Edging Toward Enchantment: Hallowing Life

This will be the last post in this loosely connected series of posts devoted to edging us back toward enchantment.

An idea that we've been playing with in the last few posts is that of existential jujitsu, using our disenchantment with disenchantment to edge us back toward enchantment. We've also talked about the practice of hallowing--rituals, words, liturgies and actions that give sacred weight and texture to life.

Both of those ideas bring me to a final reflection.

Life demands hallowing. And the necessity of this hallowing edges back toward enchantment.

What do I mean when I say that "life demands hallowing"?

This. There are moments of life, moments of import, that we feel must be "set apart"--made holy and sacred--from the mundane, routine and workaday.

Think about a funeral. Or a birth. Or a wedding. Or a memorial commemorating sacrifice, heroism, suffering or tragedy.

I don't show up in flip flops at funerals. I don't look at my iPhone when my child is being born. I don't talk loudly to my neighbor when the couple is exchange their vows. I don't laugh or joke around when visiting Auschwitz. I don't litter in national parks.

Some events and places are set apart as holy ground. And as we enter these times and places we become hushed, solemn, still, reflective, attentive and reverent. 

Life demands this sort of hallowing, a hallowing that pulls us out of the entertainments and consumptions of capitalistic culture. We want more from life than fun. We want life to be holy. We want life to be sacred.

And it is this demand for holiness that makes us human. This religious instinct--the human and humanizing need to live in a holy, sacred and enchanted world--is universal, shared with the religious and the irreligious.   

We are disenchanted with living in a disenchanted world. As human beings we have a need to hallow life.

Everyone of us wants and needs to live in an enchanted world.

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