Hertz, Body Soul And Survivor In The Separation Stage

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The following paragraphs illustrates Hertz account of the three elements of death; the body, the soul and the survivor, and how they are connected as a whole, moving through the separation, the transitional and the incorporation stage.
The Body, Soul and Survivor in the Separation Stage: Hertz describes death as a departure. The soul is separated from the body and the physical body decays. The body in comparison to the soul and the survivor all undergo separation in their own manner. Accordingly, the body is not merely a physical one. It has a complex connection to the other elements (pg.27). The period of death is a vulnerable to the body both physically and socially because of its weakened state of resistance (pg.79). Once separation
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The change in the body invokes a taboo because of the impurity and lack of identity of these elements. Thus, the body must be kept in isolation away from others likewise the soul and the survivor. The deceased organic body impose obligation on the living. Hertz argues that the body must be treated with care, not only because of the infectious decay but, for the force that asserts obligation on the living to ensure its continuity (pg. 30). For this reason, it is important that the body disintegrates. This kind of obligation is external of the individual impose on him independent of his free will (Durkheim, 1895:2). Likewise, because the presence of the body imposes taboos the survivor of the decease is compelled to perform certain duties as soon as the soul has departed the body. For example, common in the Malay Archipelago, temporarily buried is almost always isolated (pg. 30) and in some tribes they are obligated to wait until the bones are dried before the final burial is performed. Therefore, the body, soul and living are connected through the period of separation because the obligation that comes from the collective …show more content…
Likewise, the survivor experiences the same kind of constraint. The soul can’t move on to its final resting place until the body has completely decomposed and the final burial is performed. For the Olo Ngaju, the soul is separated into two parts at death one is its personality and the other its’ physical characteristics. Hertz explains, one is unconscious and remains with the dead body. The other conscious soul escapes the body at death, wanders around until the probation period is complete, and the final burial is performed (pg. 34). Like the body, the soul also is delayed at death. Likewise, the survivor must also mourn the dead for an extended period of time and is delayed from returning to their normal lives (Pg. 31). The common principle remains that, at death the soul exits the body and must remain isolated. It is reintegrated at a later period. A similar view applies for the survivors of the deceased. Thus, the soul never completely end the ties it has to the body or the living while it remains on earth (pg. 36). If it is not incorporated or renewed the soul belongs to the world it has just left. It resembles a state of uncertainty while standing in a doorway not going in or coming out. The transition of the deceased is a peculiar one. If it enters the world of it dead it’s like an intruder on earth its presence is seen as a taboo (pg.36). Similarly, Tylor animism theory that suggests souls are

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