Within the Body--The Intestines and the Kidneys


Sec. XIII.

The most usual Old Testament denominations of the parts inside the body, situated below the head and neck, bounded towards the back by the true and lumbar vertebra, and held together below by the pelvis, are and JBa, of which the former especially designates the cavity of the chest with heart (1 Sam. xxv. 37, and frequently), and lungs (1 Kings xvii. 21, although their Hebrew name, nxn, does not occur in the Old Testament): the latter especially designates the cavity of the abdomen with the stomach (Prov. xiii. 25, xviii. 20, etc.), and the cavity of the pelvis with the organs of generation (Job xix. 17; Prov. xxxi. 2, etc.). That 3"ij3 appears not only as the locale of feeling (Isa. xvi. 11), but also of the spirit (Zech. xii. 1), of spiritual life (Ps. li. 12; Isa. xxvi. 9), and of divine wisdom (1 Kings iii. 28), cannot appear strange, since the heart is the centre of the Even the psychico-spiritual entire condition of man, and the effort and endeavour that realize it, are called his (Ps. v. 9, xlix. II).1 But in the Old Testament also, jBa is not only the name of that within the man which feels (Hab. iii. 16; Job xx. 23); but, moreover, of that which thinks and wills (Job xv. 35), the recipient of that which is spiritual (Prov. xxii. 18), and its moulder (Job xxxii. 19) ; and it signifies tB3-^yin (chambers of the body), with its many secret corners and recesses, which the spirit penetrates with its light of self-examination and self-knowledge (Prov. xx. 27, comp. 30). Used in just this way, we read KoCkia (Ecclus. li. 21, xix. 12), and in that utter

1 The LXX. frequently translates 3"ip, uttplltt, e.g. Ps. v. 9 : once, when it would not be expected(Ps. li. 12), very materialistically—taisyxx-rx; once very spiritually—liimx (Jer. xxxi. 33): neither of the two without reason.

ance of the Lord so abundantly stimulating to reflection, John vii. 38: "He that believeth on me, from his belly (i* T")? Koi\ia<; avrou), as the Scripture saith, shall flow streams of living water." Here every spiritual possession is placed in the KoiXia; for the spring of living water^vhich flows over upon others in streams, i.e. in abundant and efficacious manifestations, is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thus, not only the head with its instruments of sense, but moreover, and even especially, the interior of the body, is regarded in Scripture as the place of psychico-spiritual experiences and activities; as in Ps. xxxi. 9, 't^W, my soul, stands significantly in the midst, between '3'V, mine eye, and *3Ba, my belly.

The bodily contents of the interior of the body are the intestines or viscera. These, as well those which are situated in the cavity of the chest, as those which are below it (see e.g. Gen. xv. 4, xxv. 23), are called (O^P only in Ps. ciii. 1) usually cm1 When David (Ps. xl. 8) says,-"Thy law is within mine inward parts" (marg. my bowels), they are named (as elsewhere—3?, Ps. xxxvii. 31, Isa. li. 7; "Tip, Jer. xxxi. 33; KapSia and Kockicl) as the place of the most profound spiritual occupation. But far more frequently the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, including the apocryphal Ecclesiasticus (xxxiii. 5, etc.), place the viscera in passive relation to the vehement affections. The intestines are in pain on account of sorrow (Jer. iv. 19), boil and ferment for pain (Job xxx. 27; Lam. i. 20, ii. 11), groan for sympathy (Cant. v. 4; Isa. xvi. 11; Jer. xxxi. 20). They are especially the seat of lively sympathy; wherefore E^rn, properly proceeding from orn, the womb,2 signifies the viscera of the abdominal and pelvic cavity, but directly signifies compassion (see the parallelism, Isa. lxiii. 15). The LXX. usually translates it by oueripfioi, and in a few places, where the transition from the bodily meaning into the psychical is very evident, by fi^rpa (1 Kings iii. 26), emepa or eyKara (Gen.

1 This is the traditional expression, not D'yD; the sing, is 'j?O (as 'D to 0*0), e.g. in Schabtai Donolo (in the tenth century): see his treatise, iiber den Menschen als Gottes Ebenbild, edited by A. Jollinek, 1854.

2 The connection is an actually established one; for stronger sympathy is readily reflected, and especially in the sexual organs. The word DIT1, to love tenderly, is denominative: no deeply experienced compassion without the shadowing of the feeling of love.

xliii. 30), and <nrXdr/xya (Prov. xii. 10): in this latter passage especially, another translation was hardly possible. In the New Testament (comp. also even Wisd. x. 5), avrXarf^ya and air\ar/-xyi^eadat, are altogether usual words to express tender, sympathizing, and especially compassionate love. Paul names Onesimus ra efia air\dyxya (Philem. ver. 12); as also in Latin, viscera mea,in medullis ac visceribus hcerere; and similar expressions are used of every one who is deeply beloved.1

In that passive relation in which Scripture places the affections in respect of the viscera, there is as little remarkable, as in the passive relation in which the bones (Q'pW or HiDVS?)— those bodily frameworks which contain the marrow of life— stand to deep internal good or ill health, or to powerful spiritual-psychical excitements and commotions ;2 for experience and self-observation in this matter confirm the statements of Scripture. That deep passionate excitements of mind stimulate the intestines into sympathy, we have the opportunity of feeling frequently enough. But while active expression (not merely passive emotion) of exulting joy is attributed to the bones only in two passages (Ps. xxxv. 10, li. 8),—and, indeed, with a poetic boldness whose justification is to be sought for in the idea, not in the reality,—Scripture (without, in this case, the poetic language sufficing as a ground of explanation) places even special intestines in causal relation to definite affections, and even to higher spiritual events. It is here first of all noticeable, that the cross-membrane which parts off the cavity of the chest below, from the abdominal cavity—this dividing wall (diaphragma) of the upper and under prcecordia, which, moreover, itself is called prcecordia, Gr. cf>peve<;,3 and is, according to the ancient Greek idea, the seat of the dvfib< ; and vow— nowhere occurs in Scripture (although the " walls of the heart," Jer. iv. 19, appear to comprehend in them the diaphragm on which the heart obliquely rests): only once (1 Cor. xiv. 20) cf>peve< ; occurs in the usual metonymic meaning, as understanding. Even the liver, placed on the right hand at the top in the

1 E. F. Nagelsbach, Lateinische Stilistik (1858), p. 361. * See the passages in Hupfeld, Psalmen, i. 99.

3 Sometimes as the integument of the'heart—xpti&fa, or ijros iti 0phi— so that the name thus comprehends in it the membranes covering the cavity of the chest.

abdominal cavity under the ribs C?3), and the gall (iTJoj nT!!?, ^oXrj) fixed on to the under surface of the liver, are never named, or certainly only rarely, in psychical connection. Bitterness, venom, gall, are in the Scripture kindred ideas. "The gall of bitterness," therefore (Acts viii. 23), is a metaphorical designation of malicious envy and ill-feeling: the reciprocal relation of the organ, and of the affection that is expressed thereby, is nowhere more closely intimated. But the liver—which, according to a widely diffused idea of antiquity, is considered as the seat of sensual desire and pleasure1—seems actually to be named not without this reference, when (Prov. vii. 23) it is said that the young man suffers himself to be enticed by the prostitute, till the "dart (of sensual love) strikes through his liver;" which reminds us of jecur ulcerosum (the love-wounded liver) in Horace, and the designation of love in Plautus, as morbus hepatarius; against which, in Lam. ii. 11, "My liver is poured upon the earth" is only meant of the extremest bodily experience of pain; and Gen. xlix. 6, Tci rfirara fiov, is a false translation of the LXX. The spleen is wholly unmentioned in Scripture: its old name, which the Talmud has preserved to us, was 9tna.2 Before all the other intestines there are the kidneys

1 The finer elastic mobile heart is, according to Nemesios, ch. xvi. (p. 215, ed. Matthsei), the organ of the ffvfcixo>, and the soft liver the organ of the firiUvfc»rrixoii row ii atciqoeu;, i.e. of the longing effected by sensual feeling. Mamertus (iii. 9) therefore names insensible, dull men, tepidi jecoris homunculi. Firmicus Maternus says of the Persians: Unam partem capiti assignant, ut hominis iram quodammodo denotare videatur; aliam in corde statuunt, ut diversarum cogitationum varietatem, quas multiplici intentione concipimus, in modum silvarum tenere videatur; tertia pars constituitur in jecore, unde libido nascitur et voluptas. Among the Arabs, on the other hand, the liver (kibd) is regarded as the seat of courage (Daumas, Pferde der Sahara, p. 185), and the Talmud Berachoth, 60a (comp. Midrasch, Ps. ciii.), 'where the functions of the individual bodily organs are enumerated, says of the liver, Dy13 122, thus attributing to it anger and passion. Among the Malay peoples, the liver (afi) is the seat of all moral impressions and feelings. One names another caressingly, "My liver." "My liver is sick" is, in other words, " I am an^ry." "My liver is anxious," " My liver wishes," is absolutely equivalent, in other words, to "My heart," "My soul" {Ausland, 1860, p. 90).

2 The Talmud says, l.c, pmc ^inD; and this gives to the spleen a share in laughter. We recall, in connection with this, the distich: Cor sapit, pulmo loquitur, fel concitat iram; Splen ridere facit, cogit amare jecur.

(rrivs, ve<f>poi), placed on both sides of the lumbar vertebrae on the hinder wall of the abdomen, of which the Scripture makes such frequent mention, and in the most psychically significant manner. It brings the tenderest and the most inward experience of a manifold kind into association with them. When man is suffering most deeply within, he is pricked in his kidneys (reins, Ps. lxxiii. 21). When fretting affliction overcomes him, his kidneys are cloven asunder (Job xvi. 13, comp. Lam. iii. 13); when he rejoices profoundly, they exult (Prov. xxiii. 16); when he feels himself very penetratingly warned, they chasten him (Ps. xvi. 7); when he very earnestly longs, they are consumed away within his body (Job xix. 27); when he rages inwardly, they shake (1 Mace. ii. 24). As the omniscient and all-penetrating knower of the most secret hidden things of man, God is frequently called (from Ps. vii. 10 to the Apocalypse) the Trier of the hearts and reins ;1 and of the ungodly it is said, that God is far from their reins (Jer. xii. 2), that is, that He, being withdrawn back into Himself, allows not Himself to be perceived by them. Moreover, nine (Ps. li. 8; Job xxxviii. 36) is, without doubt, a name of the kidneys, very significant (from rnB, to cover with fat), as the kidneys are embedded in a cushion of fat. In the latter passage, which I translate, " Who hath placed in the reins wisdom, and given to the cock insight?" the kidneys are regarded as the organ of the faculty of foreboding,2 as the cock is considered as a weather-prognosticator. According to the former passage, it is the kidneys into which a spiritually upright nature (TM?$ as aXtfdeia, Eph. iv. 21) is implanted.

We have thus made good what we wished to substantiate, that the Scripture subjects, not only the heart, but also the organs surrounding it,—or, as we need not speak against the sense of Scripture from the standing of later physiological

1 In Wisd. i. 6, kidneys, heart, and tongue are placed in association, as feelings, thoughts, and words.

2 In Plato, it is the liver (not the kidneys) which, so far as the craving portion of the soul experiences influences of the reason, is the organ of foreboding (fittrrtix) and of enthusiasm (Zeller, Philosophic d. Griechen, ii. 275). Therefore the prophetic inspection of entrails among the Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans, was especially inspection of the liver (4t«too-xowix): the liver and gall are called absolutely rx inrxxyx»« (ezfa), and the liver

To ffs-Xeiyx»0n

knowledge, the entire ganglionic nervous system (the sympathetic, or, as it is also called, the vaso motor nervous system),— to the influences of the soul and of the spirit; and yet not so as to place the head and the intestines in opposition to one another, as the life of thought and of feeling; but so as to suggest to us to apprehend the two in both relations, as poles corresponding to one another. The heart is the centre, whence, according to the Scripture, the soul pervades the body,—everywhere present in a manner which manifests itself locally, but yet is not local. That this pervading presence is effected by a bipartite compact nervous system, is not asserted in Scripture; but it is only by assuming the fact, that what Scripture says becomes intelligible. The nervous system, which extends through the entire corporeity, even to its most delicate and extreme subdivision of tissue, is the inner body of the soul, ever anew restoring itself from the blood. It is, as Keil1 ingeniously expresses himself, "the peculiar body of our Ego (rather of our soul): the other parts are the body of this body, the nourishing and protecting bark of this its tender pith." Whether, besides this anatomically attested nervous system—which of itself has a wondrous arrangement that is lost in mystery2—there is also a so-called nerve-spirit, is questionable. The Holy Scripture knows nothing of it; the name of the soul, E'W, has nothing to do with it. We cannot be satisfied when v. Rudloff3 defines nepliesch as the immaterial spiritual inner body of man formed from the nerve-spirit, and, in exposition of Gen. ii. 7, makes of a nature of a living soul, a nature endowed with a nerve-spirit. 1 Huschke, Schiidd, Him, und Seek, p. 165.

8 " In order to give only a weak conception of the character of this marvellous mechanism," says Spiess, in a discourse of the bodily conditioning of the activities of the soul (1854), "I will mention, that here generally microscopic relations are treated of, and that the thickness of single nerve-fibres themselves being taken at l-200th part of a line (and the central fibres of the brain are incomparably finer still), in a single square inch nearly six millions of such fibres are packed, and that the mass of a civilised man's brain may, perhaps, contain upwards of 60 cubic inches. Astonishment seizes us when we think upon the marvellous riches of such an organization; and, perhaps, we may doubt whether we shall ever attain to penetrate into its mysteries, and ever to leam to know only the coarser relations of this disposition of filaments, and only the general relations of their activities entwining with one another."

3 Lehre vom Menschen, p. 54.

Even the Cabbala understands by nepliesch,—conformably to its ascending triple division, nephesch, ruach, neschama,—not nervespirit, but the animal soul. And this nerve-spirit can in no case be taken to be spiritual, in the special sense: rather it forms (if we assume its existence) the imponderable inner corporeity, standing next to the soul, and effecting its connection with the material body—in certain circumstances probably also operating outwardly; for anything else than an excessively subtle fluid, withdrawing itself from sensible perception, as the agent of nervous activity, has never been understood thereby. The case is different, however, with this nervous aether, from what it is with the light-sether. The latter is a postulate of physics, which is on all sides experimentally confirmed; but the former is an auxiliary hypothesis of the ancient physiology, which the present science avows that it needs no longer, in that the doctrine of innervation finds, in the laws of electricity, that illustration in defect of which the nerve-spirit was discovered. Nevertheless, even now some scientific suffrages are still found to befriend it; and in the manifold departments of magnetic clairvoyance, it is a thing maintained by many unanimous voices, and proved by numberless facts, for which credibility is claimed. We do not venture to declare it a phantom; so much the less, as there are only the ordinary natural phenomena of life, for whose explanation science does not need it. But since no difficulty has been made in asserting, as an hypothesis, by way of explaining this, the existence of a periphery outside of the nervous system withdrawn from perception,—i.e. of a nervous atmosphere,1—it might perhaps be possible that this hypothesis should establish itself scientifically, if science were no longer too proud to examine inquisitively the extraordinary phenomena of the life of the soul, and no longer so frivolous as to be deservedly mocked by them. We conceive that it is modest, and yet not superstitious, when we will not deny the existence of a medium like to aether, by means of which the nervous system—this skeleton of the inner body of the soul—forms a compact whole; and that the soul under certain circumstances, by means of this medium, can produce extraordinary effects upon bodies, both endowed and unendowed with soul, and can come into relation with a world closed to its ordinary intercourse. But, as already 1 See Hoppe, Medicinische Briefe, p. 288.

observed, this medium is in no case purely spiritual. It is a physical power, falling, under a physical point of view, into union with the most subtle material as its vehicle.1 And as the anatomically recognised nervous body, so this also—the nerve or soul aether, which from the scientific stand-point is still hypothetical for the present—is by no means the substance of the soul itself, but only the most delicate material manifestation of the soul, which in itself is immaterial.

But in order rightly to understand the relation of the soul to that many-branched light-tree of the nervous system, and generally to corporeity, it is necessary to renounce the monistic view as contrary to Scripture as it is to experience—that the body is the self-formation of the soul. We have already referred to this error in Sec. VIII., and shown that the body, if we regard its original, does not at all proceed from the soul in the way in which the soul proceeds from the spirit. Thence it happens that the natural laws of the body bind the soul, and mediately the spirit also, against their will: thence also that the soul, in spite of its ubiquity in the body, can still only receive impressions and exercise influences in the measure of the existence of conditions which are present without its co-operation: thence that the organic processes of healthy life, and, moreover, those which accompany the functions of the soul, take place without our knowledge and will, and, in a great measure, are withdrawn from our consciousness and our control. It must not here be forgotten, that dependence and powerlessness of the soul in relation to the body actually subsist in a measure which contradicts (as we have shown in Div. II. and III.) the original position, and (as we shall show further on) entirely contradicts the destination, of man; neither, on the other hand, must it be forgotten, that even in the present position we can still always bring into experience the eminence of the soul over the corporeity, by being able to draw the unconscious into our consciousness, and to affect the independent by intention and direction of will. The soul knows that all the life of the body, even to its extremest end, and most delicate atom, goes forth from it; but it must also know, that the conformity to its purpose of the so wonderfully complicated nervous and muscular processes, to

1 Rightly therefore rejected by Kurtz, Bibel und Astronomic, 1858, p. 580, on behalf of the angelic corporeity maintained by him.

which it is related passively,—or whether, in an instinctive or conscious and voluntary manner, actively,—is neither its own work nor its own operation. It is the impelling power of the hody; but the mechanism, however conformably to the soul it is constructed, is still n6t constructed by it. The body, with the regularity of its organic processes, is related to the soul as a Pandean pipe, which is so arranged, that, however unskilfully the player applies himself to it, a certain harmony of tone is inevitable. If the melody which the instrument gives forth originate from the soul, the soul must know the height and depth of the individual pipes, as also their arrangement with one another. But if it know nothing of all this, the melodious association of tones is only conditioned by the organization of the pipes: and the soul effects nothing but the impulse of breath, which awakens that, which, in a designed form, is already, although only passively, present. In this similitude of a distinguished philosopher,1 we are at once reminded of Isa. xvi. 11, where the excitement of the intestines in the deepest compassion is likened to the sounding of a harp; and of Jer. xlviii. 36, where the excitement of the heart in a similar affection is likened to the sounding of pipes. It is the breath of the soul which vibrates the strings of this harp, and blows this pipe; but neither the stringing of the harp, nor the pipe's capacity and fulness of sound, are the soul's own work.

If we now glance once more back to the relation in which the Scripture places the intestines to the affections, it cannot be denied that it makes definite organs to be made use of by this or that affection, and refers it to them. It would, indeed, be involved in an untenable popular view, if Johannes Miiller were right in saying, " I know no single proof, but merely traditions, that in the healthy man a passion acts more upon one organ than upon another. No special passion acts regularly upon the stomach or the heart: in the sound man, their effects extend radiatim from the brain over the spinal marrow, over the animal and organic nervous system. Every special effect is also individual."2 But this assertion, directed against Bichat

1 A. W. Volkmann, in R. Wagner's II. W. ii. 542, 546.

2 Phjsiologie, i. 815 (1834); and not otherwise Henle, Volkmann, and moreover A. Zeller, art. " Irre" in Ersch u.td Gruber's A.E.: "In the affections is shown that the entire body is a psychical organism; and only a

and Fr. Nasse,—who consider the organs of the abdomen and of the chest as the seat of the passions,—although it has otherwise become popular, does not bear the test of close examination, and analysis of the appropriate phenomena. The following is the remark of a philosopher who has entered into the most special investigation of this matter: "The assertion that the several movements of feeling do not affect the special organs of the body in a different manner, both quantitative and qualitative, is one-sided, and in contradiction to the experiences of life: it is not true that sorrow and joy stir the heart in the same measure; it is an error to say that every passion may rise into weeping; it is false to say, that only in the case of those who already have diseased liver, or an innate excessive tendency to disease of the liver, does anger disturb this organ. Who by unprejudiced examination would ever come to the conclusion, that the bodily phenomena of amazement and of cheerfulness, of persistent heart-breaking sorrow, and of unrestrained joyousness, are the same? The more the affections are considered without prejudice, and the more closely they are psychically analyzed, the more firm is the conviction, that as well the kind of excitement, as the most special nervous lines in which that stimulus proceeds, are peculiar to single emotions. Why this is so—why sorrow acts upon the lachrymal duct, and confidence and hope upon the tone of the muscles, is certainly not to be understood. We may, indeed, call in the help of teleology and symbolism; but the wisdom as well as the poetiy of these arrangements is not seldom exposed to serious risk."1 Even Damerow acknowledges the undeniable fact of experience, and commends it to general and casuistic investigation. "Altogether special consideration," says he,* "is required in connection with the bodily effects of the affections and passions, for the altogether individual, special, constant, or varying effects upon this or that organ." The hypothesis of Scripture, that peculiar

false tradition makes the special passions act exclusively upon special organs. Only in the affections, which require a distinct member for the realization of an urgent idea and craving, does a special current towards that organ occur."

1 Domrich, Die psychischen Zustiinde ihre organische Vemdttelung und ihre Wirkung, in Eruugung Korperlicher Krankheiten (1849), p. 207.

s Damerow, Uebcr die Grundlar/e der Mimik u. Physiognomik, in the Allgem. Zeitschr. fur P«ychiatrie, 1860, p. 429.

actions upon single organs are proper to different affections, is thus something more than a traditional popular superstition: it is actually a scientific problem.1 Besides, also, Scripture, in this matter, does not draw too sharply defined limitations. Among what manifold affections does it distribute the reins! It is marvellous that it thus appropriates the reins—the kidneys. The kidneys confessedly suggest the urinary apparatus;* and even a mutual relation of the function of the kidneys and the sexual function has been observed, which must depend upon the co-operation of the renal and spermatic nerves. Our selfobservation, however, allows us only to detect mediately an influence of terror on the kidneys, by a resulting secretion of a watery urine. With what justice Scripture associates the kidneys, e.g. with aspiration, we cannot conceive. Does Scripture perchance name them only by way of illustration, instead of the innermost inward parts of the body? Or did antiquity feel, in this respect, otherwise than we do—namely, more profoundly and more plainly?

The solution of our psychological problem has here reached its result. The natural state of man, as Scripture conceives and represents it, is now plain to us. We have sought to make it plain to ourselves, by pursuing it from within outwardly, according to our design expressed in the opening of Sec. I., and considering first the spirit; then its self-manifestation, the soul; thirdly, its means of representation to itself, the body. From the natural condition, we turn now to the twofold pair of contrasted fundamental circumstances which interchangeably prevail over him. These are the contrasted conditions of waking and sleeping, of health and disease. Our standing here also is the biblical one, and our point of view the psycho

1 What occurred in the investigation of the psychical significance (psychica dignitas) of special inner organs, maybe found in Friedrich's New Magazine of Psychology, 1832, i. pp. 101-104, to which -we direct succeeding labourers in the field of biblical psychology.

2 The method and manner in which Haussmann, Die biblische Lehre vom Menschen, p. S3, after Beck, squares together the action of the kidneys in secreting urine, with the psychical importance attributed to them in Scripture, is altogether too vague. The thought of Hegel (Encycl.), that even the intestines are a " system of the corporealization of the spiritual," easily leads to results without foundation. For the body is for the soul (in its attraction to the material), but not through the soul.

logic one. The material on which we work consists in the direct statements of Scripture on these circumstances, and the indirect means of knowledge which, it presents to us for forming a right judgment of these. Our next subject is waking and sleeping, with the intermediate condition—much referred to in Scripture—of dreaming.