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Father Bernabe Cobo - Inca Religion and Customs - Communication with the dead

Identifier

011759

Type of spiritual experience

Hallucination

Background

Cobo calls the visions the Inca had 'devils' on a universal basis, as in his rather spartan belief system all that existed was 'God' and the 'Devil' and as such by definition as this was not God, because these people were 'pagans', eveything else had to be the devil.

A description of the experience

Father Bernabe Cobo - Inca Religion and Customs [translated by Roland Hamilton]

sometimes, ….. the devil took the shape of some man who had already died.

Posing in the same dress and physique as when the man was alive, ….., the devil would appear before his relatives and acquaintances, explaining to them that the deceased was in some other kingdom and that he was happy and enjoying himself the way they saw him there.

Owing to the devil's statement and illusions, the relatives believed those false appearances were really true. …. This would give the living high hopes of going to join the deceased where they would enjoy that bliss after this life, and it would temper the sadness that death brought them.

Thus when they were near death, they would entrust their homes and families to their relatives, asking them to comply with their requests and assuring them they would see them again in heaven.

The source of the experience

Incas

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities