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THE GOLDEN BOUGH by Sir James Frazer ( A Discussion )


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The Golden Bough  


is a wide-ranging, comparative study of mythology and religion, written by the Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer. The Golden Bough was first published in two volumes in 1890; in three volumes in 1900; and in twelve volumes in the third edition, published 1906–1915. It has also been published in several different one-volume abridgments. ( wikipedia )  


Described by the author on the cover of the 3rd Edition, " The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion " , is a seeming simplistic description, however, I would say is also misleading as to the depth of the material contained within Sir Frazers book.    


I feel that it challenges our perceptions of mankind and everything else.   As I make my way through the book, I can't help but feel that mankind is still just as primitive today as mankind was thousands of years ago.   I read the description of mankind in The Golden Bough, hunter/gatherer primitives. and figure that nothing has really changed except that mankind is now , armchair primitives.     


To quote from the book..


" fables contain a deeper philosophy of the relation of the life of man to the life of nature—a sad philosophy which gave birth to a tragic practice. " 


I would say is a more accurate description of Sir Frazers book.    In my own words, or a restructuring of Sir Frazers ....


" fables contain a deeper philosophy of the relation of the life of man to the life of nature---a sad philosophy which gives birth to tragic practices. "




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Hmm, where to begin?  Ahhh...this seems like a good place to start ...


YouTube video :  


The video is entitled " What is Animism? "   .   



Arith Härger  presents appropriate points in his video that also provide an excellent foundation for this discussion.   Keep in mind, I am not claiming that any belief system is IT, over any other belief system.   


As a matter of fact, at this point, we start with NO beliefs.  This statement will be expanded upon later in this discussion, ( IF a discussion actually develops. )   


Mr. Härger  presents a basic explanation of Animism.  Within his explanation, he is providing examples that relate to Sir Frazers book.   


( For some - skipping ahead to 30:21 in the video, very important perspective and a lot of people should hear it. )



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