Readnotes: Timeless way of building

Online book here.

The quality

  • “quality without a name” (qwan)
  • there is a central quality: the root criterion of life and spirit in a man, a town, a building, or a wilderness.
  • the quality is objective and precise, but it cannot be named.
  • every place is given its character by certain patterns of events that keep on happening there.
  • the patterns of events are the atoms and molecules from which a building or a down is made.
  • when patterns are alive, they let our inner forces loose, and set us free; but when they are dead, they keep us locked in inner conflict.
  • when a building has this self-maintaining fire, then it becomes a part of nature. Like ocean waves, or blades of grass, its parts are governed by the endless play of repetition and variety created in the presence of the fact that all things pass.

The gate

To reach the qwan, we must build a living pattern language as a gate.

  • qwan cannot be made, but only generated, by ordinary actions of people, just as a flower cannot be made, but only generated from the seed.

The timeless way

Once we have built the gate, we can pass through it to the practice of the timeless way.

  • a building or a town will only be alive to the extent that it is governed by the timeless way.

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