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

Faculty of Philosophy, Novi Sad, Serbia

UDC: 159.964124.6

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


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.
symbol, archetype, collective unconscious, psychoanalysis, religion, tradition


  1. Адић, Весна. 2016. „Митраизам – култ омиљен међу римским војницима.”.Витешка култура, год V, бр 5, Београд : Велики приорат Витезова Темплара Србије, 35–65
  2. Албахари Давид, Рихард Вилхелм, Карл Густав Јунг. 1982. (прир.). Тајна златног цвета : кинеска књига живота. Ниш: Градина
  3. Елијаде, Мирча. 1996. Мефистофелес и Андрогин. Чачак : Градац
  4. Елијаде, Мирча. 2006. Симболизам, свето и уметности. Крушевац : Гутенбергова галаксија
  5. Генон, Рене. 2007. Краљ света. Београд : Укронија
  6. Јунг, Карл Густав. 1996. Човек и његови симболи. Београд : Народна књига – Алфа
  7. Рот, Никола. 2004. Знакови и значења. Вербална и невербална комуникација. Београд: Плато
  8. Сеџвик, Марк. 2006. Против модерног света – Традиционализам, тајна интелектуална историја двадесетог века. Београд: Укронија
  9. Вукашиновић, Владимир. 1994. „Православље, једна еколошка вера”. Беседа, Православни богословски часопис епархије бачке (1–4/94): 49–60.
  10. Brown, Lawrence Parmly. 1921. „The Cosmic Man and Homo Signorum.” The Open Court: Iss. 1 , Article 2, 10–37
  11. Burckhardt, Titus. 2007. Sveta umjetnost na Istoku i na Zapadu: njena načela i metodi. Sarajevo: Tugra
  12. Chevalier, Jean i Alain Gheerbrant, ur. 1989. Rječnik simbola – mitovi, sni, običaji, geste, oblici, likovi, boje, brojevi. Zagreb : Nakladni zavod MH
  13. Cassirer, Ernst. 1978. Ogled o čovjeku, uvod u filozofiju ljudske kulture. Zagreb: Naprijed
  14. Corbin, Henry. 1964. „Mundus Imaginalis: or the Imaginary and the Imaginal”. Cahiers internationaux de symbolisme (br. 6): pp. 3—26
  15. Cusack, Carole M. 2011. The Sacred Tree – Ancient and Medieval Manifestations. Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing
  16. Daryaee, Touraj. 2003. „Gayomard: King of Clay or Mountain? The epithet of the First Man in the Zoroastrian Tradition”. Paitimana, Essays in Iranian, Indo-European, and Indian Studies in Honor of Hanns-Peter Schmidt, (Vol I–II): pp. 339–349
  17. De Boer, Jelle Z. i John R. Hale. 2000. „The Geological Origins of the Oracle at Delphi, Greece”. Geological Society London Special Publications 171(1): pp. 399–412
  18. Guénon, Rene. 1995. Fundamental Symbols: The Universal Language of Sacred Science. Cambridge: Quinta Essentia
  19. Franses A. Jejts. 2012.Veština pamćenjа. Novi Sad : Mediterran publishing
  20. Jung, Carl Gustav. 1984. Psihologija i alkemija. Zagreb: Naprijed
  21. Lazar, Žolt. 2017. Ogledi o okultizmu, Novi Sad : Mediterran Publishing
  22. Lechler, George. 1937. „The Tree of Life in Indo-European and Islamic Cultures”, Ars Islamica (Vol. 4): pp. 369–419
  23. Mallory, James. P. and Douglas Q. Adams (co-editors). 1997.  Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. Chicago : Taylor & Francis
  24. Pajin, Dušan. 1986. Tantrizam i joga. Beograd: Prosveta
  25. Pajin, Dušan. (ur.) 1991. Početak i kraj sveta. Gornji Milanovac : Dečje novine
  26. Renard, John. 1996. Seven Doors to Islam: Spirituality and the Religious Life of Muslims. Berkeley, CA:  University of California Press
  27. Roob, Alexander. 2001. Alchemy & Mysticism : The Hermetic Museum. Cologne : Taschen
  28. Simpson, Jacqueline, R. 1986. „King Arthur’s Enchanted Sleep: Early Nineteenth Century Legends”, Folklore 97, (no. 2): 206–9
  29. Stroik, Duncan G. 2012. The Church Building as a Sacred Place: Beauty, Transcendence, and the Eternal. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications
  30. Šolem, Geršom. 2001. Kabala i njena simbolika. Beograd: Plavi krug
  31. Quispel, Gilles. 1992. „Hermes Trismegistus and the Origins of Gnosticism” Vigiliae Christianae (Vol. 46, No. 1): pp. 1–19