tion to the serpent develops, in the cycle of cultic devotion, from coarse, sense-based interaction to its transcendence. It is and has always been, as the cult of the Pueblo Indians has shown, a significant criterion in the evolution from instinctual, magical interaction to a spiritualized taking of distance. The poisonous reptile symbolizes the inner and
forces that humanity must overcome. This eveni
ng I was able to show you all too cursorily an actual survival of the magical serpent cult, as an example of that primordial condition
ent cult and of the fear of lightning, the inheritor of the ind
igenous peoples and of the gold seeker who ousted them, is captured in a photograph I took on a street in San Francisco. He is Uncle Sam in a stovepipe hat, strolling in his pride past a neoclassical rotun
serpent of Edison's, he has wrested lightning from nature (F
igure 31). The American of today is no longer afraid of the rattlesnake. He kills it; in any case, he does not worship it. It now faces extermination. The lightning
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has replaced it? Natural forces are no longer seen in anthropom
orphic or biomorphic guise, but rather as infinite waves obedient to the human touch. With these waves, the culture of the machine age destroys what the natural sciences, born of myth, so arduously achieved: the space for devotion, which evolved in turn into the space required for reflection. The modern Prometheus and the modern Icarus, Franklin and the Wright brothers, who invented the dirigible airplane, are precisely those ominous destroyers of the sense of distance, who threaten to lead the planet back into chaos. Telegram and telephone destroy the cosmos. Mythical and symbolic thinking strive to form spiritual bonds between humanity and the surrounding world, shaping distance into the space required for devotion and reflection
by the instantaneous electric connection.
1. E. Schmidt, Vorgeschichte Nordamerikas im Geb training. An applicant's iet der Vereinigten Staaten, 1894.
2. Jesse Walter Fewkes, "Archeological Expedition to Arizona in 1895," in Se
venteenth Annual Reportof t
Ethnology, 189596 (Washington, D.C., 1898), 2, 519-74. 3. see Jane E. Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion (Cambridge, 1922), p. 264. 4. [No
absolutely deadly weapon of its poisonous tooth. 4. It is minimally visible to the eye, especially when its colors act according to the desert's laws of mimicry, or when it shoots out from its secret holes in the earth. 5, Phallus. These are qualities which render the serpent unforgettable as a threatening symbol of the ambivalent in nature: death and life
ca and London Images from the Region of the Pueblo Indians of North America Es ist ein altes Buch zu bla