Falling in Love eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 388 pages of information about Falling in Love.
of as persisting to live a sort of underground life within the barrow.  A stone hut was constructed for its use; real weapons and implements were left by its side; and slaves and wives were ruthlessly massacred, as still in Ashantee, in order that their bodies might accompany the corpse of the buried master in his subterranean dwelling.  In all this we have clear evidence of a very inconsistent, savage, materialistic belief, not indeed in the immortality of the soul, but in the continued underground life of the dead body.

With the progress of time, however, men’s ideas upon these subjects began to grow more definite and more consistent.  Instead of the corpse, we get the ghost; instead of the material underground world, we get the idealised and sublimated conception of a shadowy Hades, a world of shades, a realm of incorporeal, disembodied spirits.  With the growth of the idea in this ghostly nether world, there arises naturally the habit of burning the dead in order fully to free the liberated spirit from the earthly chains that clog and bind it.  It is, indeed, a very noticeable fact that wherever this belief in a world of shades is implicitly accepted, there cremation follows as a matter of course; while wherever (among savage or barbaric races) burial is practised, there a more materialistic creed of bodily survival necessarily accompanies it.  To carry out this theory to its full extent, not only must the body itself be burnt, but also all its belongings with it.  Ghosts are clothed in ghostly clothing; and the question has often been asked of modern spiritualists by materialistic scoffers, ’Where do the ghosts get their coats and dresses?’ The true believer in cremation and the shadowy world has no difficulty at all in answering that crucial inquiry; he would say at once, ’They are the ghosts of the clothes that were burnt with the body.’  In the gossiping story of Periander, as veraciously retailed for us by that dear old grandmotherly scandalmonger, Herodotus, the shade of Melissa refuses to communicate with her late husband, by medium or otherwise, on the ground that she found herself naked and shivering with cold, because the garments buried with her had not been burnt, and therefore were of no use to her in the world of shades.  So Periander, to put a stop to this sad state of spiritual destitution, requisitioned all the best dresses of the Corinthian ladies, burnt them bodily in a great trench, and received an immediate answer from the gratified shade, who was thenceforth enabled to walk about in the principal promenades of Hades among the best-dressed ghosts of that populous quarter.

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Falling in Love from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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