1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The cyclical vision of time and the yugas as a pessimistic vision of life

Discussion in 'Religion & Spirituality' started by JonhOliver, 12 August 2018 at 14:03.

  1. JonhOliver

    JonhOliver Junior Member

    I'm currently reading the sacred and the profane by Mircea Eliade, and he says something very interesting regarding the notion of sacred Time. Basically, his idea is that in cultures more connected to spirituality, the beginning of a new year marks the beginning of a new purified world, meaning that every new year, trough the use of rites, these cultures reenact the creation of the world by the gods. This means that every new year the people of the culture are also "purified" and have their "sins" cleansed. He then says that the conception of the four ages and the yugas is pessimistic, since it leads humanity to be in constant decay and on the path towards destruction, and that it´s created when religious elites lose their connection with the more primal religion.
    While I've found the book very insightful, i really can't agree with this. I could accept his conception if humanity lived forever like in the golden age, being in tune with the divine and spiritual truths. What happens though, is that those spiritual truths are forgotten and the efficacy of the rites is lost, which means that the cosmos isn't "renewed" every year but that it simply keeps becoming more chaotic, and the faults and "sins" of the people keep adding up. Thus there is gradual decline, leading to the conception of the yugas. We can also see the same cycles on a civilization cycle, like Oswald Spengler showed, so it makes sense that the cosmos would also work the same way.
    Something that i´ve also noted regarding him, is that he has a lot of admiration for more primitive cultures and tribes, native american and Polynesians for example, instead of mentioning more examples from pagan Europe or some of the great religions like hinduism, buddhism or islam. Is this a constant through out his work and might it affect some of his ideas, or am i just giving it to much attention.
     
  2. RabGospodnyy

    RabGospodnyy Junior Member

    Eliade has written a lot on what you call 'primitive' cultures and their rites (American Indians, Australian Aboriginals, shamanism and techniques of ecstasy), but I wouldn't call it a constant as such. He simply did a lot of research on these subjects, but this does not mean that he was biased against any other religion. To my knowledge, he always had great respect for Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism.
     
  3. Boreas

    Boreas Senior Member Staff Member Sustaining Member

    Yet Eliade also thought that the religions that adopted the linear world view with their creation and armageddon tales represented the "terror of history".

    There is no pessimism in the yuga theory to my opinion, once you understand that the cycles of involution and evolution work in an helix that goes descending and ascending cycles, and once traversed cycle never repeats in the same manner despite the constants of the Dharmic law. The large cycle also have their part cycles which means there is the kaliyuga of the satya yuga and vice versa. Cycles upon cycles.
     
  4. RabGospodnyy

    RabGospodnyy Junior Member

    Thank you for clearing that up, Boreas. I never knew that Eliade said something like that. It's funny, because Christianity, Judaism, and Islam do have strong cyclical aspects. This might not be apparent at first glance, but they are present.
     
  5. Boreas

    Boreas Senior Member Staff Member Sustaining Member

    Yet the main vision of the three monotheisms is the historical importance. Once you adapt this descendance of the mythical patterns into history and adapt it to the cyclical view of time and cosmos with its involutionary and evolutionary cycles, it starts to make sense.
     
  6. Boreas

    Boreas Senior Member Staff Member Sustaining Member

    [​IMG]
     
  7. JonhOliver

    JonhOliver Junior Member

    I complained about this, because focusing on these cultures might lead him to have a more telluric and matriarchal view of spirituality, instead of a solar and uranian view. I will admit though that i know almost nothing about these tribes and shamanism, so i might just be being biased against them.