My first post on Laure and the Sacred can be found here.
The notes for “The Sacred” created by Georges Bataille and Michel Leiris attempt to more clearly define the sacred in Laure’s thought. They write:
The representation of “the sacred” expressed in this text attests to lived experience. . . . This definition would link the sacred to moments in which the isolation of life in the individual sphere is suddenly broken, moments of communication not only between men but between men and the universe in which they are ordinarily foreigners: communication should be understood here in the sense of a fusion, of a loss of oneself, the integrity of which is achieved only in death and of which erotic fusion is an image. Such a conception differs from that of the French sociological school which considers only communication between men; it tends to identify that which mystical experience apprehends with that which the rights and myths of the community bring into play. (87)
So for Laure the sacred is a moment of dissolution of the self, or maybe in more charged language, the recognition that the self is merely one object in a sea of equally existent objects. There is no inherent value of the self–in fact, individual existence seemed to be a key point of depression and anguish for her. As Laure wrote,
My illness is so profoundly linked to my life that it could not be separated from all that I have experienced. So? Perhaps it is one of those misfortunes that turn into luck: you will understand later what I mean by that… (93)
In this way, experiences of suffering are not interruptions or corruptions of singular beings or objects. Tuberculosis is not a violence being done to Laure’s body. Instead, it is another object entering into relationship with her–it is communication, and therefore, it is sacred. This is radical, especially because of the way that it envisions the self. Instead of the traditional model of the subject as a secure, insulated entity that then enters into relationships with other subjects and objects, Laure imagines a world in which the single adult subject lives a terrible life by default. Life is hollow and empty until the subject is interrupted by something else, and that violence infuses the subject with meaning.