The Sacred Gap In Being


Emotions like grief, anger and fear are not necessarily things that need to be transcended, grown beyond, or healed. The exact opposite maybe the case; the more that we can deepen into, hold, process and feel our grief or fear, the more real and the more connected to life, the earth and community we become.

The more we can hold and experience our grief the greater our praise for life is, the more whole we may become, the greater our love for life is. This process of deepening never ends, we can be grateful because there is always some more grief and fear for us to learn from. Even encounters with death can be of service to life, if approached with care they can open us to life in its glory.

~Anger may empower us, it may give us focus and direction, or the ability to make boundaries, it may allow us to defend the weak and stand up for our values.

~Fear may not be something we need to do away with, when we hold it deeply and process it may be helpful, it may direct us towards heroic courage, towards tenderness, towards vulnerability. Fear guides us towards caution, towards power or towards a new wild or unexpected direction in life.

When we try to push down or disallow our pain we push down everything else with it as well, in a sense we push down our bodies, our connection to community and the whole living world. The travails of the world are in some sense the result of the industrial growth culture’s collective denial of our grief, and as a consequence, our denial of all of our feeling.

The last white rhino dying, the fact that there is an accumulation of plastic in the Pacific that is three times the size of France, social media used for psychological warfare, the growth of the all-seeing digital panopticion and a money system that necessitates growing wealth inequality, artificially produced scarcity and ecocide in order to function are all results of our collective unfelt fear and grief.

We may need to feel and hold our losses; we need to gather together in community and weep about them and hold each other in our weeping. If we don’t feel our losses, we just try to stuff up the sacred gap or hole in being with fantasies and harmful ideologies. And we suffer even more as a result. If we are to reconnect with our bodies, with our communities, with our bioregion and with the non-human world we may first need to pause and feel our losses.

When we don’t feel our losses we may just find something else, some fantasy to fill them with. We may stuff up the ‘crack in being’, the gap of our grief, with disembodied escapist ‘spirituality.’ In colonialist or archic cultures, we stuff up the gap of our grief about the loss of our connection with our ancestors and the loss of our connection with the local bioregion and its sentient intelligence with nationalist, ecocidal and imperialist ideologies.

The route to reconnection with ourselves, with our emotions, with our bodies, with our communities, with our ancestors and with the earth may be first to feel the immense grief of any loss of connection with them we may have experienced. This includes present, recent and historical or ancient grief and losses.

If we do manage to really hold and feel this pain we might realize that our grief is also our blazing love for the world, our anger is also our ability to stand up for justice or to stand up for our values, and our fear can lead us towards courage or towards tenderness. Living in a sacred manner means not to close up the gap of grief, not to close up the gap of feelings, however painful they are, not to close up the ‘crack in being’, not to get up above it all, because through this gap a river of life comes.

Through that gap comes the gifts of arts, cultures, beautiful clothing, gardening, food, stone masonry, eco-building, story telling, mythologies, regenerative technologies, restorative economic systems, conflict resolution, liquid democracies, council and healing. Through that gap comes the way to repair the ‘broken world’ and bring back together humanity into collaboration and communion with the earth.

Through this gap in being there comes our connection to the star strewn sky, the connection to the buzzard soaring in the morning sunlight, the connection to the bluebell woodland, the connection to our ancient ancestors, and the connection to our beloved soul community.

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Replies to This Discussion

This is a very good point.

When we do not face our own darkness, we have not learned to know ourselves and others, since darkness was here before light, and it is the light the only thing that can overcome darkness, but in order to understand the darkness we must focus on the darkness itself, which we can not begin to know, unless we bring some light into it in order to analyze it!

We must face everything that we encounter, whatever it may be, because what is, is and we need to learn to acknowledge it as existing...


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