People entering a place of worship move into a unique notional space. Once inside,
thought is initiated and reflected from surfaces and objects created from spiritual ideas turned into
blueprints for craft and art. What makes such spaces sacred and ageless is that the material
structures have been designed to help us make sense of questions about being human which still
haunt people today. Walls become a kind of 'stone tape' for us to replay answers from the past to
questions such as:-
What is life all about?
What are we here for?
Where is it all leading?
What happens after death?
When we think about these questions in church, temple or mosque, we are meditating.
outcome may simply be to reinforce answers we have already discovered. But sometimes ideas
seem to bubble up from nowhere. These inner voices are the language of meditation. They are the
mental processes of spiritual revelation. As far as we know, these are also the same mental
processes, which, when focused on practical problems, power both artistic creativity and scientific
The process of spiritual appraisal, which we call meditation, takes a world view that
is rooted in the
imagination and passes beyond the limits of ordinary life. Meditations start from the postulate that
the material cosmos in some way manifests a deeper spiritual reality, expressed through human
consciousness. We can actually meditate anywhere that offers space for thinking off the
mainstream of everyday life. Some people in busy offices are finding that 'spiritual websites' give
them space for contemplation. It is not necessary to have physical prompts. Prayer is an activity
where words can clear a mental space, no matter where we are. A physical space provided in a
purpose-built sacred building is often more effective because it contains objects which have been
specially designed, not only to focus the questions, but provide encoded messages which may give
Because most people today are ignorant of the biblical codes at the core of religious
objects, it cannot be expected that very much will sink in without providing some kind of
interpretation to get them started. In this sense an educator has to start from where people are.
They are perhaps seeing an object for the first time, and not as part of the complex doctrine of
which it may form only a tiny part. The part then becomes a point of reference from which more
signposts may lead to an appreciation of the greater whole.