Do I know you well enough to think of you as sacred? Do I know myself well enough to think of myself as sacred. Can there be sacred other without sacred self? Am I sacred because I am also part of other? or Other?
A Friend (Quaker) and a Friend of my Heart wrote this in response to today’s musing: “Back in the day (1600’s) Quakers began using the terms “thee” and “thou” because they were the familiar/informal form of address. They refused to use the honorific/formal forms as a testimony to their belief that everyone is equal and certain people/classes do not deserve “higher” honor or formality when being addressed. They actually go thrown in jail for addressing hoity-toity people as “thee” and “thou.” (They wouldn’t bow to them either – gasp!). Even today, many Friends avoid using the terms “sir” and “maam”, and will instead simply use the term f/Friend instead.” (Thanks, Therese Miller).
Interesting that today if you’re not a King or Queen, sir and ma’am are simply sweet honorific caresses, acknowledgements of age… which of course seem like swear words to those of us, Us, who know that we’re really cook cats and nothing as stodgy as a person who might need an arm up!
Today for us to reclaim the second person familiar is to reclaim the intimate. Television and internet have seemingly eradicated the levels between us — and we ignore the status that privilege and wealth confer, pretending we’re going to get there soon. any day now, really, things will turn around.
But what if I see thee as my intimate, even if i don’t know thee? Am I not forced to care for thee, because i have said I know thee. What if we replaced the wink-wink-nudge-nudge of carnal knowingness with the dangerous, searing soulful knowledge of other. If I open myself to thee… I welcome thee and I dare thee to welcome me. I say Namaste.
In that intimacy, the seeds of Peace are sown. It’s precarious, but real. Peace. Namaste. I welcome thee to my heart.