Thursday, November 30, 2006

Fellow Creatures at Xmas I

I’ve been looking for a word. It is something like “sacred”. It is the idea of something being set-aside as special, or holy: separated from the everyday world by some particular quality or by mutual agreement. The word could be “sacrament”: the notion of ordinary things acquiring a spiritual significance. Or “sanctification”, the process of becoming holy. But it isn’t quite any of these. The problem with all of these words is their association with religion and with the particular religious quality of holiness, and the word I am looking for does not denote holiness as such. Sometimes, indeed, it can mean its exact opposite.
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kwattles said...

I think "magical" just about covers it, except that it has other implications and connotations.

Even broader but still to the point is "special." From the word species. Time and space are appointed to a specific use, while more mundane concerns are supposed to be held aside.

As with you, there's another word that escapes me. Maybe it's a term from anthropology?