The Interior Castle

by rthieme on April 19, 1997

The Interior Castle

The spatial metaphor of architecture has deep implications. A house, for example, is an archetypal symbol for the psyche; when we dream of houses, we are dreaming of our interior “space.” Teresa of Avila’s The Interior Castle described spiritual development as analogous to the exploration of hidden rooms. Similarly, orators in ancient Greece retained speeches by memorizing, say, the Temple of X; as they spoke, they “walked” through rooms collecting paragraphs.

Today, the redundancy of architectural spaces as the parameters of games, GUIs, and desktops recapitulates at a higher level of abstraction the practice of those oral cultures: the 3-D interface is in fact an image of our “inner space,” providing a framework in which to imagine and remember. When we look at the Web, we are one pair of eyes (like the many-faceted eyes of bees) looking at an image of ourselves, our hive mind.

Richard Thieme ([email protected]) is a professional speaker and business consultant.

Published in Wired: Issue 5.04 | Apr 1997 in Idées Fortes

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