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These rites belong to a very different type from those which we have studied hitherto. We do not mean to say that important resemblances cannot be found between the two, which we shall have to note ; but the differences are more apparent. Instead of happy dances, songs and dramatic representations which distract and relax the mind, they are tears and groans and, in a word, the most varied manifestations of agonized sorrow and a sort of mutual pity, which occupy the whole scene. Of course the shedding of blood also takes place in the Intichiuma, but Lhis is an oblation made with a movement of pious enthusiasm. Even though the motions may be the same, the sentiments expressed are different and even opposed. Likewise, the ascetic rites certainly imply privations, abstinences and mutilations, but ones which must be borne with an impassive firmness and serenity. Here, on the contrary, dejection, cries and tears are the rule. The ascetic tortures himself in order to prove, in his own eyes and those of his fellows, that he is above suffering. During mourning, men injure themselves to prove that they suffer. By all these signs, the characteristic traits of the piacular rites are to be recognized.

But how are they to be explained ?

One initial fact is constant: mourning is not the spontaneous expression of individual emotions.1 If the relations weep, lament, mutilate themselves, it is not because they feel themselves personally affected by the death of their kinsman. Of course, it may be that in certain particular cases, the chagrin expressed is really felt.2 But it is more generally the case that there is no connection between the sentiments felt and the gestures made by the actors in the rite.3 If, at the very moment when the weepers seem the most overcome by their grief, some one speaks to them of some temporal interest, it frequently happens that they change their features and tone at once, take on a laughing air and converse in the gayest fashion imaginable.4 Mourning is not a natural movement of private feelings wounded by a cruel loss ; it is a duty imposed by the group. One weeps, not simply because he is sad, but because he is forced to weep. It is a ritual attitude which he is forced to adopt out of respect for custom, but which is, in a large measure, independent of his affective state. Moreover, this obligation is sanctioned by mythical or social penalties. They believe, for example, that if a relative does not mourn as is fitting, then the soul of the departed follows upon his steps and kills him.5 In other cases, society does not leave it to the religious forces to punish the negligent; it inter­venes itself, and reprimands the ritual faults. If a son-in-law does not render to his father-in-law the funeral attentions which are due him, and if he does not make the prescribed incisions, then his tribal fathers-in-law take his wife away from him and give him another.6 Therefore, in order to square himself with usage, a man sometimes forces tears to flow by artificial means.7 Whence comes this obligation ?

Ethnographers and sociologists are generally satisfied with the reply which the natives themselves give to this question. They say that the dead wish to be lamented, that by refusing them the tribute of sorrow which is their right, men offend them, and that the'only way of preventing their anger is to conform to their will.8

But this mythological interpretation merely modifies the terms of the problem, without resolving it; it is still necessary to explain why the dead imperatively reclaim the mourning. It

may be said that it is natural for men to wish to be mourned and regretted. But in making this sentiment explain the complex system of rites which make up mourning, we attribute to the Australian affective exigencies of which the civilized man himself does not always give evidence. Let us admit—as is not evident a priori—that the idea of not being forgotten too readily is pleasing to a man who thinks of the future. It is still to be established that it has ever had enough importance in the minds of the living for one to attribute to the dead a state of mind proceeding almost entirely from this preoccupation. It seems especially improbable that such a sentiment could obsess and impassion men who are seldom accustomed to thinking beyond the present moment. So far is it from being a fact that the desire to survive in the memory of those who are still alive is to be regarded as the origin of mourning, that we may even ask our­selves whether it was not rather mourning itself which, when once established, aroused the idea of and the taste for post­humous regrets.

The classic interpretation appears still more unsustainable when we know what the primitive mourning consists in. It is not made up merely of pious regrets accorded to him who no longer is, but also of severe abstinences and cruel sacrifices. The rite does not merely demand that one think of the deceased in a melancholy way, but also that he beat himself, bruise himself, lacerate himself and burn himself. We have even seen that persons in mourning sometimes torture themselves to such a degree that they do not survive their wounds. What reason has the dead man for imposing such torments upon them ? Such a cruelty on his part denotes something more than a desire not to be forgotten. If he is to find pleasure in seeing his own suffer, it is necessary that he hate them, that he be thirsty for their blood. This ferocity would undoubtedly appear natural to those for whom every spirit is necessarily an evil and redoubted power. But we know that there are spirits of every sort; how does it happen that the soul of the dead man is necessarily an evil spirit ? As long as the man is alive, he loves his relatives and exchanges services with them. Is it not strange that as soon as it is freed from his body, his soul should instantly lay aside its former sentiments and become an evil and tormenting genius ? It is a general rule that the dead man retains the personality of the living, and that he has the same character, the same hates and the same affections. So this metamorphosis is not easily understandable by itself. It is true that the natives admit it implicitly when they explain the rite by the exigencies of the dead man, but the question now before us is to know whence this

conception came. Far from being capable of being regarded as a truism, it is as obscure as the rite itself, and consequently cannot account for it.

Finally, even if we had found the reasons for this surprising transformation, we would still have to explain why it is only temporary. For it does not last beyond the period of mourning ;

after the rites have once been accomplished, the dead man becomes what he was when alive, an affectionate and devoted relation. He puts the new powers which he receives from his new condition at the service of his friends.1 Thenceforth, he is regarded as a good genius, always ready to aid those whom he was recently tormenting. Whence come these successive transfers ? If the evil sentiments attributed to the soul come solely from the fact that it is no longer in life, they should remain invariable, and if the mourning is due to this. it should be interminable.

These mythical explanations express the idea which the native has of the rite, and not the rite itself. So we may set them aside and face the reality which they translate, though disfiguring it in doing so. If mourning differs from the other forms of the positive cult, there is one feature in which it resembles them : it, too, is made up out of collective ceremonies which produce a state of effervescence among those who take part in them. The sentiments aroused are different; but the arousal is the same. So it is presumable that the explanation of the joyous rites is capable of being applied to the sad rites, on condition that the terms be transposed.

When some one dies, the family group to which he belongs feels itself lessened and, to react against this loss, it assembles. A common misfortune has the same effects as the approach of a happy event: collective sentiments are renewed which then lead men to seek one another and to assemble together. We have even seen this need for concentration affirm itself with a par­ticular energy : they embrace one another, put their arms round one another, and press as close as possible to one another. But the affective state in which the group then happens to be only reflects the circumstances through which it is passing. Not only do the relatives, who are effected the most directly, bring their own personal sorrow to the assembly, but the society exercises a moral pressure over its members, to put their sentiments in harmony with the situation. To allow them to remain indifferent to the blow which has fallen upon it and diminished it, would be equivalent to proclaiming that it does not hold the place in their hearts which is due it; it would be denying itself. A family

which allows one of its members to die without being wept for shows by that very fact that it lacks moral unity and cohesion : it abdicates ; it renounces its existence. An individual, in his turn, if he is strongly attached to the society of which he is a member, feels that he is morally held to participating in its sorrows and joys ; not to be interested in them would be equivalent to breaking the bonds uniting him to the group ; it would be renouncing all desire for it and contradicting himself. When the Christian, during the ceremonies commemorating the Passion, and the Jew, on the anniversary of the fall of Jerusalem, fast and mortify themselves, it is not in giving way to a sadness which they feel spontaneously. Under these circumstances, the internal state of the believer is out of all proportion to the severe abstinences to which they submit themselves. If he is sad, it is primarily because he consents to being sad, and he consents to it in order to affirm his faith. The attitude of the Australian during mourning is to be explained in the same way. If he weeps and groans, it is not merely to express an individual chagrin ; it is to fulfil a duty of which the surrounding society does not fail to remind him.

We have seen elsewhere how human sentiments are intensified when affirmed collectively. Sorrow, like joy, becomes exalted and amplified when leaping from mind to mind, and therefore expresses itself outwardly in the form of exuberant and violent movements. But these are no longer expressive of the joyful agitation which we observed before ; they are shrieks and cries of pain. Each is carried along by the others ; a veritable panic of sorrow results. When pain reaches this degree of intensity, it is mixed with a sort of anger and exasperation. One feels the need of breaking something, of destroying something. He takes this out either upon himself or others. He beats himself, burns himself, wounds himself or else he falls upon others to beat, burn and wound them. Thus it became the custom to give one's self up to the veritable orgies of tortures during mourning. It seems very probable that blood-revenge and head-hunting have their origin in this. If every death is attributed to some magic charm, and for this reason it is believed that the dead man ought to be avenged, it is because men must find a victim at any price, upon whom the collective pain and anger may be discharged. Naturally this victim is sought outside the group; a stranger is a subject minoris resistentics ; as he is not protected by the sentiments of sympathy inspired by a relative or neighbour, there is nothing in him which subdues and neutralizes the evil and destructive sentiments aroused by the death. It is un­doubtedly ox this same reason that women serve more frequently

than men as the passive objects of the cruellest rites of mourning; since they have a smaller social value, they are more obviously designated as scapegoats.

We see that this explanation of mourning completely leaves aside all ideas of souls or spirits. The only forces which are really active are of a wholly impersonal nature : they are the emotions aroused in the group by the death of one of its members. But the primitive does not know the psychical mechanism from which these practices result. So when he tries to account for them, he is obliged to forge a wholly different explanation. All he knows is that he must painfully mortify himself. As every obligation suggests the notion of a will which obliges, he looks about him to see whence this constraint which he feels may come. Now, there is one moral power, of whose reality he is assured and which seems designated for this role : this is the soul which the death h'as liberated. For what could have a greater interest than it in the effects which its own death has on the living ? So they imagine that if these latter inflict an un­natural treatment upon themselves, it is to conform to its exigencies. It was thus that the idea of the soul must have intervened at a later date into the mythology of mourning. But also, since it is thus endowed with inhuman exigencies, it must be supposed that in leaving the body which it animated, the soul lays aside every human sentiment. Hence the meta­morphosis which makes a dreaded enemy out of the relative of yesterday. This transformation is not the origin of mourning ; it is rather its consequence. It translates a change which has come over the affective state of the group : men do not weep for the dead because they fear them ; they fear them because they weep for them.

But this change of the affective state can only be a temporary one, for while the ceremonies of mourning result from it, they also put an end to it. Little by little, they neutralize the very causes which have given rise to them. The foundation of mourn­ing is the impression of a loss which the group feels when it loses one of its members. But this very impression results in bringing individuals together, in putting them into closer relations with one another, in associating them all in the same mental state, and therefore in disengaging a sensation of comfort which com­pensates the original loss. Since they weep together, they hold to one another and the group is not weakened, in spite of the blow which has fallen upon it. Of course they have only sad emotions in common, but communicating in sorrow is still com­municating, and every communion of mind, in whatever form it may be made, raises the social vitality. The exceptional violence

of the manifestations by which the common pain is necessarily and obligatorily expressed even testifies to the fact that at this moment, the society is more alive and active than ever. In fact, whenever the social sentiment is painfully wounded, it reacts with greater force than ordinarily : one never holds so closely to his family as when it has just suffered. This surplus energy effaces the more completely the effects of the interruption which was felt at first, and thus dissipates the feeling of coldness which death always brings with it. The group feels its strength gradually returning to it; it begins to hope and to live again. Presently one stops mourning, and he does so owing to the mourn­ing itself. But as the idea formed of the soul reflects the moral state of the society, this idea should change as this state changes. When one is in the period of dejection and agony, he represents the soul with the traits of an evil being, whose sole occupation is to persecute men. But when he feels himself confident and secure once more, he must admit that it has retaken its former nature and its former sentiments of tenderness and solidarity. Thus we explain the very different ways in which it is conceived at different moments of its existence.1

Not only do the rites of mourning determine certain of the secondary characteristics attributed to the soul, but perhaps they are not foreign to the idea that it survives the body. If he is to understand the practices to which he submits on the death of a parent, a man is obliged to believe that these are not an indifferent matter for the deceased. The shedding of blood which is practised so freely during mourning is a veritable sacrifice offered to the dead man.2 So something of the dead man must survive, and as this is not the body, which is mani­festly immobile and decomposed, it can only be the soul. Of course it is impossible to say with any exactness what part these considerations have had in the origin of the idea of immor­tality. But it is probable that here the influence of the cult is the same as it is elsewhere. Rites are more easily explicable when one imagines that they are addressed to personal beings;

so men have been induced to extend the influence of the mythical personalities in the religious life. In order to account for mourn­ing, they have prolonged the existence of the soul beyond the tomb. This is one more example of the way in which rites react upon beliefs.