GOD IS AN ARCHITECT
The Gnostics called it the Great Architect. The Christian theologians, Freemasons, and Rosicrucians termed it the Grand Architect of the Universe. The Hindus called it Vishvakarman;- the creative power and divine engineer of the universe whose existence predates time itself.
The concept of God as an architect is nothing new, and crops up again and again throughout religious and philosophical systems, both modern and prehistoric. In fact, this depiction of God, as an architectural mastermind, forms the very first passage of the oldest known work of literature in existence; the very work which would lay the foundation for western, and thus global civilization.
After creating Heaven and Earth, Genesis 1:1 tells us that nothing existed but Darkness and Chaos. Then God swept across the formless void and lifted up an enormous dome to separate water from water, thereby opening up space for all living things to become. Without the help of the sun or stars, God commanded light to pierce the solid darkness. With Spirit alone, God brought order to the universe. Then, within an ordered universe, intelligent life—society, civilization— could begin. When finished, God was satisfied and observed that it was very good.
Architecture is the attempt to make structure and order, out of chaos and nothingness. When human architects set out with the intention to create sacred space, they seek to breach the chaos and give order to our lives. Modern day existence involves a daily psychological carpet-bombing from information, noise, and news, aggressively marketed to by those who want to sell us something. Sacred space can lift up a dome of silence and hold back the pressures of modern life. A sacred space can allow contemplation, reflection, and the overview required to make moral choices. Enter the architect.
The ultimate goal of the architect is to create a paradise, in which every brick, and every curve, is an endeavor to make manifest the ideas and soul of its designer. One such designer is Christopher Wolfgang Alexander.
Born in 1936 in Vienna, Alexander is a greatly admired, and highly influential architect, who currently holds the emeritus professor chair at the University of California. His work regarding the the nature of human-centered design has permeated areas beyond architecture, including urban design, software, sociology, and more. When it comes to the idea of God as an Architect, few people have managed to so deftly articulate this concept, or written so beautifully and succinctly about the idea, as Alexander.
By Daniel Brett
Writer – Nosara, Costa Rica