Quiz: What's the word for this?

by DavidO
26 replies
Here's a challenge for all you armchair academics. It may seem trivial but I'm trying to write an article and a lack of the right word is driving me crazy!

I've tried Googling but I can't come up with the right word string to trigger a correct response.

What is the belief called when a literal cause and effect for something is assumed? For example, by eating part of a lion you will acquire its ferocity. Or eating a bull's testicles will make you really macho. It's a primitive sort of belief system.

I know there's a word for this. I'm thinking pantheism but I've checked and that's not right.

No prize but self-satisfaction for the one who comes up with the answer!
#quiz #word
  • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe

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  • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
    Is it myth?

    "If you don't quit, you can't fail"
    Success will follow.

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  • Profile picture of the author DavidO
    It's both superstition and myth. I'm thinking of a more technical word but superstition can work in a pinch.
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      • Profile picture of the author Sean A McAlister

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      • Profile picture of the author DavidO
        Assimilation is the right physical process but I'm thinking of the metaphysical... the belief that you assume the spirit or other characteristics of what you eat: a lion, for instance.
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      • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
        How about "Sympathetic magic".

        Don't know whether it would, 'trigger the correct response' but some believe it's what's behind the notions of aphrodisiacs and the like.

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  • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
    I can't think of anything better than assumption. I remember about
    grade 5 the teacher mentioning some civilization where it was thought
    that eating your enemies muscles would make you stronger. I thought
    that it was similar to today when people think eating cow muscles will
    do the same, ignoring that the cows themselves and elephants are
    both vegetarians.

    Do something spectacular; be fulfilled. Then you can be your own hero. Prem Rawat

    The KimW WSO

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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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      • Profile picture of the author Ricter
        It's related to animism, but I think I recall a more precise term. Looking for it, but there is (LOL) a lot of commercial crap to wade through on the internet.

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  • Profile picture of the author stevecl
    would it be traits

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left!

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  • Profile picture of the author DavidO
    You're right, Alexa, there's a very specific term. However, both sympathetic magic or magical assimilation, as suggested, could work very well. I can work with this. Thanks everyone!
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  • Profile picture of the author GrantFreeman

    Not much help here. I saw cannibalism too but I'm sure that's not what you're looking for.

    Paul Myers would be someone to ask about finding the right word.

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  • Profile picture of the author getsmartt
    Animism is a little broad, it just basically says that everything has a soul.
    But, that being said, the best I can come up with is
    Omophagia Meaning "Eating-into-the Belly," a Greek ritual of holy communion by eating the flesh of sacrificial victims, human or animal. (see Sacrifice) This custom goes back to primitive tradition when worshippers would tear apart the victims with their hands and teeth as supposedly happened in the earliest cults of Dionysus, Opheus, Ziagreus, and other gods torn apart in their myths. "The communicants rushed madly upon the sacrificial animal, tore it to pieces and ate it raw, believing that the god was resident in the offering...It was believed thus there took place an identification with the god himself, together with a participation in his substance and qualities."

    Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker

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  • carnivorous spirituality
    voracious virility

    Not sure if thats what you're looking for but those sure do sound neat.
    "The successful man is the one who finds out what is the matter with his business before his competitors do"
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    • Profile picture of the author blokh
      Misconception - Since it is a belief, and not a fact that has been proven!

      Raakesh (Blokh)
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  • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
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  • Attribution? Transference? Homeopoetic understanding?

    Now, I'm bothered too.
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  • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
    Not the answer to the question, but a "believer"?
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  • Profile picture of the author Monetize
    Is it osmosis?
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    • Profile picture of the author TJ Kazunga
      what about "totemic"

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      • Profile picture of the author Ricter
        Still looking. I think I might now email an old college buddy who's a professor of anthropology. Good chance to get caught up.

        Fascinating little journey. Necessary beliefs here are animism and sympathetic magic. It's interesting the obvious connections with The Secret, and all that business, which appears to be a form of sympathetic magic. Have to think about that.

        There's a temptation to coin a word with Latin or Greek roots, like "animasynthesis", lol.

        Thanks to the OP for a fun exercise!

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