Reblog: Experiencing the Sacred

This is a reblog of my latest post from my channel at SageWoman’s blog, on Witches and Pagans.

Friend and fellow colleague, Kevin Emmons, once described the sacred as “A simple thought that isn’t so simple. What we see and experience as sacred is what allows us to glimpse the eternal through cracks in consciousness caught in the field of time.” I love it when people say things that really make you think. You can find links to other inspiring writers on my personal blog at Down the Forest Path.

As a Druid and animist, to me everything is sacred. Everything is sacred, and yet everything is also mundane. As author and Zen teacher Charlotte Joko Beck once said “Nothing is special. And when nothing is special, everything is”. She wrote an entire book, called Nothing Special. I highly recommend it.

Kevin’s words are beautiful, evoking an image of eternity in which we can only catch glimpses. My Zen Buddhist tendencies lead me to question whether anything is eternal, as the main tenet of Buddhism is the impermanence of everything, and yet there is a certain paradox in that the energy of life is never-changing: it only changes in the forms that it takes. Energy manifests itself as different forms of matter dependent on circumstances such as environment, genetics, etc. So yes, the energy is eternal, but the manifestation is not.

Catching glimpses of this energy, of the sacred through cracks in consciousness is an absolutely delicious concept. It reminds me of Emily Dickinson’s poetry, when she speaks of nature as in XCII:

To my quick ear the leaves conferred;    

The bushes they were bells;      

I could not find a privacy             

From Nature’s sentinels.            

In cave if I presumed to hide,            

The walls began to tell;               

Creation seemed a mighty crack              

To make me visible.

We cannot escape life. It is always there, always around us, and we are always a part of its flow. There is no separation, only integration. We live with each other; we live because of each other in a beautiful dance throughout the ages. These cracks in our consciousness allow us to break through our perceived reality, and move beyond perceptions, beyond subjectivity into the entirety of being.

Our senses are so beneficial to us, and yet they also are the cause of our subjectivity. We see the world through our own eyes, feel through our own fingers, listen with our own ears. Everyone is different, yet everyone has a shared experience. When the species is the same, there is a deeper shared experience, an understanding and knowing where the Other is not so “other”. Transcendence is moving beyond the senses, moving beyond the boundaries and definitions into pure understanding, pure experience. Then there is no “I” or “Me”, there is no “You” or “Them” – just life, glorious life.

Our consciousness is a blessing, a gift. It is also the greatest hurdle to overcome, for it shouts aloud and above the songs of the earth, drowning out the consciousness of other beings in our own minds. Cracking open our consciousness we allow those other songs to come through, to inspire us, to nourish us, to blend with our song in a wonderful symphony of energy manifesting, over and over again.

These cracks of consciousness are caught in the field of time (however you may view time, whether it be linear, circular, etc.). Energy manifests, for a time, and then changes its form. Time is what creates the impermanence that is so vital to life. Without time, there would be no conception, no materialisation, no death and no decay. Within the moveable boundaries of time we see a progression of the eternal processes of birth and decay. Time is a gentle sanctuary, an indiscriminate boundary that allows these processes to occur.

And so, the sacred is that which allows us to glimpse the eternal. The sacred is anything and everything, if only we open up our senses and move beyond our perceptions. Through the cracks of consciousness within the fields of time we perceive this sacredness, flowing and changing, manifesting and decaying, a boundless stream of energy moving through the cosmos.

May you see through the cracks to glimpse the sacred.

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2 thoughts on “Reblog: Experiencing the Sacred

  1. Jo,
    Thanks for using the quote. I must confess I wrote it with a bit of a smile on my face. However my physicist friend and fellow Druid, Ian, liked it very much. I was indeed thinking about how difficult and rare it is to experience, not just think about the eternal. Infinity cannot be held in our human consciousness. In those rare moments where I am fully present, neither contemplating using words, nor dreaming of a future or past with images, but just fully present, wakeful, (outside of time?) then the entirety of it washes through, waves of sanctity – all to rare. Those moments are always, without exception, realized through relationship. It is the engagement with other souls that inspires the presence. And then the edges blur. The separation vanishes. There is integration. And everything becomes thoroughly sacred. These moments as I said are all too rare. Time for me to go outside and breath the same particles that have been and always will be and see if there are some cracks in time to let the Awen in.

    Dancing with the eternal,
    Kevin /|\

    • 🙂 Awake, aware, fully present, out of time and fully immersed in time, making relationship with the gods of time, seeing beyond the gods and into… existence. Pure and simple existence.

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