Monday, September 5, 2022

The Sacred and The Profane

It is easy to see all that separates this mode of being in the world from the existence of a non-religious man. First of all, the nonreligious man refuses transcendence, accepts the relativity of ' 'reality," and may even come to doubt the meaning of existence. The great cultures of the past too have not been entirely without nonreligious men, and it is not impossible that such men existed even on the archaic levels of culture, although as yet no testimony to their existence there has come to light. 

It is only in the modern societies of the West that non-religious man has developed fully. Modern non-religious man assumes a new existential situation; he regards himself solely as the subject and agent of history, and he refuses all appeal to transcendence. In other words, he accepts no model for humanity outside the human condition as it can be seen in the various historical situations. Man makes himself, and he only makes himself completely in proportion as he desacralizes 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.

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