Culture of Polis, Year XVIII (2021), Issue 44, pp. 223–238
ISSN 1820-4589

VESNA GAJIĆ
Faculty of Philosophy, Novi Sad, Serbia
vesna.adic@gmail.com

UDC: 159.964124.6
https://doi.org/10.51738/Kpolisa2021.18.1r.3.05

Review work
Received: 2021-01-16
Approved: 2021-02-14
Online: 2021-03-08

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PRIMORDIJALNI SIMBOLI – ZAJEDNIČKA RIZNICA ČOVEČANSTVA
PRIMORDIAL SYMBOLS – THE COMMON TREASURY OF MANKIND

SUMMARY
The paper explores the wide distribution of symbols whose religious and folklore interpretations are the same or similar among different cultures. The definition of symbols and their origin are considered, with reference to the theory of the “Mundus Imaginalis” of the orientalist Henry Corben, and its similarity with the “active imagination” of the psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung. The resemblances of the legends about the Cosmic man and the Centre of the world are followed through various mythologies, folklore traditions and cults. The Cosmic man – the first human being – who usually makes a sacrifice in order for the world to emerge and survive, in many cultures represents the embodiment of the highest virtues, towards which one should strive. The human form as the basis for temples or various sacral diagrams can be found in all ancient religious traditions and always symbolizes Imago Mundi – image of the world. At its center is the “navel” of the world, the Pillar of the Universe, Axis Mundi, which connects the earth with the sky and the underworld, and represents the axis around which the world revolves. Exploring these sets of symbols, we see that their essential aspect should not be understood as geographical places to be located, or personifications of some historical figures whose true identity needs to be interpreted. On the contrary, the symbols indicate that the search for meaning is, above all, internal; immersing ourselves in the domain of the archetype, we reflect on the essential questions of the purpose and origin of the universe, the nature of the self, kinship with the rest of humanity, which is why the symbolic layer of the human psyche helps us fight against the general alienation of the modern world.
KEYWORDS
symbol, archetype, collective unconscious, psychoanalysis, religion, tradition

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