Mircea Eliade citations

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Mircea Eliade

Date de naissance: 13. mars 1907
Date de décès: 22. avril 1986

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Mircea Eliade, né le 13 mars 1907 à Bucarest et mort le 22 avril 1986 à Chicago , est un historien des religions, mythologue, philosophe et romancier roumain. Polyglotte, il parlait et écrivait couramment cinq langues : le roumain, le français, l'allemand, l'italien et l'anglais. Il lisait aussi l'hébreu, le persan et le sanskrit. Ainsi, la majeure partie de ses travaux universitaires a été écrite d'abord en roumain, puis en français et en anglais.

Mircea Eliade est considéré comme l'un des fondateurs de l'histoire moderne des religions. Savant studieux des mythes, Eliade élabora une vision comparée des religions, en trouvant des relations de proximité entre différentes cultures et moments historiques. Au centre de l'expérience religieuse de l’homme, Eliade situe la notion du « Sacré ».

Sa formation d'historien et philosophe l'a amené à étudier les mythes, les rêves, les visions, le mysticisme et l'extase. En Inde, Eliade étudia le yoga et lut, directement en sanscrit, des textes classiques de l'hindouisme qui n'avaient pas été traduits dans des langues occidentales.

Auteur prolifique, il cherche à trouver une synthèse dans les thèmes qu'il aborde . De ses documents est souvent souligné le concept de « Hiérophanie », par lequel Eliade définit la manifestation du transcendant dans un objet ou dans un phénomène de notre cosmos habituel.

Vers la fin du XXe siècle, quelques textes d'Eliade nourrissent la vision gnoséologique de mouvements religieux, apparus avec la contre-culture des années 1960.

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Citations Mircea Eliade

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„The crises of modern man are to a large extent religious ones, insofar as they are an awakening of his awareness to an absence of meaning.“

— Mircea Eliade
Context: The history of religions reaches down and makes contact with that which is essentially human: the relation of man to the sacred. The history of religions can play an extremely important role in the crisis we are living through. The crises of modern man are to a large extent religious ones, insofar as they are an awakening of his awareness to an absence of meaning. Ordeal by Labyrinth, Conversations with Claude-Henri Rocquet (1982), <!-- Chicago Press --> p. 148

„In short, myths describe the various and sometimes dramatic breakthroughs of the sacred (or the "supernatural") into the World. It is this sudden breakthrough of the sacred that really establishes the World and makes it what it is today. Furthermore, it is as a result of the intervention of Supernatural Beings that man himself is what he is today, a mortal, sexed, and cultural being.“

— Mircea Eliade
Context: Myth is an extremely complex cultural reality, which can be approached and interpreted from various and complementary viewpoints. Speaking for myself, the definition that seems least inadequate because most embracing is this: Myth narrates a sacred history; it relates an event that took place in primordial Time, the fabled time of the "beginnings." In other words myth tells how, through the deeds of Supernatural Beings, a reality came into existence, be it the whole of reality, the Cosmos, or only a fragment of reality — an island, a species of plant, a particular kind of human behavior, an institution. Myth, then, is always an account of a "creation"; it relates how something was produced, began to be. Myth tells only of that which really happened, which manifested itself completely. The actors in myths are Supernatural Beings. They are known primarily by what they did in the transcendent times of the "beginnings." hence myths disclose their creative activity and reveal the sacredness (or simply the "supernaturalness") of their works. In short, myths describe the various and sometimes dramatic breakthroughs of the sacred (or the "supernatural") into the World. It is this sudden breakthrough of the sacred that really establishes the World and makes it what it is today. Furthermore, it is as a result of the intervention of Supernatural Beings that man himself is what he is today, a mortal, sexed, and cultural being.

„The manifestation of the sacred ontologically founds the world.“

— Mircea Eliade
Context: When the sacred manifests itself in any hierophany, there is not only a break in the homogeneity of space; there is also a revelation of an absolute reality, opposed to the nonreality of the vast surrounding expanse. The manifestation of the sacred ontologically founds the world. In the homogenous and infinite expanse, in which no point of reference is possible and hence no orientation can be established, the hierophany reveals an absolute fixed point, a center. As quoted in The Structure of Religious Knowing : Encountering the Sacred in Eliade and Lonergan (2004) by John Daniel Dadosky, p. 89.

„Man becomes aware of the sacred because it manifests itself, shows itself, as something wholly different from the profane.“

— Mircea Eliade
Context: Man becomes aware of the sacred because it manifests itself, shows itself, as something wholly different from the profane. To designate the act of manifestation of the sacred, we have proposed the term hierophany. It is a fitting term, because it does not imply anything further; it expresses no more than is implicit in its etymological content, i. e., that something sacred shows itself to us. It could be said that the history of religions — from the most primitive to the most highly developed — is constituted by a great number of hierophanies, by manifestations of sacred realities. From the most elementary hierophany — e. g. manifestation of the sacred in some ordinary object, a stone or a tree — to the supreme hierophany (which, for a Christian, is the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ) there is no solution of continuity. In each case we are confronted by the same mysterious act — the manifestation of something of a wholly different order, a reality that does not belong to our world, in objects that are an integral part of our natural "profane" world. The Sacred and the Profane : The Nature of Religion: The Significance of Religious Myth, Symbolism, and Ritual within Life and Culture (1961), translated from the French by William R. Trask, [first published in German as Das Heilige und das Profane (1957)]

„This myth was created by Freud.“

— Mircea Eliade
Context: The interpretations of Freud are more and more successful because they are among the myths accessible to modern man. The myth of the murdered father, among others, reconstituted and interpreted in Totem and Taboo. It would be impossible to ferret out a single example of slaying the father in primitive religions or mythologies. This myth was created by Freud. And what is more interesting: the intellectual élite accept it (is it because they understand it? Or because it is "true" for modern man?) No Souvenirs (1977) later retitled Journal II, 1957-1969 (1989), p. 117.

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„It is above all the valorizing of the present that requires emphasizing.“

— Mircea Eliade
Context: It is above all the valorizing of the present that requires emphasizing. The simple fact of existing, of living in time, can comprise a religious dimension. This dimension is not always obvious, since sacrality is in a sense camouflaged in the immediate, in the "natural" and the everyday. The joy of life discovered by the Greeks is not a profane type of enjoyment: it reveals the bliss of existing, of sharing — even fugitively — in the spontaneity of life and the majesty of the world. Like so many others before and after them, the Greeks learned that the surest way to escape from time is to exploit the wealth, at first sight impossible to suspect, of the lived instant. As quoted in Myth and Religion in Mircea Eliade (2002) by Douglas Allen, p. 90.

„In each case we are confronted by the same mysterious act — the manifestation of something of a wholly different order, a reality that does not belong to our world, in objects that are an integral part of our natural "profane" world.“

— Mircea Eliade
Context: Man becomes aware of the sacred because it manifests itself, shows itself, as something wholly different from the profane. To designate the act of manifestation of the sacred, we have proposed the term hierophany. It is a fitting term, because it does not imply anything further; it expresses no more than is implicit in its etymological content, i. e., that something sacred shows itself to us. It could be said that the history of religions — from the most primitive to the most highly developed — is constituted by a great number of hierophanies, by manifestations of sacred realities. From the most elementary hierophany — e. g. manifestation of the sacred in some ordinary object, a stone or a tree — to the supreme hierophany (which, for a Christian, is the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ) there is no solution of continuity. In each case we are confronted by the same mysterious act — the manifestation of something of a wholly different order, a reality that does not belong to our world, in objects that are an integral part of our natural "profane" world. The Sacred and the Profane : The Nature of Religion: The Significance of Religious Myth, Symbolism, and Ritual within Life and Culture (1961), translated from the French by William R. Trask, [first published in German as Das Heilige und das Profane (1957)]

„Unlike their predecessors, who treated myth in the usual meaning of the word, that is, as "fable," "invention," "fiction," they have accepted it as it was understood in archaic societies, where, on the contrary, "myth" means a "true story" and, beyond that, a story that is a most precious possession because it is sacred, exemplary, significant.“

— Mircea Eliade
Context: For the past fifty years at least, Western scholars have approached the study of myth from a viewpoint markedly different from, let us say, that of the nineteenth century. Unlike their predecessors, who treated myth in the usual meaning of the word, that is, as "fable," "invention," "fiction," they have accepted it as it was understood in archaic societies, where, on the contrary, "myth" means a "true story" and, beyond that, a story that is a most precious possession because it is sacred, exemplary, significant. This new semantic value given the term "myth" makes its use in contemporary parlance somewhat equivocal. Today, that is, the word is employed both in the sense of "fiction" or "illusion" and in that familiar especially to ethnologists, sociologists, and historians of religions, the sense of "sacred tradition, primordial revelation, exemplary model." … the Greeks steadily continued to empty mythos of all religious and metaphysical value. Contrasted both with logos and, later, with historia, mythos came in the end to denote "what cannot really exist." On its side, Judaeo-Christianity put the stamp of "falsehood" and "illusion" on whatever was not justified or validated by the two Testaments.

„The interpretations of Freud are more and more successful because they are among the myths accessible to modern man.“

— Mircea Eliade
Context: The interpretations of Freud are more and more successful because they are among the myths accessible to modern man. The myth of the murdered father, among others, reconstituted and interpreted in Totem and Taboo. It would be impossible to ferret out a single example of slaying the father in primitive religions or mythologies. This myth was created by Freud. And what is more interesting: the intellectual élite accept it (is it because they understand it? Or because it is "true" for modern man?) No Souvenirs (1977) later retitled Journal II, 1957-1969 (1989), p. 117.

Publicité

„The history of religions reaches down and makes contact with that which is essentially human: the relation of man to the sacred.“

— Mircea Eliade
Context: The history of religions reaches down and makes contact with that which is essentially human: the relation of man to the sacred. The history of religions can play an extremely important role in the crisis we are living through. The crises of modern man are to a large extent religious ones, insofar as they are an awakening of his awareness to an absence of meaning. Ordeal by Labyrinth, Conversations with Claude-Henri Rocquet (1982), <!-- Chicago Press --> p. 148

„In one way or another one "lives" the myth, in the sense that one is seized by the sacred, exalting power of the events recollected or re-enacted.“

— Mircea Eliade
Context: In one way or another one "lives" the myth, in the sense that one is seized by the sacred, exalting power of the events recollected or re-enacted. "Living" a myth, then, implies a genuinely "religious" experience, since it differs from the ordinary experience of everyday life. The "religiousness" of this experience is due to the fact that one re-enacts fabulous, exalting, significant events, one again witnesses the creative deeds of the Supernaturals; one ceases to exist in the everyday world and enters a transfigured, auroral world impregnated with the Supernaturals' presence. What is involved is not a commemoration of mythical events but a reiteration of them. The protagonists of the myth are made present; one becomes their contemporary. This also implies that one is no longer living in chronological time, but in the primordial Time, the Time when the event first took place. This is why we can use the term the "strong time" of myth; it is the prodigious, "sacred" time when something new, strong, and significant was manifested. To re-experience that time, to re-enact it as often as possible, to witness again the spectacle of the divine works, to meet with the Supernaturals and relearn their creative lesson is the desire that runs like a pattern through all the ritual reiterations of myths. In short, myths reveal that the World, man, and life have a supernatural origin and history, and that this history is significant, precious, and exemplary.

„What is involved is not a commemoration of mythical events but a reiteration of them.“

— Mircea Eliade
Context: In one way or another one "lives" the myth, in the sense that one is seized by the sacred, exalting power of the events recollected or re-enacted. "Living" a myth, then, implies a genuinely "religious" experience, since it differs from the ordinary experience of everyday life. The "religiousness" of this experience is due to the fact that one re-enacts fabulous, exalting, significant events, one again witnesses the creative deeds of the Supernaturals; one ceases to exist in the everyday world and enters a transfigured, auroral world impregnated with the Supernaturals' presence. What is involved is not a commemoration of mythical events but a reiteration of them. The protagonists of the myth are made present; one becomes their contemporary. This also implies that one is no longer living in chronological time, but in the primordial Time, the Time when the event first took place. This is why we can use the term the "strong time" of myth; it is the prodigious, "sacred" time when something new, strong, and significant was manifested. To re-experience that time, to re-enact it as often as possible, to witness again the spectacle of the divine works, to meet with the Supernaturals and relearn their creative lesson is the desire that runs like a pattern through all the ritual reiterations of myths. In short, myths reveal that the World, man, and life have a supernatural origin and history, and that this history is significant, precious, and exemplary.

„The joy of life discovered by the Greeks is not a profane type of enjoyment: it reveals the bliss of existing, of sharing — even fugitively — in the spontaneity of life and the majesty of the world. Like so many others before and after them, the Greeks learned that the surest way to escape from time is to exploit the wealth, at first sight impossible to suspect, of the lived instant.“

— Mircea Eliade
Context: It is above all the valorizing of the present that requires emphasizing. The simple fact of existing, of living in time, can comprise a religious dimension. This dimension is not always obvious, since sacrality is in a sense camouflaged in the immediate, in the "natural" and the everyday. The joy of life discovered by the Greeks is not a profane type of enjoyment: it reveals the bliss of existing, of sharing — even fugitively — in the spontaneity of life and the majesty of the world. Like so many others before and after them, the Greeks learned that the surest way to escape from time is to exploit the wealth, at first sight impossible to suspect, of the lived instant. As quoted in Myth and Religion in Mircea Eliade (2002) by Douglas Allen, p. 90.

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