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[xmca] Re: Levy-Bruhl, concrete psychology and "primitivism"

Steve mentioned the presentation I gave at ISCAR, on a study conducted by a student here in Colombia (Silvia Tibaduisa) of the babalawo. I discussed an excerpt from a divination session; here it is:

Let me ask a little question. You live in a aparte-studio... in an apartment, with other people. What person wears your clothing?

 Yes. Sometimes my cousin or my sister uses them

Orula says not to lend your clothes any more, because that is stealing your luck. That the person who wears someone’s clothes steals their astral, steals their luck. If not, make an observation yourself, of how your cousin lives and how you live. She's all happy, all content, and you’re not. That is how someone’s luck, stability, leaves them. Because [when] one lends their astral, although one washes it 100 times, it takes holds of the astral of the other person as well, and if it’s a negative astral, it also includes one. We, the religious, don’t loan our clothing, we don’t bathe with the same towel or the same soap. We don’t lend underwear, socks, shoes, anything. Because these are one's personal things and that takes hold of your astral. Nor wear the clothes of another person.

The English reads a little oddly because I prefer literalish translations. There are a number of interesting characteristics to this exchange, but I want to focus on the reasoning involved. I would suggest that it is perfectly recognizable to us. Substitute a more familiar premise: not "when someone wears your clothes they steal your astral" but "when someone uses your toothbrush they give you bacteria" and the rest follows logically, doesn't it?


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