WE BUILD FOR PRACTICAL USE, SO WE ARE LIMITED AND CONSTRAINED. WE MUST BUILD FOR THE SOUL, TO ALLOW OUR PRACTICAL LIVES TO TAKE WING. THAT IS THE SPIRITUAL TRUTH OF OUR TIME. IT HAS BEEN THE SPIRITUAL TRUTH OF ALL TIMES. ALL WE DO MUST BE TRULY HOLISTIC IN THE SPIRITUAL DEEP OF MOTIVATION AND ACTUATION. WE CAN ONLY ACHIEVE TRUE HARMONY AND PURPOSE IN OUR LIVES IF WE ACCEPT THE CENTRALITY OF THE SPIRITUAL IN OUR LIVES AND IN THE ALL. AND ONLY WHEN WHAT WE DO IS IMBUED WITH THE SPIRITUAL AND THE SENSE OF THE SACRED, CAN WE HOPE TO HEAL OURSELVES, HEAL OUR COMMUNITIES AND HEAL OUR MOTHER EARTH, OUR HOLY GAIA.
A beautiful flower-filled meadow stretches before us. Beyond are hills, and beyond the hills is the infinity of the heavens. In the foreground we see a number of high-rise tower blocks. They do not belong. We build them, but they do not belong; and indeed, they despoil our beautiful planet Earth, our sacred Gaia. But a little further away is a small house: a homely home. It is part of the landscape, it is part of the spiritual integrity of our Earth, of our Gaia. Which will we choose?
One of the great ironies of our modern times is that at the very time that we are able to fly and thereby see our world from above, we have been erecting buildings that invariably look ugly from above. In the past, our buildings might have often been insanitary and dark, but they looked glorious from the outside, had a human scale to them that did not dehumanise us, and even if it was only God who could look down on them, we now know that with their spires and pitched roofs – in inclement lands at least – they look intricate, mysterious and beautiful. That is all a little ‘tongue-in-cheek’, but there is an important point to be made here. Too many of our buildings and cityscapes lack a human dimension, lack aesthetic beauty and do not ‘speak’ to our souls. If we are to evolve spiritually, if we are to achieve spiritual harmony in our individual and collective lives, then we must create buildings and cities that are beautiful, and that do not overpower us with their immensity. All of humanity is on a sacred soul journey, a sacred pilgrimage, that centres both on ourselves as spiritual entities, and on us collectively as souls sharing in our spiritual lives. We will not achieve harmony and inner peace, we will not achieve the manifestation of spiritual meaning in our individual and collective lives if we do not create an environment for ourselves that resonates peace and harmony, that in its very pattern and shape fosters healing within our souls. We have become so aware now – thankfully – of our responsibilities towards the natural environment, and indeed of our need to enhance our natural environment. But there is always, and also, the environment of our dwelling places. Indeed, our urban environments are more likely to promote spiritual and mental and emotional sickness in us, than they are to foster peace in our souls, a sense of healing and sacredness in our lives. Does love, any more, figure in how we plan and construct our cities. Does the human dimension, that must take account of our deep-set sacredness and spirituality, figure in how our cities are planned? We are spiritual pilgrims in search of our sacred meaning, and we are offered utilitarian machines as our dwelling places. We will never restore health and peace to our natural environment, to our Mother Earth, to our Holy Gaia, if we pepper the environment with dehumanized and despiritualized dwelling machines for ourselves. We owe it to our planet, to all the flora and fauna of our natural environment to create for ourselves dwelling places that are as rich and beautiful and spiritually profound as those we would hope to restore for the natural world. Inclusivity also means US!
Sadly, so many of our overly utilitarian buildings are a true reflection of our present view of ourselves. All that matters with so many of these buildings is that our physical needs are met. The spirit is of no consequence. This might appear to be an inconsequential point. But it most certainly is not. Our buildings, our townscapes, our various environments, invariably reflect us, reflect what we are, and perhaps more importantly reflect what we think we are, what we feel about ourselves. We are not worthless and inconsequential, yet too often the environments that we create for ourselves would suggest that we are. We need to understand that we cannot hope to become spiritually fulfilled within ourselves, and just as importantly spiritually at peace with each other, until the buildings we create, and the towns and cities we live in, and the rural locations we breathe in, reflect that harmony and spirit. Only then might they reflect what we ourselves, at our best, can be.
There is, then, the natural environment, that we are beginning to understand that we have a spiritual and indeed a scared duty and mission to restore to health; and there is our own urban environment that we must also restore to spiritual health: a sacred duty and mission indeed. We owe it to our beautiful Mother Earth, our Holy Gaia, and indeed we owe it to our spiritual and sacred selves. We are NOT automata! We are spiritual beings – children of God – no less. The meaning of our times is ONE with the meaning we endow upon ourselves. What is the point of our long spiritual pilgrimage through all the adversities of history, if we cannot flower at last into the beautiful children of God we always should have been?