Sacred is a word, it is language. But it is a word that points directly to the heart and mind. That which is said to be sacred, I feel it is so if it is real, if it is honest, clear, true, like a river that is safe to drink from because we come by it honestly and can trust the source. When indigenous people say land is sacred, we can trust what they say, because to be indigenous is to have an eternal and intimate relationship with the land you are indigenous to. We are indigenous when we know we are from the land, that it is inside us, and we are in it. Once we look at land like it is ‘private property’, we think it belongs to us, that we own land, that it is an object, that is madness and not indigenous, and such an idea cannot even be made sacred by any symbol.
So, ‘sacred’ it is a way of approaching an intimate part of us, maybe a delicate part, or just an internal part, so we have to really care about what is going in and out, because this will affect our organs, our emotional life, our energy, life and we are aware that all we do affects our children, and theirs. We call upon ancestors, so we can act like ancestors, who will be called upon when freshness and beauty of life is celebrated, and for how to care for it.
If we do not care, then, in the ruins of culture and coughing for life amidst the poisons, none of what we do will be remembered, or matter, so who cares. Nothing sacred here. Another oil spill, just the cost of doing business, nothing sacred.
First and foremost, it is we, the ones who can breathe the word sacred, who are sacred. Our mind, heart, thoughts, will, breath, our sexuality, our relations, our every cell is sacred, and we are completely free whichever gender we are, and one with Divine, our Creator, and we are the authority on ourselves, on sacred, and the students of nature.. But we are told not, and often don’t treat ourselves that way.
So sacredness, it also speaks of what is actually going on , not just what is being said. For me, there are ways that I can and do actually drink straight from the rivers of this land, because there are times and places where they are clean for me, and my understanding of them is clear. This even though we by and large dump profane amounts of our waste in our rivers, and then treat them chemically and systemically before they arrive in the tap, for ‘convenience’. So there is a sacredness about me and the river at that point where I am drinking the water, that allows me to do this, I have practises and I am aware, and I can tell the truth about it. So that which is sacred, it can be different, and others would never drink from the rivers of this territory, believing them to be always polluted. But just because someone believes something, it is not necessarily true. Even my skepticism, my adventurousness, my childlike nature, all are sacred.
So, if I am not coming at this in an honest way, if I am just showing off, I can get sick from those same rivers. So, there is observation of myself and what is actually going on, that allows me to do this. That is a kind of ceremony.
Among people, I observe their ceremony, whether they call it ceremony or not, to observe their awareness, their sense of sacredness. In a ceremony of mindless consumption, I may abstain, or I may have a little taste, but I won’t get lost in it. In a ceremony of truth and empowerment, or one that names the divine within me-within all, I will drink wholeheartedly. If a ceremony suggests otherness, I ignore the suggestion of separation, of superiority. Where the ceremony calls on specific ancestors or deities I relate more distantly to, I call on one’s closer to my circle, for I know they are all related. If a priest, or an article on Elephant Journal, whatever authority, uses ‘sacredness’ to make me feel less so and in need of it, so that I must rely on the author, I rebel against that. I already know I am sacred. If a ceremony calls me forth as such, I show up for it that way. If it doesn’t, I leave empty-handed.
The name of the religion doesn’t matter, church, temple, forest. The fewer doors the better, the more direct, the purer it is. My own faith commits sacrilege by closing it’s ceremonies to members only, God does not dismember! I ignore this sin, and drink from what it offers because I am a sacred beggar, I don’t refuse anything.
Humanity comes in streams and rivers, what is sacred is often a meeting by the river. A ceremony makes every drop in the river divine, by making us take steps to look at it, and sacredness helps us see how we actually are, and what we are taking in.