One of the most profound experiences of my life involved an act of grace that made me see, feel and understand the sacredness of everything. Of all of life. Everything is sacred. There is nothing that is not infused with the sacred.
It means that your whole being is beautiful. It means that cleaning your house is really and act of love even if you don’t see it that way. For sure it means that all of the natural world is sacred but it also means that the street you are walking on, the garbage and the walls of your house are sacred.
The strangest part is that we are also never alone. Everything is infused with this sacred spirit and we are living within the embrace of divinity. A divinity that is infinite in every way, including infinitely mysterious.
The Sacred Way
Imagine that you are holding a new born baby. The baby looks around and it has no preconceptions. Everything is equal. Everything is also a bit blurry, but for the sake of experiment, let’s imagine that the baby sees quite well.
The baby does not believe anything. It has no ideas about good and evil. Nothing is sacred and nothing is profane. It looks around without judgement. It does not categorize things or experiences. Everything just is.
Let’s now imagine that the baby is one year old. If you have ever been around a one year old (given that it has rather loving parents) you will see that for a baby everything is amazing. Everything is fascinating. Whatever it finds lying around is wonderful. Sometimes to great distress of the parents, when the wonderful thing is f.ex. a cigarette stub. An empty paper box is just as fascinating as a brand new toy. Which can be very frustrating for people that come bringing fancy gifts and the baby prefers the box… Everything in life is amazing!
The Sacred Way is trying to be like that child. Free of judgement and full of wonder.
Beyond Good and Evil
When we think of spirituality we are quick to divide things into good and bad, the sacred and the profane. Our church or temple is sacred but what about the toilet in the church? Our home might be our heaven but our garbage bin is definitely not.
Most religions have very clear boundaries between the sacred and profane but so do we even if we use different terminology. There is the sacred, the things that are good and true and likeable and then there is the profane, the things that are bad and ugly and unholy. The shitty stuff.
As horrible as it can be, it is exactly the bad things in life that help us to choose the good things. We learn to prefer the good by experiencing the bad. We see the consequences of actions and base our preferences on what we see and experience. Duality is a great teacher.
Duality – Maya
Duality can be thought of as a playground. It is a school where we learn about action and consequences. Everything we do or do not do has consequences in this world of duality. There is no such thing as doing nothing in this life. Even lying in bed at home has consequences.
And we need both sides of everything to learn. Without darkness we can not understand light. Without evil we can not gain an understanding of good. Just like fish can probably not get a clear understanding of water because they don’t get to experience dryness.
So where does this get us. Does it bring us into a state of Nihilism where nothing matters and you can do anything you want without real consequences? Not according to what I have been shown. The “evil” is not really evil. It is just playing a game. Just like characters in a computer game are not really evil, because they are simply computer programs. The evil is just playing this great cosmic game of Maya, their role at the moment happens to be the bad guys, and they are doing the best they can, trying to put up a great show. And all actions have consequences even if we don’t see them right away. Maya has all the time in the world. Literally. Outside of Maya there is no time.
…for to such belongs the kingdom of God (Mark 10:14 )
However, it is possible to go beyond duality. When we strip away duality this division of good and evil disappears.
When this happens we become like children again, without judgement, we see everything as it is. As life, some things we prefer, some we don’t.
It took me a very long time to understand why within all the writings of the great mystics there is an insistence of getting rid of all judgement. It felt very wrong not to condemn acts of evil, man made evil and natural disasters. And this belief is very deeply ingrained and I still struggle with it. But I am seeing more clearly all the time that one of the stepping stones into deeper understanding is to get rid of this notion of good and evil.
I believe that this is maybe the central meaning of this confusing words of the great mystic Jesus: “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:1-3)
We see that there is not really a line that divides life into two categories of sacred and the profane. This idea is a product of duality and both God and the sacred ground of all things are beyond duality. And therefore so difficult to understand or put words to.