Such places are a reflection of an inner condition of those who recognize
their significance, or appreciate it. (Reflection is the right word here.
Just as with mirrors, their intrinsic power is limited to their ability to
Such places are protected by mazes or labyrinths in one form or another.
The mazes may be physical or related to comprehension in some other way. A
maze involves the idea of initiation -- to find one's way through ignorance.
Such places should bring together the qualities associated with fire, air,
earth, and water, which should be embodied in the place. Man recognizes the
elemental harmony of such places as a reflection of his own make-up
Such places may be (or have been) consecrated by some special ceremony.
Such places run the risk of desecration as a result of abuse or misuse.
The location of such places may be located by a quest in the old sense
of the word.
Such places must be maintained by repeated collective attention to what
Ceremonies associated with such places run considerable danger of being
transformed into hollow rituals through loss of understanding and development
of bigoted belief. [A ritual is the order of a ceremony.]
Such places, if created, run the risk of being "planned" and
hence the product of the mind. Older places bypass this difficulty to a large
extent since they tend to be recognized and accepted with the whole being.
Older places were a product of the whole man, before the intellect was glorified.
They were created to elevate, without looking for the lowest common denominator.
(Are nuclear power stations, laboratories, etc our current civilization's
The visibility of such places should be limited. They should not be open
to gawking and tourism, although lower levels (or outer maze circles) may
lend themselves usefully to this. Few places can be protected from people.
Should they be ? They have to stand on their own. If they are deconsecrated
through the wrong kind of contact, their use is finished. A place does not
have to physically decay before it is otherwise dead.
Such places exist first in the (collective) being of those who wish to
make them evident. The outer manifestation is but a signpost to this inner
reality (e.g . the Apostles and the Church)
The ceremony of consecration indicates that the place is the link between
man and deity and it then begins to function for the society. Until then,
the making of the place was the sacred activity (What sacred activities does
man now have ?)
Such places should have a special relationship to the outside world, either
stillness, or possibly movement (e.g. dancing, whirling dervishes, etc). There
is a need for contrast to the outside world, although this contrast may well
Do such places respond to a need or a lack and is this why they are created
or are they primarily an outward expression or highpoint of society's
collective understanding at a particular time ?
Are such places made following a collective decision or are they already
in some way already present, requiring simply that there potential be activated
by some psycho-social process ?
Such places can function as a reminder; "sacred to the memory of ..."
(some peak of understanding)
Such places are not solely built for the use of man. They involve some
higher level and are a kind of gateway to such levels. Such place are man's
opportunity to unify the external and the internal by focusing on new realms
The whole concept of such a place would be understood by someone who was
conscious, but other levels of understanding of the conscious person, and
of others, can be involved. For the conscious person, it is wholly understood
(perhaps only some of the time), but others understand it on whatever level
is appropriate to their need and contribution -- the intellectual architect,
or the manual labourer. They are therefore an expression of the whole man,
even if made by partial men (e.g. the Gothic cathedrals). The making of such
places enables each man to find his right place and fulfil his function.
Such places are recognized to have a certain harmony -- namely they are
recognized rather than found
One of the elements embodied may be particularly glorified (e.g. stone
in the construction of Stonehenge, or fire and light in its functioning) and
this may attract or alienate those whose sensitivities do or do not correspond
Such places may express certain laws in the way they are built (e.g. Gothic
cathedrals, Goetheaneum, Buddhist temples) and the music used in them expresses
the same laws
Attempts at creating such places have been made (e.g. Temples of Understanding
in the U.S.A.), but. what is displeasing about them, if anything ?
Such places do not necessarily have to be embodied in brick and mortar,
their recognition may suffice -- as with a special hilltop
A dell-like quality is desirable -- much can be expressed in a garden,
which it is not necessary to express in bricks and mortar
Such places may be defined by and related to the network of pilgrimage
routes, which they support and which they are in turn supported by. Although
such places may be used by different groups at different times, they remain
Sacred has the meaning of related to God (or the whole, or the Tao)
The process of recognizing, celebrating and developing such places is a
process of human development for those who participate in it. It is also a
process of human development for those who attempt to recognize the existence
and significance of such places already well-developed
The work involved in the recognition, the construction, or the maintenance
is done through a group. As such, such places are symbols of group consciousness.
Such places, once recognized, became the locus for a personal or group
inner pilgrimage, as those involved pass through the maze of understanding
or misunderstanding which protects such places, leading to a refinement of
understanding and a new sense of reality.
Such places create or anchor a different kind of space which makes possible
a facilitates a different movement of psychic energy -- a different psychic
economy (e.g. anchorites and hermitages in the past)
Such places cannot be possessed and remain sacred. If they become possessed
and their custodians take on a role of ownership, they become deconsecrated.
Expression of a peak of conscious understanding in the creation of such
a place signals the peak development in the cycle of that consciousness,
prior to a diminution of understanding and the commencement of a new cycle.
Sacred places are therefore both reminders of what the collective con sciousness
has achieved in past cycles, and necessities as a foundation for the further
expression of the new consciousness which there is a striving to achieve.
The knowledge which creates, such a place must remain current, or the place
becomes a museum. Sacred knowledge cannot he passed only though the places.
They are concentrations of such knowledge.
Some such places may be out-of-date in that they represent an earlier achievement
surpassed by the collective consciousness and therefore possible traps rather
than catalysts for new development. Some may be out-of-date for some and new
Such places are places of psychic death and rebirth. Expression through
old patterns is stilled and transmuted into expression through new patterns.
Such places facilitate the transition -- they function as psychic transformers
Such places function as collecting bowls for psychic energies necessary
to man but not available through the human system. (As such they function
rather like radio telescopes, concentrating and focusing the external energies
which bathe the surface of the earth.)
The refining process inevitable in making the sacred place, using it, etc
on the level of building and the level of human experience, gives rise to
such energies. Such places allow energies to flow; certain barriers are removed.
Such places may also be a locus for initiation
Some "sacred" places glorify death rather than life
Such places have a re-creation function in that they encourage and facilitate
psychic breathing through the alternation between exposure to the pressures
of life and expression in the external world and the recuperative charging
achieved in such places. (It was understood that the physcial location of
religious houses in relation to the cities in which they functioned was important,
e.g. positioning of churches and green spaces in relation to the rest of the
The existence of such places should not be publicized. They should be recognized
by those who are in some way brought to the vicinity (possibly via a quest
of some kind)
Recurring symbols used in the construction of a sacred place (e.g. cross,
circle, etc) are drawn from the collective consciousness. These symbols themselves
gain power by being used in such a way
Such places foster union within the individual, amongst the people "using"
the place as a group, and for man in the outside world
Such places do not capture the attention or cause involvement by encouraging
perception to become unfocused. A person in such a place is reminded who and
where he is.
Sacred places have a common quality irrespective of cultural and geographical
environment. This is the essential, indefinable and recognizable Quality of
such a place, which can be reinforced or degenerate into magic rituals, etc.
To what extent can it be presumptuous and illusory to wish to devote collective
energy to the creation of such places ?
Such places exist, why create new ones rather than celebrate the existence
of the old ? Both the buildings exist and the groups which respond to them
and their quality. Why create anew rather than join with others ? Is there
some new note which can be usefully sounded ? How is one to understand whether
such notes are not already being well-sounded were one adequately sensitive
to detect them and less desirous of making anew ?
The focus on the creation of such a place in a particular location may
draw attention away from the reality that all places are sacred to the extent
that they are a reflection of the sacredness within oneself when moving in
that environment. The body is after all the temple of the spirit -- where
one goes, there goes, in essence, a sacred place. When two or three are gathered
together in the name of some greater whole, there is a sacred place. This
is not theory and a physically manifested sacred place should no be made a
focus for activity which attracts away from such an immediate awareness.