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I’ve been contemplating the idea of sacred space. Since beginning to read Eliade’s book, The Sacred and the Profane, I’ve have the opportunity to relook into some ideas that I hold about the nature of religion. And this is indeed a good thing, for at the very least, it helps me sympathize with the values and traditions that other people hold in a way that I have never been able to before. In the book, one of the things that he talks about is hierophany, the divine revealing itself to man, and because of this, there is a sense of sactity of the world. Thus, in terms of sacred space, a place is made sacred as a locale of divine revelation (as in the place where Jacob received his vision) or as an imitation of the divine (as the temple was an “image” of what’s in heaven).

In the modern world, this is just so hard to see. I’ve always thought of sacred space more in terms of human constructs. Either as of the mind/senses (beautiful building that seems to “invite” the divine just seem to be a little manipulative to me… particularly since a person can design a building to evoke certain emotions. Case in point: Frank Lloyd Wright’s work) or as set up by an institution (“this particular place is holy because it is where the church is founded”). Needless to say, my perspective was of a very different sort than Eliade’s. And yet I can really see some of his points. In terms of sacred space, I know that apart from very few people, there are places that have more significance in our lives for one reason or another. So as I said, reading this book has been a good thing. 😀

So now the concept of sacredness is a confusing one at best. We do not really identify much with the idea of sacred space and time. Marriage, which has and still is considered “sacred”, has become a social contract which anyone can back out of on a whim. In our world today, what is really sacred? Is anything sacred anymore and should anything be viewed in that light in general? If so, how does something’s sacredness affect the way you view it?

And I will say at last that I am merely glad that when I am in need, God can be found. Not in any particular locale, but within me, near me, ever present, and permeating the very space I am currently inhabiting, wherever that may be. I can enter this inner sanctum whenever I want and he will meet me there. But perhaps, just perhaps… there are some places where I can be more prone to be acutely aware of God’s presence. 🙂

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