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Through Architecture Some Lives are Good

"'Well' is a deep subject (American)." Living well is a much deeper subject.

Vastu architecture in brief
"We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us." - Sir Winston Churchill

A restricted word becoming less

A human being perceives certain ranges of all the rays that bombard us day and night. A human does not see all the colours - not infrared and ultraviolet, and so on, but many animals and insects may. It is the same with our hearing range. It does nots pan all the bandwidths. So, the world that humans perceive, is a limited one, restricted by sense ranges and the capacity to form ideas from them. That is the general picture.

As for technological devices, they may have broader rangers and be sharper, but to be much understandable to a human, they need to be "transposed" into the human range somehow.

In a human world, the human is the centre, but not his or her things - or man-made machines and institutions or governments made. There are other views that this human-centric one. They have in common that humans who live according to them, by that signal that mankind is not the central elements of human progress, design, or whatever. Follies are fixed into systems, and humans succumb.

We may often question, initially only roughly,

  • "Progress of what?" Is it decent progress in a humanised world?
  • "Who pays the price?" Buyers may do.
  • "Where does the money go?" Not to the impoverished ones on earth.

Then see what you come up with, forming your opinions on facts and statistical trends first and foremost, and not on what is maintained by the profiteers.

By various communication devices, humans get far from one another through "developments" - a further step may be spelled out: estranged, impoverished in basic ways - at any rate not first-class.

Some seek to make money on the common trends of estrangements. By replacing direct eye-to-eye contact with less fulfilling contact, the total impact of "being together" by substitutes cannot measure up. Body language, odours and sharing an environment should be included in the "equations" around too. So ask, "What does the development take away of other things, to make others richer and mightier, and folks less in the human world?"

Corporate greed and individual greeds blend, and some profit. Try to see where the profit goes, or if there are decent alternatives.

Dazzled: undermined

The innocent-looking cell phone could softly undermine "being here and now," or take away from contacts - some estimate that about 80 percent of our total communication facility fail to be exchanged by a phone, others may say more. It comes along with such estrangements, and Big Brother on the rise through Big Data, systematic surveillance, and so on. Technological progress and "things" often mean that a human is made less by it. The price to pay may be many-faceted, such as freedom measures, local democracy gone.

Further, to see a screen picture of someone or nature is less than seeing the person in the flesh, and being in nature. This is a point that the French Jean Baudrillard has made well known in certain circles. The progress of screens has similar drawbacks as cell phone communication has. The advantages of both may give way to quite neurotic uses or undermining. One sort of long-run undermining is that of becoming just a spectator and listener, passive, and not much of a participant - Provided the experiences and activities could have been good to take part in, it means that becoming a screen-and-phone recipient, makes for a more languid life than an active life as a participant, and in direct contact with the suitable nature.

The Human Habitat

On a planet where humans overcrowd habitats of animals, migrant seek their share in richer parts of the world than they stem from, many problem may be glimpsed: Who should the better living conditions favour, if they cannot serve all? That is a tough one.

But for the time being, much soil may be tilled. Earth can feed the many billions of humans still. But the awfully skewed distribution of soil and goods is a problem for the Irish and for others.

As for animals, some have died out already, and others are endangered. If one cannot afford the animals we like to have around, we have more future impoverishments in store.

Urban Quality

Urbanisation has been a main trend over several hundred years after the Industrial Revolution set in. Cities of tomorrow may do better if they incorporate rewarding and giving elements of life and of nature. Maharishi's Vastu Planning goes for it.

Basic goods have come to include electricity. It may be produced by cleaner means than burning fossile fuel.

A need to get rid of polluting agents and get safe food has also come to the fore.

Basically, human beings mean more for good development, than polished, shining cars and other objects and problems that follow them.

Combine such means with an eye to better security, and life on the planet could improve, if not overnight. There is a dire need for it.

Getting Rich, also Environmentally Rich

Abraham Maslow's Pyramid of Needs +

Figure 2. Abraham Maslow's Pyramid of Needs

A deep need that is well fulfilled, means riches laid up inside. Mone means wealth in one of its forms, yet there are many more and higher forms of wealth.

Abraham Maslow's pyramid of needs (fig. 2) show there are many fields and levels of delights, or riches in life. He has not included music in the survey, but that is something to get enriched by too. In other words, his survey is not conclusive, nor is this one. (See Maslow 1987)

The more self-sufficiency and own prowess a human relinquishes, the poorer it may become in the long run. Cities can kill much thriving, in part by violating basic, organic designs. After all, humans are made for reciprocal thriving in nature, and when natural sides to the world are dimininished, thriving diminishes. It's as simple as that. There are many sides to it, though. One is to plant trees - see to it if you can. It could help later-comers.

It is not enough that a home, office building, school or factory blends beauty and function. It helps if it is ecologically sound and possibly reflects something of its region or culture. Good enough architectural vision must balance these and other parameters in search of - or in modelling - environments that could enhance the physical, psychological and spiritual well-being of the people who live and work in them. Structures that echo organic forms found in nature may be turned into distinctive elements of many more buildings. There are many other principles to take into consideration too.

Some trade themselves for gains in the rat race and then get hurt. Exploitation may work against some of these factors, if not all of them:

  • Plants are not merely ornaments. They are integrative features. Deforestation furthers desolations. See to that a lot of trees are planted.
  • Peaceful homes of handy and functional forms;
  • Sustainable cities full of trees and other plants will be direly needed or sorely missed.
  • Having ample supplies of good drinking-water;
  • Getting to energy self-sufficient dwellings.
  • Ample space and fit, close contact with peaceful animals.
  • Art is not merely decor - why not let your artistic flair helps snug home living.
  • You will have to protect the members of your family too. Think walls, hedges, and some martial arts.
  • Think and plan well ahead, not just for tomorrow. It could pay.

To be of much worth, new information has to be integrated with simplicity in our daily living.

If there is little you can do, or what you do is ecologically unsound and odious to living beings, maybe you can manage to meditate a little, or a lot!

There is much more that can be said on the art of living and architecture. You may open the Literature page and then its search box, then try searching for word parts like "archit" and "hous" there, or titles, authors and architects like "Corbus", "Rohe," "Gropius" and more, just as you like. Suit yourself.

Pregnant Architecture

There may well be a need for ◦good news after these "serenades".

For getting inspired and create a better local environment that flow fairly well along with human life and its demands and stages, take a look at Maharishi's vastu thinking. Its ideas are ancient. Houses and at least one town seek to implement these core ideas. Some are wonderful. (WP, "Maharishi Vastu Architecture")

Some Vastu principles may be adapted to suit modem conditions. Vastu's concern is not only material prosperity but also mental peace and happiness and harmony in the family, writes Dr N. Niranjan (2004, 4).

Learn to ask, "Where is the evidence?" Also: "How solid and well verified is it?"


Architecture and Living Well, Literature  

Chakrabarti, Vibhuti. 1998. Architectural Theory: Contemporary Uses of Vastu Vidya. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press.

Cox, Kathleen. 2000. Vastu Living: Creating a Home for the Soul. New York: Marlowe and Co.

Maharishi Vastu Architecture and Planning. Vastu City Planning. 4th ed. Institute of Vedic City Planning / Maharishi University of Management, 2013.

Mishra, Ankit. Nd. God's Laws for Humans; Dwarkadheesh Vastu. New Delhi: Dwarkadheeshvastu.com

Niranjan, B. 2000. Handbook of Vastu. 2nd rev ed. New Delhi: UBS Publishers.

Svoboda, Robert E. 2013. Vastu: Breathing Life into Space. New York: Namarupa Publishers.

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