Emptiness and the Sacred
I took this photo yesterday while wandering through our community with camera in hand with two of my grandsons. Most of the photos were about them, and usually in some humorous pose or other. Little did I know that one of the photos would become featured in today’s post. The photo captured images of the two boys, images that though blurred, are recognizable by me. Though they are images of the boys, there is something “real” about them. It leads me sometimes to question myself about what I know about the world – what is real and what is image? It is at these times that the spiritual comes to the edges of my awareness, the sense that there is something more than what I know.
“To enter the area of the spiritual and the holy, the precinct of the sacred requires a profound openness of mind and heart. We stand aware of our ignorance, willing to give up our agendas and follow the signs. Without this attitude of detachment, we may end up embarrassingly naive and get tripped up by some of the common traps of spirituality: blind allegiance, runaway enthusiasm, and poor choice of leaders and teachings.” [Moore, The Soul’s Religion, p. 3]
Just as these words caught my attention, I realise that the activity with my grandsons was all about openness. They had to be open to seeing the world in a different way that what was, for them, normal. Many of our photos used signs [stop signs, direction signs, for sale signs, etc.] as points of departure for what might be. As we moved from objective reality to an imaginative reconstruction of the world, we found all manner of reasons for laughter. There was joy in daring to see the tiny universe of a country town in a different, open-ended manner. And in the process of letting go of objective reality, we found something unnameable.
There is a lesson for me, that of letting go what I hold to be truths. In truths, I have no room for more. I need to go beyond truth as Nietzsche had to go Beyond Good and Evil, in order to touch something that was sacred, something without boundaries or dimensions. I don’t have to intellectually understand any of this, I simply have to trust my intuition which has a lifetime of experience wedded to it, and trust my soul. Now, to return to Moore’s words again, I bring today’s post to a close.
“Therefore, it might be good to approach the spiritual life without the need for understanding and clarity. In this area it is appropriate to become less certain, to be forced into wonder about the central mysteries, and to keep moving along without a plan or a goal. Both the object of the quest and the process are saturated with mystery.” [p. 4]