And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
“Eternity He who binds himself to a joy Does the winged life destroy. But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sun rise.”
Sacred Space, Or Holy Ground
What it used to be an almost forgotten religious tradition, relegated to the past, as modernity took us away from Myth, and Religions, it seems to be having a sort of personal renaissance, and I mean personal, because no longer it’s attached to a particular creed of Faith, or at a designated place by those traditions, but to a personal subjective feeling within ourselves, devoid from the trappings of ancient Religions.
It doesn’t mean, the old traditional places are without devotees, by the contrary, more than ever by the facility of communication, and the easiness of traveling, they have experienced a surge of believers, ready to pay, to fulfil their piety by going into pilgrimage to the Holy sites.
The Personal Sacred Space
I mean , the average person, the lukewarm spiritual, but not religious individual may not attend the crowded religious festivals around the World, but hold now a belief that certain geographical places, hold on, an energy or power, that you can feel once there.
It’s popular now to hear of such places as Vortices , or Vortex of energy, numerous places around the World suddenly are declared Sacred Space by your neighbor, friend, coworker, etc.
And there is talk of such places, and many of us had traveled to places where you feel there’s something special to them, once you get there. Every big city has some place not too far relatively speaking, but also not that close, where you should be able to experience at least peace, and relaxation, accompanied by a feel good vibe, among beautiful, serene surroundings. this be a charming Town, a Desert, a Mountain, a hidden Valley, or whatever place you feel it’s “A Special Place.”
And if I would agree it’s special for many, its not for others.
Well, the main thing they travel there, but do not live there!
Most people fail to understand that well being, peace, and happiness, do not reside in a Shangri- La mythical geographical place, but is a totally subjective state of being, given at any moment by our feelings, and state of mind, within our hearts.
So it’s easy to be fooled by a sense of peace, serenity and awe, at the particular place that seems to trigger the experience, and therefore always searching, or returning to the places we believe trigger the experience.
But also there’s nothing wrong with feeling special in certain places close to our hearts, because our past its linked to them, or special people, a parent or grandmother, etc. Or we just grow there in happiness, as children, but then moved away, and we are nostalgic, and we yearn for those days gone. They are special places, at least to us, someone else may not share the experience, I even wrote something in this blog about it.
I mean it’s fun to travel and vacation, to such places, but to believe you had found Paradise, hardly.
Paradise it a state of Being, not a Geographical place.
Rene Daumal Mount Analogue
French writer Rene Daumal wrote a little unfinished novel; Mount Analogue.
The novel is both bizarre and allegorical, detailing the discovery and ascent of a mountain, which can only be perceived by realizing that one has travelled further in traversing it than one would by travelling in a straight line, and can only be viewed from a particular point when the sunrays hit the earth at a certain angle.
“Its summit must be inaccessible, but its base accessible to human beings as nature made them. It must be unique and it must exist geographically. The door to the invisible must be visible.”
Daumal died before the novel was completed, providing an uncanny one-way quality to the journey. Father Sogol – the “Logos” spelled backwards – is the leader of the expedition—the expedition to climb the mysterious mountain that unites Heaven and Earth.
The novel also marks the first use of the word “peradam” in literature, an object that is revealed only to those who seek it.
“One finds here, very rarely in the low lying areas, more frequently as one goes farther up, a clear and extremely hard stone that is spherical and varies in size—a kind of crystal, but a curved crystal, something extraordinary and unknown on the rest of the planet. Among the French of Port-des-Singes, it is called peradam. Ivan Lapse remains puzzled by the formation and root meaning of this word. It may mean, according to him, “harder than diamond,” and it is; or “father of the diamond,” and they say that the diamond is in fact the product of the degeneration of the peradam by a sort of quartering of the circle or, more precisely, cubing of the sphere. Or again, the word may mean “Adam’s stone,” having some secret and profound connection to the original nature of man. The clarity of this stone is so great and its index of refraction so close to that of air that, despite the crystal’s great density, the unaccustomed eye hardly perceives it. But to anyone who seeks it with sincere desire and true need, it reveals itself by its sudden sparkle, like that of dewdrops. The peradam is the only substance, the only material object whose value is recognized by the guides of Mount Analogue. Therefore, it is the standard of all currency, as gold is for us.”
Daumal compares art and alpinism in this novel, saying:
Alpinism is the art of climbing mountains by confronting the greatest dangers with the greatest prudence. Art is used here to mean the accomplishment of knowledge in action.
You cannot always stay on the summits. You have to come down again…
So what’s the point? Only this: what is above knows what is below, what is below does not know what is above. While climbing, take note of all the difficulties along your path. During the descent, you will no longer see them, but you will know that they are there if you have observed carefully.
There is an art to finding your way in the lower regions by the memory of what you have seen when you were higher up. When you can no longer see, you can at least still know. .
Our Sacred Space
It’s fashionable now day to build your own Sacred space, this be a retreat in your garden, a small Altar, with the symbols, and objects you prefer to include there, located in a corner of your favorite place to meditate, or pray, like many ancient cultures did, and do on the present, I got to confess I grew around that kind of thing, but was little bit of a cynic, an unbeliever, and thought I knew better, today I am just comfortable with having a mat, and a corner where I seat for meditation, and prayer, nothing too elaborated, in fact plainly bare, as facing a wall can be, but I got friends who go through the effort of seeking all kind of beautiful, and special things and create an elaborated Altar piece according to their taste.
If inclined you can do the same, if you do not have one yet, according to your particular beliefs, and taste.
But do not forget, Heaven and Earth are everywhere, but first you need to find them within you, then you will be able to behold them everywhere.