lopatin in reference to ergeni may be understood much better if we do not mix the idea of soul with that of ergeni («life»). As shown, the human body possesses «animus» as other things and living beings. Indeed, when a Goldi has to explain it to a foreigner he must have a term for designation of the idea of integrity of the body «animus» which he may designate as ergeni. When the question of the relationship between physical body and «animus» is discussed it will be better seen what the Goldi may ran mean when they speak of separation and moving of ergeni. The reason why I. A. Lopatin was unable to represent to us the Goldi idea in a clear manner and why he misunderstood the nature of «animus» [he asserts that every thing has its «soul» -animals, mountains, rivers, sun, winds, plants etc. (cf. op. cit. p. 198), while actually these may become placing for spirits (vide infra) without having their own «soul» ] is that his starting point was that the Goldi are «animists» an they were pictured by the theoreticians of the last century and that according to this theory they must recognize the «soul» in the phenomena enumerated. Owing to this he begins his account of the Goldi's «beliefs» in the section of Mythology and subsection of Animism (a ready made scheme which preaumes the contents of the Goldi complex) by the statement: «The religion of the Goldi in very primitive». However, after reading his report one may see that their complex is not as simple as that, and it is not «primitive» at all for it contains elements of the Chinese complex overlapping the Buddhistic conceptions, intermingled with the shamanistic complex and what may be supposed or merely named as the old Tungus complex. The idea that the Goldi «religion» is primitive is a postulate of the European complex (ethnography of the nineteenth century) and the picture given by I. A. Lopatin is an adaptation to this - complex. I have dwelt on this case for it repeats itself in many instances of other authors, e. g. P. P. Simkevic, L. von Schrenck and others. The case of I. A. Lopatin is more demonstrative for his work appeared in 1922.

87. It ought to be pointed out that even amongst the Manchus the written records of theories do not assume the function of «Sacred books», which in rather characteristic of the European complex: the holding to the written document as to a more trustworthy basis. The place of the Bible may be occupied by the «origin of the species», and Das Kapital, the reference to which may suffice for putting an end to discussion, and for stopping a critical reaction on the newly acquired facts.

88. The anecdotes (such is the form of treatment) gathered among the European groups by Sir J. G. Frazer, A. Lang, L. Bruhl and many others are numerous and need not here be reproduced.

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