chapter  VI
Yoonecara the Fearless
Pages 6

The whole journey taken by the candidate during the ceremony is really beyond the grave, but in many of the legends dealing with this theme which we are about to consider some sections of the journey seem to be envisaged as if on earth. Primitive man is somewhat vague in his abstract conceptions, and even members of the same tribe will give contradictory accounts of their teaching concerning what befalls the dead. It would appear as if the most primitive races envisaged the next world as situated upon the surface of this earth in some remote area, usually in the West towards the setting sun, and this version is the one set out in the story of Yoonecara. The next stage seems to have been to transfer the gods, at any rate, to the sky, and sometimes the happy souls as well. Some of the Southern Australian Blacks hold this view, as do some of the Red Indian tribes. The final stage was to place the dead in the Underworld, which was regarded as a replica of the earth, as previously described, while the gods, and perhaps a few chosen heroes, were in a City on the Mountain top, or actually in the sky itself. At this stage of development Heaven is often a replica of earth, just as is the Underworld. Thus it is sometimes possible to find similar features in Heaven and the Underworld; as for example, three divisions or gates in the Underworld and three similar gates or divisions in Heaven. We get clear traces of this idea in the Hung ritual, where the three gates passed on the journey to the City of Willows are in corres­ pondence with the three passes which are supposed to have been traversed before the candidate reaches the Lodge room at all, while the Rainbow Bridge, linking earth and heaven, is represented in the Underworld by the bridge linking hell and earth. This appears in the Traditional History as the first bridge, or causeway, which was seen by the monks amid the flames of the abbey, while it is represented in the actual ritual by the stone bridge which had to be passed some time before the Lodge building was entered.