Loss of the Sacred

During the last few hundred years the loss of the sacred perspective has been more pronounced. Things have fallen into mundane perspectives, people have forgotten the old path of recognizing power. What has attributed to this, we won’t discuss in this article. What we will discuss is how we can reconnect with this lost path. Some of us may become offended by some of the perspectives expressed in this article. Please be aware nothing written here is meant to offend, only share alternative perspectives.

The Origin of the Sacred

One of the oldest spiritual systems was animism. Animism was basically the perspective that almost every ancient culture adhered to for thousands of years before modern religion. This perspective is based on the belief that all things are sacred and contain spirit. These perspectives can vary, much like modern day religion, but their foundation is poured from the same concept. This ember of spiritual fire, that stirred all other perspectives that came after, has recently found a resurgence in the modern world.This resurgence has manifested through indigenous cultures, Shamanism, pagan practices resurfacing, and reintroduction of spiritual perspectives and deeper understanding of popular religious perspectives into more mystical views and practices.

 


Animist altar, Bozo village, Mopti, Bandiagara, Mali in 1972.
Animist altar, Bozo village, Mopti, Bandiagara, Mali in 1972.

Wikipedia describes animism as: “Animism (from Latinanima, “breath, spirit, life“)[1][2] is the religious belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence.[3][4][5][6] Potentially, animism perceives all things—animals, plants, rocks, rivers, weather systems, human handiwork, and perhaps even words—as animated and alive.”


Why am I mentioning animism? Because this system is so integral in the groundwork for sacredness, of objects, ideas, and ceremonies. When an animist see’s a drum, they see a “living” thing, this object can hold spirit or energy, especially if used for a sacred purpose or practice. Seeing this spirit is necessary to perceive the sacredness of all things.

Change your perception through connection

Something changes when you connect with the birthing of a drum, through the skin of the animal used, through the drum shell and the wood used or maker who built it, via the process and ceremony of combining these objects to create a new living being. Being able to perceive that sacred process, from the cutting of the tree, or killing of an animal, to the completion of the drum, can be life changing. Seeing this and every other process in life as sacred can change your way of living.

Each act of creation, every birth and death, from cleaning to cooking, all plants & animals, every action and thing can be viewed in a sacred perspective. Once this perception is achieved, life changes around you. Every struggle and blessing is sacred to your personal experience, and those who share those experiences with you.

Walking Prayer

Living life in this walking prayer, each task taken with care and respect, those small alterations can manifest extraordinary perceptual changes. Many differing views agree with this theory, walking prayer goes hand in hand with seeing the sacred in all things. Sometimes taking the steps into this way of life can be challenging. Morphing the mundane into the mystic isn’t easy. This path isn’t instant either, even this perspective can ebb and flow. We can forget or direction, and loose sight of the goal, but that should never stop our overall movement.

Overall, I highly suggest participating in an experience that adds sacredness back into your worldview, or enhances that perception further. Go out and drown in the embrace of a vast forest, bath in the light of a church’s stained glass windows, participate in an ancient ritual or a personal ceremony, birth a piece of art or instrument, and the list goes on. Include that sacred perspective in your daily life anyway you choose!

 

 

Sarah Ann Lawless, wrote a great article about Animism that provides some greater insight into the term and what it entails. Read more about it here!

 


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