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rites and symbols of initiation, the mysteries of birth and rebirth
rites and symbols of initiation the mysteries of birth and rebirth Author:mircea eliade "professor eliade takes one particular subject, the almost universal prevalence of human culture of some form of initiatory rite and custom, and treats it in a way that is at once scholarly and interpretative. we find in his book not merely a collection of data but also a profound and insightful attempt to get, so to speak, under the skin of the... more » data, and to discern the underlying meaning and purpose of the initiation. the result is peculiarly satisfying both intellectually and spiritually.the longing for a rebirth, for a new mode of existence, and transfiguration of all that is, has many secular as well as religious expressions.even communism shares it in its own way. yet infact the longing itself is always a religious one. the real substance of secular hope and culture is always some species of heavily disguised religion. perhaps the most interesting portion of this book is the few closing pages on which eliade discusses the way in which initiatory themes find expression in contemporary literature."