Finished Man and His Symbols, picked up The Golden Bough. The latter is going to take awhile. There’s an interesting contrast between Eliade and Frazer: where the former is content to offer one, two, or maybe three examples of a given primitive practice, the latter heaps paragraph after paragraph of examples to support his statements. It’s nice, but it can be overwhelming.
Intriguing so far has been the firm delineation between magic and religion. Frazer’s primitives see magic as a science, as “the way the world works” – no spirits, devils, gods or demigods required for explanation. Where magical practices have a religious explanation, he believes it to be a later edition. Not sure Eliade (or Jung, for that matter) would agree with him there. But then, he was an early explorer in the field, and I understand many of his theories have since been superceded.
Still depressed. Been lingering in bed a lot, which is out of character for me.