I read several philosophers as a child. In particular, I was drawn to the Indian poet Sri Aurobindo through one of his poems where he talks about bridging the polarities between Matter and Spirit.
The Spirit’s tops and Nature’s base shall draw Near to the secret of their separate truth And know each other as one deity. The Spirit shall look out through Matter’s gaze And Matter shall reveal the Spirit’s face.
To me, this line felt like the final frontier of Science. That science was trying to discover and prove what mystics like Kabir and Kahlil Gibran, poets like Wordsworth and Milton, painters like Leonardo and Michelangelo and musicians like Beethoven and Mozart knew and expressed. And now, here was a poet who has given words to what in these geniuses was mute.
For an architect, this seemed like the ultimate quest. To bridge Spirit & Matter or Heaven and Earth. To make seemingly dead Matter so living that it expresses the Spirit. These lines spoke of the aim. But what was the path ? How ?
I kept rummaging for answers everywhere I turned, until finally a few months later, I found another line in the same poem :All our Earth starts from mud and ends in sky….This seemed to offer a clue to achieve that lofty ideal. After a year of intensive research, I decided to make it one of the central themes of Sharanam.
For an Architect, the roof is the expression of the Sky. And what if you build this Sky out of Earth, the very earth below your feet ?