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Do You Find Anything To Be Sacred?


Groggen
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I just started reading One Nation Under God by Huston Smith and Reuben Snake. The book is about the legal status of using peyote in religious ceremonies, however I haven't gotten that far yet. In the start of the book they're discussing the religious outlook of Native Americans- how basically everything in the natural world is sacred. This got me curious about us Ex-C's. Now that the Bible, Church, etc are no longer sacred or holy to us, is anything holy?

 

With Christianity comes the attitude that we're separate from nature. We're above nature and are meant to control or dominate it. A supernatural god becomes holy along with the Church, the Book, the tradition. For so many of us now, that tradition is meaningless- so what are we left with? For me, it's like I know that the natural world is sacred but I don't feel it.

 

One thing I could say is that learning is sacred. Learning about religion in order to try to understand what happened, why I lost faith. Or maybe "sacred" is not quite the right term.

 

Thoughts?

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I would say the terms sacred or holy would be improper, but I imagine there are things that inspire that feeling of being sacred -- As in, if you saw it being spat on or destroyed, you would become incredibly furious because it was important to you.

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As Kurari just pointed out, there are certainly things on/in which I place great value. However, the term "sacred" leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

 

I hold to the ideal at the core of the scientific method, that nothing is beyond reproach. I suppose another way of saying that may indeed be "nothing is sacred."

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I recently had a conversation with a good friend of mine on what, if anything, is sacred. She surprised me by speculating aloud on the opposite of sacred which she deemed to be profane. I thought that was pretty interesting. She felt that to sacrifice the Earth's bio-diversity for the sake of short term profit was profane. So it seems by implication that she felt that life on Earth is sacred.

 

I have to agree with her to some extent. Sacredness must adhere to and emanate from the living world in my opinion. I mean, most of us have seen pictures of the Earth from space. It gleems as a blue/white marble. It seems to me that such a vision must capture something of the sacredness of our living world.

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I've been trying to think of what I consider "sacred" (for lack of a better word). I have a profound respect for the freedom of religion. I have zero respect for the religions of islam and christianity in of themselves, but a person's right to practice what they want without persecution should never be messed with.

 

I feel that way about Islam in America right now, actually. I find Islam rather respulsive, backwards, and mysogynistic, but I find it abomniable that people are getting their rights taken away because they happen to have the same religion as the bad guys.

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I think of rational thought as sacred, as well as personal rights. Besides that, I don't put things on that high a pedestal. The closest physical thing would be momentous human creations. It's not the right term, though.

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I think that there's a real danger in assigning the "sacred" attribute to anything. It partitions reality into "special" and "not special", generally on the basis of an emotional bias. IMHO, not necessary and not helpful.

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Nothing is sacred. When you hold something as sacred, you try to hold that thing apart form the rest of the universe, apart from totallity. Nothing can be separated from everything else. Nothing in the universe has any inherent existence apart from everything else.

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I don't find anything particularly "sacred", nor do I find anything particularly "profane". Those are religious value judgments that mean little to me anymore.

 

That said, there are a few things that I'll sometimes just find so moving that in a different context I might call them "sacred". Someone mentioned the picture of the naked blue-and-white Earth floating alone in space, for instance - the Earth is incredibly beautiful and I'll admit that image tends to leave me with this haunted, kind of lonely feeling, at the sheer fragile beauty of it.

 

But I don't think that something special like that is special and wonderful because it's been imbued with some holiness by a big ephemeral skydaddy somewhere. It's just special because it's special. I guess.

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I would say that the Universe-- the natural universe, with the whole Web of life-- is sacred.

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i try to think of things as not being to high on a pedestal, but some things are sacred to some people. i think the first smile of a new born baby carries a certain sacred outlook to the parents, and having a good thought in my own mind is sacred to me. sacred should be defined by the person, and that's as sacred as i want to get.

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I highly value the earth and the universe. I highly value rational thought, knowledge and learning. But I would not go so far as to call those things sacred. IMHO, sacredness is an illusion bestowed on things by human beings.

 

Things are "sacred" because people believe they are, but if you take away any god concepts, those things become ordinary things again. Highly valued, perhaps, but still just things.

 

Think of how many people have been killed over supposedly sacred land in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world over the centuries. So much blood needlessly spilled. If anything can be considered profane, IMHO, that is.

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I just started reading One

 

 

For me, human life at all stages is sacred. Family, children and the natural world are all sacred.

Sacred is defined in one's own mind and probably has a personal meaning for each.

I no longer believe church, gods, rituals such as confession and communion are sacred. These activities are actually quite perverse in that they attempt to rule an individual through the fear of hell and intimidation!

So, my conquiring this bull and becoming a total nonbeliever and the freedom and happiness it brings is now quite sacred to me! Thanks.

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What is "sacred" and "holy"? If it's "better than everything else", then I can't really say that I believe anything is.

 

But if "sacred" and "holy" means something like "imbued with great spiritual meaning", then there are several things I consider sacred and holy. They vary considerably, from the intangible feeling one gets when walking through the Japanese gardens of a temple while listening to some as-yet invisible waterfall quietly gurgle away (you'll see it when you get up on the wooden bridge and look under the black rocks), to something as material as a book or especially strong stick of incense. I don't think that a physical object that represents something religious is automatically sacred (although it often is), nor do I believe that a wholly secular object is neccessarily devoid of sacredness. I don't think that the rather ugly unwieldy Bible my aunt keeps in her living room is really all that sacred, but just about any copy of Sei Shonagon's The Pillow Book is.

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When it comes to religious interpretation of "Holiness," it's just plain bigotry spewing out of self-righteous and arrogant idiots that think they know what it's all about by referring to their "god." It's this whole "rules of life" thing that they imagine or believe applies to what seems "Holy" in their eyes. To me, Holy is something way different than what religious people make it out to be. It's more like an honour thing pertaining to culture rather than that cleanliness crap that churches preach.

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