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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2018 year, number 2


O.V. Golubkova1, Yu.B. Kononova2
1Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS, 17, Akad. Lavrentiev Av., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation
2, Moscow, Russian Federation
Keywords: , , , , , , , « », , soul, death fear, mythology, folk beliefs, Komi, psychological adaptation, anxiety reduction, “that world”, another world


Fear of death is the main source of anxiety. To reduce the level of anxiety, eople create a psychological defense based on the denial of death. The problem of psychological adaptation is shown evidently for the Komi traditional beliefs on the soul destiny after death. The authors study the phenomenon of human adaptation to death in terms of various psychological approaches (existential, psychoanalytic) using ethnographic and folklore materials. Komi preserved pagan beliefs that a man has two souls - lov and ort. Folklore and ethnographic material contains conflicting information about places where souls stay after the persons death. The authors divided Komi beliefs on a soul location after death into four groups: 1. Souls live in the another world. The location of the another world is diverse and usually not structured. Another world, heaven and hell can be on the edge of the earth, far in the north, in heaven, on the top of the mountain, under the earth, under water. Another worlds remoteness is aligned both horizontally and vertically. 2. The souls are next to the body of the deceased, in the grave, in the cemetery. Souls can be incarnated in some animals, birds, insects, trees. 3. The souls can interact with relatives. It is not a visible entity, tutelary and ancestor. 4. The souls can be embodied in new born children - new members of the genus. Souls gain maximum mobility after a persons death. The topic of the soul relocation in different directions (to the another world and back) is everywhere present in Komi folklore, mythology and beliefs. Changing the form, the souls continue to live in a new shape - among people or in another world. The road to another world can be perceived as a path to beginning a new stage in the souls existence, and life continuation. Such ideas abolish the perception of death as an absolute end, and the transition to another world can be realized as temporary. Thus, the level of anxiety reduced, the pain of losing relatives and the fear of own death abated.