In imitating the exemplary acts of a god or of a mythic hero, or simply by recounting their adventures, the man of an archaic society detaches himself from profane time and magically re-enters the Great Time, the sacred time.— Mircea Eliade
The most instructive Mircea Eliade quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
The primitive magician, the medicine man or shaman is not only a sick man, he is above all, a sick man who has been cured, who has succeeded in curing himself.
The Experience of Sacred Space makes possible the founding of the world: where the sacred Manifests itself in space, the real unveils itself, the world comes into existence.
For those to whom a stone reveals itself as sacred, its immediate reality is transmuted into supernatural reality. In other words, for those who have a religious experience all nature is capable of revealing itself as cosmic sacrality.
Man makes himself, and he only makes himself completely in proportion as he desacrilizes himself and the world. The sacred is the prime obstacle to his freedom. He will become himself only when he is totally demysticized. He will not be truly free until he has killed the last god.
I don't want to be mediocre, this is the fear of my soul and my body.
To whatever degree he may have desacralized the world, the man who has made his choice in favor of a profane life never succeeds in completely doing away with religious behavior.
Psychoanalysis justifies its importance by asserting that it forces you to look to and accept reality. But what sort of reality? A reality conditioned by the materialistic and scientific ideology of psychoanalysis, that is, a historical product.
It is not without fear and trembling that a historian of religion approaches the problem of myth. This is not only because of that preliminary embarrassing question: what is intended by myth? It is also because the answers given depend for the most part on the documents selected.
The crude product of nature, the object fashioned by the industry of man, acquire their reality, their identity, only to the extent of their participation in a transcendent reality.
To believe that I could, at twenty-three, sacrifice history and culture for the Absolute was further proof that I had not understood India. My vocation was culture, not sainthood.
The way towards 'wisdom' or towards 'freedom' is the way towards your inner being. This is the simplest definition of metaphysics.
Water symbolizes the whole of potentiality - the source of all possible existence.
As long as you have not grasped that you have to die to grow, you are a troubled guest on the dark earth".
The great cosmic illusion is a hierophany.
... One is devoured by Time, not because one lives in Time, but because one believes in its reality, and therefore forgets or despises eternity.
Light does not come from light, but from darkness.
Man becomes aware of the Sacred because it manifests itself, shows itself, as something wholly different from the Profane.
And I realize how useless wails are and how gratuitous melancholy is.
Whether religion is man-made is a question for philosophers or theologians.
But the forms are man-made. They are a human response to something. As a historian of religions, I am interested in those expressions.
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.
A religious phenomenon will only be recognized as such if it is grasped at its own level, that is to say, if it is studied as something religious. To try to grasp the essence of such phenomenon by means of physiology, psychology, sociology, economics, linguistics, art or any other study is false; it misses the one unique and irreducible element in it - the element of the sacred.
It would be frightening to think that in all the Cosmos, which is so harmonious, so complete and equal to itself, that only human life is happening randomly, that only one's destiny lacks meaning.
The sacred tree, the sacred stone are not adored as stone or tree;
they are worshipped precisely because they are hierophanies, because they show something that is no longer stone or tree but sacred, the ganz andere or 'wholly other.'
to have solely one thought, but it to be capable to destroy the universe.