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We thus reach the highest conception to which totemism has arrived. This is the point where it touches and prepares the religions which are to follow, and aids us in understanding them. But at the same time, we are able to see that this cul­minating idea is united without any interruption to the crudest beliefs which we analysed to start with.

In fact, the great tribal god is only an ancestral spirit who finally won a pre-eminent place. The ancestral spirits are only entities forged in the image of the individual souls whose origin they are destined to explain. The souls, in their turn, are only the form taken by the impersonal forces which we found at the basis of totemism, as they individualize themselves in the human body. The unity of the system is as great as its complexity.

In this work of elaboration, the idea of the soul has undoubtedly played an important part: it is through it that the idea of personality has been introduced into the domain of religion. But it is not true that, as the theorists of animism maintain, it contains the germ of the whole religion. First of all, it pre­supposes the notion of mana or the totemic principle of which it is only a special form. Then, if the spirits and gods could not bs conceived before the soul, they are, nevertheless, more than mere human souls, liberated by death ; else whence would come their supernatural powers? The idea of the soul has merely served to direct the mythological imagination in a new way and to suggest to it constructions of a new sort. But the matter for these conceptions has been taken, not from the representation of the soul, but from this reservoir of the anony­mous and diffused forces which constitute the original foundation of religions. The creation of mythical personalities has only As for the notion of the great god, it is due entirely to the sentiment whose action we have already observed in the genesis of the most specifically totemic beliefs : this is the tribal senti­ment. In fact, we have seen that totemism was not the work of isolated clans, but that it was always elaborated in the body of a tribe which was to some degree conscious of its unity. It is for this reason that the different cults peculiar to each clan mutually touch and complete each other in such a way as to form a unified whole.1 Now it is this same sentiment of a tribal unity which is expressed in the conception of a supreme god, common to the tribe as a whole. So they are quite the same causes which are active at the bottom and at the top of this religious system. However, up to the present, we have considered the religious.  I representations as if they were self-sufficient and could be ex­plained by themselves. But in reality, they are inseparable from the rites, not only because they manifest themselves there, but also because they, in their turn, feel the influence of these. Of course the cult depends upon the beliefs, but it also reacts upon them. So in order to understand them better, it is im­portant to understand it better. The moment has come for  undertaking its study.been another way of thinking of these essential forces.