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March 27, 1948

Adventures of the Mind

JAMA. 1948;136(13):906. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890300056029

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In an orderly fashion Professor Castiglioni spins the yarn that makes an intriguing pattern of man's attempt to interpret the ageold problems of life, death, disease, magic and changes in personality. Frequent references to Sir J. G. Frazer's monumental book, "The Golden Bough," demonstrate the primitive influence of magic, rites, amulets and talismans on much of man's thinking. Its influence is still operative in the so-called modern thinking of certain cults.

The second part of the book deals with magic during the middle ages. The Chinese developed an intricate system of numbers and letters, calendars and rites. They were so methodical that they described five hundred different kinds of pulse and one thousand different places for acupuncture. American Indian tribes created a wide variety of drugs among the Aztecs such as coca and other narcotics and a systematic mythology as totem birds. A fantastic magic closely interwoven with mysticism and

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