Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Sacred and the Profane

"The man of archaic societies tends to live as much as possible in the sacred or in close proximity to consecrated objects. The tendency is perfectly understandable, because, for primitives as for the man of all premodern societies, the sacred is equivalent to a power, and, in the last analysis, to reality. The sacred is saturated with being...(R)eligious man deeply desires to be, to participate in reality, to be saturated with power...(T)he completely profane world, the wholly desacralized cosmos, is a recent discovery in the history of the human spirit...(D)esacralization pervades the entire experience of the nonreligious man of modern societies and that, in consequence, he finds it increasingly difficult to rediscover the existential dimensions of religious man in the archaic societies."

Mircea Eliade

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