What is sacred? Knowing that the sacred has changed across time and space, knowing that it will change again and again and again, how do we deal with the quandary of holding certain things above the fray, versus switching the sacred as new evidence appears? Or as empires collapse?
There is a quandary. Rather, one of a multitude of quandaries. That we should cling to the sacred despite change, or the accumulated wisdom of centuries, or hold nothing above the fray. In other words, live in the moment, for the moment, with no hierarchies of the sacred, or remain locked in those hierarchies.
Perhaps the quandary is overstated. Most of us do not deal in absolutes. Most of us do not live either/or lives, black and white lives, manichean lives. Most of us do nuance, degrees, levels. We can handle complexity and uncertainty. Perhaps better now than before the advent of various scientific forays into uncertainty and indeterminancy. Conventional wisdom, ironically, tells us that nothing is ever certain.
That said, is there not a certain kind of momentum involved in belief? Is there not a certain kind of acquiescence to the sacred of a given place and time? And does this acquiescence, in effect, amount to a loss of the uncertainty principle? Does it not, in effect, amount to a loss of doubt, and an acceptance of a certain kind of absolutism?
Knowing where and when to draw the proverbial line. Knowing where and when to say, yes, I am not sure about many things, but this I am sure of. We could not get through the day without a certain amount of givens, assumptions, absolutisms. We could not get through hard times without even more of those bedrocks. And in times of extremis, we need unshaken foundations without gaps to stand on. We need at least some certainties.
It is up to each of us to find our own idea and ideals of the sacred, and this should happen in an atmosphere as free of bias as possible. Without limits, without repressions. The whole world should be on the table for us. A world of wisdom offered, like an all-you-can-eat banquet.
Of course, I have my own biases when it comes to that. I would wish for the world to be saturated in color, in music, in art. I would wish for the world to know all the great philosophers, mystics and artists from around the world, across the centuries. Because I think the impact of a truly diverse and eclectic education is invaluable. Not just a cosmopolitan education, but a cosmological one. Because, when it comes down to it, the thing I hold sacred above all else is the journey toward truth. And that journey starts with the accumulation of knowledge. And that accumulation can not be realized when one is chained.