SACRED SPACES, GATEKEEPERS & GANDALF

You are part meat and part something more – a meta-meat. What that “more” is and how to define it, we doubt we’ll ever fully grasp, but you exceed just animated flesh, a biology trying to perpetuate a gene, a feeding machine or an animal. You are all of these things but in that “more” there was always a need for sacred spaces, for things that dispense with just the necessary bodily functions to just keep on living and to give an overarching superstructure of meaning and orientation to that life.

The sacred space has nothing to do with established religious or spiritual practices, nor does it really need to be an actual physical space. It is what elevates in order to unite all other actions and meanings. Your sacred space may be the woods, your garden, a place of religious worship, the inside of a book, the mental space you keep for people and places you love, the layers of an intimate conversation, There are also communal sacred spaces which we honor and they’ve been around for a long time. Although their purpose and specific manifestation might have changed through time, the meaning remained. These sacred spaces had a structure and a hierarchy where only some were privileged enough to enter and this made them even more secret – not all were allowed certain religious right and rituals, initiation, not all knew how to read, write or understood Latin… And as long as there were sacred spaces there were also gatekeepers – people and procedures which made sure that what is sacred remained sacred in its exclusivity; you valuing and respecting it even more because it is out of reach – this is just inbuilt in us to consider things more valuable the harder they are to obtain. The gatekeeper had a job to analyze, to educate, to look at the motives, capabilities and the stability of that who wishes to enter the sacred space fully, be it an institution or a set of beliefs, or a skill set…

Now we live in unprecedented times which are the cause of much turmoil – the old structure is disappearing and the new one is not yet established. The gatekeepers are a dying species and we’ve begun the process of completely secularizing all sacred spaces, as if there are no more boundaries in the great need to homogenize and make more mundane because all have right to do the same things with equal opportunities. The gatekeeper is now viewed as the purveyors of elitism that tries to keep liberated individuals from their birth right to have a go at whatever they want. “No” has lost its protective power and you’re risking to be accused of discrimination if you are not completely egalitarian. Some rights are unique and uncontested – the right to life, privacy, religion, security, freedom of opinion… but it is completely untrue that all opinions are equally valid in all situations. This is not possible and there just are, as a fact, large differences between people in their capabilities. This is how it is. If you are not a brain surgeon in the operating room and someone else is, guess what – by the sheer inferiority of your knowledge on the subject your opinions are not equally valid there. Yet we dispense with the gatekeepers and rather lower the bar so that all can pass to not offend anyone, we give out trophies for participation to all. This might seem the democratic thing to do, but is actually quite detrimental in the long run to the areas where applied. Gatekeepers are quality control for the society. If they are gone than the barely literate have the equal right to be published as the highly literate, the barely qualified are just as free to handle your case as the highly qualified, those who have nothing to say and no talent manipulate their way to fame for nothing at all. And now we’ve created the problem of discoverability where it becomes virtually impossible to find the worthwhile among the many and where good things will be drowned by sheer volume of mediocre or inadequate.

But hey, it all has the right to exist, right? No, not really. Would you dare to take a tool belt and go fix a space module and say you can do it just as well as an engineer? Probably not if you’re not delusional. Respect the gatekeepers, be one for the quality of your life and thoughts. No, not everything that exists is equally valid or worthy. So take some advice from Gandalf -don’t be afraid to shut the gates and not let some things pass.

2019-03-08T11:26:11+00:00March 8th, 2019|Meditations|0 Comments

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