Spirit made manifest

As we understand this more, we recognize that a building, or a building detail, or a painting, is, to some degree or other, spirit. When a thing is well made, it is an actual realization of spirit, a physical appearance and creation, realization, of spirit in this world. As the window to that realm of I, we may see and feel profound things going on, we get a glimpse of something in the made detail.

But it is more than just a glimpse, more than a window, which shows us the real spirit behind the face of matter. The actual substance itself — the building, the painting, the song, made under the circumstances I have described, made to be a center — is itself physically spirit. The process by which a center is made is the process by which spirit becomes manifest, becomes actual. Thus, the tawdry concrete blocks, plaster, and pieces of wood become, in their substance, spirit itself, to some degree or other. A few patches of paint on a panel becomes a painting — and to the extent that this painting has the center, is a window, it becomes spirit. We see spirit in it. But the actual stuff itself becomes spirit. The spirit behind the face of matter is transformed, and the dull material itself begins to shine, shows us spirit, is spirit. We have contact with actual spirit in that thing.

And this is the ultimate aim of all making: to make a thing which does manifest spirit, which shows us feeling, which makes God visible and shows us the ultimate meaning of existence, in the actual sticks and stones of the made thing.

(Pages 302-303)

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