Myth and Religion in Mircea Eliade (Theorists of Myth)

Mircea Eliade
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Myth and Religion in Mircea Eliade

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In The Forge and the Crucible: The Origins and Structures of Alchemy, Eliade explores how alchemy connects the physical and the sacred through a variety of cultural contexts. He continues to explain how the exploration of metallurgy was connected to a spiritual understanding of the universe, emphasizing that in many cultures smiths, or metal workers, held an elevated status in a community. He clarifies that plants, metals, ores, and stones were given gender forms by cultures in the ancient Orient, Mesopotamia, amongst others.

The tools, individuals, and processes that engage these metals are all critical components of the Alchemical Tradition. Eliade establishes a clear connection between the production of metals and the sacred significance throughout his book. In contrast, Jung articulates alchemy as a metaphor for psychological functions. Alchemy is symbolic of figurative functions within the psyche as revealed by a variety of myths found in visions, myths and symbols.

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The aim of the confrontation it to abolish the dissociation. In relation to this statement, alchemy is represented in two functions. As a tradition, Alchemy is a part of the collective unconscious and reflects archetypal symbols in a way that reveals psychic functions.

However, Alchemy also functions as a personal journey of confrontation and dissociation. Jung argues for both processes through multiple mythological and symbolic examples in a variety of writings. As a tradition, the role of alchemy may be observed from several perspectives. Eliade argues for the connection of physical phenomenon to the sacred, while Jung creates a metaphorical connection between the symbolic functioning of archetypes in the collective unconscious and individual psychology.

The Sacred and the Profane

While Eliade and Jung enter into an understanding of Alchemy with different strategies and goals, they both argue for the importance of alchemy in the generating of myth throughout global communities. Both theorists articulate their understanding through cultural, religious, and mythical examples. Just as the scientific process draws on alchemy to explore chemical interactions, so does the intellectual mind rely on the symbolic experience of alchemy in the generation of an active understanding of individual and cultural systems.

Posted in essay Tagged alchemy , art , culture , Jung , mythology , psychology. Like Like. Very interesting… Glad to see articles synthesizing Eliade and Jung… Not enough appreciation in the culture for the seminal work of Eliade…. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Includi tra i preferiti il permalink.

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