I take advantage of that in every way I can think of. How? Well, it starts with a highly motivated curiosity about how I might be able to be holy-. That’s the whole idea. It doesn’t matter if you’re religious or not because ‘holy’ simply means ‘true of heart, speech, action, thought, relation, word, mind, purpose, and spirit’. And you can reach for that every day, but on ‘holy-days’ we can go the extra 15 miles we otherwise avoid like the plague. Unexpectedly? Nearly every one of those miles is golden.
What does all of this holiness talk actually mean?
It is impossible to say. No one knows. The whole mess is incompletely specified. Us, the cosmos, the day… holiness. It’s up to us to find out not by argument but by becoming. We must discover this. Anew. Each one of us. Each moment. In reaching beyond our habits, ideas, expectations, traditions, and overall hubristic ignorance. It means climbing the ladder of intelligence and relation. It means gaining new perspectives from which we may more creatively, heartfully and intelligently live in balance with all of nature, idea, and culture. And generally speaking this does not mean celebration.
It means often painful correction. Honesty. Tears. Anger. Fierce arguments. Threats. Fleeing. Accusations. Fear. It means falling down, right in front of one another. Failing. Making mistakes, small and vast, and looking through them to the astonishing treasures of correction, resolution, evolution, revolution and intelligence they (invariably) contain.
I was lucky enough to have a single conversation this morning with my son. And in that conversation, we set the tone for the day. The tone was atonement, intelligence, forbearance, forgiveness, and a deep and abiding commitment to bring to fruition the freighted dreams and hopes of all of the living beings of this world, and, particularly, to correct and uplift the most benighted, self-bedevilled and lethally confused of all of them: Us.
And so, for me, holiness begins with a form of humility that sacrifices me, obliterates me… and makes a living invitation inside my every cell… for all that I can never be… and all I -must- become. With and for you and the living ecological and human cultures of our world. They are, indeed, one culture. One droplet in the storms of fire and void.
How quickly, and how cruelly we forget. And then proceed to celebrate? And kill and claim ‘abundance’?
Not I. Not today. Not ever.
But holiness? Yes. I don’t care what the name of the day is. Any call to whole-we-ness… and I am there. And if there’s something obstructing it, or I don’t like what’s being celebrated?
I’ll invoke, evoke, become and elicit relations and experiences of wonder and humanity so amazing that anyone in near proximity will now have something to celebrate. And to remember. And not just today, either.
That’s my idea of ‘Thanksgiving’ — and holidays in general. Feel free to argue about it. I’m pretty used to that by now. After all… my birthday is on [ redacted ]. So, frankly, I know -a lot- about holy days. I am -made of them-.