Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Sacred and .......The Sacred

Sigh. I looked back over the past couple of days postings here and see that I have gone back and forth between beauty and cruelty in terms of what fills my eyes and heart. At first that seemed odd to me, but then, as I pondered what picture I might post today, I ran across this shot of dogwood blossoms that I took a few days ago. Here I am back at beauty -- back at hopefulness.

I think, when all is said and done, that if those of us who can be of use in the world cave in to hopelessness, then we may as well cave in to callousness for all the good it does the world.

Yet there are times I wonder what it is that allows us to hope in such a world. For me, as a Christian, I live in the world of the empty cross and the empty tomb -- a world where suffering and even death were overcome, despite every act to the contrary. And yet my hope can be as fragile as a thread.

Everyone has a place they go to "charge up" the personal and spiritual batteries. For some it is the company of friends, for some it is Nature, for some it is art or music or solitude and quiet. For some, prayer.


On the one hand some speak of it as the balance between contemplation and action -- or between the sacred and the secular. I have trouble with these distinctions as while I feel I can grasp the moments or experiences which are "sacred" -- at least enough to identify them -- I sure have trouble saying that anything is purely secular. Is not the attention of God everywhere? Is my spirit not engaged in all I do?

The Greeks did us no favors with the great body/mind dichotomy. We found ourselves catapulted into a world of cordoned off realities, bifurcated living. It has done the world no favors to see body, mind and spirit as separate "things", unconnected for all time. That kind of shabby thinking allows us to imagine that what we do may not have to be connected to what we believe. And it sets up peculiar dichotomies like the supposed division between sacred and secular.

In any case. I am looking at flowers. Tomorrow I may look at sorrows. It is all of a piece, all part of the whole.

5 Comments:

Blogger The Harbour of Ourselves said...

flowers and sorrows go hand in hand i think. sorrow can give way to hope (i certainly hope it does!) and so to flowers...spring and another chance

6:30 AM  
Blogger Maggie Rose said...

mata thinking is thinking. shabby thinking is a judgment call that differs between people.

the dichotomy of our inherited greek thought is only one way of thinking

the same data, applied through the lens of integrity gives an entirely different reading of events

perhaps you are searching out where your integrity meets the road. hold fast to that hope and let the less-productive perspectives go by the way side

just a thought. take what you can use. leave the rest.

kind regards,
Maggie Rose

5:23 AM  
Blogger Mata H said...

the same data, applied through the lens of integrity gives an entirely different reading of events

Maggie I am not sure what data or reading you are getting at here -- please help me understand your comment?

7:52 AM  
Blogger Mata H said...

Maggie..I do not understand what you mean by "the same data, applied through the lens of integrity gives an entirely different reading of events" Please help me understand -- are you suggesting that integrity is lacking here?

11:08 AM  
Blogger Maggie Rose said...

hey mata. no. not at all. integrity is not lacking in either your post or in yourself. that is not what I meant at all.

for me integrity is something that must always be worked toward and not assumed.

so for me it is almost a boiler-plate word that I use. apologies if it startled you

what I was probably thinking when I wrote that comment was that if we look at the words that what we do may not have to be connected to what we believe

and instead of reacting in a discouraging way (which happens to me often) but rather look at the particular experience between beauty and cruelty through another lens--let's use the word authentic rather than with integrity then we might not lose our hopefulness as readily

because all things are perceived cruel can be a source of passion that fires us into action

rather than just feelings of hopelessness

gee. I hope that makes more sense.

if not. let me know where I am the fuzziest and I'll try again.

perhaps I can use these words now:

poverty is
cruelty is

but someone like Dorothy Day probably felt hopeless in the face of that reality but refused to stop there...what she saw focused her passion into action...

as an example, or even a mentor, her behavior was authenitic (done with integrity: matching her belief with her action) and moved herself and many others beyond the hopelessness of raging injustice

a focused anger, used for a better reason...I think that's what I was getting at

oh. dear. how I am rambling on today. time to go for a walk, me thinks. ;-)

kind regards,
Maggie Rose

3:42 AM  

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