Selected Problems of Metaphysics and Ontology
3. Metaphysics and Ontology of Archaic Nations
The historical images of an archaic man result from one ontological concept: being really exists as long as it imitates or repeats an archetype. Everything that is not included in this formula is deprived of meaning and does not have real existence. People from traditional cultures are considered to be real when they, in a certain sense, stop being themselves and participate in the imitation and repetition of what has been preserved by tradition and therefore they should try hard to become archetypal and paradigmatic (see: Eliade, M.: Mýtus o věčném návratu. Praha: OIKOYMENH, 2009, p. 36). Eliade compares archaic ontology with Plato’s idea of the passage of history.
A deeper analysis of archetypality and paradigmacity enforcement, the imitation and repetition of the traditions of many years can allow us to understand that an ← 19 | 20 → archaic man tolerates history with difficulty; he even tries to cover and eliminate it. His collective memory is ahistorical – it stores personalities and stories which become archetypes so they are stored without any exceptional personalities. Archaic society defended itself in various ways against anything new involving history (see e.g.: Sandywell, B.: The Beginnings of European Theorizing – reflexivity in the Archaic Age, Psychology Press, 1996).
All the concepts of “primitive” societies included an idea of the beginning and end of a certain time period which results from the observation and experience of the biocosmological rhythm. A system of periodic purification is a part of these...
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