A Definition of Experiencing Sacredness

Three Perceptions that Define
The Experiencing of Sacredness

There are probably many definitions of Sacredness. this definition focuses on what is perceived in experiencing Sacredness, specifically what occurs in a person’s mind and emotions.  There can be objects or places that are held to be Sacred. But Sacredness refers to a powerful mental/emotional perception of 1) being  “Unconditionally Loved,” and in this, 2) feeling “Total Peace,” and in this Total Peace” differentiation of the “I” and “other” is replaced by 3) a perception of “oneness” with all else.

There are people who train to quiet their minds to such a depth that these perceptions occur, and become part of their life. 

There can be places a person holds Sacred, and through deeply quietening in reverence these 3 perceptions occur. There are even unexpected circumstances in which these perceptions occur. Such circumstances can range from an exquisite experience in nature to being emptied of thoughts and emotions by overwhelming grief or pain.  Whatever the circumstances, experiencing these perceptions provides a much greater sense of reality than the perceptions that fill what can be referred to as “daily life.” 

The three perceptions of “Unconditional Love,” “Total Peace, and “oneness, rather than “I” and “other” occur almost simultaneously because in perceiving an Unconditional Love there is a feeling of Total Peace. And in this Total Peace, no longer is there a feeling of loneliness, isolation, or separation. Instead, there is a feeling of fullness and completeness.  Explanation each of these perceptions is presented below.

To be Noted For Reflection and Honoring:

For the wise, this greater sense of reality includes recognition of the Source of this Unconditional Love who gives Total Peace and in that Peace a sense of oneness with all else. Known by a myriad of names to a myriad of people since the beginning of recorded history, the current three major religions use names such as God, Yahweh, and Allah. What can be said here is that experiencing this Unconditional Love is deeply intimate; indeed, filling the great human need of being loved.


Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love, perhaps in the simplest terms, means that no matter what ones does or how one lives, there is a perception of being totally and eternally accepted with complete and unwavering compassion. So many personal relationships that, even while seeming unconditional, can be found to have conditions that when not met turn into separation and loss. There are personal relationships that provide perception of unconditional love but then are eventually lost when the beloved dies. Both experiences cause immense, and sometimes overwhelming pain and grieving. 

When a person perceives Unconditional Love in itself through an exquisite experience there is realization that a person does not have to earn this Love, or are there conditions (“Living Love” is the goal, but only because in this a person lives the richest of lives); and this Love is never lost. A person perceives total acceptance and compassion — no matter what has been done in the past. (There is such an appropriate saying: “A saint has a past, and a sinner has a future.”) Perceiving these when one’s self-image and esteem is very low is tremendously “uplifting.”  When emptiness and grief is overwhelming, perceiving eternal Unconditional Love can emotionally “hold” the emptiness and grief.

When there has never been experienced unconditional love in a personal relationship, the perception of Unconditional Love is very powerful as a person realizes this is the deepest need they have. Added to this realization is that this Unconditional Love is never lost. 

Total Peace

Not surprising that in experiencing Unconditional Love there is then the feeling of Total Peace. Rare in life is the emotional experience of a totality in personal peace. Responsibilities, pressures, all sorts of strains leave a person in stress. Finding ways to have moments of personal peace is very needed for overall health. “Total Peace” is more encompassing. There is a visceral, emotional, and mental sense of Peace untouched by personal stress.  Total Peace replaces stress, pain, disappointment, and other painful thoughts and emotions. Unique to Total Peace is that no one can take it away for it is above and beyond the emotional “currents” of life.  Many persons have survived years of persecution, cruelty, etc. by living in this Total Peace that is untouched by the circumstances in their life.

Perceiving a Oneness Rather than the Dualistic “I” and “other.”

When a person feels this Total Peace, perception without differentiation occurs. There is nothing but this Peace, and in this, nothing separate from this Peace. The dualistic “I” and “other” is no longer perceived, only a perceiving without differentiation.

This perception is difficult to explain until it has been experienced. The viewing of life as “I” and the rest as “other” is normal. Indeed, developing a healthily strong sense of one’s self is crucial. However, this dualism of “I” and “other” is then tremendously affected by what happens in life. The “other” may seem inferior, without value, etc. How a person relates to people, nature, and the life in nature, is from the separation of “I” and “other.” There can be great happiness, disappointment, betrayal, and loss. That “other” such as nature can be regarded as simply to be taken from. People can be regarded as something to be taken from. “Other” religions can be seen as abominations. War is the ultimate tragedy of “I” and “other,” when one nation attacks another. At the personal level, a person feeling no connection to anything, or anyone is a tragedy.

When a person is experiencing this personal tragedy they can question, “What is the meaning of life,” or, “What is the purpose of life,” or even “What is the point of living?”  Another manifestation of this personal tragedy is that since there is no feeling of connection with “other” a person strikes out with discord, prejudice, and even hatred. Sociopathy can eventually set in. When a person experiences a sense of oneness — being part of all — an inclusiveness beyond the dualism — life is perceived through a totally different perspective.

The meaning of life becomes: to increasingly open to the unending inclusiveness — making connections each moment, each day. The purpose of life becomes: doing all one can to contribute to the care of “yourself in Yourself.”  A dualistic “I” is isolated and often feels the weight of life demands. An “I” perceiving through “oneness” knows and lives in the interconnectedness of all. This poem fits the transition of self-absorbed dualism to a deeply meaningful “oneness.”


My life had become like one imprisoned in a dark damp prison cell.
Tears of suffering dripped like droplets from its dank walls.
What windows there had been, were now encased,
with only a dim outlined remembrance of light.

No one came, bringing warmth of intimate conversation.
What happened to easy companionship?
Where were friends who would care enough
to release me from the loneliness racking my bones?

The one companion I had was an inner voice
that only hammered me with accusation:
“What did you do that condemned you to this?”
“You most wretched being, your selfishness has condemned you.”

Then one day, crossing the one stream of light under the door of my self absorption,
I saw a tiny bug busily making its way.
In a voice that had been so silenced, I found myself croaking:
‘I hope all you do comes out well.’
My inner voice of condemnation chided me:
‘Look what you are reduced to. Which is more pitiful you or that bug?’

But I refused to listen, and instead thanked You, O Oneness of Love,
for this tiny life that was freer than I.
And, as that little bug regularly crossed back and forth,
I continued to bless it in You.

Then one day the light under the door dimmed,
but a creaking spoke of its being opened.
Carefully checking the threshold not to step on my busy friend,
I stepped out into the softly lit hallway of opening to care about others.

I greeted a fly that softly buzzed by;
And stopped to compliment a spider on its wonderful web.
To the moths circling the candle’s flame I found myself easily saying:
“Be of care, for that light you seek can bring more than you want.”

Going further, I was greeted by the dusk sky.
I was overwhelmed by the life I could now take in, greet, and give to.
The sounds of the night creatures, the smell of day’s end;
and I cherished all the soil’s flourishing life swaying before me —
life that I had once had no relationship to.

I laughed with joy and cried with realization.
O Oneness of Love,
I, who had thought only that only accomplishment could sustain me,
was imprisoned in this until I became so bereft
that I sought the companionship of a tiny life.

I was not pitiful to have croaked my first sentence of blessing,
but Blessed with enormous Grace to recognize and serve such companions.
Now, here are all these lives for me to enjoy, care for, and Bless in You.

O Oneness of Love, what companions these innocent lives.
What warping of human pride that so easily dismisses them.
What a cold deadened species we have become.

We are imprisoning ourselves as we destroy the life around us.
Such Loneliness drives us on recklessly.

May the Vision of the World so beautifully created,
Break through our Prison
and May We Free Ourselves by Serving all Creation. 

Pheo Rose
1985 copyright Contemplative Life Foundation

Individuals raised with a perspective of the interconnected oneness of all develop a healthily strong sense of self in this interconnected oneness, discovering skills, talents, and interests that contribute to the oneness. Individuals who take on personal integration develop the capability to quiet dualistic thoughts into the depth of mind in which “oneness” can be experienced. And, individuals who experience Sacredness experience this oneness.

Human evolution is in critical need of the development of global realization of the interconnected oneness of this miraculous planet with its interconnected ecosystems and biodiversity. This evolution is also critical for peace among all people.