April 9, 2019
Spiritual center of the universe?
November 20, 2017
The Mauri used to stop here on their way across the south island. For them it was special, sacred.
When the Dali Llama visited he called it the spiritual center of the universe.
This is where the scene from Lion, Witch, Wardrobe of Aslan' s resurrection was filmed.
It was also where they filmed a battle between good and evil in Lord of the Rings. The folks selecting the sites felt the space to be special.
It is a beautiful place, no question, but clearly for many people it is more than that. It is calm and peaceful and inviting. Many of the sacred places have an energy to them, they attract you, pull you in.
Visiting these places in today's culture I noticed something interesting.
People who have some sense of the Holy or some spirituality are calmed. They may find serenity or experience something beyond themselves.
But clearly lots of people are drawn to the places but uncomfortable with any feelings of transcendence. They take the energy they feel from the place and turn it into recreation. At Castle hill there was a group climbing up the hill with foam mats. Once they reach the top they sled down. At Uluru the thrill seekers want to climb the sacred rock. There is an effort to allow camping on a sacred Mauri island near Rotorua. A company does bungee jumping over sacred rivers.
Seems these places give us that sense of reaching beyond ourselves. We are drawn to it. Some of us find God there. Others find a momentary thrill in a physical challenge. I don't think the spiritual seekers make it any more difficult for the others to tackle the physical challenge . But the physical thrill seekers certainly get in the way of my spiritual adventure. The Mauri have been fighting this battle for 700 years. The American Indians have to deal with this, remember the Dakota pipeline. Most indigenous people have this struggle.
So where does the spiritual fit into our priorities as a people? How do we accommodate our different needs?
(Photo: New Zealand)