SpiritualQuestMeetingNotes

2020-10-10 Spiritual Quest: How Do We Live In A Sacred Way?

SpiritualQuest20201010

LionKimbro, GavinR, ReaClute, LynneWilburn & JackPollard

How the StarCommunity can best live in a sacred way is an ongoing topic in the community. The topic hasn’t always been central, especially when we were just forming and populating our first rental house (see our Star Community TimeLine? for the details). Over the last five years we’ve developed and created a more stable base for the community; our attentions have shifted from the pragmatic issues of forming the community to include the big picture issues.

Star Community is made up of a diverse group of people. That was the bottom line coming out of this meeting. We are generally politically liberal …well, mostly, and not on every issue. Some people are politically active, others are not. On any specific topic, we can be all over the map. It’s no surprise that on the topic of “What is sacred?” there are a variety of ideas. This SQ meeting captured some of that experience.

Some of the topics mentioned during this meeting were CreativeEncounters?, HealingBiotopes?, FieldTheory?, and what promotes or limits StarCommunityChange?.

MapOctober102020

I have some additional memories from this conversation, given the whiteboard notes. (SpiritualQuest20201010WhiteBoard1, SpiritualQuest20201010WhiteBoard2)

I started by introducing the question: "How do we live in a sacred way?"

We looked at the different words of this question.

"Sacred."

  • "What is Sacred?"
  • "What does Sacred even mean?"
  • "What is Sacred, to us?"

"How do we."

  • "How do we do it?"
  • "How do we sabotage living in a sacred way?"

and unasked: "Why?"

  • "Why would we want to live in a sacred way?"

In further detail.

What Is Sacred?

This question asks: "If I could tell the sacred from the non-sacred, what would be the things or activities in the world, that we'd call sacred?" That is, if we're trying to live in a sacred way, then it's best we know what that way is.

"What does Sacred even mean?" This digs a level deeper than just what are the sacred things or activities -- it asks for the root distinction between sacred and non-sacred ("profane.")

"What is Sacred, to us?" And I see this question coming with two packages -- the first a question, but the second, an assumption.

1. The social-political question: "If you got everybody in the Star Community together, what would the people agree is sacred, what would the people agree is not?"

But more concerning to me is #2:

2. An assumption that the sacred is personalized and person-dependent, a matter of subjective personal feeling or personal judgement.

My challenge here is something like:

  • If MartinLutherKing? appeals to public conscience, and moves people to public conscience, how can that coincide with the idea that the sacred is entirely personal and highly subjective?

We might not know consciously what is sacred to us. I argue that we don't invent the sacred; rather, that the sacred makes itself known to us, primarily through dreams and conscience -- through TheCompass?.

I am skeptical of the idea that there is "This is what is sacred to them, and this is what is sacred to us," -- or rather, -- recognizing that cultures form totems and the totems differ from culture to culture -- that we should seek in some way for true values, that we should seek for values of universal meaning, because we are certainly in universal relationship with all living beings, whether we wished to be or not.

If people of one culture should dance around a fire, and if people of another culture should dance around a lake, then we should not be asking ourselves, "Well, which one is right," but rather perhaps to know what lives underneath the fact of dancing around something, or perhaps what lives underneath the fact of dancing alone. Something is sacred here, and it is that which we truly seek.

The purpose of living in a sacred way is not to get a gold star.

The secret, I argue, to recognizing the sacred, is to look deeply into [[Conscience?]] within ourselves, and to look deeply into [[Dream?]].

And in doing this activity, we can come to understand what is Sacred for us to live. What MartinLutherKing? did, was direct America's attention to it's conscience, and to the dream of BelovedCommunity?.

There's more depth to this question, but it goes beyond the scope of this write-up.

Why Would We Live in a Sacred Way?

Putting aside the question of "How?" for a moment, the question was: "Well, why?"

This prompt to live in a sacred way comes to me by way of Tamera.

And the basic premise, to express this crudely, is: If you live in accord with the universe's way, being a responsible adult, then you can be effectual.

When we do not live in a sacred way, when we live out of harmony with the inner dream of the Universe, with the conscience of the Universe, then we cannot succeed. Not really.

The idea is that RightMakesMight?.

I say "crudely," because there is an innermost part of the human being that naturally prefers to live in a sacred way. The sacred represents after all the depth of our conscience and our highest dreams and aspirations. Looked at that way, "Why wouldn't you?"

(Which Jack brought up as his question later on: "If the UpperWorld? is so great, why don't we just go there?")

But this is the beginning of an answer to the "Why."

From there we went to "how."

"How do we live in a Sacred Way?"

And here we located several items:

  • by conscious choice
  • by developing InnerSensitivity? (to dream, to conscience)
  • by CreativeEncounter?, not to "make art," but in order to have first-hand apprehension of what is there and happening within ourselves
  • by being willing to be hold questions (QuestionsTheory?), and by curiosity
  • by being in community with one another
  • by self-purification, the purification of desire

There are many many more ways; The key principle here is to develop InnerSensitivies? to dream and to conscience, and then to obey the things that we discover in our dreams and in our conscience. Not only desires, but literal dreams that deliver messages as well.

If you were in the CivilRightsMovement?, for example, you would have the PrinciplesOfNonviolence to guide you. You would, every day, check yourself, and affirm your faith in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence. You'd search yourself for hidden motives, and prepare yourself to accept suffering, in your work for justice. If there was something in you that said, "Hm, I thought so yesterday, but today I don't," then you'd look to understand why, and what it is that's different, in order to find out what is happening, and right yourself.

The sad thing is that we live in a time where we do not know our dreams, and where we do not know our conscience very well. And so here is a place where TheArts? are extremely important. The emphasis here is not on making decoration pieces, but rather on finding what is alive inside of us, and what can see evil, and what has true meaning for us. The arts is a name placed on that function inside of us where something invisible and unfelt but nonetheless intuited to be there, comes to take on a shape or a form. So this training -- which is not a training that is undertaken "for fun," though it may well end up that way, -- is performed. It is the serious work of uncovering our reason for existing, and what it looks like, in great detail.

If we are still asking, "What is sacred?", upon doing that, then we haven't dug in far enough.

The Surface of the Sacred

The second board represents a discussion that --

Supposing that TheSacred? does exist within us, but is infinitely deep within us, then what can we see within? And so there is a picture of the evolution of desire, and a principle that we can reach "a surface" of the sacred within us. We can never truly know "the whole dream." And indeed, the universe seems to love to transform. (In Shinto, this is called かんながら, the way of nature, the ceaseless ebb and flow of the universe.) But we can always reach for the deepest surface that we can perceive, and as that surface gives way to a deeper layer, we can reach, reach, and reach deeper in to the sacred.

Gavin asks an important question, "Can we create a process that takes us there?"

And Jack then asks a profound question: "If the upper world is so great, then why don't we just go there?"

We discussed both, and then the meeting wound down.

Define external redirect: CivilRightsMovement RightMakesMight Conscience QuestionsTheory MartinLutherKing FieldTheory CreativeEncounters InnerSensitivies UpperWorld TheSacred HealingBiotopes TimeLine BelovedCommunity TheCompass InnerSensitivity StarCommunityChange TheArts CreativeEncounter Dream