& the 4 Ecologies

It is fashionable today to talk about green building or ecological building. What does this actually mean? We most often think that using so-called natural materials, such as wood, cork, clay and straw, means we are building ecologically. But, at what level are we operating? Given that there are at least four planes of existence, - physical, etheric/ vital, astral/soul, and spiritual - at what level do we judge the ecology of building materials?

At what level do we judge the health of those materials? At what level do we judge the benefit or detriment to the earth and to life itself?

With this in mind, we should first look at the different ecologies to gain a basis for making clear judgements about our choice of building materials.

The first ecology is the physical ecology. Clearly, natural materials which come from the organic world have a basic life force within them. But, do we ever think what is the evolutionary path for any of those materials? Taking wood as a prime example, it is a renewable resource because a tree can be replaced by planting a new tree. Yet, no one thinks anymore about when is the best time to harvest that tree? Or to plant the replacement tree? Does the wood prefer to be joined to another piece of wood with nails or with screws? Did the man who harvested the tree, or ran the sawmill, have a thought of benefit or negativity for the tree? Every step taken in the processing of materials to make them suitable for building can enhance or take away from the vitality of that material.

The second ecology is the etheric or vital ecology. Etheric means the flowing of vital forces, and thus, a building that supports those flowing forces can support health. Conversely, a building that blocks the flow of life forces can take away from our health and the health of the environment. A building is a non-organic thing. But, if we can create a structure that supports the flow of vitality throughout it, we can create a total environment that begins to evolve itself. Etheric life forces are associated with rhythm in all things. Circadian rhythms affect all life on earth. Even our internal organs each have a rhythm distinct, yet in connection, with one another. Thus, we can use a natural material such as wood for our floor planks, but the rhythm of the placement of those planks can affect the overall health and vitality of the room.

Circulation is another aspect of etheric ecology. The circulation within a house through the corridors, stairways, and the flow within a room is crucial to the flow of life. The flow of the gardens outside can also contribute or take away healthy life forces.

The third ecology is the astral/soul ecology which relates to the feeling realm and is bound to form and symmetry. The soul can be supported by looking at the rooms of a building as different organs of the whole. We can view a house and the rooms within it as corresponding to the various organs. There is a room that is the liver, a room that is the lungs, a room that is the heart. Those rooms must communicate with one another in a healthy way to support the entire structure. Colors can add to the vitality in the same way that patterns and rhythms do. Everything needs to be in harmony to be in resonance with the ecologies above and below.

The fourth ecology is the spiritual ecology which is the resonance the building has with all the subtle forces that are present. Evolution is only possible in a building that resonates with the entire environment, the garden, the stars, Mother Earth, and all those who enter the space. Sacred geometry is one of the best ways to create this spiritual resonance. So, working with the various golden means and golden angles can create an evolutionary space that supports everything from the building materials being used to all the inhabitants of the structure.

Walkways around the house or building are crucially important, but are often given little importance. We can balance the entire environment simply by the design and ratios of the walkways around a building and throughout the project. We can further enhance the vitality of a house by guiding the vital forces through the windows and doors. By placing specific plants in areas outside we can guide forces into the house, and accentuate or increase the flow of forces using pathways.See Spiritual Architecture DVDs and Transcripts


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