Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Myth of the Eternal Return, 2-48

Hello All,

As I warned you at the beginning of the quarter, Eliade's text will be the most difficult of our three texts to read: his tone (vocabulary and syntax) is the most formal and academic of our authors, and he refers to many obscure (to us) figures from religions and mythologies that span the globe (and history).

Because of this, the most effective strategy (for us in this class) for reading this work is to focus on the core concepts and the relationships between those concepts. Don't get caught up in trying to decipher and research each and every name he references; instead, read with a highlighter or pencil, and annotate (underline or mark) the sentences or passages that you think are most important in terms of the overall ideas.

For example, one key concept Eliade defines and illustrates is that of the Center (and Symbolism of the Center). The Center is a physical place that represents the core/essence/heart of an idea or system. For example, for Christians, a Center would be Jerusalem; for Muslims, a Center would be Mecca. However, these centers can also be secular. For example we could discuss a library as representing a Center of knowledge (we would thus look for the "best" library as the most representative of this center) or Hollywood as the Center of entertainment.

This blog post will have two components:

1. Find a quote from pages 2-48 of The Myth of the Eternal Return that you find interesting/important/thought-provoking.

2. Describe one Center that is important to you and your world.


  1. Yadhira Moreno

    1). Mircea Eliade discusses divine models of rituals on pages 21-27 in the book "The Myth of the Eternal Return", and that is where I found an interesting quote:"We must do what the gods did in the beginning" (2005, p. 21).

    2). One Center that is very important to me is that of my parents house. My siblings and I always gather at my parent's home. This is where we all get to see each other and catch up on everyone's lives. My parents home contains special memories in where I would love to keep on adding some of my own memories as well as my future children's. All of my nephews and nieces love going to their grandmother's and grandfather's house. Birthday's and special holidays are always celebrate and take place in my parents home. It truly is a comfortable place for me to be in; As I keep on getting older I notice that my old childhood home is changing little by little. :)

  2. 1) Since I love to dance this section of the reading caught my attention,"Take dance,for example. All dances were originally sacred; in other words, they had an extrahuman model. The model may in some cases have been a totemic or emblematic animal, whos motions were reproduced to conjure up its concrete presence through magic, to increase its numbers, to obtain incormations into the animal on the part of man" (p. 28).
    2) I too would agree with Yadhira Moreno. The home is a center that has great meaning to me. If I had to chose a different center it would my place of work. At work I feel I am a part of a powerful system. Those I work with all participate in the same system. We all go to work with the same agenda and do a wonderful job together. Being that I spend several hours there a day I have learned what is expected and needed in order to perform. I know that I spend more hours at work than I do at home, for that reason my place of work is significant to me.
    -Kimberlina Rodriguez

  3. The quote that I like is found in page 23: “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). This quote is found in the Bible and in the quote Jesus is talking to his disciples after washing their feet.
    One center in my life is my faith in God. There was a time in my life where I would read my Bible every night and I would force myself to understand it by doing a little of research and talking to my Pastor. I no longer do this because I just don’t have the time, but would like to start reading the Bible once again. One of my goals is to finish reading the whole Bible.
    Jorge de Julian

  4. 1. "The world that surrounds us, then, the world in which presence and the work of men are felt,"(pg 9).

    2. Pro Wrestling is the center of me. Everything I am is because of wrestling. My life revolved around it when I was younger and now I am older I still follow it closely but not like I use too. It is still a major influence in my life

    Adam Eaton

  5. 1)A quote that I found interesting in the book, The myth of the Eternal Return, by Mircea Eliade, was “reality is acquired solely through repetition or participation; everything which lacks an exemplary model is ‘meaningless’ i.e., it lacks reality.” (34).

    2) A center that I find important would be the church that I attend to. Even though, I don’t go everyday, I find myself feeling secure, and comfortable, because I grew up with most of the people who go there. In other words, they are like a second family to me.

    -Yoselin Ventura (:

  6. 1)A quote I found interesting was “All sacrifices are performed at the same mythical instant of the beginning; through the paradox of rite, profane time and duration are suspended” (Eliade, 2005, 35).

    2)I consider my home and church to be my center. Home because it’s where my family and my memories are at. Church because my faith is important to me and my family and when I attend church I feel happier and calm.

    Felicia Contreras

  7. In Ariadne’s Clue Anthony Stevens claims, “Ritualization is the term given to the evolutionary process by which innately determined behavior patterns become modified so as to promote communication between individuals”( pg.25,26). Rituals are important because they provide a way to teach principles, values, and disciplines to those you love and care about. They are interesting when applied, because they develop into practices in the generations that follow after you. When the effects of a ritual are seen in an individual and the outcome of those rituals has been beneficial to that individual; that too is thought-provoking.
    A center that is important to my world is my home. It provides a place for my family to congregate and become refreshed; to also experience rest, peace, and laughter. Home is where my family experiences unconditional love and affirmation. It is the center of our most memorable moments, my child’s first steps, first day of kindergarten, high school formals and graduations. It is familiar and is associated as a place of peace from the various distractions from work and school that create stresses in us. It helps me to stay focused on the things that are the most important to me, my faith, family, and friends.
    Tony A.

  8. 1) A quote that I found interesting in Eliade's book would be,"among conless stones, one stone becomes sacred - hence instatnly becomes satured with being - because it constitues a hierophany, or possess mana, or again because it commemorates a mythical act, and so on" (4).

    2)My center in life would be my home, because is where i feel myself and relaxed. Also because is where most of my love ones live.

  9. Quote I found interesting: “Struggles, conflicts, and wars for the most part have a ritual cause and function. They are a stimulating opposition between two halves of a clan, or a struggle between the representatives of two divinities …” (Eliade 29).
    An important center in my world is the river. It is my place of work , hobby, fun, and adventure. I have had so many amazing opportunities in my life and everything has been centered around the river in some form or another. My experiences have helped to shape me into the person I am today and I am so blessed and grateful.

    Jen Scarbrough

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  11. 1) A quote that caught my attention was: “The message of the Saviour is first of all an example which demands imitation. “ (pg. 23) This quote was thought interesting; because I have always been interested to see how religions interpret this quote and attempt to mimic the Saviour’s message.
    2) A center that is important in my world is my home. I value my family so much and believe that family is the most important thing a person can have. I feel at ease and protected being home; it is the only place where I know I will always be safe and happy. I have built many memories with the people I most love ,which is why my home holds a special meaning in my life and completes my world.

    Maria Madera Herrera

  12. 1. The quote: "Settlement in a new, unknown, uncultivated country is equivalent to an act of Creation."(pg. 10)This quote caught my attention because it talks about forming a new life, creating life in a place where everything is unknown.
    2. A center that is important in my world would be life itself. The creation of life, and who I am is very important to me. Knowing who created me and what I believe forms the individual I am today. The decisions I make are based on my beliefs, and what role I play in this world.

    Denise Sanchez

  13. 1. One quote I found interesting was the following: "Every species evolves in its typical environment and, in the course of its life-cycle, encounters typical situation'" (Steven, 1998, p. 31).
    2. My maternal grandparent's house would be an important center for my world. Every holiday and Sunday are spent at there house. I got my religious believes from them as well. My grandparent's is a place of peaceful, fun family gatherings, which makes me feel feel relaxed, loved, and thankful for the family I have.

    -Janette Lopez

  14. 1. I think it’s interesting learning different marriage rites. “Dido celebrates her marriage with Aeneas in the midst of a violent storm, their union coincides with that of the elements, heaven embraces its bride, dispensing fertilizing rain (24).
    2. My car and home are my center. My home holds special memories, and my family enjoys barbecuing at our back yard. I feel proud of myself because I got my car on my own and I was never late on my payments.

  15. 1. I found that the quote that was the most interesting to me is when Mircea Eliade describes a rock revealing itself as "sacred because its very existence is a hierophany: incompressible, invulnerable, it is which man is not" (4). This quote is also a parallel description to the rock in which is discussed multiple times in the bible.

    2. My center is my mother's home, in which I was raised and spent majority of life living in. Whenever I do make it to my mother's home, I feel a sense of relief and comfort. It is a place where I can be my true self without fear of judgment, and am able to reminisce over the many memories I've created over the years.

    ~Danielle Mabon

  16. 1. A quote from Eliade's book that caught my attention is on page 32, "works of human art are imitations of those of divine art."
    2. An important center for my world is the shopping mall, not because I am addicted to shopping, rather shopping gives me an opportunity to escape from the chaos and stress of the real world. Sometimes problems seem so big, but when I take a step back I realize it is not so bad. Having an opportunity to "get away" keeps me sane and happy!
    Christine Hadwar

  17. A quote that I foud interesting was "War or the duel can in no case be explained through rationalistic motives"(29).

    An important ceter fo me is my grandmothers house. Everybody in my family meets at my grandmothers to get together and have fun. I get to see all my aunts, uncles, and cousins. This is the only time I really enjoy being away from home.
    Anthony Castro

  18. 1)A quote I thought found thought provoking is, "[...because of its situation at the center of the cosmos, the temple or sacred city is always the meeting point of the three cosmic regions: heaven, earth, and hell."(15)
    2)A center for me is school because it is where every child begins their extended education and my goal is to be a teacher, so I can help student with this important education. School is also a center for me because I plan to continue my education for the rest of my life. I love to learn and want to learn all I can.
    Katrina Gregory

  19. 1.The quote that i found very interesting was,"Settlement in a new, unknown, uncultivated country is equivalent to an act of Creation."(pg. 10). This quote reflects my childhood, because when I was five I came from Mexico and ended up living in Delano till this present day. I had to learn a new language, adapt to a new place, and new life style. Also, I became familiar with new cities and people as well.
    2.An important center in my life is miles and miles away, Mexico. Its always fun going to Mexico, there is always fun things to do. I could never get bored. The food is so delicious and that is how I end up gain weight when I go. I, especially love Mexico because most of family members get together and update each other on each others life, which is always great.
    Nancy Bejar

  20. 1. The quote on page 46-47 I found interesting: "The transformation of the dead person into an "ancestor" corresponds to the fusion of the individual into an archetypal category. In numerous traditions the souls of the common dead no longer possess a "memory"; that is, they lose what may be called their historical individuality."
    2. An important center in my life is my home. Home is where the heart is. When I come home my family is there. This is where I feel comfort and security.

    By Alessandra Hoyte

  21. "Every temple or place ... is a Sacred Mountain, thus becoming a Center" (12).

    An important center to my world was my home I grew up in in high school. During that time I felt most content in my life and I had no worries. It was a simple time in my life that I miss. My family moved out when I was a senior in high school. Although it doesn't exist anymore, i do have many memories in that house.

    Shawnie Speer

  22. 1. One quote that I found interesting was one in page 29 "Struggles, conflicts, and wars for the most part have a ritual casue and function. They are a stimulating opposition [...], or a struggles between the representatives of two divinities", Mircea Eliade, 1959, (p.29).
    2. The most important center in my life is my home. Home rpresents the center of my world because it gives me security, love, comfort, and good and unforgetable moments.

    Lizeth Ramirez

  23. 1. An interesting quote by Mircea Eliade is '"Humans will do the same.'" (33).
    2. To me this quote is interesting because it makes me think of humans are habitual people. I can relate to being habitual because when I drive to school each morning I take the same route with less traffic. As people we become accustomed to routines that work for us or make our life easy.

    Jose Bolanos