Aug 13, 2015

Bogomil doctrine on the migration of the soul

Furthermore traditional beliefs of our ancestors have a very strong impact on the century long spiritual reflections therefore we shouldn't disregard if we wish to get an overall impression.  
Remnants of the old Illyrian-Bogomil beliefs are still present in tradition of Bosnian people therefore we come across folk notions which are complete opposites of what the Islamic tradition teaches. According to sayings of the older population souls of people that committed grievous sins during their lifetime, tortured and killed innocent, will not end up in hell but will be reborn in a body of an animal, usually domestic, such as a horse, cow, pig. in order to serve people and to amend their evils. The worst punishment, it is believed, is to be born in the body of a swine, since it is considered to be, because of its filth and tendency to eat its young, a demonic animal. That's why the human soul rarely frees itself of that damned form.
This belief of our people has spawned some humane habits towards animals, especially towards dogs, which is proven by some written records. In the past people from Sarajevo were prone to feeding stray dogs out of fear that some of them might harbour human souls. Still today it is considered to be a good dead to feed a bitch that just had puppies, Antun Hangi also wrote about this in his work on the life of Bosniaks. Belief  that the human soul is inside animals, especially domestic, is evidenced by traditional warning statement: "An animal doesn't know how to forgive!" This suggested that humans should treat animals correctly and with care "since you never know which one of them is harbouring a human soul!"