A possible explanation
According to my analysis in Book 2, success in making living structure in a building comes from the ability of the maker, at each step in the unfolding process, to do the thing which is required — at each instant to do that thing which is most consistent with wholeness. I have described at length, in Book 2, how the life of a building comes about to the degree that all the steps in its making are structure-preserving steps — and that, of course, depends on the extent to which the makers could see the structure of the wholeness that was there while they were making it. Yet while one works as an artist or a builder it is hard to see wholeness. To see wholeness as it is requires purity of mind, because the thoughts, mental constructs, theories, ideas, and images one has all interfere with perception of wholeness, and make it difficult to see.
It is a process which essentially requires that person to give up all categories, give up focused forms of perception, and give way instead to a wide-open, all embracing form of perception in which he/she “drinks in” the wholeness.
Historically, for an artist, belief in God worked — I think — by focusing attention on wholeness. By asking the believer to concentrate on God — that means, in some operationally understandable fashion, on the ground of all things, in pure humility, not on some other thing — it helped the artist dissolve his images, constructs, and concepts — and focus on reality as it is — in other words on the structure of the wholeness as it is.
This connection is straightforward and practical. Mystical tradition, in one form or another, helped a person focus on wholeness, and therefore helped the artist of the builder, at each step in a building process, take a step which was structure-preserving, not something else. Works made in this mental atmosphere then took on life, because the artists were empowered by their humility to see wholeness and to act accordingly.
There was too, the matter of pace. The essence of these works, made in a devotional atmosphere, was that the maker had time, the mind was concentrated. The step-by-step nature of slow unfolding, which I have characterized in Book 2 as a necessary part of making life, was made possible.
In some form I cannot articulate perfectly, I believe that the connection between the creation of living structure and ancient and mystical religion goes further. I doubt if we shall plumb the full extent to which a living structure is created until we have thoroughly explored and understood just what these ancient builders did, in what frame of mind they did it, and with what attitude.
In pursuing living structure, in hoping to reach it for ourselves, it is this we must search for, and ultimately in some form reach, before we can claim that we know how to make living structure in our world.