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The world appears more interesting when you live more than half way to the pole. Different voices too.
"I discovered the Theory of Relativity while riding a bicycle." ~ Albert Einstein ~

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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

About two years ago I began to seek the muse with first hand experience in Europe. We visited Chartres Cathedral which as Malcom Miller says, "Chartres is a library." It bridges the progression of civilization from the pagan past of Pythagoras to the medieval cults of Mary in its architecture but its message is timeless. One cannot go there without being changed.

I have returned to the study of its wonder in the past few days. I can see the many influences of this cathedral has had on my poetry and on my view of the current world situation. I think the key word is "sacred" but that one word really only is a hint of what is implied by this special place. It was recognized in the deep past as a place of special energy and so it remains today.

Man contemplating God

Medieval labyrinth
from Virgo to Mary. Suger rose

"Suger introduced, perhaps really invented, the Gothic style of architecture" according to Sir Kenneth Clark's Civilization. What is unique about Chartres is that it has survived and it is the finest example of "the bridge between Romanesque and Gothic, between the world of Abelard and world of St Thomas Aquinas, the world of restless curiosity and world of systems and order."

Chartre recognizes the role of the ancient philosophers in sculpture, Pythagoras is on the west portal of the cathedral. Chartres was the location of a well known Pythagorean center of learning beginning in the 10th century.

I would recommend the Virtual Chartres Cathedral for an excellent virtual image tour. There is also a DVD which is well done, although a rather iconoclastic perspective, in my opinion, much can be learned from it.


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