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RE: [sl] re: evil and beauty

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  • Mark Swaney
    Chris, You say that the sacred is beautiful (your main criteria). But if I find beauty in unusual places then it is possible to find something close to
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 13, 2004
      Chris,

      "You say that the sacred is beautiful (your main criteria). But if I find
      beauty in unusual places then it is possible to find something close to
      sacred there, too."

      Sure, why not? Each person will have their own "sacred places" - I have my
      own, you have yours. And that's great. All was saying earlier, was that I
      tend to be more interested in sacred places that are sacred to a lot of
      people. I'm interested in the effect that a specific place may have on
      people, on lots of people, not just one or two, and I'm far more interested
      in those effects that are not dependant on a cultural bias to be
      appreciated. But that's just me, others think differently, I don't mind.

      Even a Heathen Materialist Skeptic like me can find a well designed
      Christian Church or Cathedral to be a sacred place - capable of provoking a
      Sacred Experience.

      By the way, beauty is not actually my main criteria for a place being
      sacred. It's just that beauty is a quality that is *universal* and so it
      doesn't depend you where you were born in order to be appreciated. It
      shares that essence with mathematics as well - it makes absolutely no
      difference if you are Christian or Martian, Pi is an irrational number.
      Which is part of the reason why the poet said that Beauty is Truth.

      Can a Christian appreciate a well designed Mosque? Why not? Is that Mosque
      then a Sacred Place? I think so. Will a Christian agree? I wonder. A
      Mosque is the place of worship of what the Christians believe is a false
      god.

      Would Christians believe that a Giant Mohammed by the side of the road is a
      sacred place?

      "Sacred is in the eye of the beholder."

      True.

      "The very word temple means a place that is "cut off" from the surrounding
      environment, some place that is "sacred" in relation to the profane (lit.
      area "in front"). But I don't buy it."

      Me either. In this we agree with several ancient traditions, wherein every
      place has its sacred sense, and every action has some sacred association.
      (Notice I did not say that every place or action *is* sacred) It's living
      with the constant sense of the sacredness of existence itself. Every star,
      every galaxy, all the atoms in their Platonic purity, the Earth and the air
      and the water, and each of us and all life is exquisitely sacred in this
      view.

      We can chose to be oblivious - to wallow in our little games - to make wars
      on *ourselves!* - to progressively destroy even our own means of existence -
      or we can try our best to take it all in - the deep unbearable beauty and
      mystery of our own existence - and be it awe of it all.

      "There is no place I can not tread. I am fascinated with holy centers and
      spend time contemplating the inner most shrines of most traditions. What I
      wouldn't do to look inside, step inside, peel back the layers and love in
      between the lines."

      That makes at least two of us.

      Mark
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