“Spiritual Paternity” and the “Puppet Complex”

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

The student of “primitive beliefs” and of “folklore” must be, if he is not to betray his vocation, not so much a psychologist in the current sense as he must be an accomplished theologian and metaphysician… This is of the highest importance if anthropology is to amount to anything more than another satisfaction of our curiosity; if, that is to say, it is to subserve the good of mankind by enabling men to understand one another, and even to think with one another, rather than merely of one another as strangers.

In dealing with any traditional civilization it must always be realized that no real distinction can be drawn there as of culture from religion or profane from sacred. Such distinctions, like that of utility or value from meaning or beauty, are the products of a modern schizophrenia.

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Originally published in the journal Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes, Volume 8, Issue 3, 1945.