Author Topic: Sacredness  (Read 3537 times)

Shaker

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2015, 01:35:02 PM »
It's unfortunate  :( The situation is changing, albeit slowly, and eventually will change so much as to be unremarkable in the long run, as has happened with other 'religious' terms. Still, despite the best efforts of people like Andre Comte-Sponville, a word such as 'spirituality' (soul less so, I suspect) is still widely thought of as being the rightful preserve and property of supernatural religion, both by those inside (especially) and sometimes outside.
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Rhiannon

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2015, 01:42:20 PM »
I agree.

Many pagans hold the hearth sacred -and by extension the kitchen stove these days - it's here that we make soup for a sick child, cook up celebratory meals, and gather with our loved ones in the evenings. (There are some lovely hearth blessings in the Carmina Gadelica).

We lose sight of the sacred at our peril, but while religion owns it, it makes sense why people choose not to engage with it.

Floo

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2015, 02:09:20 PM »
I can't think of anything I actually regard as 'sacred' in the secular sense of that word.
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Samuel

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2015, 03:04:26 PM »
I can't think of anything I actually regard as 'sacred' in the secular sense of that word.

then I feel sad for you
A lot of people don't believe that the loch ness monster exists. Now, I don't know anything about zooology, biology, geology, herpetology, evolutionary theory, evolutionary biology, marine biology, cryptozoology, palaeontology or archaeology... but I think... what if a dinosaur got into the lake?

Floo

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2015, 03:13:16 PM »
I can't think of anything I actually regard as 'sacred' in the secular sense of that word.

then I feel sad for you

Why?
“The wise recognise their failings and laugh at their idiosyncrasies” RJG

Nearly Sane

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2015, 03:18:02 PM »
I can't think of anything I actually regard as 'sacred' in the secular sense of that word.

then I feel sad for you


I am sort of with Floo here. I have a sense of wonder, of awe, of gap from the noumenal but I'm not sure that is sacred.

Rhiannon

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2015, 03:20:43 PM »
Sacredness, to me, represents the value we place on things, whether that is a mountain or a kiss.

Outrider

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2015, 03:20:52 PM »
I can't think of anything I actually regard as 'sacred' in the secular sense of that word.

then I feel sad for you


I am sort of with Floo here. I have a sense of wonder, of awe, of gap from the noumenal but I'm not sure that is sacred.

That sense that something's personally important I can get, but there's a sense with the word 'sacred' that something is somehow unquestionable or unchallengable. No matter how important I think something is, I can't think of any idea or concept I hold that is not open to enquiry, and certainly no place or object that is somehow 'reserved' or not open for replacement or improvement.

Maybe that's an element of 'sacred' that isn't generally held, I don't know, but that's one of the reasons I'm typically reluctant to use it - the other, probably more significant, is its association with religious sentiments that I don't hold.

O.
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Floo

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2015, 03:36:54 PM »
There are things which are very important to me like my own space, but I wouldn't describe it as sacred. A rainbow, sunset and wonderful view can be magnificent, but there again I wouldn't describe them as sacred.
“The wise recognise their failings and laugh at their idiosyncrasies” RJG

Shaker

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2015, 03:37:34 PM »
That sense that something's personally important I can get, but there's a sense with the word 'sacred' that something is somehow unquestionable or unchallengable. No matter how important I think something is, I can't think of any idea or concept I hold that is not open to enquiry, and certainly no place or object that is somehow 'reserved' or not open for replacement or improvement.
Marriage? Family? Intellectual freedom?
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Dicky Underpants

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2015, 03:48:02 PM »
Sacredness, to me, represents the value we place on things, whether that is a mountain or a kiss.

I kind of get that. Something like Camus' rather anomalous statement "I have a sense of the sacred, but I don't believe in God, that's all".

Rhiannon

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2015, 03:51:15 PM »
Sacredness, to me, represents the value we place on things, whether that is a mountain or a kiss.

I kind of get that. Something like Camus' rather anomalous statement "I have a sense of the sacred, but I don't believe in God, that's all".

Yes.

Outrider

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2015, 03:51:27 PM »
That sense that something's personally important I can get, but there's a sense with the word 'sacred' that something is somehow unquestionable or unchallengable. No matter how important I think something is, I can't think of any idea or concept I hold that is not open to enquiry, and certainly no place or object that is somehow 'reserved' or not open for replacement or improvement.
Marriage? Family? Intellectual freedom?

Marriage - any marriage is open to question, certainly enough of them are dissolved every year to suggest that just because it's a marriage doesn't mean it's unquestionable. There are arranged marriages, marriages of convenience, marriages to bypass immigration regulations and the like. Any given marriage - if it weren't open to question at least by the people in it, then it wouldn't be as significant as it is. If my wife couldn't, at any moment, decide that our marriage wasn't giving her what she wanted from it, then there wouldn't be significance to it that there is: I need to keep working at it to ensure that it's still what she would want it to be, it's constantly under question.

Family - I'm not sure the idea of 'questioning' or 'challenging' family actually makes any sense. I have the blood relatives that I have, neither I nor they can change that. What family means to any given individual is entirely up to them - for some people family is the core of their existence, for others it's something they can't change no matter how much they'd want to. The idea of family is open to question because no two people's definition will mean quite the same to them.

Intellectual freedom... that's a tricky one, it's something I think is important. The right to it? I think everyone deserves that, but I'd always be willing to hear an argument for why they shouldn't be. I can't imagine an argument I'd accept, but I'd always be willing to listen.

O.
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Rhiannon

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2015, 03:59:55 PM »
I'm the last person to argue for the sacredness of marriage. But that's because the values I hold sacred in regard to relationship to others have nothing to do with it.

Rhiannon

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2015, 04:14:56 PM »
Where I walk there's a small stream lined with willows. One came down in the late spring and the farmer cut off the branches but left the stump lying across like a bridge. The willow put out a lot of new growth along its trunk, and a different tree was beginning to form.

When he harvested the farmer savaged it with his hedgecutter. Where the new branches had grown there is now just jagged wood and torn bark. And it feels to me like a desecration.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 04:16:29 PM by Rhiannon »

Shaker

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2015, 04:17:12 PM »
Hm. I have that every day  >:(
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Rhiannon

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2015, 04:18:14 PM »
 :(

Shaker

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2015, 04:28:03 PM »
Got it in one  :(
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Dicky Underpants

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2015, 04:29:43 PM »
Where I walk there's a small stream lined with willows. One came down in the late spring and the farmer cut off the branches but left the stump lying across like a bridge. The willow put out a lot of new growth along its trunk, and a different tree was beginning to form.

When he harvested the farmer savaged it with his hedgecutter. Where the new branches had grown there is now just jagged wood and torn bark. And it feels to me like a desecration.

Ah well - very often, as I'm sure you're aware, nature often fights back. Down an old lane in the village of my birth, they installed a small sewerage works, and fenced it in with posts made of willow. Willow has a remarkable propensity to take root, and it wasn't long before the very insanitary feature became extremely picturesque with weeping willow trees.

Nearly Sane

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #44 on: November 12, 2015, 04:40:56 PM »
If all sacred means is very important to someone, then I suggest we are effectively draining it of any real meaning. My local us very important to me but I would never regard it as sacred. That in any secular sense we seem to be either unable to define it, or to define it so wide as to be meaningless illustrates the problem for me.


Rhiannon

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #45 on: November 12, 2015, 04:43:51 PM »
I know, DU. But the farmer is a custodian of our countryside and he couldn't see it. And no doubt he'll do the same when it grows again.

I don't understand this not being able to see it, not to be able to feel why these things matter.

Shaker

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2015, 04:46:04 PM »
If all sacred means is very important to someone, then I suggest we are effectively draining it of any real meaning. My local us very important to me but I would never regard it as sacred. That in any secular sense we seem to be either unable to define it, or to define it so wide as to be meaningless illustrates the problem for me.
It's notably more than that, though; traditionally sacred has meant more than just 'very important' - there's not only the element of supreme, non-negotiable importance but also the element of something sufficiently special that it's set aside from and stands apart from the humdrum, mundane minutiae of everyday life. Hence the distinction between sacred and profane (pro fano - before, that is to say outside of, the temple).
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 04:50:34 PM by Shaker »
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Rhiannon

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #47 on: November 12, 2015, 04:52:16 PM »
If all sacred means is very important to someone, then I suggest we are effectively draining it of any real meaning. My local us very important to me but I would never regard it as sacred. That in any secular sense we seem to be either unable to define it, or to define it so wide as to be meaningless illustrates the problem for me.

No, my car is important, it isn't sacred.

'I carry the thought of you so gently in my two hands'. That's the best way I can think to describe it, whether in relation to a child or a value or a forest.

Samuel

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2015, 06:48:00 PM »
I think what we've witnessed here is an example of the gap between language and ideas / feelings. And that gap isn't the same for all people.

Shaker, Rhiannon and I all feel some need to reach for the term sacred, Floo and Nearly Sane do not. I don't think that means anyone feels certain things are more or less important if particular words are used instead of others, only that, as individuals, we feel the need to express our relationship with the world using different terms.

A lot of people don't believe that the loch ness monster exists. Now, I don't know anything about zooology, biology, geology, herpetology, evolutionary theory, evolutionary biology, marine biology, cryptozoology, palaeontology or archaeology... but I think... what if a dinosaur got into the lake?

Rhiannon

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Re: Sacredness
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2015, 06:55:29 PM »
I agree, Sam. But...if the farmer can't see that the tree is sacred and the politician can't see that the person is sacred, what hope have we collectively?