Religion and Anthropology
Murshid Samuel L. Lewis
(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)
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In dealing with four of the types of religious systems according to the schemata of William J. Goode on page 241 of his Religion Among the Primitives we run immediately into a series of problems or complexities which must be considered before we come to the definitions, merits or demerits of particular schema.
It is too often assumed that the writer or scientist is himself beyond criticism (neither true nor untrue). It is assumed that he has certain skills, which is being dealt with shortly. It is assumed that the skills of the writer and the language he uses, and his logistics, offer us knowledge about the subject-matter. And when it comes to the definitions, we are apt to be caught in a dilemma if we assume that a schema is a category, and that each is somewhat exclusive. Goode himself avoids this trap.
According to Lord Snow we have two cultures, which he calls “Scientific” and “Literary-Humanist.” Approaching Anthropology we might say that Malinowski and M. Mead are examples of excellent scientists (which does not make them either pure or perfect) and that Frazier is a beautiful example of a “Literary-Humanist.” On the whole Goode follows Frazier. But one must not make the mistake of regarding either of those approaches as sacrosanct; and the fact that the writer has had scientific rather than literary-humanist background may tinge his remarks. On the other hand, Frazier was a first-love and still is in that sense.
But the writer was trained in the anti-Aristotelian philosophy of Prof. Cassius Keyser of Columbia University and is more empathetic to philosophical and logistical systems coming from that University and belonging, on the whole, to American rather than traditions of Greece or Germany. This involves methods or postulates which appear later in the writings of the Semanticists and Prof. Oliver Reiser of Pittsburgh with his “Integral” and now “Cosmic” Humanism.
Ia. Animistic Religion
“In short, this most primitive form of religion is a product of the mind working on data furnished by the sense, by obvious and direct experience.” (page 242)
Goode has given us a fair definition, without giving us clear insight into the lives of the people involved. The term “primitive” is a loose assumption. We find Animism among people who are lowest in the range of technical development of the type of intelligence we use for measuring minds. In other words, the Australians falling the lowest on this arrangement and the Australians being therefore the most “primitive,“ their religion, Animism, is the most primitive. This, to me, is most unfair and may be totally untrue.
Animistic religion does not find man apart from nature. Everything is “spirit” and this “spirit” is energetic or “vitalistic.” Apparently there is spirit in everything and everything is in spirit or with spirit. But the observer keeps himself apart from the people being studied and thus loses the perspective, gained, let us say, by Anthropologists who have partaken in ceremonies in many undeveloped lands.
Quoting Tylor (p. 242) Goode states: “has never learned to make that rigid distinction between subjective and objective, between imagination and reality, to enforce which is one of the main results of scientific education.” (Tylor’s Primitive Culture, p.445) This is rank egotistical assumption. A single operator is not “science” and thus the “science” of one period or one writer is quite different from the “science” of someone else. Tylor never used the methods of either Darwin or Faraday, which does not immediately detract from him. But when he uses a term from his private vocabulary in or out of context, he is deifying here his own words to criticize the assumed deification of nature-spirits by people of another culture. Goode says (p.243), “It is, furthermore, individualistic.” Goode’s remarks about his predecessor are excellent. And he says later (p.245), “If we attempt to look at religion as an individual activity, or as one originated by an individual, we cannot explain the integration of the social structure.” Even if one were to adhere to “revealed religion” this does not confute either the Cultural-Historical or Sociological points of view.
According to the Animist, and especially if we include the Manist point of view, we live in a universal psychic rather than physical universe. The physical universe is “real,” no doubt, but it is not so important as the worlds of spirits and dreams. Even in the end Loews could not call himself “unreal” because he had a multitude of dreams.
Now we find Animism of sorts in “higher cultures.” Thus the principles of Baraka among the Berbers and among many Muslims, assumes there is a form of energy or magnetism of a higher order. If we assume, with St. Paul, that we have a physical, psychic and pneumatic body, one might say that in Goode here, and in the references he gives, the psychic body is most important; in the North Africa Muslims the pneumatic body is most important.
Contemporary Indonesians—whom we regard as “higher” than Polynesians, have a whole cosmology utilizing Animistic principles. This has reached its acme in the “Subud Movement,” quite contemporary and informing highly intellectual members of our complex technical society. They believe and accept many of the definitions of Goode but they would never accept his dichotomy between “imagination” and “reality.” What is the physiology of “imagination?” What of “reality!?”
As to the distinction between “subjective and objective” this is denied by many of the Manistic and Non-Dualistic philosophies of Asia which we have not yet studied but which are going to be considered shortly at Michigan University in Ann Arbor.
Furthermore the languages of Australia and their quite complex totemism are not simple at all.
My own view is that the Animist outlook is one way to explain the universe if we adhere to Analysis. To substitute another form of Analysis shifts the burden. A Presbyterian will not accept Roman Catholicism; neither will accept Islam and all together will reject the faiths of further Asia.
We are still left with the problems of Dreams, Visions, Imagination and the question of “What is Reality?” Or, to return to the statement on page 242: “this most primitive form of religion is a product of mind working on data furnished by the sense, by obvious and direct experience.”
Here we are involved also with blind assumptions. The tracking faculties of Australians show that although they use this sense, it is much more highly developed than with us. There has not yet been made a scientific study of the eye-faculties, how they respond to different wave-lengths in both the visible and invisible parts of the spectrum. Indeed I do not know whether there is or is not a continuum between the physical and the psychic and between either or both and the mental.
The Naturism of Friedrich Max Muller has, according to Goode, taken into consider the “emotional element in religion, and is another attempt to analyze religion as a pre-scientific explanation of the world. Man is seen as developing a kind of natural history, even though the precipitating experience is emotional.”
The points of view of this great philologist are based on something like taking an institution out of a hat and making it the center of discussion. The religions which Muller studied most are those who have left vast literatures and then he began making deductions.
On page 247 Goode states: “As Malinowski has implicitly affirmed in his extended essay giving honor to Frazer, the contribution of the latter was not that of forwarding the theory of religion…. He is essentially an individualistic rationalist.” There have been some high-minded rationalists, or rather persons who have tried to measure the world, its appearance and its culture by the heritage from Aristotle, and, in the case of Muller (not of Frazer) with elements from Dialectics.
Ic. The Cultural-Historical School.
This school, following Goode and his quotations from Schmidt would indicate evolutionary processes, but Bergsonian rather than Darwinian for there seems to be a strong leading toward a form of Finalism. Thus on page 253 we read:
A. these most archaic cultures all have a high-god religious pattern, and that therefore
B. this pattern must be the primal archetype, with animistic developments coming later. In fact, he would maintain that all groups had a revelation experience, in which this primal pattern was central.
If we turned to the cosmogonies of India or Thailand, we should find a magnificent structure in which all of Schmidt’s contentions and theories would have a place, but without the conclusions of any inevitable Monotheism.
The contention that there is or must be a “revelation experience” tends to take us out of any Western logistics, but keeps us quite within the logistics of Indian Cosmology.
Schmidt has done well to examine the “most primeval cultural forms,” but logically he is in difficulties. If we accept a combination of Aristotelianism and Science, we find in the real worlds of real nature- i.e. in Zoology and Botany, examples of retrogression. The taxology or taxonomy of Plants and Animals reveals that their “psychological behavior patterns” are often quite apart from their evolutionary history.
The attempts to prove by definitions is not Science, it is not even culture.
What is most awkward is that, as was mentioned Schmidt’s logistics would fall within the Indian Nyaya systems without his being guilty of egocentricity.
One can find no fault with Goode in this section. In fact to me it is excellent.
Id. Sociological Position
In this position the tribe or kin group or “society” is considered as a unit. Individuals fall into place, and the position is as if there were no ego-soul. It is very difficult to evaluate Durkheim, and what is generally done is that his assumptions are countered by other assumptions. If the teachings of Lord Buddha are correct Durkheim is an excellent scientist. (This must not be confused with “Buddhism’s complex conglomeration of doctrines, symbols and rituals which may or may not be developments of his (Lord Buddha’s) teachings and experiences.)
The recent report on the last annual convention of the Islamic students in the United States supports Durkheim. Indeed in their discussions the differences between Christianity and Islam were based far more on this point than on theological or metaphysical grounds. Islam has its own legal and moral system which many of the devotees insist is inherent in the Faith. The majority (the minority report was mentioned but not published) support Durkheim.
I personally am suspicious of all dialectics but one cannot confute facts. The whole disagreement between Islamic and Christian students in the universities was on this very point and it was mentioned again and again far more than “Allah”’ or the Five Pillars of Islam were mentioned.
Being also of two minds—that of individualistic consciousness and of group-consciousness, a “logical” conclusion is impossible. Le Bon’s Psychology of the Crowd produces a group consciousness in which the individual loses his self-entity in the mob; the Buddhist Sangha and the Christian communion and the theories of other faiths present the idea that one loses his ego-self in a larger Entity. The religionists would have this in the Supreme and the Sociologists in Society or Humanity. Therefore one’s position is that of Professor Oliver Reiser of Pittsburgh University and his Cosmic Humanism in which these two points are themselves integrated.
In the section on Durkheim in They Studied Man by Kardiner and Preble one reads: “Radcliffe-Brown cites Durkheim’s definition of social function: “The ‘function’ of a social institution is the correspondence between it and the needs of the social organism.” They then add, “The needs of a society are related to but are on a different level from the needs of the individuals who constitute that society. The individual is born into the social world as he is born into the physical world; it existed before him and will exist after him. The conditions of the existence of the social world are not necessarily the conditions of the existence of the individual and must be studied separately.” (p.102)
Goode has explained this in greater detail but one is faced with the dilemma now happily solved by Physicists but still dividing Anthropologists and Psychologists. “Was Light composed of particles or waves?” The present conclusion is that both fit in and so we have the “wavicle” theory. Buddhists would insist on the wave-theory and would accept much of the Functional Doctrine. Extreme evangelical Protestants would object to it all the way. Here one is compelled to adopt a pragmatic outlook without being able to support it all the way.
On page 238 Goode lists the Tikopia as “Cultural-hero ancestral, basic-village, sacro-secular, semi-formal, semi-ritualistic.” We have definitely here a group-entity. Or reading on page 107 in Goode, from Firth:
“It is ‘non-competitive,’ or that labor is ‘a social service, not merely an economic service.’ He expressed it further in the form of three propositions: (1) the economic relations are personalized; (2) the profit motive is prevented from free operation by ‘other psychological (in terms of this study: sociological) factors concerning the social role of the accumulation and use of wealth’; and (3) economic transactions are governed by a broad code of reciprocity, but this is part ‘of a wider code which obtains for all types of social relationship(s) which … receive much more overt and institutionalized expression than in our type of society.’”
These last words have been bolded because they tend to prove here functionalism as in theory. And later on the same page (107) Goode adds:
“It is at this point, therefore, that the system of ultimate values and beliefs called religion makes a pronounced impact. For just as, in another connection, religious elements impinge on the economic system through the political, so here the emphasis is on the non-nutritional aspects of food exchange, production, and distribution, as well as the conditions surrounding all these. That is, ritual obligations and rules, impulses and beliefs, set certain ends, and aid in fixing means and conditions to these ends.”
This is also described by Goode in regard to mat- and canoe-ceremonies. And on page 111 we read:
“The most obvious economic function served by the chief in his ritual capacity is to divert energies toward preparations for sacred ceremonies, for which great quantities of food, bark cloth, and coconut mats are needed. The Throwing of the Firestick begins a period of keeping the fishing equipment as well as the gardens in working shape.”
Or again on page 112:
“This close direction of production and economic decisions with the chief in his capacity as religious head, and with sacred goals, can be seen most clearly in the manufacture of turmeric.”
“Even the chief of the Kafika clan works in Tikopia. No one is a true member of the ‘leisure class,’ though it is true that the Ariki Kafika is allowed to work less, in terms of actual production, than other individuals. He is not, for example, allowed to shoulder burdens.”
It is not necessary to give further example to demonstrate that a functionalist doctrine holds true with regard to these people. And one is inclined to accept that this will always be true of isolated peoples, whether in a clan-form on a mainland or in any form on isolated islands and some deserts.
With regard to the Zuni, one page 238 we read:
“Naturalistic, basic-village, semi sacro-secular, formal ritualistic.”
On page 120 we read:
“Although the technological development of the Zuni lies somewhere between that of the Dahomey and the Tikopia, and considerably above that of the Manus, their orientation toward economic affairs is not strong. The center of tribal attention lies in the area of ceremonials, as we have already seen. Nevertheless, there are many points of interaction between those two levels of analysis and activity.
“Actually, those who are considered poor in Zuni constitute that half of the society who are without ceremonial property of connection.”
This places this social organization outside what I consider “functional.” The great Catholic Orders, and societies such as those of Tibet and even ancient Japan fall here. This seems even more true of ancient Egypt. Or, in another sense it fits into Plato’s “Republic.” The wealthy, the priestcraft, even shamans become “Guardians” and the work of “Guardians” is extra-functional.
In a sense these people have a “kingdom of God on earth” although it may not resemble the sort of “kingdom” in Christian tradition of in St. Augustine’s “City of God.”
It is very difficult to define “religion” because “religion” is not a thing. Even if it applied to some specific institution, it is not an analytical, concrete factor which can be positively separated from the rest of life. And if the functionalists are correct we could only demarcate it pragmatically and not in theory. Yet if different societies have different “religions,” we can easily describe them but in the sense of differentiations and not of their own essences.
If a number of what we call “religious” people were asked, many would detail either what they themselves believe or some beliefs of the institutions with which they are attached.
If I were asked to define religion, it would be that which relates man to the wholeness of life or existence as he sees it.
This definition might entirely distinguish it from folk-lore, superstition, metaphysics, ritual and other conglomerate terms. To me it is not an analytical term, it does not belong, mathematically speaking to differentials, derivatives, individuals, and is dynamic. It might almost be said we can distinguish it by a sort of intuition. Thus one agrees with Norbeck (p. 12) that “Religion, as it is defined, is a cultural universal.” And later, “Views of what constitutes religion are unquestionably changing.”
One agrees with Norbeck, in regards to universals. We can define a “plant” or an “animal” in a certain universal context and Goode has also given us a schema for this. We are also forced to bear in mind Lord Snow’s The Two Cultures but must add to this, without agreeing with them, the alternatives offered by his critics.
Norbeck quotes Talcott Parsons: “Religious beliefs then are those which are concerned with moral problems of human action, and the features of the human situation, and the place of man and society in the cosmos, which are the most relevant to his moral attitudes, and value-orientation patterns.” (p. 269) I don’t know what Parsons means and my slight dealings with him both directly and indirectly lead one to confusion. “Words are realities.”
When the representatives of certain of the religions of the world met in the Cow Palace in 1965, Hon. U Thant said:
“What we need is a moral and spiritual revolution.” (Thunderous applause). A few minutes later the Hon. Dr. G. Malalasekera arose and said, “What we need are human beings who will seek to perfect themselves. The perfection of individuals will lead to the perfection of the world.” Both of these men are Theravadin Buddhists, but how different!
One feels sure that Dr. Parsons would agree with Hon. U Thant. And this substitution of oratory for accomplishment is one of the basic sins of the world. There is no moral code, in a sense, higher than the Negative confession of Ani in the Egyptian Book of the Dead. That is very ancient and yet is far, far ahead of Dr. Parsons and Hon. U Thant and various establishments.
I tell people I have two religions: (1) “There is No God but Allah and Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah.” (2) There is no God and Margaret Mead is a Prophet, perhaps assisted by the late Ruth Benedict. It is certain that I have been the first simple person in history to be a Guest of Honor at the Imperial Grounds in Tokyo. I have not only accepted (verbalized) Benedict, I have practiced it and followed it from one land to another and been again and again and again where diplomats never go and indeed are afraid to go.
If we follow our traditions we sin against man and go to God for repentance. This is “civilized religion.” If we go to Samoa and other places (following Mead) we find the people sinning against God and/or Tapus and going to man for repentance. This is “primitive religion.” One fails to see where they are in any system of values. Which is really more advanced?
Norbeck has given some excellent ideas both as to the future of religion and as to the relative merits or defects in both primitive and organized religion. He says, “For these, religion in the form of supernaturalism will doubtless long continue to be preferred.” (p. 279)
A very cursory picture of all religions and their institutions might present an area of (a) subconscious, (b) conscious, (c) superconscious. The latter is not necessarily identical with the supernatural. For only too often the supernatural is a projection or dialectic from the conscious and if the conscious appreciates or apprehends the supernatural, it is still characterized by dualism, by separation of subject and object, of God and man.
Indian Cosmic Metaphysics is still not studied by man. If we look at the whole range of chemical elements we can not and we do not judge any from the standpoint of a particular element. We now even have families and groups. Some of these elements seem to have “super naturalistic” faculties such as ferro-magnetism in iron, nickel and cobalt; contrary thermal behavior as in bismuth and antimony; contrary light faculties as in phosphorus and selenium. All fit into the complete picture of the material world. And then there are the radioactive elements. And it is from the “peculiar” behavior of Uranium, Polonium and Radium that we have established norms for the whole range of elements. It is, so to speak as if the stone that was rejected has become the corner-stone.
Indian Cosmic Metaphysics has a place for every kind of psychic entity. It would require books to present them. Our by-passing of this culture has not prevented Jagadis Bose from discovering two new sciences, “Plant Psychology” and “Metal Psychology.” The latter and especially the studies in metal fatigue, some important in “space studies” comes from an Indian source and most of us are quite unaware of it.
And it is regrettable that groups like the Humanists and Logical Positivists preclude and exclude Dr. Radhakrishnan. Even if we do not accept Dr. Radhakrishnan’s teachings, it invariably happens that his whole career has to be by-passed to “prove” certain theories. It is just as if Radium were by-passed in the natural sciences. However we may grade such elements, we cannot deny their existence. “Realism” is the acceptance of features common to our group, whomsoever we happen to be. This is one of the reasons for the continued war in Vietnam. We have not paid the slightest attention to the religion or morality or ethos or mythology of the various peoples there. We treat them as if insignificant or inconsequential. We have not even admitted that they are.
In this respect “civilized religion” is far behind “primitive religion.” Ancients used to worship in each other’s temples and there was no idea of tolerance or intolerance. And perhaps one of the sorry things about Jewish cultures—and we have not faced them, is their principle of exclusiveness. Yet even Ben Gurion learned the meditative methods of the Burmans and the Hatha Yoga of India. Something was missing in his own proclaimed “spiritual religion.”
A member of the World Congress of Faiths since 1924 (shortly after its inception) I now see the Temple of Understanding arising in Washington which shall be “a house of prayer for all peoples.” Even Jewish faiths of various hues have joined in this.
The idea is actually old. There is the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri in India, some eighteen to twenty miles from Agra, where there is still the building which housed Din-i-Illahi where proponents and devotees of all faiths came and debated and worshipped. A Universal Religion was established by the Moghul Emperor Akbar. The idea did not catch on; it is catching on now.
During this last week one received brochures from Timothy Leary in regard to establish a church where Peyote would be used. This overlaps the next question and shows the presence of interaction, and perhaps synthesis on several levels. We have been much concerned with the influence of “civilized religions” on “primitive religions.” They are, to the writer, equally important.
Finally there is “religion” as experience on all three levels: subconscious, conscious and superconscious. We have seen the subconscious in mediums and “witches”; the subconscious perhaps with some superconscious in the shaman; the subconscious with the conscious in the extreme Protestant groups; the conscious with the superconscious in, perhaps, Oral Roberts and the Unity School and the case of Edgar Cayce where, although the subconscious was predominant, there were elements both of the conscious and superconscious.
The writer is being called to London this summer. There will be a meeting of Sufis, Asian and Occidentals, rejected as yet by Western Culture. Al-Ghazali has said, “Sufism is based on experiences and not on premises.” We quote Al-Ghazali but refuse to accept this statement. In the West (including California) what passes for Sufism is taught by men who are neither Sufis nor Americans nor Asians. Yet they control the culture. Adepts in languages and philosophies, they have been accepted without question by the British and American cultures. They are open to almost the same criticisms which, at an earlier date, were leveled against Max Muller. They have no defense and the cultures which accept and support them have no defense.
Sufism purports to bring man into super-consciousness and super-consciousness into man. It is not essentially different here from Vedanta and real Zen Buddhism. And perhaps all of them are not very far from Christian Mysticism, especially as one finds in John Tauler and St. John of the Cross. We have not looked at them objectively.
The rise of Psychedelics evidences that man does have conscious experiences in the “supernatural.” Whatever evaluation is given the whole culture has descended to folly. We cannot both affirm and deny the “psychic world”; we cannot both and affirm popular Christianity and the existence of three bodies as proclaimed by St. Paul in the First Epistle to the Corinthians.
We are afraid of a real supernatural. We are too often proving or disproving by definition, by prejudice and lack of universality.
When the chemist Soddy discovered the transmutation of chemical elements, he was taken to task by the existing power-structure. In the end he proved to be right. In Chemistry (and Physics) the stone which was rejected is become the corner stone. I am not predicting a future particular religion, but I am safe in predicting that the religion of the future must take cognizance of the three bodies proclaimed by St. Paul, and by Indian metaphysics and by others. Haight St. may prove to be the proving grounds for entirely new outlooks.
IVa. Peyote Religion
Here one is continuing a theme presented in the former section. The complete Dharma has posited that there may be forms of life or aeonic energy in the plant-world. There has been a long search for soma. And there is no question to me (botanical background) that we have not carefully studied the vascular systems of plants and the effect of many of the serums on human health.
It is certain that the Taoists have long lists of such possibilities and the real Zen Buddhists use Pine-needle Tea to enhance longevity. This opens a list of endless possibilities for research and UCSF (Frederick St.) has already shown at least curiosity.
My quondam collaborator, the late Luther Whiteman, did some research on Tequila and the whole question of plant-life and immortality was involved.
Unfortunately in popular parlance the term “Mushroom” has been introduced. Mushrooms belong to a group of plants which have to borrow their Chlorophyll. Lophophora williamsii from which we obtain Peyote does not. It is a relatively advanced plant and it may just be that in the relatively advanced plants we obtain more of the purported “elixir of life.”
Christianity in practice has abolished much of the psychic side of life. No doubt our Amerindians were aware of this facet of existence and drew a certain strength from it, or as in European cultures they retreated into tradition whenever they felt they were attacked.
The Ghost Dance was not only a revival but a retreat into psychism. All Amerindian faiths vacillate from the two poles of Ritual and Vision. Protestantism has tended to denigrate each. It has retained a weak ritualism and vision is out of place.
The Ghost Dance was an effort to revive Vision but not on a satisfactory plane. Could there be a Vision which was more effective, which had more wonderful Magic, which satisfied the “inner man?”
The Peyote Cult may be regarded as a high form of an Interaction Faith. Indeed it even substitutes, from the standpoint of its followers a religion based on experience. They tell the White Man,
“You pray to Christ, we pray with Him.” There does not seem to be any satisfactory answer. Most of Christianity is filled with remnants of Manicheanism: instead follow Christ. Mani has been followed with his dualism and strange assumptions of a battle between “good” and “bad,” between what is called “light” (without any referent) and “darkness,” and with uncalled-for separations between God and man.
The result here is what may be called a synthetic cult and synthetic cults are the natural and even logical outcomes of the mingling of “civilized” with “primitive” people. Only it may be that the “primitives” are more advanced than the “civilized,” certainly in vision. We dare not quote that “a people without vision perishes.” All Christianity has been forced to reject various parts of its own scriptures. The Peyote people say this is not necessary at all.
Here we have one form of Pragmatic Supernaturalism. Now the White Man is being converted.
IVb. The Cargo Cult
The Cargo Cult is the opposite of the synthetic version of life. The tern “xenophobic” used by Norbeck is perhaps very well taken. But this cult is not a return to the beliefs or ways of ancestors; it is rather a reaction against whatever has been brought from abroad by the various “civilized” people.
Whereas the Peyote Cult might accept: “Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good,” the Cargo Cults wish to eliminate that which is bad. They do not wish the religion, the morality, the social customs of the civilized world, but they want the material goods. They want a material heaven on earth, they desire; the desire nature which is so objectionable to some of the civilized faiths is exactly what they hold on to. Gratification is an aim.
No doubt they were partially converted to Christianity as people in earlier ages were, because its magic was better. As its magic was better than their own ancestral faiths, they dropped these. And when they found Christianity was wanting, they could no longer return to these faiths, but they could return to Ritual and Vision, and did. They used Ritual as a means to Vision, rather than as a competitor or complement.
Their visions were based on principles we have not yet fully studied. This is particularly true of those that came from practicing control of defecation, and therefore outside the Freudian universe. We have not yet studied the relation of Vision to the chemistry of the body. Nor have we studied what would happen if the percentage of Oxygen were considerably raised, or lowered. This is still a field to be studied. But it is certain, in the case of the Cargo cult, that the mere desire for Vision, any kind of Vision, does not bring peace or happiness or higher ends.
The Peyote and Cargo Cults show the same extremes as in basic Vision and Ritual faiths. In the case of the Mau-Maus we have political success and it is difficult to tell what may happen. We have here a synthetic Christianity combined with racism, and now perhaps with nationalism; a people who have won a degree of freedom and therefore it is difficult to foretell its future.
The Peyote people, seeking a Vision, had higher levels, are now successfully acting on civilized society. The Personality of the late Aldous Huxley may have quite an effect on the future of religions in the Western worlds.