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59. Classification Of Methods

From the description of the nature of spirits and souls we have seen that they possess such characters that man can communicate with the spirits and influence them, when necessary. For man the most important thing is to know how to do it, and, thus, to know the character of spirits.

We may distinguish two cases, namely, first, — the spirits appear according to their own will and ought to be dealt with by man; second, — the spirits are called upon by man with a definite purpose of dealing with them. In the first case the man has nothing to do except to cope with the situation. The man must take special steps in order either (a) to use their presence in his own interests, or (b) to neutralize their malevolent influence on man. In both cases man has to take special steps which will be similar to those used in the case when spirits are intentionally called. In the case when the spirits are approached intentionally the practical steps consist in establishing a contact with the spirits and in influencing them.

In establishing contact with the spirits we may distinguish a case when the contact is established for a very short time by means of an appeal to the spirit, or by means of a complex prayer in which cases the attention of the spirits would be attracted and the desired contact established. In another case, namely, the establishment of a long contact may be achieved by means of a short appeal, or a complex prayer by which the spirit may be detained near by the man. This may be achieved by keeping the spirit by a long prayer and constant repetition of the address to the spirit and by location of spirit in a «placing» or loculus known to the spirit. The placing may be temporary or permanent. Temporary placings are used for particular cases of need of a contact, while permanent placings theoretically are supposed to be used for ever. Both temporary and permanent placings (loculi) may be different, namely, (a) natural placings, e.g. rocks, wooden trunks, trees, streams, mountains, also houses, stones, fire — places, etc. and all other placings which are not purposely made by men; (b) especially made placings, which may be of wood, iron, brass, straw, and also paper and other materials, as pictures etc. which in their further «growth» may attain the size of shrines and temples; © animals which are supposed to be used by the spirits as permanent placings or just for riding; (d) man. Here we may distinguish two cases functionally quite distinct, namely, the shamans who intentionally introduce the spirits into themselves (vide infra) and the people into whom the spirits are introduced, which is common, for instance, in the case of some diseases.

When the spirits are attracted by man, they may be influenced in the interests of the people. The methods of influencing are subject to great variations, which depends on character of spirits, ability of the peoples and particular aims in influencing spirits. Since the character of spirits partly corresponds to that of living people methods used are similar to those used amongst men in their relations.

The Tungus use conviction of spirits as a means of bringing them to accept man's views. In this case they would use typical reasons which may be expressed in an address to the spirits in a form of a prayer, more or less fixed and formalised, or in a form of free creation adapted to the particular need of the case. The spirits which are considered protectors of man, and those which are very powerful are usually informed of the facts which must be brought to their knowledge, and possible signs of obedience and submission must be shown, again either in a form of fixed prayer or in a form of a free creation, which usually is also a glorification of the spirit. However, with some spirits the Tungus apply different methods, namely, they would use the characters of spirits for managing them, — the spirits may be frightened or threatened by man; they may be deceived by man as when the spirit is called on to take a placing and afterwards these placings are destroyed, and there are other methods of the same kind. The spirits may be praised and by «nice words» attracted by man and afterwards treacherously captured by man or given up for destruction to other spirits. Yet, the most common method is dislocation of a spirit and its confinement to another placing, from which it cannot go out; the expelling of spirits is the most frequent occurrence, and on the other hand, the method of keeping spirits near by is also used. There is also a policy of gaining sympathy with the spirits by appealing to their personal interests. Sacrifice ought to be included in this class of methods. However, a sacrifice may sometimes be promised and the promise will not be fulfilled, i.e. the spirit may be deceived. Another way of gaining the sympathy of the spirits is an exaggerated praising of the spirits, — their glorification, which is not always sincere. At last, at the present time a very important and common case of managing spirits is to obtain their submission by shamanistic methods and similar methods of mastering spirits, or making of them servants of man.

The above described methods of dealing with the spirits may be summarized in the scheme here shown.

It may be seen, thus, there are three aspects, namely, placings for spirits, sacrifice and prayers which ought to be treated in a more detailed manner before we proceed to the description of particular cases.

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