521. Can certain spirits assist the progress of the arts by protecting those who foster and support them?
“There are special spirit protectors who assist those who call them, when they deem them to be worthy of their assistance. But what can they do for those who believe themselves to be something that they are not? They cannot make the blind see, nor make the deaf hear.”
The people of ancient times made these protective spirits special deities. The Muses were nothing more than the metaphoric personifcation of the guardians of arts and sciences, just like the family protective spirits were designated by the Roman names of lares and penates. Modern civilizations also have their patrons in the arts, in various industries, and in cities and countries, who are none other than higher guardian spirits, just under different names.
As each person has their own sympathetic spirit, most sympathetic spirits of a collective whole correspond to the majority of individuals that compose them, and that foreign spirits are attracted to such groups out of similarity of tastes and thoughts; in a word, that these groups, as well as individuals comprising them, are more or less surrounded, infuenced and supported according to the leading character of its members.
Among nations, spirits are attracted by the habits, manners and dominant characteristics of their people, and, particularly their legal system, because the character of a nation is refected in its laws. Those who uphold righteousness resist the infuence of wicked spirits. Wherever laws embody injustice and inhumanity, good spirits are in the minority and the bad ones who fock there keep the people trapped under their false ideas, and paralyze the good infuences that are lost in the crowd, like a single ear of corn in the midst of a sea of weeds. By studying the customs of nations or of any group of individuals, it is therefore easy to get an idea of the invisible population that meddles in their thoughts and actions.