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Ch. 7: Religious Use of Gems

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HE present and the following chapter are devoted to a study of the talismanic virtues attributed to precious
stones and gems, as distinguished from the curative powers with which they were credited. It is sometimes difficult to establish a hard and fast dividing line between the two classes, as everything that conduces to the happiness and well-being of man also affects his bodily health, but a dis­tinction, correct in the main, may be made by regarding the talismanic use as covering all cases except those in which the stone was used where to-day some really medicinal sub­stance would be administered.
A modern German writer on amulets has proposed to apply the term "emanism" (Emanismus) to the virtue ex­isting or supposed to exist in amulets and talismans, and gives as his opinion that their virtue is neither a spiritual nor a personal one, but the operation of forces, the latter not being special, mysterious vital forces, but impersonal physi­cal components and qualities, and that these exercise their influence by means of emanation. Wundt has held that the very earliest amulets were parts of the human body, and almost always such parts as were believed to be the bearers of the soul.1
Radiation or emanation of energy, without observable loss of substance, is a fact familiar enough to us to-day, but this phenomenon was not so generally accepted centuries ago. Still the lodestone always offered a striking example
1 Karuti, " Der Emanismus," in Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 45th Jahrgang, 1913, Heft III, Berlin, 1913, pp. 5S9, 560.
Ch. 7: Religious Use of Gems Page of 485 Ch. 7: Religious Use of Gems
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