BUILD FOR THE SOUL; ALLOW OUR PRACTICAL LIVES TO TAKE WING.
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 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 other 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!
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.