Manifestation of the Sacred

If you ask people what is sacred to them, after some consideration, they’ll offer an answer: family, tranquility, freedom, peace, and many other things—depending on the individual—even “my soccer club” or “the work of Rudolf Steiner.” But what the sacred itself is remains elusive. The Romanian religious philosopher Mircea Eliade sought it by tracing manifestations of the sacred (Hierophania) in the religious history of humanity. From shamanism to modern art, the sacred has undergone an evolution. And until now, it appeared in designated (inner or outer) sacred spaces. The profane, on the other hand, lived elsewhere.

Looking at language, perhaps a further manifestation emerges. In English and German, “holy” and “healing” [heilig and heilend] are related. Some people speak of the healing spirit [heilenden Geist]. There are also similarities in French: saint (the sacred) and sain (healthy). So, is the holy perhaps something that makes us healthy? To heal something, to make it whole, you have to feel into it and identify with it. You have to know what it needs. It’s like the Christ Child saying: “I am you.”

So is it a hierophany, an appearance of the sacred in our time, for us humans to heal ourselves or the world, together? At the very least, the transformed light of a child born in the silent night would then appear.

Translation Laura Liska
Painting Miriam Wahl, watercolor on paper, 2022

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