We consider objects to be inanimate and soulless, decry materialism as immoral, while the soul's fascination with things persists and continues to shape the world. As our vision of the sacred moves away from exclusive focus on saving individual souls, and toward the realization that we are inseparable from the material environment, the presence of earth angels, the spirits in all things, will reappear. . . .

Things to do

  • Sit in any part of your house and contemplate the expression of the room, the furniture, the artifacts, the walls, ceilings, doorways, windows, and floors. Watch how they interact with one another. How do they feel about their surroundings? Their neighbors? Your presence? Do the things communicate with one another? What do you imagine them saying?
  • Move something to a different place in the room and notice the difference in the space.
  • Select an object and meditate on its expression for three to five minutes. What does it say to you about itself within the language of its form and substance?
  • Shift now to an object next to it and repeat the exercise. Do you see how radically different the expressions are in a space that we never saw as containing such diverse personalities? As we become more aware of these details, we are attuned to the larger ecologies of environments. . . .
  • Take a walk around your home, inside or outside. Try not to plan anything. Don't select objects for observation. Let them impress themselves on you. Pay close attention to the details of your perceptions and cherish how things relate to you.
Shaun McNiff in Earth Angels