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Re: Architecture & the Amercan Soul

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  • John Massengale
    ... Could you comment on those two sentences? ... A story which give some idea of the ego of Frank Lloyd Wright, who said, Architecture begins with me.
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 15, 2000
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      > Many here (on this list) know how the influence of America on the rest
      > of the world had to be held back in the past. And then how the influence
      > of the potato (in particular), the tomato and tobacco, markedly altered
      > the thinking abilties of those in Europe.

      Could you comment on those two sentences?

      > Walter Burley Griffin was born in Maywood, Illinois in 1876. He worked
      > for Frank Lloyd Wright.

      A story which give some idea of the ego of Frank Lloyd Wright, who said,
      "Architecture begins with me."

      Wright was discussing spiritual issue in relation to architecture with a
      young architect. In response to the young man's enthusiasm, he said (quoting
      from memory): "Yes, we all do God's work. You in your way and me in His."

      When Wright was asked in a radio interview what books a young architect
      should read, he of course began with his latest book. The second and only
      other book he listed was one by Gurdjieff, whose work he knew well through
      his last wife, Svetlana. Before I read that, it struck me while visiting
      Florida International University (I think that's the right name -- Wright's
      only Florida campus) and Taliesin West that there was a clear connection
      between some of Wright's work and Steiner's anthroposophical architecture.

      Wright worked for Louis Sullivan. I don't know if Sullivan was a
      Theosophist, but in his books there are clear leanings in that direction.
      Here's a quote from The Autobiography of An Idea:

      "The democratic idea... holds to the good. Its faith lies in the beneficence
      of its power, in its direct appeal to life. Its vision reveals an inspiring
      vista of accomplishment. Its common sense recognizes man as by nature sound
      to the core, and kindly.... It bases its faith upon the heart in preference
      to the intellect, though knowing well the power of the latter when
      controlled. It knows that the intellect, alone, runs amuck, and performs
      unspeakable cruelties; that the heart alone is divine. For it is the heart
      that welcomes Life and would cherish it, would shield it against the
      cannibalism of the intellect."

      Sullivan's biographer was an architect and leading Theosophist named Claude
      Bragdon. His name is listed in a brief pamphlet about the Theosopophist
      headquarters in Illinois (which is where Sullivan, Wright, the Griffins and
      Bragdon all were). See
      http://shift.merriweb.com.au/books/bragdon/index.html.


      John Massengale
    • elaine upton
      Hello John,and all, Thanks for the references to FL Wright, to theosophists and Gurdjieffians (smile) in architecture. Another question on architecture and
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 15, 2000
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        Hello John,and all,

        Thanks for the references to FL Wright, to theosophists and Gurdjieffians
        (smile) in architecture.

        Another question on architecture and America: what can you say about
        Washington, D.C.'s architecture? Isn't there a strong masonic influence, and
        weren't the so called Founding Fathers members of the Masons? Relation to
        the dollar bill?

        What I notice is the capitol dome, which is perhaps feminine, and at the
        opposite end of the mall, the Washington Monument, which is surely phallic
        (masculine). And so much is rectangular --in a way that I find very
        unpleasant on the subjective level. I've walked that Mall a lot (for I love
        to go to the National Gallery) and have participated in many protests or
        "marches on Washington" held on the Mall and along Pennsylvania Avenue. I
        wonder how the architecture and design is affecting the political activity
        we bring there, and the minds of Congress, etc.

        Any thoughts here, anyone?

        Blessings,
        elaine



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      • Danny Fortier
        ... Potato: Has a numbing effect on the head system, nothing can go deep; remain on the surface and encourage the abstract: this is shortly an Ahrimanic vegie.
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 15, 2000
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          --- John Massengale <john@...> wrote:
          > From: "John Massengale" <john@...>
          >
          > > Many here (on this list) know how the influence of America on the
          > rest
          > > of the world had to be held back in the past. And then how the
          > influence
          > > of the potato (in particular), the tomato and tobacco, markedly
          > altered
          > > the thinking abilties of those in Europe.
          >
          > Could you comment on those two sentences?


          Potato: Has a numbing effect on the head system, nothing can go deep;
          remain on the surface and encourage the abstract: this is
          shortly an Ahrimanic vegie.

          Tomato: Encourage and promote independant life; something to avoid in
          case of tumor and everything of the like that wants to
          separate
          from the whole and live on his own.

          Tobacco: Desynchronise breath and heartbeat; the heart beat faster
          than
          in should usually do, creates an anxiety, even unconscious.

          Sugar should be included also, coffee too, they belong to the same
          north american trend; coffee goes in the folder 'abstract', sugar
          goes in 'independance and separate'...

          There's some kind of earthly 'archetypes' to look at considering
          those substances, think to the journalist for example, think to the
          living room sportive, oups! we also forgot the substance 'alcool'!...


          Observe how the potato grow, how the tomato plant accept other
          plants, and the obvious effects of tobacco. The science of
          observation shall bring the desired complement of information,
          and the science of generosity may also bring other insights,
          informations and knowledge...

          � la prochaine,
          Danny



          =====
          I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.-- Henry David Thoreau
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