Sacred Spaces

What I find most fascinating about the megalithic culture is the contrast between the transient agricultural lifestyle and the transcendent megastructures devoted to the spiritual life of the culture. These two images would have been a stark reminder to the people about the fleeting nature of the everyday life. Seasons change, people die, and people are born. Yet this early culture sensed that there is something more in life than just sowing, reaping and dying. This sort of wisdom brings to mind the Sage in Ecclesiastes who writes that all is vanity, but that God has placed eternity in the hearts of men (Eccl. 1:2-3; 3:11).  The megalithic monuments attest to the eternal significance of life, which was so important to this people that it prompted them to create the most permanent works of their culture together.

The fact that the peoples of this culture gathered together and coordinated their efforts to build these structures is another marvel. Not only does it suggest a form of pre-political organization, but it also suggests that they were united together in community by a common concern for transcendence. The peoples gathered together to secure sacred spaces for the dead: burial mounds mark a concern for the afterlife, and the belief that there is more than just the body. Menhirs connecting earth and sky must have served as reminders in daily life to look upwards, and to remember that there is more to life than man’s basic needs. But the fact that the megalithic cultures did take the time to construct these monuments attests to the fact that they must have had some mastery of the needs of daily life. They must have have some sufficient level of security in their daily lives to have been able to take the leisure to build sacred spaces. But, if this people did so strongly believe in the eternal as these structure suggest, would they not make time in the constant rhythm of life to give attention to that part of them which mattered most?

CS

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