I have always been a spiritually oriented person, curious at a young age about the hidden aspects of life. I began to study about the major world religions from the age of twelve. Not being satisfied that one religion has all the answers, I kept a dialogue going with God about various “truths”. I wondered why the world was such a messed up place in the midst of all the education about right and wrong.
I’ve studied the Bible (both Old and New Testaments), the Bagvad-gita, the Tao Te Ching, various Buddist texts, Native American beliefs, and Bahai beliefs. I’ve brushed paths with many other branches of religious belief and sectors of philosophy as well. However, doctrine is not necessarily spiritual, but it points us in the direction of seeking inner wisdom. Religious teachings help us consider our thoughts, feelings and actions, but spirituality is our own personal practice of what we believe to be true.
Spiritual to me is our ongoing dialogue with God (Source, Creator, whatever…) and how we choose to follow our conscience in life. We all come from the same miraculous life source or universal energy, and while we inhabit this earth we seek to make sense of it and live well. Yet we are so varied in our ways of thinking, understanding and doing things!
How do we make sense of the people and experiences we encounter? How do we carve our own little niche that we call “my life” in a way that feels valuable and worthwhile? What a spectacular journey life takes us on! It’s fortunate that we have this built in compass called a conscience and another tool called intuition.
Sacred is a word that describes something connected with God or dedicated to a religious or spiritual purpose, and so deserving veneration. Isn’t life itself connected with God? Didn’t God create all things and remains the source of ongoing life? What could be more sacred than the opportunity to explore our own existance? That is what I was thinking about when I created the collage below.
Jesus said that our bodies are our temples and so we should treat them as such. Jesus also said that it is our words that defile us rather than what we put in our mouths. Since words come from the way we think and feel, I interpret this to mean that our primary concern should be the state of our hearts and minds. Our thoughts determine what we choose to make sacred and how we honor life (or don’t).
What if Everything is Sacred?
I was surprised today when I came across the following post of a quote on Facebook, and I thought it captured my beliefs perfectly:
“What if our religion was each other, if our practice was our life, if prayer, our words? What if the temple was the earth, if forests were our church? If holy water were the rivers, lakes and oceans? What if meditation was our relationships, if the teacher was life, and if wisdom was self-knowledge? What if love was the center of our being?”Ganga White
What if we treat life itself, all things and each other, as sacred? I think that is the essence of what all religions have made an attempt to express (regardless of how poorly). What if we are sacred to God? Although the world doesn’t function this way now in terms of human relationships and activites, I believe those who endeavour to follow this path of treating life as sacred are making a way for a better future.