46 Spirituality Studies 9-1 Spring 2023 out that a person’s participation in an irreversible sequence of historical events makes him defenseless against them, which usually leads to anxiety and pessimism. Eliade created a name for this condition: the terror of history. Although he realizes that the progression of time cannot be ignored, the reality of linearly flowing time is not the only reality for him, and it certainly should not be the reality which is determinative for our existence. Eliade’s homo religiosus, aware of the wholeness of the world, which also includes sacredness, must necessarily take into account his existential base and his own mortality, which is defined by his personality and physical anchoring in historical time. However, he also realizes that the profane being of a human also contains the sacred character of being. That is timeless, eternal, unchanging, and immortal. Being thus happens in an endless sequence of many here and now, which, according to Eliade, radically changes the human attitude towards the world and towards oneself. The perception and experience of the sacred side of being and the timelessness that is organically connected to it can be understood as a launch pad for a homo religiosus to be an authentic being in the world. Eliade’s revelation of the terror of history, which he connects with the desire to eliminate it, is directly related to man’s efforts to free himself from historicity and its consequences. Eliade, who comes into contact with existentialist philosophy, outlines a way out of the reflected crisis of existence, which must end one day. The concept of the sacred, which transcends reality but is a part of existence, is a way out of the crisis of consciousness, expressed for example by Sartre’s awareness of one’s own mortality, insignificance, and the resulting helplessness. Eliade observes how the consciousness of a person who perceives immanent reality changes qualitatively, compared to the cruel disillusionment to which a person who is torn from the concept of the sacred and thus from the wholeness of the world is thrown. He finds the ideal in archaic societies, whose nature was a natural coexistence with nature and the related ability to build on this relationship and be inspired by it. Natural time is cyclical. If one follows it rather than linear time, one gains the necessary “freedom of death”. Following the pattern of nature, unsatisfactory situations can be definitively ended and a completely new life can begin again. This man defines himself, as Heidegger claims, always in relation to a definitive end and always tends to the only possible choice – to be. Closely related to the concept of homo religiosus is the concept of the so-called archaic societies, which Eliade identifies with original, traditional, and primordial (Rennie 1996, 42). So we re-perceive the desire for an authentic reality characterized by wholeness and a special relationship to the sacred. Eliade thought that by understanding these cultures and interpreting their mythologies, rituals, and traditions, we can more easily understand the universality of human beings and their existential needs. That is the main characteristic of archaic societies: “it is their revolt against concrete, historical time, their nostalgia for a periodical return to the mythical time of the beginning of things, to the ‘Great Time’.” (Eliade 1959, xi). These nations are characterized by a genuine respect for their environment, nature, and space. They perceive that nature has its own rhythm and not even human’s will can change this fact. At the same time, however, they try to live in harmony with natural cycles. And that, according to Eliade, is authentic being. This is how they can establish a connection between the world and themselves; this is how they can understand their life and thus discover meaning in being itself. However, the human mind must be able to see these phenomena as symbolic. “To open ourselves to the universe is also an opening to the deep meaning of each thing. Spring does not mean only the germination of plants. Young adolescents feel something more in their bodies: renewal, rebirth. This is also the case with the sacred tree in some archaic communities. The sacredness of the tree does not originate in the naivety of a few poor natives who worship it for no reason, but comes from the symbolism of the leaves that fall in autumn and always sprout again in spring. The sacred tree is a beautiful expression of the mystery of continuous cosmic creation.” (Eliade 1979, 58). True authenticity, according to Eliade, stems from a person’s ability to transcend their own human limitations and participate in something that transcends them (Kováč 1998, 52). He participates by being able to see transcendence in the things and phenomena around him. Platonism is clearly manifested in this approach. Archaic people attribute real value only to ideal phenomena and the relations between them, while they created these relations imaginatively. Archaic man creates authentic being on a symbolic level; he considered as real only “what was exemplary executed or created by the deities at the beginning of time,” while “the reality of everyday life was, in the understanding of archaic man, only a function of the celestial archetype” (Kováč 1998, 52). The sacred side of life is thus valued as the only authentic reality, while the profane world is reflected in it like the shadows in Plato’s cave. “And the crucial difference between the man of the archaic civilizations and modern, historical man lies in the increasing value the latter gives to historical events, that is, to the ‘novelties’ that, for traditional man, represented either meaningless conjunctures or infractions of norms (hence ‘faults’, ‘sins’, and so on) and that, as such, required to be expelled (abolished) periodically. The man who adopts the historical viewpoint would