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Quotation by Mircea Eliade:

According to the legend, the marabout who founded El-Hamel at the end of he sixteenth century stopped to spend the night near a spring and planted his stick in the ground. The next morning, when he went for it to resume his journey, he found that it had taken root and that buds had sprouted on it. He considered this a sign of God's will and settled in that place.

...When no sign manifests itself, it is provoked. For example, a sort of evocation is performed with the help of animals; it is they who show what place is fit to receive the sanctuary or the village. This amounts to an evocation of sacred forms or figures for the immediate purpose of establishing an orientation in the homogeneity of space. A sign is asked, to put an end to the tension and anxiety caused by relativity and disorientation-- in short, to reveal an absolute point of support. For example, a wild animal is hnted, and the sanctuary is built on the place where it is killed. Or a domestic animal, such as a bull-- is turned loose; some days later it is searched for and sacrificed at the place where it is found. Later the altar will be raised there and the village will be built around the altar. ...This is as much to say that men are not free to choose the sacred site, that they only seek for it and find it by the help of mysterious signs.


Mircea Eliade     (more by this author)

1907-1986 (Age at death: 79 approx.)

Mircea Eliade (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈmirt"�͡ʃe̯a eliˈade]; March 13 [O.S. February 28] 1907 - April 22, 1986) was a Romanian historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, and professor at the University of Chicago. He was a leading interpreter of religious experience, who established paradigms in religious studies that persist to this day. His theory that hierophanies form the basis of religion, splitting the human experience of reality into sacred and profane space and time, has proved influential. One of his most influential contributions to religious studies was his theory of Eternal Return, which holds that myths and rituals do not simply commemorate hierophanies, but, at least to the minds of the religious, actually participate in them. In academia, the Eternal Return has become one of the most widely accepted ways of understanding the purpose of myth and ritual.

His literary works belong to the fantasy and autobiographical genres. The best known are the novels Maitreyi ("La Nuit Bengali" or "Bengal Nights"), Noaptea de Sânziene ("The Forbidden Forest"), Isabel şi apele diavolului ("Isabel and the Devil's Waters") and the Novel of the Nearsighted Adolescent, the novellas Domnişoara Christina ("Miss Christina") and Tinereţe fără tinereţe ("Youth Without Youth"), and the short stories Secretul doctorului Honigberger ("The Secret of Dr. Honigberger") and La Ţigănci ("With the Gypsy Girls").

Author Information from Wikipedia

Country: United States

Type: Prose
Context: Book
Source: The Sacred and the Profane

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