Global Consciousness VII
The Sense of the Sacred
from the book World
Diplomacy by Richard Sidy
In our day-to-day life, meeting our needs and satisfying our desires, we seldom have the sense that everything - from life itself to the ground we walk on - is sacred. This sense is not religion, although religion does provide time to contemplate and express gratitude for the underlying basis for existence. Being out in nature often has the same effect. Is it possible to live life and make decisions from the perspective that all is sacred? How would such a life be lived?
First of all, one would see one's material life in the context of a greater purpose. When we hear people who have survived severe illness or injuries speak of every day as a gift, we can imagine that life must not be taken for granted. Our choices would reflect a great respect for all people and things in our life and the conviction that they must not be wasted. We do not have to survive a near death experience to cultivate the consciousness of the sacred. When we have global consciousness we understand that all is interrelated and essential for the survival and progress of all, and we begin to be guided by a value system that demonstrates a sense of the sacred. This personal connection to our living universe makes us feel related to all. Consequently, choices are made that promote the respect and well-being of everyone and every thing. Socially and environmentally people would live with regard for the preservation and nurturing of all life forms and the systems that support them. Selfishness would be replaced by generosity and desire to give back.
For the globally conscious, all the other six senses discussed previously in the past six months - economy, gratitude, justice, beauty, responsibility, and unity - guide the way we live and work in order to make the sacredness of life a reality. They are the building blocks of a sacred world. What they have in common is an appreciation for life and the perspective that one is related to the whole. In contrast, throughout human history the dominance of doubt, confusion, selfishness and fear motivated leaders and peoples resulting in great pain and suffering. People have been born and died age after age without any clue of why they have lived. Ambition and fear have been the hallmarks of this unhappy story. Global conscious may eliminate ignorance and materialism and the resultant suffering.
At this time in history, humanity ought to realize that we are all connected and that we ought to live our life wisely with the sense that concern for each other will result in peace, happiness, health and prosperity. When we have the sense that life is sacred we will live more consciously, making choices which are beneficial and conform to the laws of health and harmony. If history is to have had any meaning it should have taught us how not to live. It should have taught us the destructive consequences of living without respect and concern for others. It should have taught us that feeding selfish ambitions and appetites does not fulfill the human potential and bring happiness. Any act of ugliness or deception is a denial of the sacred. It is no accident that the most miserable amongst us throughout history have valued the "afterlife" more than this life.
Having the sense of the sacred makes us at home in the world. It enables us to live with more sense of belonging and purpose. This is what defines the "spiritual" life as not separate from the "material" life. Most importantly it demonstrates that we are all part of a great living system in which we may participate through our contribution to the common good. This causes us to experience more quality of life and to discover latent potentials in ourselves. When this sense of the sacred motivates leaders and individuals along with the other senses of global consciousness, life on our planet will improve and become sacred each moment of each day.
© 2004 Richard Sidy
further discussion about defining the sacred read selections from Science,
Religion and the Search for God)
(For more on the characteristics of leaders who have global consciousness read the Leadership Series.)
Consciousness I: The Sense of Economy