So continuing with these metaphors for life, another one is the idea of architecture.
I’ve talked about building your life like it’s a house, and this is another comment on that.
When we build something, it’s not the building itself that matters.
It’s the function of the building.
It’s what it’s doing, what it’s serving.
So when we build a house, what matters is not the structure of the house, the walls and floors and roof.
What matters is the space that is created by those structures.
So, I mean, it can seem like kind of an abstract point.
If you’re a builder, you are focused on those materials, and making sure that those structures are built correctly.
And so to say “It’s not really about the walls; it’s about the space between the walls”: if you’re actually involved in the details of building something, that may seem like sort of an airy-fairy fantasy kind of way of looking at building.
It’s not going to help you build the house to just think about the space in the house, and to say that “It’s where the walls aren’t: that’s where it really counts.”
But when it comes to actually using the house, what matters in a house is the space.
You build the walls, floor, and ceiling in order to create the space inside.
So when it comes to life, I find this architecture metaphor: I can see it as a reminder that everything that we do to try to improve our lives, it isn’t actually the real stuff of our lives.
It only helps to create space for life to happen.
We cannot just “make”
We are not created like fictional characters, or built like objects, where we can simply directly design and create exactly what we want our life to be.
We can instead shape it.
And it’s just like with the garden, similar idea with the garden, that we can’t force those plants to grow.
We only create a good environment for them.
With the building metaphor, we build the structure, we design the walls, how we are going to set up our life in some way.
But then we are simply trying to help the process of life happening inside that space.
It’s a very abstract point, but I find it useful to just remember not to focus too much on our work, our habits, the details of our routines, mindset, all this kind of formal stuff, this kind of the way we give form to our lives.
We think about the details of how to do that.
We set it up.
We make adjustments to our routines, our habits, how we’re living our life.
But the point of life, if we can talk about the point of it: that’s not the point of it.
I mean, having good habits is not a meaningful life.
Having good habits helps to give us a foundation and a space in which we can have a good life.
It’s in many ways more about clearing that space.
It’s more like having good habits clears out piles of rubble.
Because that’s what a building would be: I mean, if we had no structure, if the building had no structure, it would be a pile of rubble.
And a pile of rubble has no space.
Not a very nice space to live.
But if we have a nice structure then we can have that space.
So I think in architecture, there’s a lot of focus on the idea of space and light.
And these are the two things that you’re not actually building.
You’re building in a way to make something of the space and make something of the light.
So applying this in our lives, we can find a way to create that kind of- I’m just picturing this room with a nice window and light coming in.
And how do we make that in our own lives?
What does it mean to have a life that has space in it, that has light in it?
I’m not sure exactly how to describe it, but it seems like there’s something in this metaphor.
So I’d love to hear what you think of this.
#lifearchitecture #spaceforlife #buildinglife