In the Sacred

By: Marjory Mejia

lotus mandala

I use the word sacred a lot, as if to reawaken its meaning in the memory of our being. Am I the one using it or is it using me? Perhaps words are the ones to choose and take possession of us, slowly making their way into our consciousness and whole being.

Do you often find yourself yearning for another way of being in the world? You are not alone. There are many of us feeling this way, craving this remembering to heal the entanglement in the depths of our being. In the midst of the forgetfulness plaguing modernity, there is this longing and nostalgia at the core of our being that peaks its head on a regular basis. Luckily, however painful its absence is in our lives, the memory of the sacred has not been completely erased from our awareness. Close your eyes and feel the pulse of your being reflecting the world around you.

The Sacred and the Profane by Mircea Eliade“The cosmos is an organism at once real, living, and sacred…which renews itself periodically.” We are here connecting with something ancient within us. Archaic religious humans longed and yearned to experience the sacred with the knowledge that “where the sacred manifests itself in space, the real unveils itself.” We are yearning for the sacred, for being, for the real. All the quotes in this post come from this illuminating book I love,  The Sacred and the Profane, where Mircea Eliade contemplates and explores how far modern human beings have come from an experience of the world as sacred. Modern humans have turned the sacred cosmos into a desacralized wasteland, devoid of all meaning. The magical cosmos has become a machine without spirit.

Eliade further explains how we modern humans have not been successful in completely eradicating the sacred from our profane world. There are still remnants of the sacred in our consciousness and this is why we are disenchanted with our desacralized world. Yet we desacralize our world more every day and lose ourselves in the process. Just look around and see how we treat the Earth that sustains us, each other and the creatures and beings that share its land and waters with us. What we do to them we do to ourselves. Seeing the wasteland we are creating hurts our eyes and hearts. Is this enough to inspire change? It’s time to wake up and realize that even our best efforts to preserve the Earth’s beauty and resources are banal attempts that fail because we can’t yet perceive its sacredness. The Earth is more than a precious collection of resources. We have turned sacred earth into an object we exploit. There is something tainting our vision and blocking our hearts.

How do we desacralize our world? Take for example agricultural work that once signified the coming together of heaven and earth. In our desacralized society, “it has become a profane act, justified by the economic profit that it brings. The ground is tilled to be exploited; the end pursued is profit and food. Emptied of symbolism, agricultural work becomes at once opaque and exhausting; it reveals no meaning, it makes possible no opening toward the universal, toward the world of spirit.” Nothing signifies anything anymore.

Even though we modern humans can try hard to abolish part of our own nature, inherited from our ancestors; it still beats strong in our hearts. Even the most profane existence exhibits traces of a sacred experience of the world. There is both the memory still alive in us of feeling part of a cosmos and the reality of what we have created or destroyed in our misguided search for power. So how do we recover the sacred, how do we remember the knowledge and feeling that is within us already? Not satisfied with just traces of the sacred, is it possible to recover this heightened state of awareness in its totality, and experience the world from a different perspective that shifts not just our vision but the way we live? In the tradition of archaic religious humans, we can preserve the vision of cosmos as “as a divine creation …impregnated with sacredness” and through myths, rituals, rites of passages, ceremonies and the healing of our relationship with the whole cosmos, restore its order and sacredness.

Let’s not forget the language of this magical world that speaks to our being through symbols. Remember that the “world is neither mute nor opaque, that it is not an inert thing without purpose or significance. For religious man, the cosmos lives and speaks.” Everything becomes a cipher and “even the most physiological gesture can signify a spiritual act.” Eliade states that symbols allow the world to become transparent and show its transcendence. Just as the sky reflects expansion and infinity, the earth represents nurturance and grounding; both revealing the many dimensions of the sacred. Even if humans are not aware of the transmission, the symbol continues to convey its message. Such is the power of the symbol to reach under our skin and beyond our intelligence to touch our spirit.

How do we inhabit and engage with a world that is alive and conscious, sending messages to us as we open to receive them? In renewing our understanding of this lost language and connection, we open to “an infinite series of experiences that could be termed cosmic.” Perhaps the key in healing our sickness and our broken web lies in our ability to open to the sacred world we belong to and humbly listen to nature and cosmos. Nature still charms and enchants us the more we open our hearts in surrender. When we accept that we live in a sacred world and that we are part of it, our relationship to all that this world encompasses is transformed; for how can we hurt, ignore or not love and respect that which shares our very essence and gives us life?

May the ability to experience the sacred resurface from our depths where it lies buried, still alive and moving in strange motions in the dark corners of our subconscious and collective unconscious. May we reconnect with this lost power as we start to feel and see the sacred once again.

Praying for the awakening of healing memory, vision and action,

Marjory

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May 31, 2010
10 comments
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10 responses to “In the Sacred”

  1. Sean Hall says:

    Marjory, thank you for your nuanced thoughts. It rings true to me that our collective human view of a desacralized world is at the root of its exploitation and destruction. I also love that you offer a solution: “Perhaps the key in healing our sickness and our broken web lies in our ability to open to the sacred world we belong to and humbly listen to nature and cosmos.”

    If only those that have such a banal view, and those that are most responsible for exploitation could open in that way. At times this seems unlikely, and for that reason I especially appreciate your closing prayer. I also pray for my own and others “awakening of healing memory, vision and action”.

  2. Julie says:

    “Even if humans are not aware of the transmission, the symbol continues to convey its message. Such is the power of the symbol to reach under our skin and beyond our intelligence to touch our spirit.”
    Your post brings me a renewed hope and a remembering of something I know, but forget in troubled times. Thank you, dear.

  3. Tom says:

    This is another beautiful post, Marjory – thank you for consistently reminding us of the sacred. Here’s praying that more of us can remember how to live in that awe-inspiring place where Heaven and Earth meet.

  4. Oh Marjory, my heart cries for the rediscovery of the sacred on a global level. See how much damage can be caused by placing our sacredness outside of ourselves, outside of our earth, separating ourselves and our planet from this divine connection. This post, your words, so beautifully written, so clearly from a heart that is connected, that does see. And I am really glad I read this just before going outside to start placing the rocks in formation on the spiral mound I’m building in my garden, as a symbol of the sacredness I always want to bring to this place and all that inhabit it, and all who come to visit here. And a reminder to myself when I forget what I am. I’m going to think of your post while I am placing rocks today. :-) Much love to you.

  5. Marjory says:

    Thanks Sean! I appreciate your beautiful comment. May our prayers be heard!

  6. Marjory says:

    Thanks Julie, so glad this post brings hope to your heart. To the power
    of symbols!!! :)

  7. Marjory says:

    Beautiful prayer, thank you Tom!

  8. Marjory says:

    Cat, I have a beautiful image of you and your spiral mound in the garden. Lovely Goddess energy enveloping you and us all. Thank you for your loving words. :D

  9. Margarita says:

    Marjory,
    This post has touched my heart in a special way. Thank you for waking us up about the sacredness of our Cosmos: ” Close your eyes and feel the pulse of your being reflecting the world around you.”

    “Luckily, even though we modern humans can try hard to abolish part of our own nature, inherited from our ancestors; it still beats strong in our hearts. Even the most profane existence exhibits traces of a sacred experience of the world.”

    “The Earth is more than a precious collection of resources. We have turned sacred earth into an object we exploit. There is something tainting our vision and blocking our hearts.”

    I believe your words are touching our consciousnesses and opening many eyes and hearts.
    Sending you all my love,
    Margarita

  10. Ian Lin says:

    I like this thought: “Perhaps words are the ones to choose and take possession of us, slowly making their way into our consciousness and whole being.” Philosophers argue whether changes originate internally or externally, but looking at nature, at say, a cell, we know that boundaries are places of mutual interaction. Perhaps the sacred and the You are taking possession of each other.

    I’m hopeful about humanity’s ability to an awareness of Sacredness. I see people try every Sunday at churches, five times a day during ritual prayer. I can tell there are many organizations working for the Poor, or endangered species, cleaning up environmental disasters, recovering from storms or earthquakes. Its imperfect, of course, but I believe that deep within all of that is a knowledge and desire of something divine.

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