Sacred Interiors — Full and Empty

December 17, 2019
Posted by Jay Livingston

Different Games, Different Rules: Why Americans and Japanese Misunderstand Each Other by Haru Yamada. It’s been sitting on my shelf for a while, but I just now started reading it and came across this.

This contrast between the Judaeo-Christian and Buddhist viewpoints is probably what prompted my mother to look up at the domed ceiling of a Catholic church in Florence painted with cherubs and scenes of men and women in heaven and hell, and say, “I guess the idea is to fill your mind with sacred thoughts, not to empty it.”

Okaasan (Mom) nailed it.

(Ceiling of the Duomo in Florence — Brunelleschi, 1436.
Click on an image to enlarge.)

 (Tenryuji in Kyoto. Originally built in 1339.)

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