The Ghost World

The Ghost World

by T. F. Thiselton Dyer
     
 

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In the Iliad, after the spirit of Patroclus has visited Achilles in his dream, it is described as taking its departure, and entering the ground like smoke. In long after years, and among widely scattered communities, we meet with the same imagery; and it is recorded how the soul of Beowulf the Goth 'curled to the clouds,' imaging the smoke which was curling up from… See more details below

Overview

In the Iliad, after the spirit of Patroclus has visited Achilles in his dream, it is described as taking its departure, and entering the ground like smoke. In long after years, and among widely scattered communities, we meet with the same imagery; and it is recorded how the soul of Beowulf the Goth 'curled to the clouds,' imaging the smoke which was curling up from his pyre. A similar description of the soul's exit is mentioned in one of the works of the celebrated mystic, Jacob Boehme, who observes: 'Seeing that man is so very earthly, therefore he hath none but earthly knowledge; except he be regenerated in the gate of the deep. He always supposeth that the soul-at the deceasing of the body-goeth only out at the mouth, and he understandeth nothing concerning its deep essences above the elements. When he seeth a blue vapour go forth out of the mouth of a dying man, then he supposeth that is the soul.' The same conception is still extensively believed throughout Europe, and the Russian peasant often sees ghostly smoke hovering above graves. The Kaffirs hold that at death man leaves after him a sort of smoke, 'very like the shadow which his living body will always cast before it,' reminding us of the hero in the Arabian romance of Yokdnan, who seeks the source of life and thought, and discovers in one of the cavities of the heart a bluish vapour-the living soul. Among rude races the original idea of the human soul seems to have been that of vaporous materiality, which, as Dr. Tylor observes, has held so large a place in modern philosophy, and in one shape or another crops up in ghost stories. The Basutos, speaking of a dead man, say that his heart has gone out, and the Malays affirm that the soul of a dying man escapes through the nostrils.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781499139402
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
04/15/2014
Pages:
138
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.30(d)

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