RELIGIOUS STUDIES 200
Archaic Man puts great effort into mimicing the gods in a 'nostalgia for paradise.'
all of humanity has this nostalgia. we all wish for this paradise. we want our lives
to mimic the gods. we want to be the IMAGO MUNDI, the mirror image. we all desire to
be linked with the sacred.
SYMBOL and MYTH is the "LANGUAGE" of the "WHOLLY OTHER."
- myth as a sequence of symbolic images
- the sacred cannot be expressed in words because all of language is profane, so the
language of the sacred must be expressed in symbols and myths. this is how homo
religiosus understands and apprehends the sacred.
- in the realm of religion, or religious experience, certain things resemble or
suggest the sacred and therefore give us a clue, a look into the supernatural.
- a symbol may look like so-and-so but it links to a ton of things.
- myths are also sacred but they are far more complicated. it is a SEQUENCE of the
various symbols put into a shape/narrative.
- Eliade wanted to know, what is it about these stories that tells us about the
sacred. for him, they are not just story. they are related to soemthing else, a
- like symbols, myth seems to point to something real.
- what are the qualities of this real? this is his question. what exactly are these
symbols indicating (what is the sacred).
- he spends his career talking about the sacred, but he cant talk about it with
(a lot of people who say they are spiritual-but-not-religious like eliade. there is
somethign comforting about a notion of something truly sacred out there. he is not
just addressing an academic question but an existential question.)
how can you academically qualify feeling?
- just about anything can be a symbol for him. they are instantiations of a form. the
instantiations can be very different, accidentally speaking, but they have the same
- something that was not sacred can become so by hierophany. ie the kaba stone.
- a thing is mundane, but it can take on its 'actual sacred essence' and become
something holy. in co