Preface — Introduction

Book 4 is about the most personal aspect of The Nature of Order: The way in which architecture, and all order in the world, touches our being.

The structure of life I have described in buildings — the structure which I believe to be objective — is deeply and inextricably connected with the human person and with the innermost nature of human feeling. In this fourth book I shall approach this topic of the inner feeling in a building as if there is a kind of personal thickness — a source, or ground, something almost occult — in which we find that the ultimate questions of architecture and art sometimes touch some connection of incalculable depth between the made work (building, painting, ornament, street) and the inner “I” which each of us experiences. What I call “the I” is that interior element in a work of art, or in a work of nature, which makes one feel related to it. It may occur in a leaf, or in a picture, in a house, in a wave, even in a grain of sand, or in an ornament. It is not ego. It is not me. It is not individual at all, having to do with me, or you. It is humble, end enormous: that thing in common which each one of us has in us. It is the spirit which animates each living center.

(page 2)

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