The Middle Way

Zen Spot #109 -- Mindfulness, meditation, deconstruction, demolition and the next life February 14, 2018 00:05

Drifts of bricks

There is something about the destruction of a church. For the most part, rubble of the like shown above is reserved for pictures of Western Europe during World War II, the cause being bombs dropped on women and children. Piles of bricks and stone blocks, drifting like snow against whatever walls or pews are left standing, occupied many of the most beautiful cities and towns. Death of a particular and violent sort was everywhere. 

A kind of train station

All life comes to an end. The lives of churches are no exception. That they serve as a departure point, and therefore a Zen Spot, for thousands of parishioners, during funeral services, gives them a unique trajectory  and a lifespan of four or five or six generations. In Europe, centuries. A case can be made, then, that the collective mind of a parish, with human beings arriving and departing all the time, is the purest example of time without time.

The reason

There is the question of the ending of the life of the church above. Cancer, of course, could offer an explanation. Live long enough and almost every body succumbs. And, of course, people can become the cancer itself. Organisms succumb. Age, apathy, a loss of faith, a redirection and a building left in disrepair comprise a list of other possibilities.

The Alamo and Roanoke

At some point, one man was left standing before the building was overrun. Perhaps he shouldn’t have been there in the first place, along with everyone around him and the people who came before him for a generation or more. Creation by destruction is just another example of how train stations, ports and religions get built. 

Every holy place.


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