january 09, 2021 - tracing a circle

the outline as holy gesticulation. (notes from the library)

"What is contemplation? The word derives from the root tem to cut."

(atom, anatomy, diatom, contemplate, temple, tome)

"To what severance, to what separation does the word allude? In order to understand the allusion, we should try to relive an experience half forgotten, something most precious lying hidden beneath the psychic rubbish that modern man heaps upon his heart. if we want to call that experience back to life, we should recall the sense of awe and wonder we feel in certain strangely meaningful places.

... In such places at such moments, a kind of reverence and fear even today finds access to the dulled senses of modern men. But what was such a feeling to a seer, to a priest-astronomer of say, 7000 BC? His fierce imagination was swayed and enthralled by the splendor of the revolving planets and of the constant stars upon the black vault of night. Those same essences that burned in the sky, he perceived when he hit upon some awesome, majestic spot. when in the outline of a rock, or of a tree, or of an animal he detected a luminous quality, full of freshness and grace, a swift delicate rhythm.

he recognized the essence of silvery Venus up in the sky. And thus in all the qualities of earthly things, he perceived the manifestation of some star. In fact the same essence was in turn a star, a mineral, a plant, an animal; especially certain arresting spots in the landscape were hallowed by it. They possessed that power stunningly and gloriously. The seer in such places felt the holy essence beckoning to him. Something from the depths of his being delicately leapt out towards it and communed with it. Our shabby modern language still reminds us of the intensity of those archaic events when it calls certain places "genial" : inhabited by an unworldly being, a genie.

"On such land the seer would feel called, impelled to perform a ritual, the natural response to a nod from above."

from Contemplation and Action in World Religions essay by Elémire Zolla

a phone recorded first draft of a color of a feeling of three walls, three windows and a host of apparitions. numen.