Imatges de pÓgina
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thenon are thoroughly at home and at ease in their fleshly bodies. Homer speaks of the spirits in hades as "phantoms of men outworn." At death a man breathes away his soul out of his breast. The horses of Homer have spirits as well as men. Spirit in Homer means a certain quality of life which we live in the flesh. Greek grave stones do not portray a happy release from life; they depict a tender sadness at the loss of life, a quiet eagerness to hold to wife and child, to material possessions, a deathless desire to carry on the familiar activities of life.

The perfect harmony between the minds of the Homeric Greeks and the world of nature is shown by the place which the human body had in their scale of values. In no other literature do we find such an idealization of the human form. When the Phæacians, whom Homer calls "masters of the oar," wished to entertain Odysseus, they made trial of divers games in which they excelled,-boxing, wrestling, leaping, and games demanding speed of foot. Attracted, as Homer tells us, by Odysseus' well-fashioned thighs and sinewy legs, his stalwart neck and mighty strength, they asked him to try his skill with them, telling him that "there is no greater glory for a man while yet he lives, than that which he achieves by hand and foot." Veritably religious were these Greeks in their attitude toward the movements of the body. Inimitably has Homer stated this attitude: around the muse gathered "boys in their first bloom, skilled in the dance, and they smote the good floor with their feet. And Odysseus gazed at the twinklings of the feet, and marvelled in spirit." Here is a word-painting of life more subtle than the work of

a Donatello or a Della Robbia. While Nausicaa and her maidens wait for the newly-washed clothes to dry in the bright sunlight they play at ball by the river's edge; and who can define the influence of this beautiful Homeric picture on the education and art, on the life, of the world? The parents' souls, says Homer, glowed with gladness at the sight of their graceful daughters entering the dance. Where else can be found such pictures of human forms divine as in Homer? Nausicaa thought Odysseus like the gods because of his grace and beauty; Odysseus likened Nausicaa to Artemis on account of her beauty and stature and shapeliness. The gods of such a beautyloving race were paragons of beauty. Calypso, the goddess, tells Odysseus that she is not less noble in form and fashion than Penelope for the immortals surpass mortal women in shape and comeliness. Her shining robe was light of woof and gracious and about her waist she wore a fair golden girdle. Hermes wore "lovely golden sandals that wax not old." The beautiful baths of Greek and Roman civilization were not an accident; they were the expression of an underlying conception of life. Bathed and clad in fragrant attire is a significant Homeric expression. When Odysseus, escaped from the briny deep, had bathed in the river to wash from his rugged body the ocean salt, he was given olive oil in a golden cruse wherewith to anoint himself, and Athena, befittingly enough, gave him deep curling locks and shed grace about his head and shoulders.

Nietzsche's requirement that good music shall prove itself in the physiological and emotional processes

which it occasions in the hearer is a reverberation of Homer. Words, says Homer, have no greater excellence than the graceful movement of hand and foot. Well-being is manifested in the way one breathes as well as in the way one thinks. This is why statuary is the principal form of Greek art. A modern photograph need only show the head and shoulders. Our rationalizing habit of mind singles out the face as the medium of thought, of the "soul," of the "personality." To the ancient Greek mind, the entire body was a necessary aspect of the living being. Life included the body, the entire body. Every part of the body had its necessary place in the whole psychophysical being. One of the highest functions of the intellect was to give adequate control and expression to bodily activities. The body as the symbol of emotion and action was not thrown into the background by the brain as the symbol of thought. The throwing of the discus to the pre-Socratic Greek mind was not an insignificant bodily act as compared to the transcendent reality of universal ideas; thought had its only conceivable function within the circle of bodily activities. Reason had not yet been set off against the vegetative and animal functions as a separate human or even divine reality. Reason meant the harmony, the unity, of life existing in and through the bodily organs, and expressing itself through the medium of a physical environment. We must remember that the later sharp differentiation between physical and mental had not taken place. Reason was a special means to the realization of the age-long life-affirming instincts. Dialectic had not yet become the enemy of the body which

was the focus of the energizing activities of life. These activities functioned spontaneously; their integrity had not yet been disturbed by introspection. Aristotle's orphic idea of purging the soul of emotion through contemplative imagination would have been unintelligible to the old classical Greek mind. The sculpture and architecture of the fifth century B.C. reflect this view at its best. The sculptured figures of this period show us an ideal which includes the inclinations, the impulses, the sentiments, of a full-orbed life. The ideal is not detached from but embodied in the body and its instincts. Hence there is no dualism. Impulse has not yet become detached from the molding and creative ideal. Nor has the body become merely physical, merely mechanical, because it has not yet become abstracted from mind.

The Body in the Early Hebrew Tradition

The account of the exploits of Samson in the book of Judges shows the estimate which the ancient Hebrews put upon bodily strength and skill. He carried off the gates of the city of Gaza; he pulled down the pillars of the house of the Philistine god, Dagon; he slew "heap's upon heaps" of the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. But these exploits of Samson were not symbols of mere brute force. The secret of Samson's strength lay in the fact that he incarnated a powerful moral tradition. He was dedicated as a Nazarite to Yahweh by his parents before his birth. He incarnated the devotion of the conservative Israelite to the older pastoral tradition (Judg. 13:14). It

was his unshaven locks, his refraining from wine, his living in tents, his loyalty to the pastoral ideal of life, which gave the moral significance to Samson's unusual strength. Not only was Samson's great strength inseparable from a profound moral tradition, but it had its source and its very being in that tradition.

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The account of Jonathan's attack on the Philistines reads like a page from Homer: "And his armourbearer said unto him: Behold, I am with thee according to thy heart . . . Then said Jonathan, Behold, we will pass over unto these men . . And Jonathan climbed up and his armourbearer after him . . . And the first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armourbearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were a half acre of land . . . And there was trembling in the host, in the field and among all the people; the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked . . . And the watchmen of Saul looked and, behold, the multitude melted away" (I Sam. 14). Jonathan inherited these qualities from his father as well as from his social environment. Saul's most outstanding characteristic was his striking physical appearance (I Sam. 9:1-2). David's grace and physical prowess, like Samson's great strength, were the medium through which Yahweh's presence was manifested in Israel (I Sam. 16:12-13).

Earlier peoples did not live so continuously on the level of consciousness as modern civilization tends to do. The mind of early peoples seemed more intimately linked with the body than the more reflective modern mind. Early man was in direct muscular con

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