Arachic Creation Essay, Research Paper
One archaic theme that is radically different from most other religions is their view of the creation of the world. In Genesis, it is stated that God created heaven, Earth, and everything else we see. But, For Religious man of archaic culture, the world is renewed annually; in other words, with each New Year it recovers its original sanctity that it possessed when it came from the Creator s hands. (pg 75). The New Year celebration is basically the world being created all over again. What must first be understood is the archaic perspective of time. It isn t the linear concept (Judaism, Islam etc.), where time has one beginning and will have one end. Archaic time is circular, meaning an annual natural cycle or what we know as a solar year.
In the book on page 77 it states the ritual used that describes the creation of the world. During the last days of the year that was ending and the first days of the New Year, the Poem of Creation, the Enuma elish, was solemnly recited. This ritual recitation reactualized the combat between Marduk and the marine monster Tiamat, a combat that took place ab origine and put an end to chaos from Tiamat’s dismembered body and created man from the blood of the demon Kingu, Tiamats chief ally. That this commemoration of the Creation was in fact a re-actualization of the cosmogonic act is shown both by the rituals and in the formulas recited during the ceremony. The combat between Tiamat and Marduk, that is, was mimed by a battle between two groups of actors, a cere monial that we find again among the Hittites (again in the frame of the dramatic scenario of the New Year), among the Egyptians, and at Ras Shamra. The battle between two groups of actors repeated the passage from chaos to cosmos, actualized the cosmogony. The mythical event became present once again. “May he continue to conquer Tiamat and shorten his days!” the priest cried. The combat, the victory, and the Creation took place at that instant, hic et nunc.
So how does this tie into sacred time? This ritual was a return to pure time. It was a time to purify yourself being that all sinful things were eliminated from the past year. What also must be understood is there is ordinary profane time in which acts without religious meaning take place. There is also sacred time, the time of festivals. By means of religious rites the religious person can pass without danger from ordinary time to sacred time. During these festivals, the archaic person re-actualizes the time in which the gods first acted in relation to the humans as a whole and the world. Often these festivals contain ordinary activities, such as building a house or boat. But these activities are done in a specific ceremonial or ritualistic way, for they are done in imitation of the gods. These gods, in the beginning, showed humans how to do all these things. Through their ritual activities the religious persons enter into the primordial eternity in which the gods first and most fully related to human beings. By symbolically participating in the annihilation of the world, man to was created anew ..he had reintegrated the fabulous time of creation, hence a sacred and strong time-sacred because transfigured by the presence of the gods, strong because it was the time that belonged, and belonged only, to the most gigantic creation ever accomplished, that of the universe. (pg. 79)
In reference to sacred space and creation, Eliade makes numerous points tying the two together. The archaic people believed that once a person was born, that person s spirit needs to born again. Without the sacred spaces, there would be no way of moving from one existence to another. There would also be no form of communication with the world of gods. Sacred space acts as a link that functions as a connection between the present and the time of creation. The sacred reveals absolute reality and at the same time makes orientation possible; hence it founds the world in the sense that it fixes the limits and establishes the order of the world. (pg 30).