THOUGHTS ON THE CATHEDRALS
How did the gothic cathedrals come about and what are they for? Here are some notions under review.
Mankind has a history of at least 8000 years of differing world views, expounding "reality"; and it is assumed that there has been a world view for as long as man has existed. By the time they generate religion or philosophy or cosmology or science, these world views confront the question, "What is man's purpose and relationship to the universe/ultimate/God/etc?" The answers to this question actually comprise religion, philosophy, cosmology.......
So long as the answers to this question direct all the activities of humanity, it is perhaps not harmful to say: if humanity insists on living within a reality that has for its modus operandi this question, let it be answered as completely as possible.
The answers we know of are organized into the religions, etc. mentioned previously. When these religions, when the changing absolutes of science, when the arguments between all of this and metaphysics are laid out all at once, and one sees directly contradicting understandings and proclamations... one might ask, "What is going on?" How can one divinely inspired authority hear from another divinely inspired authority that it is absolutely not so - his/her revelation of how it all is. And when one examines the practicing aspect of these belief structures, the problem becomes even more acute. Vast populations of people experience states, which according to other vast populations, do not exist and never will. How can all these experiences, which are impossible according to some one or another, be happening all at once?
The usual basis for all these belief structures and sciences is that a creation has been made, or that a creation is constantly emerging-dissolving, and that humanity has a specific function or obligation to fulfill, or that Man fulfills a nature function. And said function, however it is defined, is related to one's destiny or lack of it. How can all these incompatible destinies and functions be happening all at once?
And what about this "creation"? It is obvious that the human condition is a man-made project. All of our sufferings: war, famine, disease, displacement - personal and collective - are created, maintained or eradicated according to human effort. The experience of a significant number of people suggests that not only is our current situation a product of our own doing, but also the entire "universe" we believe ourselves to be in. As our beliefs change so do the explanations for the universe and even what is seen within it. How can all this be happening?
Perhaps it is very simple. Perhaps the only "quality" of the universe/God with which humanity's reality can relate (because man insists on the possibility of relationship) is sustenance, Divine Provide-nce. Any "reality" which man can imagine happening to him will happen because the Universe undifferentiatedly sustains/allows it - for as long as the "reality" is wished for. And therefore man's only relationship with the universe is creative. Whatever he creates in thought, word and deed is what he gets for a "reality". There is no already created anything to go to, and no future time to do it in.
Which needn't be such a bad turn of events, if man could just get with it and use creativity for something other than generating misery and all his infinite complaints. Man might even not need a reality based on relationship. And speaking of creations - look at the gothic cathedrals and other such works. The cathedrals did not go up in a time of great peace and prosperity. The crusades were going on, the hundred years war, the religious wars, the inquisition, the great plague. It's estimated that they required one-third of the gross national resources at that time. In spite of all this, the cathedrals were created.
Who were they created by? The theories run from "the impulse of an esoteric school", to a "huge population explosion", to the "largesse created by a never-before-experienced political and economic favor". But perhaps it would be more appropriate to suggest that it was created by the entire world view of that period. The community spirit and thought was united enough to initiate such a creation. It was, after all, the community directly and indirectly who did the actual building. Those esoterically minded individuals contributed knowledge of form, principles of proportion. Those with capacities for master builder inherited accumulated technology and the science of construction. Artists created a medium for expression. The common laborer gave attention to the mundane operations, and at the same time became employed. The privileged created the means for the laborers, supplying the daily necessities. Great new numbers of people "created-and-found" a means of being creative in whatever level they were involved with. And all of these levels and all of these viewpoints and all of these contradictory conditions happened all at once
"Gravity is related more to geometry than it is to mass." - David Bohm
Considering the important effects of the geometries and proportions of a gothic cathedral if they are put together properly they will create a center of gravity that is stable and balanced. Perhaps the reason that some of the gothics make people feel ill at ease is that these cathedrals have a center of gravity which throws some types out of orbit; it is imbalance responding to imbalance at an unconscious level. The more "tolerant" one's center of gravity is, the more it can accommodate the imbalance within the cathedral's center.
A consciously imprinted "imbalance" is also encoded within certain cathedrals. Within the context of these spaces, the closer the affinity between the centers of gravity in cathedral and individual, the more one is able to interpenetrate those cathedral centers with an unremittingly specific core, cores so intense in their focus that they do not compromise their integrity by accommodating a weak or diffused center of gravity in the individual. Directly stated, certain spaces will accommodate anyone as they are in the present, without fostering future mediocrity or extremism.
Aspiration, Inspiration And Presence
Aspiration: breath of presence
When there is no presence (as in that which is beyond presence, which is not a blackout state), there is no law conformable inexactitude required. Nor "Law" for that matter.
Blackout is a form of inexactitude referring to a break in the continuity of an "I", whose characteristic is that if there is an unconscious "blackout", there is also a reinforcing coming-back- into-being-conscious of the presence of "I".
Presence requires exactitude to "know" itself, and at the same time, inexactitude, to break out of any limitation the exactitude may impose upon unlimited knowing (conscious un-knowing). Exactitude is the language of equilibrium (balancing momentum, the point of rest between one field of motion and another) and equivalence (balancing one state of polarity to another in terms of charge, etc.); and inexactitude is the bringing back into balance by placing it (the inexactitude) "within the context of a more comprehensive, unlimited Law".
The law conformable inexactitude indicates that a certain set of conditions is no longer able to tolerate the flow of Reality. It is the doorway into a more unconditioned dimension, and exists only for awakening and evolving conscious presence.
Living in the state of the inexactitude is known as being in a state of Grace, because the law-conformable inexactitude is always breaking the magnetic symmetry of conditioned existence. To be a Living Inexactitude is to be an embodiment of enlightenment, the empty-relational-form, in that such an embodiment is continually awakening every appearance to its innate voidness. It is the way of the fool.
All Law assumes an Absolute, which itself is a higher order Law within the context of a greater Absolute, ad infinitum. Specific laws are defined as the proportional relationship of the inexactitude to the exactitude, the balance of the ratios of the exception to the rule. The more undifferentiated the relationship, the higher the Law. For example, Conscious Chaos is the highest form of Order; Unconscious Order, the highest form of Chaos.
Aspiration is the distinction that flows into presence that one should be more than one is, which subjects one to the Law of Becoming, the seeking of the greater by the lesser and the lesser by the greater, whereby in being that which one Is Not, one Becomes that which one Is. The inbreath of presence, the assumption, is unmanifest formlessness. The outbreath of presence, the question, is manifest form. The chain of being is built between the swings of this breath. Inspiration provides the momentum for continuing the search for/of Endlessness. Expiration provides the inertia for coming to an end. All laws are links in the chain reinforcing the will to aspire, one way or the other.
But "Law" is only the necessity for reinforcing the need to aspire. No aspiration, no endlessly going on.