The Call of the Wild

The Sacred.


I’ve actually thought about that for most of my life. I was raised Christian, American Baptist. I grew up with the understanding that “the sacred” existed. Some things were special in this way. I am kind of a deep thinker, so at a certain point in my life, thanks to my dad’s pernicious influence, I began to question.

My dad was something of an iconoclast. He did not believe in church or religions. God was an open question. He said, “I’m an agnostic, honey.” I don’t remember if I had to look that up or maybe he explained it. I believe that genuine agnosticism is sacred. It’s — to me — an honest stance in the face of the unknown. It denies nothing, but looks with wonderment into the darkness and the light equally.

But I am not an agnostic. I am certain of the existence of the sacred; God, for wont of another word for it. It’s been my friend all my life. I believe that a shred (or more!) of this exists within each particle of the universe. I believe that everything is God. Panentheism.

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self Reliance”

I agree with Emerson; no one can — or should — identify the sacred for anyone else.

Anyway, here’s a nice hymn from my “church.

…Have you seen God in His splendors,
heard the text that nature renders?
(You’ll never hear it in the family pew).
The simple things, the true things,
the silent men who do things —
Then listen to the Wild — it’s calling you.

They have cradled you in custom,
they have primed you with their preaching,
They have soaked you in convention through and through;
They have put you in a showcase; you’re a credit to their teaching —
But can’t you hear the Wild? — it’s calling you.
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There’s a whisper on the night-wind,
there’s a star agleam to guide us,
And the Wild is calling, calling. . .let us go.

Robert Service, “The Call of the Wild”

8 thoughts on “The Call of the Wild

  1. I visited them all when I was a kid. I think mum just wanted me out of the way on Sunday Morning so that she could cook dinner. My school was 50% jewish, they had their own food. I was originally C. o E., visited a baptist church afterwards, and arrived in Switzerland and you know better than me what that was all about it. Today – sorry had to avoid the religioius angle on this one. I suppose I am a believer in logic.

  2. A good subject for a Sunday. I think God is unique to each person, and however we visualize or perceive him/her, is okay. I’ve had periods in my life where I was very anti-organized religion. I also studied religions in college, and find them fascinating. At the end of the day, what I believe, what any of us believe, is really such a personal matter. For me, Christianity offers so much hope and optimism that it is my belief of choice at this time. Some things still remain nonsensical to me, so I just kind of overlook those few things and enjoy being a child of an awesome God.

    • Whatever works for you. I tend to separate the sacred from religion. One reason is because so many different religions have identified the same thing(s) as sacred and yet will kill each other over their “beliefs.” I think that which is truly sacred exists whether human beings understand it or not, and religion is just one way to capture a fragment, dumb it down and make it exclusive to one small group of people regardless of what their holy texts might say. It’s a very interesting phenomenon to me. The acknowledgement of the sacred should enlarge one’s world, not shrink it. You’re wise (IMO) in recognizing that you have made a choice.

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