The discovery of the Sacred in Eliade

12 11 2007

The discovery of meaning in the world is related to the Sacred. The human imitation of the Sacred is the basis of religious life. Life as imitation could have meaning.

But man itself is religious since he is dealing from the beginning with feeding himself, sexual life and working. Growing up, becomind a man means “being religious”. The world is genetically and structurally religious.

The way the Sacred shows itself for the first time to somebody is called hierophania by Eliade. Man relizes the existence of th Sacred because it is completely different from the profane. The hierophania consists of something that belongs to a totally different order, a reality that isn’t from our world but that shows itself in objects of our daily, profane life. From a tree or a stone to the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ.

Each time man discovers the Sacred through a hierophania, he somehow draws a center in the world where he can build a meaningful environment.

Also time has different meaning according to the time of the Sacred and the time of profane reality. Through rituals, religious collective celebrations, man can pass from ordinary time to sacred time. The time of the Sacred is reversible and each time we celebrate an vent in the religious liturgy we skip from ordinary time and we get into the mythical time. The time of the Sacred is a circular time, it consists of an ethernal mytical present that gets rehiterations through rituals.

The myth on the other side tells the strong introduction of the Sacred into the world: it tells about a Sacred history happened in the time of the origins. Usually the myth tells how one part of the reality was created in a strong, even dramatic way. The myth is the justification of a ritual, one particular one and each time we perform that ritual we re-focus on that mith. It is not an act of remembering, but an act of repetition. In this way man always has in his mind that his origin deals with the Sacred.

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