“What does it mean to experience the Sacred?”
Actually I came across this question raised by an inquiring philosopher Sam Keen. I am owning this question for now as my writing prompt. Raising a question like this is enough to put things into perspective. The answer is not as important as the question is, because for this one question there will be as many answers as the number of people on this planet.
Is there ONE WAY of experiencing the Sacred?
What is deemed Sacred in the first place?
These are the two questions that seem to follow immediately. Of even more importance is the second question – What is deemed as Sacred?
How and what do we define Sacred?
Is Sacred something permanent, eternal?
Is Sacred physical or perceived perceptions? What is Sacred?
Is Sacredness an innate quality of all things?
Can there be Sacred in Ugly?
The synonyms for Sacred are “Blessed, Holy, Hallowed”.
That implies that Sacred is an attribute I place on something or someone. Seen from that angle there is a judgment built into what I define as Sacred because perceptions are as many and varied as the 6.5 billion inhabiting this planet and each individual has their own definition of what constitutes Sacred.
Is Sacredness a universal concept that everyone can rely on, understand, follow without arguments?
If ‘Sacred’ is a quality we experience, can it be objectified?
Is Sacred directly related to objects, or perceptions and experiences of those objects?
In other words, Is Sacred a Noun or a Verb?
Actually it is neither – it is an adjective – a meaning or quality describing a thing, place or person.
So in order to experience the Sacred, there has to be a place, thing or person attached to it. I can only experience Sacred through something.
After all those questions I come back to the original question – a full circle. How would I know I am experiencing or “What does it mean to experience the Sacred?
Here are my thoughts through exploration.
Experiencing the Sacred regardless of what it is attached to will leave me feeling pure, joyous, in awe, ecstatic, in wonder, amazed, inspired, filled with Love, motivated to act, accepting of everything, expansive, inclusive………
Fully present in the moment – in the full knowledge of the futility of the thing that I am experiencing and the impermanence of the experience itself.
(And that last statement is the catch.)
Whatever is causing me to feel that – is my experience of the Sacred – in that moment
[Photo by Padma Ayyagari]