Readdressing Eliade’s The Sacred and The Profane

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Readdressing Eliade’s The Sacred and The Profane

Postby BadgerJelly on June 6th, 2018, 3:33 am 

These are my unedited notes (except for a quick attempt to explicate the meaning of “heirophany” by Eliade) from the first “Chapter”. Mainly posting for Reg and Eod because there seems to be a common thread.

Here it is:

Notes on Sacred Space and Making The World Sacred

The introduction points out the “ganz andere” (wholly other) that is literally indescribable. We are forced to resort to mere analogies - here I would say all words and phrasologies are actually just “analogies” of a special flavour, and that through the written word we come to make words “sacrosanct” and withdraw from experience by making forts preservable and physical form through writing.

Hierophany*- as act of manifestation of the sacred. Etymologically the “hierophant” Is the conduit between the mundane and the sacred (The profane the sacred). For instance The shaman acts as a spirit guide “psychopomp” - essentially as the hierophant/guardian; someone who helps articulate the “ganz andere”.

*For a better understanding of “heirophant” think of the production team for a movie and the audience - the “heirophany” being the movie bridging between the two and making the two one. The production of a movie never to be seen, or of a audience gathered to view nothing is meaningless - there is no movie production without the concept of an audience just as there is no audience without the concept of gathering to share a common experience.

The “sacred world” comes prior to the “profane world”. In the charting and mapping of the environment an understanding of it - a meaning content - is manifested. The “meaning” is more “real” than the physicality, and through meaning and correspondence the “physical” underlying ontological existence becomes known by withdrawal from the “cosmologically sacred” (the meaning). As reality holds firm to our understanding, as meaning becomes “factual” so the “sacred” is desecrated and both the “sacred” and “profane” explode into distinct types of being (within this is the ‘crypto-religious’ behavior of profane man - connecting to the term “nostalgia”.)

Orientation is the same as construction. In such manners are “things” held to be, and in such a manner things possess meaning - the hunting site, the butchery of the animal, the home (or sleeping spot) - physically ground memory. It is through memory all experience “announces” itself; memory is something of the “mediator”, the “heirophant” of being (neither here in the now, embedded in the past nor future possibles.) In fact through refinement of memory grows an ever broadening and infinite scope for “knowledge of”; often through analogy. Such “orientation” or “construct”, of or about the cosmological condition, is edified with a group by a sacred object - and if broken then the community too breaks unable to distinguish the object from the cosmological abstraction of “reality” simply because the heirophant means all avenues and without it there is merely naught but nihilism (no orientation; therefore no meaning or purpose.) The death of the shaman, or “religious” figure, can have a similar effect (kings and queens, heroes and heroines, etc.,.)

The building/altar constructed upon a location of a successful hunt or fortunate circumstance - birth, victory, etc.,. Here, or at least in the homestead, man creates a representation of the cosmos. Within their own confines the ability to manage and perfect their habits/habitat takes on a new and lasting effect due to the control established within the confined space (a kind of “godhood” is taken on). The value of such abodes are brought about by entwining use to memory through a positive funnel - the “good narrative”, of hunt or other success, rounds a positive cosmological representation with which man commands his immediate position and solidified a point of orientation. The point of origin explodes into existence upon the physical world as an actual grounded place, thus giving the impression of “absolute” and bringing about the manifestation of limitations and a bounded existence: man is both imprisoned and free to explore. The world (weltanschauung) is transformed from more approximate bounds into acts of precision brought out by making finite “within” the infinite.
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