Symbolism in the Sacred Secular Sanctuary web site
    Rooted in history, open to the future...

The view of nature through open, glassless windows may give you a sense of being inside the “sanctum” or sacred space within a temple, but there is no boundary between inside and outside. There is no way of knowing if there are walls, or just a series of pillars and spaces.

The columns suggest the science and knowledge of those intellectual pagans, the Greeks and Romans, while the carved animal figures harken back to the earliest known temple or even to prehistoric cave paintings.

The stone background implies permanence. Knowledge based on observation of and participation with Nature has been with us from the beginning.

        The observatory indicates that we embrace the knowledge gained through scientific method and exploration. Both the temple and the observatory sit atop the “hill of attainment”, where wisdom is sought.

The dawn light is illuminating everything, like fresh insight. Or, if you choose to see it as sunset, it can represent the cyclical nature of life. The balance of light and dark is also intentional.

Water is included as a symbol of consciousness. Water takes the form in which it is held and moves in the path of least resistance, yet nothing is stronger for wearing away the unyielding. Transitioning from liquid to solid to vapour, water symbolizes metamorphosis and philosophical recycling. We are mostly made of water, and life emerges from primordial waters. And, we admit it, we enjoyed imagining the stream sounds beside the sanctuary during meditation.

        Some definitions

Sacred: Regarded with great respect and reverence, Reverently dedicated to some purpose.
Regarded as too valuable to be interfered with; sacrosanct.

Secular: (from Late Latin saecularis, from saeculum the present world, from Latin, generation, age, century, world. First known use: 14th century)
Not bound by monastic vows or rules, not belonging to a religious order or congregation.
Of or relating to a long term of indefinite duration.
Pertaining to our present world.

Sanctuary: A place for worship.
A place of refuge for free thought.
A place where Nature is protected.
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