Today is Sunday, and time for my Sacred Life post. This is actually my first post for the Sacred Life Series which was started in Zena Musings blog. Being my first post, I was trying to think of all the things in my life which are sacred. I had a basic understanding of what it meant to be "sacred" but I still wasn't 100% clear, so I started by doing a little research. Here is what I've learned.
Sacred. It is a very interesting concept. What do I hold as sacred? In some countries cows are sacred. In other countries water is sacred. Some peoples even hold the song of the land to be sacred. Sacred implies a value beyond measure. The dictionary says that a sacred thing is consecrated, devoted, set apart or dedicated to religious use, entitled to veneration or worship, something that is not to be violated or breached. It becomes more interesting if we compare this to the word sacrosanct, which describes something that is inviolable, protected by sacred or quasi-sacred rules, is something so valuable that it is, in effect, untouchable.
What is it that can produce this sense of value? Nothing concrete. Concrete things have concrete value. The most valuable of things are those things that are abstract, those things upon which a price cannot be realistically placed in an objective fashion (although the current consumer economy has led some people to try). Abstract things have a value that is equal to that which people are willing to pay for it. Van Gogh's paintings do not sell for six figure sums because that is the value of the materials, they sell for six figure sums because that is the money with which people have to part in order to ensure possession.
So what is the abstract thing upon which we can place no sum? What is there that we cannot buy? For that thing that is so valuable we term it sacred there is no sum, no concrete price that we can pay. These things are abstract qualities that cannot be manufactured, nor bought, nor produced by genetic modification. These are things that touch something within people in a way that is profound.
Sacred does not necessarily mean inviolate. Remember that there is a difference between sacred and sacrosanct. This, I think, is the major difference between non-experiential religions and the various forms of paganism.
What is sacred? Sacred is a connection with the universe. It is love, it is friends, it is family. It is all those things that cannot be bought - it is life itself. It is our expression of life, it is the price that cannot be paid by anything other than surrender of the spirit to the experience. If that price cannot or will not be paid, then a thing is not sacred, for sacred is, above all, a personal thing. It is experiential. One cannot hold a thing to be sacred unless one is at least drawn to make that surrender of the spirit.
My paintings are sacred to me. They have no price, they are an expression of my soul, they ground, centre and balance me, and get my creative juices flowing. Usually I paint for myself, I end up storing them in the basement afterwards, or stick them in the closet, sometimes I even throw them out. It's not because I think they are horrid looking (I never said I painted well - just that I painted haha), or because they don't have value for me, its just that the pigment on the brush, and the brush in my hands was more of a healing experience. I wish I could have an original idea and paint something fresh, and new, and gift it to someone who would in turn find it inspiring. Most of my idea's come from my photography. I paint alot of what I photograph, flowers, scenes, people. It doesn't feel original to me tho, even tho its my photograph it feels as if I am copying someone else's work. Sometimes I think I have an fresh idea, paint it, and then realize that I had saw something similar online, and I didn't create it, I just remembered it! hahaha I don't want to offend anyone with my idea stealing, copyright infringing eyes! LOL What I would really like to do is create a wonderful affirmation, created specifically for a friend and paint.
Enjoy and Embrace the Journey,