"These two qualities, the daunting and the fascinating, now combine
in a strange harmony of contrasts, and the resultant dual character of the
to which the entire religious development bears witness, at any rate from the
level of the 'daemonic
dread' onwards, is at once the strangest and most noteworthy phenomenon in the
whole history of
- Rudolf Otto, Das Heilige (1923): The Idea of the Holy,
translated by John W. Harvey, Oxford University Press, 1958, p. 31.
"Here is the revelation. And it's a revelation of what? Of a
mysterium. A mystery. And there are two aspects to it: one is the tremendum,
the horrific, and the
other is the fascinans, the charm."
- Joseph Campbell
The Hero’s Journey
pp. 191, 88-89
"We are dealing with something for which there is only one appropriate
tremendum'. The feeling of it may at times come sweeping like a gentle tide,
pervading the mind
with a tranquil mood of deepest worship. It may pass over into a more set and
lasting attitude of
the soul, continuing, as it were, thrillingly vibrant and resonant, until at
last it dies away
and the soul resumes its 'profane', non-religious mood of everyday experience.
It may burst in
sudden eruption up from the depths of the soul with spasms and convulsions, or
lead to the
strangest excitements, to intoxicated frenzy, to transport, and to ecstasy. It
has its wild and
demonic forms and can sink to an almost gristly horror and shuddering. It has
its crude, barbaric
antecedents and early manifestations, and again it may be developed into
something beautiful and
pure and glorious. It may become the hushed, trembling, and speechless humility
of the creature
in the presence of - whom or what?"
- Rudolf Otto, "The Analysis of Tremendum," Chapter Four, Das Heilige "The Idea of the Holy"
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