Tell me what “the sacred” means to you. Win a $25 Amazon gift card.
The contest is closed. Thanks for all the great comments!
If I say something is “sacred,” what does that mean to you?
Personally, I don’t believe in sky fairies or genies in bottles.
But I do feel a sense of sanctity moving through all of life. It’s this feeling that a tree is not just a tree. The building I am living in is not just a building. The woman who made my coffee today is not just a woman. And that cup of coffee was not just a cup of coffee.
So what are those things, then?
I don’t know. To me, they are symbols of themselves, but there’s more to it than that. They are sacred.
I’m not inspired to worship this sanctity—if “worship” means to put something on a pedestal and honor it as being more sacred than myself. I’m not going to bow down and offer my obeisance to coffee (although sometimes I feel like I want to). I am tired of gods that put distance between themselves and me by demanding my worship. That’s hierarchical and authoritarian.
Anything that attempts to gain my devotion through hierarchy, classism, authority, or fear is not valid.
Whatever the sacred is, it doesn’t need authority or obedience.
So no—I am not inspired to worship the sacred.
I am, however, deeply inspired to honor it, and to connect with it by transcending who I think I am (and this does require humbling myself—or at least, humbling my ego.)
Because like I said, that tree is not just a tree. That coffee is not just coffee. That woman is not just a woman. And if these things hold true, then it holds true that I am not just myself.
If I can transcend who and what I think I am, and connect with my true sacred nature, then could I not also connect with that tree and that woman? With all of life and existence? With that sense of divinity I feel flowing through it all? Could I, maybe, possibly, feel the divine in my own soul—as more than just an idea? Could I experience godhead? Could I humble myself and feel myself exalted in the same movement? Could I connect with you as you read these words? Is the sacred essence that breathes life into you and me the same thing? Can you feel me as part of you as you read these words?
I don’t know.
In a previous article with this new-age-hippie slant, I shared my new personal definitions of “sacred.” Here they are again, slightly modified:
– Existing both higher than and deeper than the objects and experiences of everyday life.
– Facilitating the expansion of consciousness of love.
– Bringing an individual closer to the eternal within themselves, within others, and within the Universe as a whole; a source of, and point of connection with, awe and with love; a source of wisdom and love; a source of connection with life.
Now I’m wondering about you, my kin, my other self—what do you say? Do you feel the sacred, and what does it mean for you? How does it touch your life?
Come up with your own definition, and maybe an example of when you felt the sacred in action. Then share them in a comment on underneath this article.
I’ll choose a few of the most interesting, thoughtful answers and call them winners.
As with any contest, there are a few rules. Guidelines, I mean.
1. Don’t define “sacred” by saying it’s “holy” or “divine.” Those are just synonyms for “sacred,” and they tell me nothing.
2. Don’t copy a definition from another source. Come on, that’s plagiarism. Only lazy people plagiarize things.
3. I’m probably going to show favor to ideas that don’t reflect organized religion. Organized religion isn’t what I’m referring to when I talk about the sacred (although I do sense its presence there…sometimes). That said, share what’s in your heart. This is more about learning from each other than being right or wrong.
4. If you don’t know where to start, I have a bunch of questions in this article that can help you play with ideas about sanctity and defining/designing your own god. (If you click the article, scroll down; the questions are in a paragraph under the picture of the girl in the tree.)
Submit your comment and subscribe to the series “Redefining the Sacred.” (The subscribe button is at the bottom of this page. Click it to see a list of categories you can subscribe to. Check “Redefining the Sacred.” Sorry I have to explain all this right here—this website is pretty new, and I’m still working out kinks and simplifying things.)
I’ll pick two comments as the winners and send them a $25 gift card to Amazon.
Love to you!