Posted: March 4, 2015 in Spiritual Journey

I’m told that the word sacred has its origins in common with the word sacrifice (makes sense on the face of it, but then again so does polite and politics, so let’s not draw too many conclusions off the bat).

A friend, many moons ago, who was a Christian and something of an evangelical one, got chatting to me (for about the hundredth time) about religion and spirituality. We got onto a mutual hate figure Richard Dawkins and I had to point out that I was not at the time (and have moved steadily further away from being) an atheist. “I do have a spiritual side,” I said.

“Sure,” he replied, “just so long as it doesn’t require anything from you.”

Those words, amongst a near four-year attempt to convert me, were the only ones that really stuck with me, and I wrestle with them to this day. How do I know that what I’m doing is really a spiritual calling and not just a lazy pandering to my prejudices?

That’s where the notion of sacrifice comes in. It ties into the idea that for something to be truly worthwhile, it can’t be frivolous, it can;t be fun. It must demand something of you, otherwise how can you be sure you’re really motivated to do it at all?

Except, there are times when it doesn’t work like that.

A month or so ago I ordered a big old drum of new rope. 6mm hemp to be precise. This was forwarded to a very kind friend who has gleefully set about processing it by hand (if ever there’s an opportunity to turn a kink related activity into a ‘gyo’ then this must surely be it). I’m due to collect the processed rope, which I hope will become my standard go-to, at the end of the week.

This left me with the question of what to do with my current go-to rope. A few lengths of hemp rope that has been in near constant use since last summer. They are good ropes, with lots of life still left in them, but I felt it inappropriate to mix the old and new ropes, for practical as well as philosophical reasons. There were numerous options open to me, I could cut them up into short lengths for finishing awkward ties, donate them to the Resistance Gallery as part of their ongoing redecoration. I could even turn the to some kind of as-yet undecided ceremonial purpose.

Yet as it transpired all of these possibilities have been superceded by a much simpler opportunity. I have some friends who are tentatively looking at playing more with rope and, when the opportunity arose, it just seemed like the most natural thing in the world to offer them my ropes. Ropes that have tied many good friends and been tha cause of much pain and fun, and fun pain, and indeed painful fun. I couldn’t really think of a better way to honour the joy they have brought me than to share that joy with others who I think and hope will appreciate them.

So, I gave something up that meant a lot to me, to someone who will appreciate it, both of us understanding in similar, albeit different ways that there is a very real link between rope play and spirituality. I have technically sacrificed, but it doesn’t feel that way.

Anything so long as it doesn’t require anything from you. I guess that’s one I need to keep on wrestling with.


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